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 > Would solar be effective in the midwest?

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Mobilesport

Iowa

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Posted: 03/25/20 10:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Would a 200 watt solar panel keep a single 100ah lifepo4 charged during a midwest Iowa winter/December ?
I use about 50 ah per day , I found a online calculator that said 50ah is about .65kwh

I believe my 100ah lifepo4 is like 1kwh or 1.2 kwh
.65kwh is about 20kwh per month so maybe a 300watt panel would work??


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* This post was edited 03/25/20 10:49pm by Mobilesport *

jdc1

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Posted: 03/25/20 10:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you can tilt the panel for optimal orientation, you can pick up another 10-15% of charging.

theoldwizard1

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Posted: 03/26/20 07:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Snow will be the biggest problem.

time2roll

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Posted: 03/26/20 08:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Winter will be marginal. 400 watts and a second battery might be needed. Not every day is all sunny.


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Posted: 03/26/20 08:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You're using 650W per day with a 200W panel. Assume you get 60% of the panel watts for 4 hours or 480W per day. You'll need at least 400W panels and you will still need extra power for those multiple consecutive days of no sun.


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Posted: 03/26/20 08:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Solar is just a way to extend the time between generator/charger recharging. IE before the battery reaches the low point you pick before you must recharge it. That low point is lower with Li as has been discussed. 30-80% is a 50AH range

"Effective" would be defined as whether it extends the time enough. "Enough" might be defined as from Friday to Tuesday if the object is a long weekend with no generator. A full-timer would have to decide how long is enough. If the gen is being used anyway, the value of solar drops.


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pianotuna

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Posted: 03/26/20 09:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Iowa and winter. It may be too cold to recharge the batteries. I.E. the battery management system may prevent charging to save the battery.

* This post was edited 03/26/20 03:02pm by pianotuna *


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

2oldman

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Posted: 03/26/20 10:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

Iowa and winter. It may be too cold to recharge the batteries.
Good point. Op, better check that out. Facing panels south and tilting would be a good idea.

Seattle Steve

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Posted: 03/26/20 10:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You also want to use a solar charge controller that is specifically designed to work with lifepo4 batteries. Most solar chargers will work with them, but that's not the same. Lead acid batteries can only take a full charge to 80%, then trickle charge until full. Lifepo4 can take a full charge all the way. If your solar charger is set up for lead acid batteries it will still work, but will only trickle charge when battery is 80% full and will be wasting all that potential solar power.

PS - Many people complain that their solar panels aren't putting out th power they expected, when in fact it is their solar controller limiting the charge because the batteries are more than 80% full.

2oldman

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Posted: 03/26/20 10:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Seattle Steve wrote:

You also want to use a solar charge controller that is specifically designed to work with lifepo4 batteries..
Or one whose setpoints are adjustable.

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