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Old 06-11-2018, 05:30 PM   #1
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Using Solar Panels

We are boondocking for the first time. We have a 40' Beaver Patriot diesel with solar panels on the roof and a Photovol Control/ Monitor System inside. Is there anything we need to do to use the panels to charge house batteries or is is simply always on?
Thanks!
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Old 06-11-2018, 05:39 PM   #2
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Oh! boy ...
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Old 06-11-2018, 05:40 PM   #3
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Does your monitor have a display that tells you information? You could try searching for the make, model of the control system and see what a manual says. How about the battery state of charge? Being disconnected, if the panels are charging the batteries should show more than 12.7v in sunlight.
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:35 PM   #4
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They should always be on if wired properly , but that's not always the case.
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:58 AM   #5
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did you buy it used with no info/manuals etc on that solar system?

boy I would be all over learning about my system from the manual and then I would be on the internet learning more about that particular system I owned.

first time using it you will sure get a feel how it functions. Hope you have a great time!!
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:06 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post


Does your monitor have a display that tells you information? You could try searching for the make, model of the control system and see what a manual says. How about the battery state of charge? Being disconnected, if the panels are charging the batteries should show more than 12.7v in sunlight.
Thank You for your response. There is a read out for Battery (D.C Volts) and also Panel (D. C. Amperes). 12.7v is helpful.
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:53 AM   #7
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Thank You for your response. There is a read out for Battery (D.C Volts) and also Panel (D. C. Amperes). 12.7v is helpful.
Actually, 12.7v is the reading for a fully charged 12v battery. It takes at least 13.4v or more to actually charge a battery.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:57 PM   #8
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A well-installed system will have an 'on-off' switch installed somewhere close to the controller - it may be a round 'rotary' switch or a simple 'breaker switch.' There may be / should be an in-line fuse / breaker that protects the batteries; it should be checked to ensure its 'on.' In addition, panels need to be somewhat clean to work most efficiently.
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Old 06-17-2018, 07:47 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ORB View Post
We are boondocking for the first time. We have a 40' Beaver Patriot diesel with solar panels on the roof and a Photovol Control/ Monitor System inside. Is there anything we need to do to use the panels to charge house batteries or is is simply always on?
Thanks!

Here are some links to help with your learning journey:


RV Electrical
https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/
The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
Lithium Ion Battery For RV and Boat - LiFePO4 LFP - Starlight Solar
Mixing solar panels – Dos and Don’ts • SOLAR PANEL SECRETS EXPOSED
RV Solar Electric Store
solarseller.com alternative energy by John Drake Services, Inc.

Mixing Solar Panels
Do and Donts Mixing solar panels – Dos and Don’ts • SOLAR PANEL SECRETS EXPOSED

Edge of Cloud Effect: A rare ocassion when the sun shines through the edge of cumulus clouds raising the output from you solar panels.
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Old 06-18-2018, 08:43 PM   #10
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Thank You for your response. There is a read out for Battery (D.C Volts) and also Panel (D. C. Amperes). 12.7v is helpful.
If it's charging, you should see positive amps. Depending on the make and model of your controller, there may be programming options to set the battery type, maximum amps, etc. I suggest you read your controller's manual carefully (download it if you don't have one).
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