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Old 11-03-2020, 05:52 PM   #1
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So So Solar Lost

We have installed all of the Solar into the bus and are on the road. 4x 100w Renogy Panels , 4x 100AH batteries, 3000W inverter, 30amp auto transfer switch, and a sub panel/small electrical panel. Today we unplugged everything, left her out for 8 hours in the cloudless sunny sky and still only hit 70% charged. I have a feeling something is off. We have yet to get to 100. We are debating an isolator but want to figure out if something is off before we add more. What would sugg be to look into for charging / retention?
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Old 11-03-2020, 06:59 PM   #2
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how are you measuring your battery percentage?
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Old 11-03-2020, 09:36 PM   #3
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Its measured from the charge controller. An alarm goes off when we get below a certain percent too.
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Old 11-03-2020, 09:59 PM   #4
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Where are you located? Are the panels flat?
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Old 11-03-2020, 10:06 PM   #5
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Are you leaving the inverter on?

How are your batteries wired?

How are your panels wired?

Are they clean?
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Old 11-03-2020, 10:43 PM   #6
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I have almost the same setup except for only 200ah of batteries. With the angle of the sun I’m only seeing about 200w from the panels and only for a couple hours just because they are flat mounted.

I’m guessing yours are flat too and the reason your not fully charging
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Old 11-04-2020, 04:47 AM   #7
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You do have a lot of battery for only 400 watts of solar. I have 400 watts and a MPPT controller all by Renogy, charging 220 amp of batteries. There is a formula for this, which I do not remember at this time.



My panels are flat, and do well. I max out about 15 amps from the panels this time of year here in Virginia. In Florida a southern lattitude It will be around 20 amps max in the winter. So while the angle does matter it should not prevent reasonable charging.


What is your battery voltage after dark without any power being used? It should be close to 13
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Old 11-04-2020, 06:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
Are you leaving the inverter on?

How are your batteries wired?

How are your panels wired?

Are they clean?
inverter- yes....
batteries- wired in series together
panels are wired per the instructions that came with it. Chain length pos to neg.
clean- they should be
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Old 11-04-2020, 08:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by bigbettyblue View Post
inverter- yes....
batteries- wired in series together
panels are wired per the instructions that came with it. Chain length pos to neg.
clean- they should be

So 24 or 48 volts? battery that is. The panels are in series too? or parallel. You may have some different voltages going on here.


What gauge wire from controller to batteries, and from batteries to inverter?
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Old 11-04-2020, 11:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbettyblue View Post
inverter- yes....
batteries- wired in series together
panels are wired per the instructions that came with it. Chain length pos to neg.
clean- they should be
Are you intending to have a 12v output?
Check your battery configuration. If you are connected in series, pos-neg you’d have a string that’s 48v.

Connecting your panels in series shouldn’t be a problem, but parallel is preferred since shading or dirt can negatively impact performance. Since you only have 2 panels it shouldn’t be a problem as long as they are clean and there isn’t shading from, for instance, a mini-split casing a shadow on one panel. Ignore this part for now though.

What controller do you have?

The reason I asked where you are is just to get a measure of sun hours you have. Just for the sake of calculating and supposing the panels are a flat configuration,

5 full sun hours
400w of panel
Derated 20% because they are flat (A bit of a guess)

5x400x.80=1600Wh
1600Wh/12v=133Ah

So assuming you have a 12v system you would have only generated 133 Ah
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Old 11-04-2020, 02:00 PM   #11
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I didn't see you mentioned what kind of batteries. My LION batteries were tricky with my Renogy battery monitor. How do you know they are not fully charged? Mine would only show as charged up to 66% when my batteries were showing 100% on the battery itself.

I contacted support and they told me not set the minimum or maximum , make sure those are both set to 0. And then disconnect the battery meter and them reconnect and then set the reading to 100% as that's where your batteries are then it should start to fluctuate with the battery.

Of course you need to make sure you batteries are 100% charged. I'd unhook all but solar change controller and let them charge a while.
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Old 11-11-2020, 03:43 PM   #12
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Controller size?

Hey,

I use 3x 200W panels from Newpowa. On a sunny day in the desert maybe I get 300 watts I have 3 100AH batteries and if they are dead it will take a really sold day of sun to charge them.

It could be you are not getting the wattage out your expect. Or, you have an undersized charge controller that is throttling back the solar output, delaying the charge.
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Old 11-12-2020, 03:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbettyblue View Post
We have installed all of the Solar into the bus and are on the road. 4x 100w Renogy Panels , 4x 100AH batteries, 3000W inverter, 30amp auto transfer switch, and a sub panel/small electrical panel. Today we unplugged everything, left her out for 8 hours in the cloudless sunny sky and still only hit 70% charged. I have a feeling something is off. We have yet to get to 100. We are debating an isolator but want to figure out if something is off before we add more. What would sugg be to look into for charging / retention?
I think you are probably just expecting a lot more from your small solar system than you are likely to get. Reason I live in a very sunny state, New Mexico. We built our solar system piecemeal, starting with four 345 watt panels. That was enough to run a small air conditioner and the Deep Freeze but really didn't have enough excess to keep the batteries topped off. We added four more panels. This did the job very nicely until we had a cloudy day then we found at the end of the day are batteries we're only about 70%. We added four more panels for a total of 12 and now we just never have to worry about having enough juice.
Based on the rated wattage of our panels we should be able to produce a little more than 4000 Watts, however on the sunniest day, with the air conditioning on, refrigerators and freezer plugged in with the multiple Bank Marine charger charging our 12 volt backup system, we rarely ever exceed 3000 Watts.
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