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Post Info TOPIC: adding solar to dual battery system..comments pls.


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adding solar to dual battery system..comments pls.


Hi everyone, I have decided to add a 80 watt folding solar system to top up the auxillary AGM (100amp), it charges nicely from main battery and I also have a smart charger when 240v available, so the solar will be topup for remote use.
There appears to be a lot of solar panels on the market and no shortage of 80watt but what to look out for and avoid?
I have read on this forum of members purchasing off E Bay and finding delivered item not as advertised ( ie, charging rates below that advertised) so a little reluctant to use this medium. There is no shortage of major retailers, ie, Jaycar etc offering solar panels made in China with prices varying between $450-$600.....but are they up to the task? What type of solar would you recommend for the above use?
Many thanks,
Ozi

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ozi, been down this road, bought the folding type ready to go , so the say.
the trouble is the regulator was mounted on the back of the panel & wireing to light.
For a compact portable unit you are better of buying two seperate pannelsof the same size that you want, hinge them together in the same way as the factory units.
Be sure to get a good quility regulator which needs to be mounted as close to the battery as possible to reduce voltage drop.Wire up with 6mm twin core as required. I use a 32volt, 10amp T-plug & socket between the panel & regulator so you can seperate & pack away.Fit the socket, [female plug] to the panel  so it can not short out the panel when unpluged. I didnt know much about solar at the time & found that cheap regs & small wireing do not work, I run two 60watts=120 with the goods have been delivering up to 8.5amps .
Doing it this way you know what you are getting & will be cheaper.

-- Edited by justcruisin01 on Monday 23rd of August 2010 08:56:43 PM

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G'day JC, once again, thanks for the invaluable advice. On the surface these solar deals always look great but as they say the devil is in the detail.
I have a few more questions if you dont mind re type of solar panel and brand of regulator, (price if you dont mind) and what would you say is best length of lead from panel to battery.
Final question, is the reg'waterproof as I have noticed that so far none that I have looked at are?
Thanks mate,
Ozi

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apologies Jc, I re read your post and take note of location of regulator not being mounted on solar panel,
Ozi

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ozi2 wrote:

Final question, is the reg'waterproof as I have noticed that so far none that I have looked at are? Ozi


The regulators that come attached to the rear of solar panels are water resistant. They are probably not fully waterproof. If you get a panel with a regulator attached, detatch it and install it closer to your battery. You will charge your battery a little quicker.

 



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PeterD
Nissan Navara D23 diesel auto, Spaceland pop-top
Retired radio and electronics technician.
NSW Central Coast.



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ozi2 wrote:

G'day JC, once again, thanks for the invaluable advice. On the surface these solar deals always look great but as they say the devil is in the detail.
I have a few more questions if you dont mind re type of solar panel and brand of regulator, (price if you dont mind) and what would you say is best length of lead from panel to battery.
Final question, is the reg'waterproof as I have noticed that so far none that I have looked at are?
Thanks mate,
Ozi

G/day Ozi, The panels I have are Sunteck , they are working well with the right set up, how ever I think any of the top brands that we see advertised  should be ok ,eg BPetc. I beleive the seceret is having the a good reg & wire, 6mm twin core.
The regulators that I am running are Palsonic PL20, [ I have two sets of panells ==meaning four x 60 watt panells, made into two pairs with a regulator on each]

The original mounted regs were Projector, poor quility& once the preset volts were reached they would shut down even though the batteries were no where charged, then wait for volts to drop again as in fridge switch on before they would charge again, constantly loosing ground.

With so much problem to start with & I was in the NT by time I found this out I jumped pretty hard on the manufacturer & supplier, I managed to get the two palsonics for $500. They told me it was over board But I had been watching one working that belonged to a mate & it was doing a great job,

Digital read outs on every thing, solar volts min & max , amps in & out, state of charge, 30day history, able to be set to type of battery & amp capicity . the list goes on.

Wire length. I set the units up with 6mtrs , this gives  reasonable area to follow the sun.By tracking the sun every 2hrs if possible will gain you another 2-4 amps of charge.

By mounting the reg as close as possible to the battery you get full panell voltage through the length of wire , up to 21volts. then reg reduces it to the reqiured amount & delivers to battery with out voltage drop.The ready to go units have the reg on the back of panell & this is where the trouble starts.

A bit like the old saying, get what you pay for. Hope this does not confuse you ,trying to make it as simple as I can.

PS mount regs in a dry place, I mounted mine in a cliplock plastic container, screwed the reg through the bottom of container & onto a wall, drilled holes to fit wiring through the lower side of container, this keeps the insects from building nests in the back of unit.In extreme heat I unclip the lids to let the heat out, leave lid hanging loose as a deterent.


 



-- Edited by justcruisin01 on Tuesday 24th of August 2010 08:47:05 PM

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Be your self; there's no body better qualified !                    "I came into this world with nothing , I still have most of it"

 

JC.

 


 

                                             

                

    

                          



Guru

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G'day again JC, I appreciate your posts as nothing better than info from the horses mouth so to speak! It appears that most of the solar pv panels are manufactured in China, BP included.
Ok, re the regulator I will most likely fix to rear tub next to AGM aux battery and run 6mm cable to solar panel with fittings as you suggested.
Just about completed the fitout now and only the solar job to go......hmmm, famous last words hey?
Thanks again mate,
Ozi

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Ozi2 (and others). Check out these people:

solarenergystore.com.au

They advertise in the camper trailer and 4WD magazines and the prices for their panels are by far the best I have seen. No connection to them etc and no idea on quality etc, but worth a look. They are in Sydney.
Cheers, Tony

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I have recently purchased 2x 200 watt solar panels for $480- ea,from eBay.
After reading the above post bagging eBay quality I now have reservations,So I will test these when they arrive and get the results posted as soon as I know some hard data.
Thanks again for posting some thought provoking facts about the varied quality of solar panels.
Cheers FnOzi...

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Beware of buying off Ebay. I have purchased 6X 120w folding for my cabin at Chinchilla & only 2 came with correct size cable & 12v regulators. 2 had 6v regulators but were advertised as 12v & 4 came with useless wiring that I had to replace.
The panels were Ok & averaged $430 each.
I disconnected all regulators on back of each panel & put 3 panels to 1 digital readout 20amp controller, ($120ea) so that's 2 controllers next to 2 banks of 3X 200ah batteries, 6 in total, & I get excellent charge, so the idea of buying off Ebay is Ok provided you specify what you want first by contacting the seller & specifying 12v controller & 6mm cable, & that way you can request the supplier to correct any problems.
Previous comments about putting the controller next to the battery is also sound advice.
Hope this helps.

-- Edited by Dougie on Friday 27th of August 2010 04:45:22 PM

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tonyd wrote:

Ozi2 (and others). Check out these people:

solarenergystore.com.au

They advertise in the camper trailer and 4WD magazines and the prices for their panels are by far the best I have seen. No connection to them etc and no idea on quality etc, but worth a look. They are in Sydney.
Cheers, Tony




very dodgy as they dont give dimensions of panels. One thing learnt quickly
so many of the panels on ebay are dodgy. difficult for the amateur to know which are and which arent. There are only 10 main line brands that come up to scratch

 



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Guru

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Point taken, Paul. I may find myslf in Sydney before I need to buy panels (I live in Perth), so would be able to have a shufti at them. Cheers, Tony

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