Sunday, November 13, 2022

Another Project

Thursday - My next project arrived today. Another solar panel. The older panels are 210watt, 12V panels but they are no longer made. This is a 215watt, 12V panel that I will install in series with the other three. The current rating is similar (Isc=9.85amps @22.4V vs Isc=10.83 @20.72V) or close enough. With the low sun angle, I’m not getting anywhere near 200 watts from my non-tilting panels. 

A quick test verified that the panel works. Voc=25.1V, Isc=9.85amps with the panel aimed roughly towards the sun. With it lying flat on the ground, Isc was around 6.8amps which is about what I am seeing from the other panels. The high temperature over the weekend is over 70°F so that’ll be ideal for the Sikaflex to set. Though I’m toying with using the high strength 3M tape to see how well it bonds. When I installed the other panels, there was only a few days before we would be traveling. Possibly not enough time for the tape to bond.

I’m still thrilled with the performance of the JC Refrigeration unit. An improvement would be two compressors so the freezer could have its own controller. 

Friday - A slow start this morning as the temperature was in the mid-40s. After the early test session, I started working on the solar panel. I cleaned the plastic mounting brackets and the roof and used some high strength VHB double sided tape. 

I mounted this panel near the front to avoid shading from the front A/C unit. I still need to dress up the wires. The tape seems to stick really well but if you pull up on the panel, the fiberglass roof just lifts up. So some screws will be needed. 

There is still some room for additional panels though this is the limit of this charge controller. Another one will be needed if additional panels are installed. 

Saturday - I think the forecast for last night was in the upper 30s (°F). I turned the battery charging off last night to allow the batteries to discharge overnight. By morning, they were down to 83%. By 10:30 this morning, they were back up to 100%. The extra panel makes a difference. The three panels were just keeping up with demand and trickling several amps into the batteries.

Well, 350watts is more than I was seeing before. Or less than half the theoretical max for the panels. 

Sunday - A quiet, non-activity day. No projects. Picked up some groceries including some Thanksgiving food. We haven’t really decided what to do but I’m picked up a turkey breast, fresh cranberries, and some dressing ingredients (sausage, water chestnuts, bread, onions, celery). I’ll add some Chinese sausage, dried mushrooms, olives, pecans, and may some wild rice. In other words, it’s time to clean out the pantry. 

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