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Survival and Preparations Long and short term survival and 'prepping'.

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  #1  
Old 10-10-2020, 9:18 AM
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Default Solar system for charging batteries

Any pointers you guys can give me for setting up a small solar system for charging 12v deep cycle batteries?

I ordered this kit.
https://www.amazon.com/RICH-SOLAR-Wa...s%2C352&sr=8-4
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Old 10-10-2020, 12:11 PM
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How many batteries and how much power will you be using daily? For example, if you are using 2kwh/day, a 200 watt system will not be enough to fully charged the batteries.

As for pointers, use proper guage wires for the distance you plan running, try to keep the wires as short as possible, use proper size fuses and always connect the batteries to the charge controller before the solar panels.
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Old 10-10-2020, 2:04 PM
Muleskinner Muleskinner is offline
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I have a Renogy solar suitcase for my trailer it includes a good controller. It is excellent
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Old 10-10-2020, 2:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelf3 View Post
How many batteries and how much power will you be using daily? For example, if you are using 2kwh/day, a 200 watt system will not be enough to fully charged the batteries.

As for pointers, use proper guage wires for the distance you plan running, try to keep the wires as short as possible, use proper size fuses and always connect the batteries to the charge controller before the solar panels.
Iím just going to be using 2 deep cycle batteries powering a radio that draws .5 amps on rx and no more than 14 amps tx.
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Old 10-10-2020, 3:10 PM
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https://batterymanguide.com/how-many...cycle-battery/

https://rotarytoolsguy.com/size-sola...panels-needed/
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Last edited by FeuerFrei; 10-10-2020 at 3:12 PM..
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  #6  
Old 10-10-2020, 3:20 PM
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I set up a solar panel om top of our church monument sign. I hid it from view with sheet aluminum tri. I hooked it to 2 deep cycle 12 volt batteries and they power 4 20 watt led floods. Works great. The 100 watt panel was 90 bucks. So far it charges all day and floods run all night. I put a 12 volt photcell on it. I am going to do same thing at our El paso hunting property for a guzzler for the quail, rabbits and javelina. The water there is only 40' down so a submersible will give us enough flow to fill the in ground tank and a 500 gallon tank . We have same set up in Lancaster and it fills 5k fire suppression tank in a few days
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  #7  
Old 10-10-2020, 4:32 PM
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For basic setup to charge a 12V battery, this Costco package is a good deal ($159.) It consists of a a 100W solar panel, a 8.5 amp charge controller, and wires.

Just connect the wires to the battery and the solar panel, and it is GTG for a basic setup.

https://www.costco.com/coleman-100w-...100389117.html

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Old 10-10-2020, 4:39 PM
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OP - I think you should be good to go. I’ve heard a good rule of thumb is 100W of solar per 100AH battery capacity. I’m not familiar with the brand of the panels, but I bet you’ll be fine. The controller would likely by the weak link but you can replace easily if needed.
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Old 10-10-2020, 5:24 PM
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Find your typical insolation and expected usage then size accordingly.
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  #10  
Old 10-11-2020, 4:33 AM
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It's my understanding that the Monocrystalline are "AVOID" due to the fact that if any portion of the panel gets any shade, then the whole panel drops to unusable voltage.... correct me if I am wrong, but when I was researching panels, this was the case...
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  #11  
Old 10-11-2020, 9:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the86d View Post
It's my understanding that the Monocrystalline are "AVOID" due to the fact that if any portion of the panel gets any shade, then the whole panel drops to unusable voltage.... correct me if I am wrong, but when I was researching panels, this was the case...
Monocrystalline is more efficient and newer technology than Poly. For new install, go with Monocrystalline. I believe what you are referring to is how you connect the panel, between parallel and series.
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Old 10-11-2020, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the86d View Post
It's my understanding that the Monocrystalline are "AVOID" due to the fact that if any portion of the panel gets any shade, then the whole panel drops to unusable voltage.... correct me if I am wrong, but when I was researching panels, this was the case...
It is true that a polycrystalline panel does not perform as well as a monocrystalline panel in shade or cloudy conditions but for the intended purpose of charging a back up battery for a two way radio, it should be fine.

On the other hand, if your application demands the best possible performance in all weather conditions, a monocrystalline panel would be the preferred way to go.

