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Old 10-30-2012, 06:16 PM   #1
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Will 20A Be ok to charge 4 Trojan T105 on a regular day?

Inviting your comments: I bought 4 solar panels to make up 600w, already have a 20A MPPT controller in hands, and soon to get 4 Trojan T105 6v batteries. I know the contoller's capacity may be a little shy... Now if I set up like this: 2 panels in serial (24v) then parallel to MPPT controller, output to batteries in 12v, Will this makes it to full boondocking? I am planning to use it to run all except a/c, maybe?
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:32 PM   #2
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Could be a loaded question. Depends on ones appliance usage. Efficiency of panels . Where one boondocks. Generally speaking one could be on the right track. The inverter is mainstay in the equasion. Just openening up thinking directions. I usually map on paper whst my goal is and add the consumables etc Good luck, cheers.
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:48 PM   #3
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I have a couple of solar panels on the roof of my M.H. and four 6v batteries as well as a 12v for the M.H. I have a voltage reguleter that keeps the batteries up.
I check the water leval once a week.
When I dry camp its O.K. until night time when I watch T.V. after a whyle I check the stats of the batteries and if they start to go down I then turn on the Gen. set. That usely take care of it for the night.
I have a switch on the side of my bed so when I am through watching T.V. at night I turn off the inverter so it does not run down the batteries overnight.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:43 PM   #4
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thanks to both of you. my inverter is 2500w, it may be ok as currently it's doing fine. i am not sure how to force the fridge to run on battery full time though as i checked the fridge that it always automatically switches to gas when not on shore power, not really selectable. i'll figure it out later.
terry's routine sounds like good to me, probably i will try to do the same. installing a switch at arm's reach for inverter is a good idea. what i am thinking is i'll use 8 and 6 gauge wires at before and after controller, and install the system with what i have. when need be down the road, or mppt controller prices drop to moderate level, i'll replace 20a with maybe a 60a.
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:02 AM   #5
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You are on the right track although I would consider wiring the panels straight series for a 48 volt configuration, that will make the 20 Amp MPPT controller run more efficiently.


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Old 10-31-2012, 08:12 AM   #6
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I agree with Ed-Sommers, otherwise I think your controller and wiring is marginal.
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:04 AM   #7
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First you almost NEVER get full output from a solar panel other than in a lab.

Trojan says to charge no faster than 10 percent capacity (20 hour) rating, For each pair that is 230 amps, so 23 amps per pari is the fastest Trojan says to charge them

You are talking 10 amps per pair, That is fantastic from Trojan's point of view.

The question is is it fast enough to offset the power you will use. And that I can not answer.. I can give some guidelines.

One, at best you get 90% of your charge current stored (The other 10% is "Overhead")

Now, Light bulbs. 1156 about 2 amps, 1141 1.5 1003 1

8 watt florcesents, about 1.5 amps per pair.

NOTE these figures are somewhat rounded, but good for your use.

Add 'em up and see how many hours of how many amps you draw.. Then figure at most 6 hours of full sunlight on the panels If the draw is bigger than the panel out, You may still be good depending on the length of the trip.
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:04 PM   #8
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Thank you for all replies. These are very informational, I am learning and will test run to know for sure once is up. I can imagine there might be some capacity enhancements needed down the road, more likely either on controller or batteries or both.
Thank you again.
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:26 PM   #9
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you didn't say where you're puting your panels. on the ground so you can keep mh in the shade, or on the roof. if you mount them on the roof watch out for roof vents, ac, etc that can cast a shadow of your panels. if yo don't know about handybob do a irv2 search and check out his site. lots of things to think about. shadows being one of the most important. and correct voltage to your batteries. sounds like you are putting together a cool system.
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:24 AM   #10
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oh, the four panels with 145w each will be on roof. currently i have two panels but with much smaller watts, I am going to take those out and place 4 along the edge. Shadow will be none or minimum unless i park under the trees.
i read handybob's blog, learned a lot from him. i also learned from wheelingit who shows up to this forum sometime too. it's kind of new and venturous for me but i am a follower so feel safe at least in certain degree
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Old 11-02-2012, 04:58 AM   #11
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well you're ahead of me. i have lots of shadow casters on my roof. 2 ac, 3 skylites, one dish, 3 covered roof vents. going up this weekend to measure. will figure it out. have you checked craigs list for panels? seems to be quite a few. looks like extras from house installs. was thinking about some portables when parked in the shade. if you have the time and equipment. how about output readings on your panels with and without shadows (maybe one or two cells) . good luck
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Old 11-02-2012, 05:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wonderer1 View Post
2 ac, 3 skylites, one dish, 3 covered roof vents. going up this weekend to measure. will figure it out. have you checked craigs list for panels? seems to be quite a few. looks like extras from house installs. was thinking about some portables when parked in the shade. if you have the time and equipment. how about output readings on your panels with and without shadows (maybe one or two cells) . good luck
yours looks like similar to mine - i have 2 acs, 2 skylights, 1 dome, 1 directway for data (huge setup from po), 1 frdge vent, 1 old crankup analog antenna (going to take it out). most of them in middle except the last two are at side. i measured, the widest panels fitting the side way is 30" so i ordered 26" wide.

there are a lot of panels are being sold on craigslist and ebay, but you will find a few for off-grid at 12v or 24v. the prices are moderate now around $1/ft. if you are boondocking leaning, 600w should suffice i guess.

i ordered and still waiting for shipment arrival. i'll measure it when it gets here.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:41 PM   #13
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I boondock a lot and have 1/2 of your solar. I run the generator an hour in the am and an hour in the evening. That said I have recently finished replacing about 28 lights in the mh with leds. Fluoresents and all. I think I can get by with the exisiting solar without the generator but just barely. As mentioned it is rare to have full sun all day and the panels laying flat is less than optimal. I am still thinking about adding several more but have not made up my mind.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:57 PM   #14
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Hey YC, glad to know 600w might be good enough. i plan to do leds later after everything is up running right. the only thing i am not sure is 20a charger whether it needs to be increased, but that will be clear after actual run. I am going to use agm deep cycle batteries for house, my controller does not say what type of batteries compatible, so that is an unknown thing too... too many things to look into...
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