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Old 10-13-2015, 12:05 AM   #41
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Your doing a great job.

I feel bad for you having to use corded tools. Having modern cordless has made me spoiled. I hate having to deal with cords now, especially places like rooftops..

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I love the Hobart 140. Easy to use, and easy to power.
I love my Hobart 210 MVP.

Easy to power due to the use of 120 or 240.

My Hobart plasma is also a multi voltage unit.

Great stuff for the price.

Nat
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Old 10-13-2015, 08:23 AM   #42
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The Modified Wiring Schematic:

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Old 10-13-2015, 08:25 AM   #43
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I just realized I already posted about the new Schematic... Well here it is again.
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Old 01-03-2016, 03:39 PM   #44
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54 panels with 9 strings at 72v nominal installed. See the blog link bellow.
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Old 01-03-2016, 03:41 PM   #45
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https://eljardinometepe.files.wordpr...2/img_1401.jpg
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Old 01-03-2016, 03:42 PM   #46
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https://eljardinometepe.wordpress.co...us-conversion/
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Old 01-03-2016, 10:27 PM   #47
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Man! What a great project. I was skeptical but I'm impressed now. Awesome work!
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Old 01-03-2016, 11:16 PM   #48
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The only somewhat uneducated comment I have is this: I understand some types of panels are susceptible to significant decreased output even if only partially shaded. (well, duh! SOLAR panels. ) I got the idea that the current through the whole string dropped to the level of the few shaded cells, or some such awful thing. Roof vents casting a shadow on part of a panel mounted too close is supposed to be a big deal for example. Perhaps it was on https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/ I read it? I don't recall.

Anyway, what I'm getting to is this: if you find it doesn't work out very well as-is, perhaps it could be because the pairs of panels on the left, top, and right have significant different sun exposures and so the whole string is dragged down to the performance of the pair least exposed to sun. Especially during winter when the sun is low in the sky. In that case, if you can find it in the cards to re-wire with three charge controllers, then you could re-arrange so that there are 3 strings on the left, 3 on top, and 3 on the right with each triple going to its own charge controller, then connect the controllers' outputs in parallel to the battery bank. This assumes the controller model is one that plays nice when wired in parallel with other charge sources. This way the panels could all perform to their best without impairing the performance of those with better exposure.
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Old 01-03-2016, 11:29 PM   #49
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One other thought: if you do encounter a problem of low performance, and it sounds like you may have based on comments on the other PV woes thread running now.. Perhaps you could rewire so only the best-exposed bank (left/top/right) is connected to the charge controller and compare its performance. Cheap and relatively easy way to test the theory.
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Old 01-04-2016, 04:26 PM   #50
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All good points. I had a lot of things to conciser and this has been a huge learning experience for me and certainly the largest and most difficult part of this build. The biggest factor is we are driving from 45 degrees latitude to 13 degrees latitude over the course of about 2 months. Theft of the panels in Mexico and Central America are a big concern of mine so I didn't want to build an adjustable array and all panels are riveted into place.



In addition my approach was to use far more panels then I needed so I could park the bus almost anywhere along the way without having to hunt for the perfect location and position. It also helped the panels were second hand and free.
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Old 01-04-2016, 04:33 PM   #51
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I'll have to wait until next month when we head out to see how they perform in full sun. Unfortunately the panel wiring is packed away under the riveted panels so it is a make do situation until the bus and array are dismantled and setup in permanent locations.

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Old 01-04-2016, 07:28 PM   #52
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I'm pretty sure that bald spot wasn't there on my head before I started this panel project. Right? I feel like I spent a lot of time scratching my head. LOL
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Old 01-05-2016, 07:51 AM   #53
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Great update, I truly hope you keep us updated with your future adventures on and off the bus
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:37 AM   #54
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Here are some up to date photos. Current location has the front of the bus pointing South. Note the trees on each side. Trees to the South as well.

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Old 01-06-2016, 09:41 AM   #55
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0/4 AWG battery Cables from Handicap lift. Oak pallet wood hold that battery bank in place. the two boards sitting on top of the batteries are floating while that pallet on top is supported by posts on the side so the weight of the inverter and pallet don't rest on the batteries.

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Old 01-06-2016, 09:45 AM   #56
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Top right is the 9 strings at 72V nominal with 3amp glass fuses. Runs through 100Amp DC breaker to Midnite solar 150. Midnite solar 150 to 24v Bus bar. 24v Bus bar to marine DC fuse block.

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Old 01-06-2016, 09:47 AM   #57
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More photos in the blog gallery

https://eljardinometepe.wordpress.co...ory/galleries/
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Old 02-17-2016, 08:28 AM   #58
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We are 10 days on the road and I'm proud that my solar array is working great. We have been driving down twisty country roads and camping in shaded campgrounds. Without any concern to orientation of the bus we are able to fully charge our batteries each day. On a partly clouded day at 11am near D.C. parked with panels facing south I read a little over 300 Watts. Now in Georgia I'll be setting up the computer soon to record total daily charge.



More photos in the blog gallery

https://eljardinometepe.wordpress.co...ory/galleries/
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Old 02-17-2016, 10:06 AM   #59
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Hey Big...really enjoying following along and seeing the pix...but puleeeze...size the pics down to something that will load in less than 15 minutes. My crappy connection can't handle many big images without locking up and I really want to see them all.
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Old 03-08-2016, 09:21 AM   #60
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Hey Big...really enjoying following along and seeing the pix...but puleeeze...size the pics down to something that will load in less than 15 minutes. My crappy connection can't handle many big images without locking up and I really want to see them all.
We are posting most of our photo through Instagram now.

Instagram.com/ElJardinOmetepe
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