Monday, May 3, 2021

Day 48, 49, 50 - Acton, CA - TT

Saturday (48) - An absolutely beautiful day here in Acton, CA. It's only 70°F right now, but then again, it's only 10am. I'm waiting for the morning test session. This place isn't as crowded as I had expected since it is a weekend and not that far from Los Angeles. The pool was very refreshing yesterday afternoon though they didn't have the hot tub open. And the second pool was still closed. 

I'm still playing around with the Victron software options. This is Victron Connect running on my laptop and connecting with the charge controller via Bluetooth. This is the software used to configure the charge controller. From inside the RV, the Bluetooth signal is low but I can still connect using the laptop. The phone needs to be much closer to get a reliable connection. One nice feature is that I can export the data as a CSV file. Since we are currently plugged into shore power, we aren't using much power from the batteries. 

We went towards L.A. to meet Bridget’s oldest at a Mediterranean take on Korean BBQ. There was a mixture of protein some with Korean marinades. And the appetizers were half Korean and half middle eastern. Quite the mix. 

Sunday (49) - Power shut off at 8:05am and there were a lot utility trucks running around. I think it may have been planned but there wasn’t any communication. Anyway, a nice test of our solar. 

The one shadow across one panel was sufficient to drop the voltage down to the mid-30s (VDC). Once the shadow moved mostly off the panel, the voltage increased to 50VDC then up to 65VDC once the shadow was completely off. This is a known drawback of series connected panels. If they were in parallel, only the shaded panel would be affected. Nevertheless, the batteries are still at 100%. 

A staff member stopped by and said that the power may be off for a couple of days  

Monday (50) - Today, we get to really test out our new solar. The batteries are pretty low now with the state of charge (SOC) of 53%. The recommended minimum for lead acid is 50%. 

To get here, I prepared dinner completely using electricity. Sous vide, induction cooktop, and microwave. Plus, the propane furnace was used for heat (we didn’t need much). You may notice that cooking really didn’t start until near sunset. I’ll update as the day progresses. 

This morning, we headed into downtown LA. I hate large cities of any kind and this was miserable for me. We told my middle son to meet us at 11am. He didn’t show up and his phone repeatedly went to voice mail. The parking for the 1hr wait was $10. Did I mention that I hate cities…

At 4pm, the batteries were back up to 80%. The power is still out and we had both fans running all day long to keep the inside of the RV at a “reasonable” temperature. So we can’t count on the three panels to get the batteries back from 50% in a single day. But, that was not the current plan. I need to find out how much power the inverter draws when only the Raspberry Pi, HomeAssistant, and the WiFi running. Currently, they run on 110VAC. 


  1. I'm assuming the while campground was buzzing with generator noise?

    1. No, not really. Quite a few people chose to leave and most just ran their generators for a short time. We’ll be running it tomorrow as we need to do some laundry.