Solar The Solar Panel Thread

Boots in Action

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Mar 13, 2017
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I found it very interesting as well @mikerezny though each battery weighs in at 13kgs its the one above on the list thats 33kgs....Sounds ;ike a great set up for sure, would love it.

Holy Dooley the price tag made me whince ........................
......https://www.allnaturalenergy.com.au...ungel-2sg250-2v-250ah-c120-gel-battery-detail
Thanks for the correction @Drover. I was looking at the SG650 one! Still at 13 kg each, that still adds up to 78kgs!! More than twice the weight of 2 130ah AGMs!! And at $375.00 each multiplied by 6 equals $2250.00!! More than I could afford. I would be looking at later technology available now at that price.. Lithium?? A lot lighter not only in weight but also on the pocket!! And less need for so much space too.
 

Boots in Action

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Mar 13, 2017
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Looks like the stock Jayco circa 2015 solar reg (TPS 1230) only outputs up to 14.5v +/- 0.4v, so I might need to find one more suited to AGM batteries. Unless the +/- here is less about tolerance of components and more about adapting to battery types?
Yes @Fallen, the TPS 1230 is a rather expensive PWM type and unless the Load is connected through the controller, will not provide any info on power OUT, only voltage and Input power. Suggest purchasing a good MPPT controller as mentioned by @mikerezny and @Drover . Below is wiring diagram for connecting Load through controller so discharge figures can be seen.
 

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mikerezny

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Sep 11, 2016
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Hi,
just to clarify that we are all on the same page:

A 2SG250 Sungel is a 2V 250Ah (spec is 262Ah) battery weighing 13.5kg
6 of these beasties would weigh 81kg and, if wired in series, would be equivalent to a 12V battery with a capacity of 250Ah.

From the spec sheet:
Number Cycles @ 10% DOD 5000 Number Cycles @ 50% DOD 2500 Number Cycles @ 80% DOD 1500


The warranty is amazing: 5 years full replacement PLUS another 5 years pro rata.

https://rfisolar.com.au/sungel-2sg250-2v-250ah-c120-gel-battery.html#tab_spec

cheers
Mike
 
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Drover

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Crusty181

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Appreciate the attachments BiA. Lots of reading today on here and other forums. The stock Setec is seemingly a poor choice to charge the batteries from a low charge (60% or so), but it would seem to be OK to keep the batteries trickle charged when not in use at home. Or would the 120W roof panel be sufficient (even if under a caravan cover it sounds like they still get some sun).

Plan is to use the rooftop and 300W of portable to recharge when at caravan parks and free camping. Then the rooftop for driving and at home (with maybe the Setec on at home every now and then until I get another panel on the roof).
Ive only ever used the Setec, and leave the van powered up on 240v all the time. One of mt AGMs is almost 10 years old
 

Boots in Action

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Ive only ever used the Setec, and leave the van powered up on 240v all the time. One of mt AGMs is almost 10 years old
That is probably why your AGM is still going strong @Crusty181 . Actually, the standard Setec is perfect for those who have Gel batteries. It has a max charge voltage of 14.0 volts (just shy of optimum of 14.2 to 14.4 volts) at 25C. Any temp above that requires a slightly less voltage charge. So that fits. So good so far.

The FLOAT voltage is great too for cyclic use as it keeps charge up and prevents sulphation from building up. Second good point!

And last but definitely not the least is the ability to go into "Storage" mode charging at only 13.2 volts for short periods each day. Perfect for those who leave their battery/ies on charge for long periods between uses, for any type of battery. This reduces deterioration of positive plates due to constant float charging. Very little chance of causing ANY over-charging.

That is what I tend to do AFTER I have charged up my AGMs with "smart" charger which will reach 14.7 volts which the Setec cannot do. If only using the Setec to charge your AGMs, approx 10% of storage is not charged and cannot be recovered. Probably of little importance to some, unless one is relying on every bit of capacity in battery storage. You also start off at a higher voltage if the AGM is fully charged as per manufacturers specs. Just as the attached states.


Battery Maintenance.jpg
 
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jazzeddie1234

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May 19, 2016
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I have solar on the van charging the van battery and a solar panel on the tug charging the tug second battery. I use an anderson cable that connects the tug second battery directly to the van battery. That way the solar with the best sun (usually the tug) charges both batteries.

This works for me because all the batteries have similar charge requirements and capacity
 
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Jan 12, 2020
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The short quick answer is yes.

cheers
Mike
Thanks

My plan is to have 2 130ah AGM batteries. One in the van and the other in a battery box.
Plan is to run 2 Anderson plays from the van battery - one for connecting to solar, and one for connecting to the battery box. I can then choose which battery to charge with the portable solar panel.
I need the battery box to power the Waeco which I will take with me in the car sometimes.

I assume that this isn't the ideal set up, but should work ok? I need to cap the investment at some point and probably only need 3 days of power at a time. I only need it to run lights in the van, charging some devices, and the Waeco.
 
Feb 7, 2019
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So just got back from a 3 day free camp and all went pretty well, apart from when both portable and rooftop solar was connected at the same time (parallel) at the TPS. Either by themselves was fine and produced expected amps in. But as soon as I had them wired together at the TPS and attached the portable on the side of the van via an anderson plug, amps went to zero. This was even when both were quite shaded (ie no where near Max output). Any thoughts?

