Solar Panels....

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KB4MNG, Jun 23, 2019.

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  1. KF5LJW

    KF5LJW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes Sir a professional opinion shared by all pros and even most DIY who know something about solar. If you knew how to test the equipment and compared results you would understand how bad you are getting screwed over.

    I guess it is like going to Lost Wages aka Vegas. Only place in the world you can go, get cheated/robbed on the tables, your body shook, money took, over pay for everything, lied to, then come home and cannot wait to go back and do it again.
  2. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    You and @KF5LJW are saying essentially the same things.

    For a given voltage, current, and conductors, DC has less loss than AC, due to a number of factors such as reactance and skin effect. But until relatively recently (several decades), changing DC voltages wasn't easy or efficient, but changing AC voltage was and is.

    So the Tesla/Westinghouse AC systems proved themselves to be much more practical, cost-effective and efficient than Edison's DC systems. (One of Edison's proposals for long distance electrical transmission was railcars with built-in batteries that would be charged in one place (say, a hydro dam) and then hauled to where electricity was needed (a town).

    AC really took the lead with the development of practical transformers and AC motors, coupled with Tesla's polyphase system of AC transmission.

    And yet, Edison won out in a few ways. The common three-wire 120/240 volt system used today goes back to Edison's DC systems. The common screw-base for light bulbs is an Edison thing.

    There was also a financial issue.....

    Edison's DC systems were the first to be commercially viable. Many small towns and city neighborhoods set up municipal electrical systems using DC - the distance limitations didn't matter much if all the customers were within a mile or so from the power plant.

    Getting the money to build such systems was difficult, so Edison often took stock, bonds and other securities as a form of payment. He figured that once the systems were built and operating in the black, they'd provide him with a steady flow of cash and steady customers for replacement parts and new equipment.

    But if the Westinghouse/Tesla AC system won out, those systems would eventually have to convert to AC, which would be costly, reducing the value of his share of them. Some might even go bankrupt. And, they'd be buying parts and new equipment from Westinghouse!

    So it wasn't just stubbornness....


    Fun fact: If it weren't for Edison, tattoos would be a lot fewer and simpler today.
  3. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Did Edison fire Tesla, or did Tesla quit? I've always heard that Tesla quit, for a number of reasons.

    One of the stories is that Edison promised $50,000 to whoever could solve a seemingly-impossible problem they were having. Tesla solved it, and when his solution was proven to be practical and profitable, went to Edison for the money. Edison claimed it was just a joke, and that Tesla didn't understand American humor.

    $50,000 was a heck of a lot of money back then.

    In the "battle of the currents", yes, Edison was wrong on almost all counts.
  4. KF7YED

    KF7YED Ham Member QRZ Page

    Got it that time. Parallel is okay if they're nearly the same state of charge. If one is down, charge it by itself.
    The PowerMini can accept up to 10 A input from the panel. It has a status display to monitor the various system stats. These SR100 panels are rated at 5.6 A output at 12V. The PowerMini site says----

    (QUOTE) The POWERmini is described as a DC Power Management System, but what is that?

    Most Amateur Radio gear is designed to be operated directly from a 12V DC power source. For a radio with 100W output that amounts to an input current around 25A. That provides a lot of convenience for mobile and portable applications but operation is not quite as simple as plugging into a wall outlet. Batteries require attention to maximize their life and solar panels need to be managed to prevent overcharging.

    Simply put the Power Management system looks after the health of the DC battery powering the system for both the charge and discharge cycles, but also keeping an eye open to protecting your radio too.

    From the charging perspective a dedicated solar panel input allows connection of a solar panel with up to 11A of current to charge the system battery. This functions not only as a charger, preventing reverse current flow into the panel and ensuring that the battery is not overcharged, but it also provides monitoring of the panel indicating how much charge has been delivered to the battery and reports the panel power output to provide a view of how well the panel has been working.

    With regard to the discharge cycle, the system monitors the battery voltage and provides warning of low battery voltage helping to avoid damage to the battery due to deep discharge. It can even automatically disconnect the battery from the radio in case you forget to do so. The POWERmini supports both Lead Acid and Lithium Ion batteries.

    Power output up to 32Ah total is provided by dual output connectors. Both are protected by an automatic disconnect in case of accidental over current such as a short circuit. The output is also protected by a voltage monitor that automatically disconnects your expensive radio from too high of an input voltage.

    System monitoring is provided by a real time reporting system indicating the battery and solar panel voltages, the load current and solar panel current as well as the amount of energy used by the battery and what was replenished by the solar panel. Visual and audible alarms warn of power related issues such as over-voltage, low battery voltage or over-current. (END QUOTE)

    So it should be good for the 18AH battery since it will cut back when needed.
    And the Genasun will be on the 100AH camper battery. We only go camping once in a while and don't even put up the solar every time. We've been using a 2KW little Champion genny for camping because the old battery was shot and wouldn't last all night. SO all this is to get ready for the new 100AH battery.
  5. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The Niagara Falls plant was built in 1895. Whether the War of the Currents was over is a matter of opinion, however, the Chicago Fair and Niagara battles were both won by AC.
  6. KF7YED

    KF7YED Ham Member QRZ Page

    So, I open the new battery box and find this---



    The box had been dropped during shipment and crushed the soft lead terminal. So, while I'm waiting to hear back from the distributor on a replacement, I thought I'd ask about connecting the panels and the controller to the new battery. Is it just that simple, as in panel + to battery + and then connect the camper + to the battery + like it was before? Seems to me there should be something between the solar panel and the camper wiring....

    And while we're at it, where's the cheapest source for Anderson Powerpoles? :)
  7. KF5LJW

    KF5LJW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah there is a gadget between them. I think it may be a widget or a thingy.

    Panel > Controller > Battery > Load
    KP4SX likes this.
  8. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yup, Panel(s)>Controller>Battery>Load. The voltage from the panels will be all over the block and cannot charge batteries or run loads without some sort of control. Solar panels aren't like a gas generator with a fixed output voltage.
    The cheapest source to buy Powerpole connectors is the one you should avoid. Buy from a reputable vendor and let go of the dime. There are too many chinese cheapo copycat versions in the marketplace that don't perform.
    WZ7U likes this.
  9. KF7YED

    KF7YED Ham Member QRZ Page

    I understand the connections you're describing, but the battery will have cables from the controller AND the load (camper) connected at the same terminals, in parallel.
  10. KF5LJW

    KF5LJW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes. And if you are smart will use an Electronic Battery Isolator so your vehicle alternator can charge the house battery. That should be the very first thing you do before even thinking solar. Size the batteries correctly, and if you drive every day or three would have no use for solar. One hour of drive time will do more than panels can do in two days.

    Although not exactly what you are doing, here is a a proper RV/Camper wiring diagram.


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