The Costco unit looks like a good solution for many applications.
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  #13  
Old 10-11-2020, 12:17 PM
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I like the fact that you can get some cheaper kits out there like the one at Costco. However, you're limited in upgrade options by that charge controller. The one the OP ordered has a 30A charge controller.

edit: I have a Renogy 200w RV kit with the 30A Adventurer charge controller and it's been great (https://www.renogy.com/200-watt-12-volt-solar-rv-kit/). However, if I were to do it all over again, I'd buy components individually and go with a 60A MPPT controller for upgradeability.
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Last edited by gcvt; 10-11-2020 at 12:32 PM..
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  #14  
Old 10-11-2020, 2:32 PM
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I have three separate systems in place:

First is two Renoghy 100 watt panels on my shop roof wired in series feeding a Victron 75/15 MPPT controller. Keeps a 50 Ah Bioenno LiFep04 charged. This is my portable power pack and is used for everything from a Dometic fridge to charging cell phones, Yaesu Ft 400 and powering 12 volt LED lights.

Second is a 100 watt Renogy panel on my sons jeep. Goes thru a Victron 75/10 controller to a 20 Ah LiFeP04 that keeps his Dometic fridge running (college student...I.E. beer fridge) We could had run the fridge using the Jeeps electrical system, but anyone that has owned a Jeep knows that might cause problems... Besides this was a fun challenge.

Third is my camping gear. 3 x 200 watt Panasonic panels in series with one mounted on my trailer going through a 100/30 Victron. Going to use a 100Ah LiFe04 battery eventually but currently just charging my portable power pack when needed.

I use the Victron MPPT controllers since they are fully adjustable using the Bluetooth on your phone and are the most efficient I have found in years of messing with this stuff. They are well known and respected on Expedition Portal for being bullet proof.

Lithium LiFeP04 batteries because they can be drained down to 10% without damage (A lead acid battery will suffer loss if taken under 50% capacity)

I got into this as a way to keep Insulin cool in case of a power outage. Kind of went large from there

If anyone has questions please IM me. I have helped a few friends set up similar small systems.

Here is my sons panel mounted on his Jeep

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  #15  
Old 10-11-2020, 3:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiechshlime View Post
Iím just going to be using 2 deep cycle batteries powering a radio that draws .5 amps on rx and no more than 14 amps tx.
For your stated needs, you are good to go. Don't waste any more time or money.
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  #16  
Old 10-11-2020, 4:46 PM
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Thanks for all the info guys. I’m basically doing this because I figured it would be a fun project.
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  #17  
Old 10-16-2020, 9:45 PM
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Got the kit and this is what I came up with for mounting the panels.EF268CFA-E40D-43E2-B16A-1F09B94DA071.jpg
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Old 10-16-2020, 10:09 PM
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Looks good so far. Is this going to be a pole mounted array out in the yard? An adjustable tilt will be a desirable feature so you can get the best angle to the sun through the seasonal changes of the sun's position above the horizon.
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Old 10-16-2020, 10:51 PM
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I am mounting it on a pole and the pipe in the middle is for tilting it through the seasons.

I plan on updating this thread through the build process.
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Old 10-17-2020, 9:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiechshlime View Post
I am mounting it on a pole and the pipe in the middle is for tilting it through the seasons.

I plan on updating this thread through the build process.
In the parlance of today's youths: Perrrrfect!

The rack you built for the panels looks very stout and is a miniature version of my pole mounted rack that holds up my twelve 350 watt panels. It's mounted in a block of concrete 4'x4'x7' deep engineered to withstand 130mph winds!

I'll be installing a very similar, home built, two panel rack soon as I want to separate my solar well pump from the rest of my solar power system so I'll be watching your project for inspiration.

Last edited by twinfin; 10-17-2020 at 9:49 AM..
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  #21  
Old 10-17-2020, 5:24 PM
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044FAAFD-B239-4D24-8533-B239D523D26D.jpg
Got it mounted on the pole and tested it. I connected my HF radio to it and no hash. Yay!
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  #22  
Old 10-17-2020, 8:01 PM
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The WHOLE system?!

Or JUST the star at the center of it?
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Old 10-19-2020, 7:29 AM
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This got me thinking I might want to do something similar with a small panel for charging NiMH batts/USB devices with a car battery in the middle...
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