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 > Your search for posts made by 'CA Traveler' found 691 matches.

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  Subject Author Date Posted Forum
RE: Solar Panels

The sun in December is at it's lowest level for the year - ie less solar power. Plus some appliances like a propane furnace fan draw significant amps and for longer periods of time in higher elevations. At lower elevations it's certainly much milder than Lake Stevens.
CA Traveler 08/25/19 08:43pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Solar Panels

1. Use a mirror and see if there is a label. 2. With full bright noonish sun disconnect the panel input wires to the controller and measure the voltage. A voltage of about 18V indicates 12V panels and use a value of 14V. Next short the wires and measure the amps. Now multiply 14V by the amps to get watts. The value is about what you can expect but not the panel amps or watts. I use a value of 67% of the mfg watts for 5 hours as there are light and wiring losses. Now the fun begins due to weather and location. 67% is likely to high due to the lower sun elevation in Lake Stevens with your flat mounted panels and other factors but will give you a ball park estimate. A panel cell is 1/2 volt so count the cells. 36 cells is 18V and a 12V panel. 60 cells is 30V and marginally a 24V panel, etc but this doesn't tell you the mfg watts. Enjoyed watching GD ride her horse in a Lake Stevens event last week.
CA Traveler 08/25/19 08:33pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Solar Panel

You are correct in that a diode will cut 20 cells or 1/3 of the panel. That panel now will be making 1/3 less amperage. Panels connected in series are limited by the production of the weakest panel so the entire string is now making 2/3 of its potential.You are incorrect. The bypass diode act like a direct short and the Voltage across the diode goes to 0V and the diode passes all of the amps ie Now the 3 panels have 8/9 of the volts with full amps. ie 89% of the power of the 3 panels not 67%. I get that your mind is made up based on whatever your saw on the internet. But I really don't want to continue and try to teach you basic electronics 101. So let's call it a draw.
CA Traveler 08/25/19 04:37pm Truck Campers
RE: Solar Panel

Here's an example of leafy shade on my panels and clearly shows the 10V increments as the shade is moving off of the panels. Battery amps are going up both due to less shade and increasing brightness of the sun. https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/28956776.cfm
CA Traveler 08/25/19 01:00pm Truck Campers
RE: Relocation / Temp living in RV

BTW Know that "as is" means it's yours and don't believe any warranty statements. I would NOT put down a deposit. And truthfully consider that there may be no value when you sell and you will have spent maintenance dollars. Hopefully you will do better but ???
CA Traveler 08/25/19 11:50am Full-time RVing
RE: Relocation / Temp living in RV

It doesn't seem like a toy hauler offers anything you need for house hunting. So any of the 3 trailers based on price and condition. And top of the list on condition consider: Flood damage, salt damage, unseen water damage and everything else associated with condition. I suspect that for 1 year you don't want high maintenance costs. In your price range you will likely find a number of marginal units for various reasons. Certainly no fun to wake up with water dripping on you or discover a soft floor etc. Perhaps avoid slide outs, yes less living space but repairs can be very costly and for 1 year may be the best choice. Before any purchase have YOUR own complete PDI and spend as much time as required. Dealers sometimes charge for their PDI to show you how to turn of the stove. And above all remove the purchase emotion and be prepared to walk on any purchase for any or no reason. ?? Check everything: refer, charger, HW, stove, etc. And for your area the A/C is very important. By complete I mean up on the roof to check, underneath to check for rust and other issues, water damage everywhere like under a toilet or bed, walls, under cabinets. I would run from any RV with a Lipper frame if not other Lipper equipment as they seem to be the low cost and low quality supplier. Check tire DOT dates and load range. And new tires don't mean they are adequate for the RV along with some junk brands available. Along with that check rig weights and tire maximum weight capability. Check that the trailer brakes actually work.
CA Traveler 08/25/19 11:41am Full-time RVing
RE: Solar Panel

Watched the video above and I did't see any mention of bypass diodes. Did I miss something? Also the power drop with one cell covered in serial suggests that the 12V panels do not have bypass diodes which is not uncommon for 12V panels.
CA Traveler 08/25/19 11:02am Truck Campers
RE: Solar Panel

