This post is part of ToadMama's Brave, Bold, Blogger Challenge (BBBC) 2017 which is an attempt to make February go by a little more quickly. There are 28 topics, one for each day.
In the past, I thought that I could do just about anything if I was willing to put my mind to it. I don't really believe that anymore. But I'm not sure that I'm ready to just coast either. I know that I'm not going to be climbing Denali or riding a bicycle or motorcycle around the world. Nor sailing around the world. All of those things I had considered doing in the now distant past. I'd like to make some more motorcycle trips one of these days but I don't feel that "I have to" as do some of my friends. Right now, I'm really looking forward to our road trip this summer. I'm thinking of taking a bicycle with me this summer and trying to do some riding.
For the last couple of days, I turned on the inverter and plugged in the Ubiquity radio and its wireless access point. I've been connecting to that access point almost exclusively just to verify functionality. This modest load resulted in a 5% consumption of the battery bank by the next morning. Even with the less than optimal weather (hazy sunshine) and short days, the batteries would be up to 100% by early afternoon. This is with only one 130 watt panel. I was planning on initially installing 4x100 watt panels on the RV and see how that works for us. The capacity of the Tristar TS-45 PWM charge controller is seven or eight of the 100 watt panels that I am planning on using depending of if you are using the short circuit current (Isc) or the optimum operating current (Imp) in the calculation.
4 awg wire from the charge controller to this box through a hole in the bottom that goes through the roof. The short bus bars have connections for 2 large wires and 5 smaller ones. Two of these bus bars will go into the box. 10 awg wire will be used to connect pairs of panels (in parallel) into the combiner box. The plastic mounts for the bus bars will be screwed into the bottom of the junction box and the bus bars snap into place. I'm still trying to decide if I will put install fuses inside this box for each pair of panels.
Plus I have one more bus bar that will be fastened to the bottom of the box for the ground wires. Grounding is required for home solar panel installations as the panel frame is usually one of the highest things on a home. It is grounded through a rod pounded into the ground. Obviously a RV does not have that sort of ground setup. The best may be the metal jacks and stabilizers touching the ground. If you look on the Internet at RV solar installations, not all of them have ground wires. I'm thinking that it's probably a good idea.