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Old 10-09-2012, 12:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
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It's not putting 6 amps in when my MH is powered up with all the sensors, radio/TV, laptop and etc is on, plus there is line loss from the panels to the battery. The 6 amps was measured right at the panels with them aimed directly at the sun, which almost never stays that way where I camp and when out and about.
Yes, I understand that, but I would be concerned that readers not understanding all the ramifications of such a simple uncontrolled system might put their RV into storage in a southern desert location, connect 6 amps of solar direct to their battery (perhaps a small battery too, perhaps even an AGM) and turn off the RV 12V system isolator as they walk out the door. Six amps in, nothing out, 10 hours a day for several months.
Coming back 6 months later expecting to find batteries nicely charged, they might get upset with us if they find that following our advice resulted in expensive batteries "boiled" dry as a bone
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:54 AM   #16
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~15' of 8 gauge outside DC landscape wire and a 20 Amp AC connector.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:44 PM   #17
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If I put my MH in storage, I wouldn't even put a 1 amp panel on it without some type of controller that would go into maintenance mode. As I already said, these are portable panels that I only use when camping. Nowhere did I or HandiBob suggest to use 1-2 amps or higher panels for storage.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:08 PM   #18
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If I put my MH in storage, I wouldn't even put a 1 amp panel on it without some type of controller that would go into maintenance mode. As I already said, these are portable panels that I only use when camping. Nowhere did I or HandiBob suggest to use 1-2 amps or higher panels for storage.
Good to get that clarified because the OP had medium-sized fixed panels that were permanently connected and he was rightly concerned that it had caused premature failure of his expensive batteries so HandiBobs advice about small fixed panels being permanently connected could have confused the issue.
I regard small as being anything under a couple of hundred watts while others regard a 10W panel small, so would prefer that such guidelines were a bit better defined because most users aren't in a position to determine whether the use of some crude system is highly conditional or not. Saying that 2 to 3 amps won't hurt a 225 amp hour battery is all well and good provided there are no special conditions and limitations to the advice, but what about 2 to 3 amps and a 120Ah battery or 5 amps and a 220Ah battery. As the consensus of this thread shows, a good regulator saves all the worry.


Slightly off topic but not too far off - and HandiBob (and anyone else who knows even a little basic electrical theory) mentions it over and over. Portable panels are pretty popular and most are nicely hinged with a simple regulator mounted on the back and a long length of pretty light cable running direct to the battery or via a fixed plug. This results in a huge voltage drop at the battery terminals and is a very severe restriction on how well the system performs in getting a battery fully-charged. Much better is to mount the regulator as close to the batteries as possible. Even better is to do that and increase the cable size between the panels and regulator as well.
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