BTW If you research bypass diodes there are 2 main reasons why they are used. 1. Without bypass diodes shadows on a panel (like a chimney) will cause those cell to overheat and be damaged. Bypass diodes prevent that. 2. At the same time they allow all other panel sections and other serial panels to provide full power based on the light conditions.
CA Traveler 08/25/19 09:38am Truck Campers
RE: Solar Panel

I wanted to avoid rooftop shadows and mounted my panels 6" high. Prior to that I started seeking out fellow campers with higher mounted panels and taking pictures of their setup. Done correctly there is absolutely no technical reason for wind or other concerns. That said however posters often think there will be technical problems or want more limited visibility. My 60 cell 24V panels are oriented side to side, 6" high on the inside and slope 4 degrees to the edge. The edge is visible from the ground. My panel arrangement means no roof top shadows when the sun is above 10 degrees elevation and no shadows at all for some rig orientations. I could have gone a little higher and been above the A/Cs but chose not to. I also decided not to use the 72 cell panels because fore/aft roof access would have been more restricted. My 42' MH has limited flat panel mounting space and would have resulted in various sized panels to achieve the wattage I wanted. In addition the serial panel cost with MPPT was only $100 more than parallel. Plus the footprint was less and the watts/sq foot was greater for a given wattage. I don't know how you and the video reached your conclusions and perhaps I'll view the video. But if you dig into the information on bypass diodes you'll find how they operate and why they can provide better serial panel performance. You'll find that if a hard shadow is across the short axis of a panel then the bypass diodes provide a short for that panel and pass the amps and volts from the other panels. Hence you still have power from the other 2 panels. It's basic electronics involving diodes. Next week I'll try to find my posts and graphs showing the 10V steps on my panels. I also found a picture of panel mounting above A/C' length wise along both sides by a commercial solar shop in Yuma, AZ. I don't recall the size or panel size as I was interested in the mounting.
CA Traveler 08/25/19 09:28am Truck Campers
RE: Isolating TT's Lithium from TV's Lead Acid Batteries

OP, 300Ah is a potential 240Ah at 20% charge needed from the TV to full charge. Solar helps when there is sun of course. My 220Ah discharge at 50% is handled by the nearby 200A alternator.
CA Traveler 08/24/19 08:03pm Tech Issues
RE: storage tips for keeping batteries in good shape ????

full_mosey, From Magnum observations since 2004 it appears that the Magnum suspends charging for a very short time to to check the battery status and is not related to time. ie It determines to some level how to charge the battery. I haven't found the algorithms used but observing the charger based on various battery conditions it for me appears to be an excellent charger. I have the Magnum charger voltage and amps and ditto with a battery monitor that have helped me to reach that conclusion. My MS controller has similar setup as you described. Setting and extending solar timers based on a guess or past history is to me a more marginal method of charging vs determining the battery status so as to not over charge or under charge based on some timer. In addition Magnum has a optional battery monitor which gives it the actual battery amps and voltage. I don't have this option. Both my MS controller and Magnum have a battery temperature probe.
CA Traveler 08/24/19 07:30pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Solar Panel

I've seen charging with 7 bypass diodes active or 20V to the controller. Or 2/9 of the power vs 100% with no shadows.
CA Traveler 08/24/19 06:42pm Truck Campers
RE: Solar Panel

