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Old 07-12-2021, 06:58 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Freedom Field, New Mexico
Posts: 308
Year: 1998
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Amtrans
Engine: 444E
Rated Cap: 84 pas
Stationary Solar power booster station.

When Ruth and I decided to put our solar on the roof of the bus we sort of abandoned our ground mounted system. For good reason. When we bought the panels in the ground mounted system we got them cheap because the glass was broken on all of them. It is fractured in tiny squares like when you break a passenger side car window. The glass is still attached to the panels but we didn't think it would stay long if we trucked it down the highway.

So, we bought new panels for the bus. 12 327W Sunpower panels give us about 3900W peak. Of course you don't always get peak for enough hours a day if you are running the mini-split 24-7. Even though our battery bank is huge we have had a couple of time this year where several days of thick clouds have reduced our power production while not making it any cooler in the desert.

Just a few times this year for the first time we have had too start the generator for a couple of hours in the wee hours of the morning to keep all our important stuff running. That's the oxygen concentrator, mini-split, two Bi-pap machines, Deep freeze, two 5CU' fridges, and the 50" TV and sound bar. I likes to sleep with it on. It keeps most of the moths and flying ants on the other side of the room.

I had been discussing four more solar panels and how to make them fit to make sure the batteries are topped off on the cloudiest of days. Then it came to me. Just now. What about adding an anderson connector to our battery bank and to the output of the ground mounted system and plugging in on cloudy days?

We'll let you guys know how it works out. I'm off to order a couple anderson plugs.

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Old 07-12-2021, 07:48 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2017
Location: Flemingsburg, KY
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Year: 1999
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I was thinking of something similar- Anderson connectors directly to the PV array to allow other consumers of the bus mounted panels, or allow plug into a solar-roof carport. I think there's a watertight variant specification for anderson connectors as well although I've never seen them.



I've been wanting to mount another 3000W on the roof using a slideout system for a total of 6000W but I've had budget constraints combined with other higher priorities in the way. Our new battery bank puts us in a very similar position to you- we unplugged 5 days ago and it would take some very extended overcast to require us to plugin and charge or fire up a genny.
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Old 07-12-2021, 11:12 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Freedom Field, New Mexico
Posts: 308
Year: 1998
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Amtrans
Engine: 444E
Rated Cap: 84 pas
Quote:
Originally Posted by kazetsukai View Post
I was thinking of something similar- Anderson connectors directly to the PV array to allow other consumers of the bus mounted panels, or allow plug into a solar-roof carport. I think there's a watertight variant specification for anderson connectors as well although I've never seen them.



I've been wanting to mount another 3000W on the roof using a slideout system for a total of 6000W but I've had budget constraints combined with other higher priorities in the way. Our new battery bank puts us in a very similar position to you- we unplugged 5 days ago and it would take some very extended overcast to require us to plugin and charge or fire up a genny.
While we were considering adding four more panels to the bus one option we considered hinging an awning made out of solar panels on the side of the bus that could be raised when parked. Would still produce some when facing south even if not deployed. May still do this as well.
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Old 07-13-2021, 05:57 AM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2016
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Yes Anderson is the right connector for high amps.

Be sure to use the proper crimper, and do not buy the connectors based on price

too many cheapo chinese clones out there, use a trusted vendor so you get genuine.

And there is no problem running multiple disparate charge sources at once to the battery bank concurrently, do not worry about them confusing each other, dropping to Float at slightly different times, etc.

But do your best to have all the sources configured with similar settings if possible, ideally as per the battery specs.

In fact with Solar, you might be best off just keeping Float V set to the CV Absorb voltage.

The sun always sets, and it sounds like with those loads running the you may never get to hit endAmps anyway.

But obviously switch Float back to spec in storage mode, or in cool enough conditions that you are generating a surplus.
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