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Solar Panel Charge


Mike88

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Can somebody explain in "idiot speak" what the charge figures mean?

 

Take today for example (sunny day).........My Sargent regulator through which the 100 watt solar panel is wired shows an erratic solar panel charging rate of between 0.4 and 1.2 amps.

 

Is this about right?

 

If everything is switched off how long would it take for my 2x110 watt batteries to be fully charged?

 

At the moment I sense that, despite the solar panel, the batteries may be losing charge with everything switched off despite the fact the batteries are new.

 

I am monitoring the position at the moment but it would be helpful if I knew what the figures mean. Can anybody explain?

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:-D Hi Mike. I assume you mean 2 x 110amp hour batteries? So assuming they are 50% discharged? That would mean 110 Amps required to bring them both back up to fully charged. A Solar panel giving 0.4 to 1.2 amps per hour would take a VERY long time to recharge. ie 110 hours at 1 amp. Not taking into account any residual discharge on the batteries.

 

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Flat panels are what they are and need to be square on to the sun for maximum efficiency.

 

Are there tubular panels assemblies made in small sizes to suit a M/H. (looking like some fixed domestic panels)?

 

And how efficent are they, not very I would assume due to the non flat receiving arrangement.

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I note the problem but would worry if 16 amps was going into my battery for any period but reading volts gives you more the idea of all being OK as the battery state will give a varying rate of charge but if the voltage is above 14 then charging is taking place and the final charge can be checked after dark when the battery is rested.

Most times that just means pressing the charge reader on the control panel and switching it to read aux.

It may be worthwile if you are suspicious that all is not well checking with a meter that no voltage is present at the input from the solar panal. If there is then the diode may need replacing.

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dikyenfo - 2010-04-05 4:44 PM

 

I note the problem but would worry if 16 amps was going into my battery for any period but reading volts gives you more the idea of all being OK as the battery state will give a varying rate of charge but if the voltage is above 14 then charging is taking place and the final charge can be checked after dark when the battery is rested.

Most times that just means pressing the charge reader on the control panel and switching it to read aux.

It may be worthwile if you are suspicious that all is not well checking with a meter that no voltage is present at the input from the solar panal. If there is then the diode may need replacing.

 

8-) I do NOT understand that there IS a problem? The original post in this thread stated he was getting between 0.4 and 1.2 amps. I just added that I was getting at one time 16.7 amps. I can read VOLTAGE, AMPERAGE and BOOST VOLTAGE via my Solar Boost 2000E controller. Putting 16.7 amps into a battery bank of 6 x 100ah AGM + 2 x 105ah LAB is NOT very much. IS IT?

BTW. I agree that the voltage is more important. BUT, the original question was HOW LONG WOULD IT TAKE TO CHARGE MY BATTERIES WITH MY SOLAR PUTTING OUT 04. to 1.2amps????????????

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Hi Mike88

My set up is similar with 2 x 85 amp hour batteries and 2 x 55 watt panels mounted flat on the roof. The charge regulator is not very sophisticated and I recently re-connected the output, which was attached directly to the batteries, to my schaudt electroblock so that I can monitor the amount of current flowing when the sun shines.

 

Clive's comments about 5 amps in sunny France interested me because I've just had a spell in sunny Greece and was experimenting with an additional portable 75 watt panel that I could adjust to face the sun (and this panel was also connected to the Schaudt block via another charge regulator) but the most I was getting with a total of 185 watts of Solar on a very clear and sunny day was about 4 amps.

 

I was disappointed with this as I'd imagined I'd be getting 12 amps or so (185w/12v=12a) going into my batteries.

 

So I was very impressed by johnsandywhite's figures and I wondered if it's not just about how many volts or watts your panels produce but something to do with how much battery capacity you have?

 

I hope learned contributors will follow up / point to previous threads on the issue

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Thanks to everyone. I'm learning! One thing that struck me is that, at an average charging rate of less than 1 amp, it is going to take a very long time for my two 110amp/hour batteries to charge.

 

When in France and Spain things will improve greatly but with a battery only fridge and the odd bit of TV my battery power will not last too long off

EHU.

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Hi, Just over the wet Easter, on the day that the sun actually shone brightly, from a 40 watt panel square on to the sun I measured 2.5 amps into the battery, where the Autocruise panel indicated 100% life in the 110 ampere hour battery, and terminal voltage on charge was 14 volts.

 

This seems to indicate that a 40 watt panel in good sunshine will produce 35 watts or thereabouts.. Shame that the sun didn't last very long, and at night it poured with rain, so much so that we needed the help of 3 4wheel drive vehicles, in series to pull us out of the mudbath. Grateful thanks to all concerned.

 

tonyg3nwl

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