(for 4K I could have put 400 watts or more on the Bigfoot) No doubt. As a DIY I paid $1450 for 750W in 2014 for all of the parts including UV wires, aluminum for mounting and SS screws and bolts, etc. This included a high end Morningstar MPPT 60 controller. All panels in series which provides much better shade performance than parallel panels, but that is a whole different topic. For shaded conditions parallel is superior. In series shading one one panel affects all the panels. In parallel it only affects the shaded panel. I should have added that serial is superior when the panels have bypass diodes. Virtually all larger panels have bypass diodes. This may not apply to some 12V panels. My 3 serial panels (90V total) have 3 bypass diodes each. Each diode will bypass 20 cells (10 volts) of my 60 cell panels when there is a shadow on that portion of the panel. So basically I have 9 serial panel sections. When 1 section has a shadow for example the diode causes a short which is 0 volts and passes the full amps of the other 8 sections. So the result is (90V-10V) * 8A (panel Imp) or 8/9 of the panels power. The same panels in parallel result in 1/3 power loss, hence the voltage is lower than the other 2 panels. The result is the power is 6/9 of the 3 panels vs the serial 8/9 of the 3 panels. In the past I've posted graphs showing the effect of bypass diodes. It's easy to see the 10V steps with full amps for the given sun condition on leafy shade, hard shade and other types of shade. From past comments I'm aware that panel bypass diodes with serial panels and shade and not well understood. But with some electrical knowledge and research what I've posted can be verified.
CA Traveler 08/24/19 06:31pm Truck Campers
RE: Solar Panel

(for 4K I could have put 400 watts or more on the Bigfoot) No doubt. As a DIY I paid $1450 for 750W in 2014 for all of the parts including UV wires, aluminum for mounting and SS screws and bolts, etc. This included a high end Morningstar MPPT 60 controller. All panels in series which provides much better shade performance than parallel panels, but that is a whole different topic.
CA Traveler 08/24/19 01:29pm Truck Campers
RE: Solar Panel

Could also be the controller or even wiring. To check the panel: Look up the specs. Then locate the panel wires (not the controller output wires), disconnect one and then with good sun check the voltage which should be very close to Voc (open circuit). Next short the 2 wires and the amps should be close to Isc (short circuit). These 2 measurements are a very good test of a panels performance. Ok, I don't wish to appear dumb but if he were to short the two wires from the panel, where would he place the meter leads. When shorted it would appear to be a close loop.I use a AC/DC clamp on ammeter to measure amps, just clamps around the shorted wires. It also measures voltage, ohms, etc. Or use an ammeter on the wires and many meters have 10A capability.
CA Traveler 08/24/19 01:18pm Truck Campers
RE: storage tips for keeping batteries in good shape ????

CA Traveller; Perhaps you are not using your Morningstar solar controller to its full capability. I can assure you that I have programmed my SSMPPT15l to be smarter than your Magnum. HTH; JohnMaybe I should check the manual after several years... One aspect of the Magnum I like is that it detects battery charge vs house loads and changes amps but not voltage with house loads. Likely very hard for a solar controller to do this since the panel power is constantly changing.
CA Traveler 08/24/19 10:55am Class A Motorhomes
RE: storage tips for keeping batteries in good shape ????

CA Traveller, My solar controller is far more useful than the Magnum. For one reason. You don't have to plug it in.X2 But they don't work without sun.
CA Traveler 08/24/19 10:51am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Solar Panel

Could also be the controller or even wiring. To check the panel: Look up the specs. Then locate the panel wires (not the controller output wires), disconnect one and then with good sun check the voltage which should be very close to Voc (open circuit). Next short the 2 wires and the amps should be close to Isc (short circuit). These 2 measurements are a very good test of a panels performance.
CA Traveler 08/24/19 10:30am Truck Campers
RE: Isolating TT's Lithium from TV's Lead Acid Batteries

OP, I don't recall your intended battery size or usage. A 100Ah discharged battery needs up to 80A charging when driving - ie 20A for 4 hours. Double that for 200Ah. Since your interested in the Renogy that suggests that you are not a pedestal to pedestal camper starting with a fully charged battery. Are you planning on any TT charger changes for Li when plugged in?
CA Traveler 08/24/19 09:25am Tech Issues
RE: Isolating TT's Lithium from TV's Lead Acid Batteries

OP, Your linked Renogy manual seems short on Li battery information to me. It may be adequate for you. I'd want to better understand the Li charging. 1. Does it time out after 4 hours? 2. Or does it sense the charging voltage and stop charging when the current drops to the right amount? Apparently not since I didn't see any mention of a shunt since otherwise it could only detect house + battery amps. 3. What about low temperature charging restrictions? And likely more questions if I dug deeper as I saw other information like an ignition wire to the charger - ie another wire from the TV to TT, etc.
CA Traveler 08/24/19 09:18am Tech Issues
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