The portable ended up being fine by itself to bring us back to full charge by 10am every morning, after a round of pod coffees for the 4 adults in the crew via the 2000W interter, plus the usual fans, lights and stereo overnight.
 

Bellbirdweb

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Jan 24, 2014
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So just got back from a 3 day free camp and all went pretty well, apart from when both portable and rooftop solar was connected at the same time (parallel) at the TPS. Either by themselves was fine and produced expected amps in. But as soon as I had them wired together at the TPS and attached the portable on the side of the van via an anderson plug, amps went to zero. This was even when both were quite shaded (ie no where near Max output). Any thoughts?

The portable ended up being fine by itself to bring us back to full charge by 10am every morning, after a round of pod coffees for the 4 adults in the crew via the 2000W interter, plus the usual fans, lights and stereo overnight.
When you say connected at the TPS, did you connect the output together or the input ?

If you connected the outputs, the TPS could have seen the voltage from the portable panel output and saw it as the battery voltage and thought it was fully charged perhaps
 

jazzeddie1234

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May 19, 2016
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Some suggestions:
The panels are very different in voltage out so one is loading the other down. A multimeter across the disconnected panel should show similar voltage

The wiring is reversed on one so one is shorting out the other

Inserting a (big) diode in series with each panel positive line can fix #1

I use a solar controller for each panel
 

Drover

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The short question is HOW did you connect the 2 panels together and then HOW did you connect to the TPS regulator ????

I would check all connections again for continuity as something with your anderson run is dodgy or the disconnect from the portable panel reg is bad, going to zero looks to me like a reverse wiring or possibly a reg is still inline, two regs don't make a wright they make a zero. (hey its a sunday yolk okay).

Even if you had a 36v panel connected to a 18v panel they would still show something (12v panels don't exist)
 
Feb 7, 2019
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It's strange. Each wired to the TPS via the solar input, I've bypassed the portable controller (completely, it's off on the shelf). Portable only - works spot on. Disconnect this at the TPS and connect the factory roof wiring - works fine. To the point where I leave both negatives connected and I just swapped out the positives right at the TPS screw terminal. Each individually works fine, as soon as I put the two positives together, zero amps. No beeping, just zero. So based on that, the polarity must be fine and the runs must be fine.

Maybe voltage? I checked the portable and that was about 21v. I didn't check the rooftop but I imagine the stock Jayco roof panels circa 2015 are around 21v as well. The portable has back feed prevention diodes from what i can see, again, assume the stock one does. What size diode should I put in series?

Failing that, I might just put the portable controller back on and wire direct to the battery like I was originally going to do. I just wanted to simplify things with one controller (plus the one that came with the panels looked real cheap).
 

Crusty181

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The max input voltage is 28v, which kind of makes for a whopper of single panel to output it rated 30amps. With those specs its should be happy enough with your panels in parallel.
 
Last edited:
Feb 7, 2019
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In series would be an issue - that would be 18V + 18V = 36V. I've got them in parallel which should be around 18V.

Still waiting to be able to get out and measure the rooftop volts when the sun is out (damn work), but the specs I can find online for the Coast to Coast 120W panels (which I believe is what is up there) shows Max Power Voltage (Vpm): 17.6V.
The portable 300W (2 x 150W) is:
Open-Circuit Voltage 22.50V (Each Panel)
Max Power Voltage 18.40V (Each Panel)
I'll have to get them all out and do some better measurements. I would have thought 17.6V and 18.4V was close enough.
 

Boots in Action

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Mar 13, 2017
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The short question is HOW did you connect the 2 panels together and then HOW did you connect to the TPS regulator ????

I would check all connections again for continuity as something with your anderson run is dodgy or the disconnect from the portable panel reg is bad, going to zero looks to me like a reverse wiring or possibly a reg is still inline, two regs don't make a wright they make a zero. (hey its a sunday yolk okay).

Even if you had a 36v panel connected to a 18v panel they would still show something (12v panels don't exist)

Hi @Fallen , I am with @Drover and @jazzeddie1234 in diagnosing your problem - something is wrongly connected!! The two POSITIVE INPUT wires from BOTH solar panels should be connected to the SAME POSITIVE INPUT terminal on controller and the same for the NEGATIVE wires. All you are doing is connecting more current into the INPUT side of controller! As the TPS1230 is supposedly rated at 12 olts and 30 amp capacity, it is unlikely that controller is overloaded. Maybe faulty?? You cannot connect both roof top panel and portable panels in SERIES and use the TPS1230. What sort of current was produced from each panel on its own? Before throwing in the towel on your present setup, see if you can beg, borrow or steal another controller (not necessarily a TPS) , as long as it can handle the total capacity of both panels together and see how it goes. The difference in solar panel voltage does not appear to be significant enough to cause those problems. Sounds like a "short circuit" initially. Are the output wires from the portable panel correctly connected to your Anderson plug?
 

Crusty181

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Feb 7, 2010
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In series would be an issue - that would be 18V + 18V = 36V. I've got them in parallel which should be around 18V.

Still waiting to be able to get out and measure the rooftop volts when the sun is out (damn work), but the specs I can find online for the Coast to Coast 120W panels (which I believe is what is up there) shows Max Power Voltage (Vpm): 17.6V.
The portable 300W (2 x 150W) is:
Open-Circuit Voltage 22.50V (Each Panel)
Max Power Voltage 18.40V (Each Panel)
I'll have to get them all out and do some better measurements. I would have thought 17.6V and 18.4V was close enough.
Sorry ... parallel. Whoops