Energy Options > Solar Power

solar power to keep a battery up

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I will start with one panel

I am not looking at long term right now.

I am a fire evacuee who has been living at teh county fiargrounds for a month.

I am going to move back up to my property within a week, park the trailer in the driveway.  This time of year is alot of sun

Ironically, right after I got the panel and ordered the controller, I went up there and my solar in the house looks like it is working ! I have a 22 year old inverter that was manufactured in California, not cheap chinese junk.  Once it occured to me to turn off the 2 breakers ( there are 4 breakers that are powered by battery backup) that went out to completely burned down locations ( water pump, auxillery small room that used to be my ex's office -- both locations ashes right now) and hit on in the scroll thru menu, I had power to the other 2 circuits ( some interior lights and outlets) I cannot be in the house yet due to my asthma ( not just soot, it is mold from refrig too) .  I do not have a plug that the trailer can plug into, so right now I cannot hook it to house solar/battery power.  Our local electrician is swamped right now.  So's the well guy.

Anyway, could be I dont need the DC solar for long, but it could be handy for keeping batteries topped off when trailer is not in use.

But, for a while, maybe short, I will be an offgrid trailer homesteader

Can't make any promises, but I suspect the 20A (PWM?) controller would be ok with both panels.  I would definitely run both into a 200Ah bank.  Too much panel is just enough, and 240w:200Ah is nowhere near too much panel for the bank,

If your needs really are that light I'd consider running 240w:100Ah and using the other battery for another project.  IMO the damage from chronic undercharging is greater than the damage from cycling deeper.  Your mileage may vary, of course.

Thanks for the background info, sorry you are going thru what you are going thru.  However, it does give me a better idea on use of the Solar.

Usage would full time while you need it.  The hardware selection can support your limited needs.  For long(er) term full time use I would go with dual panel setup.  I would also consider that a nice DC radio would be useful, maybe fan and a few other items.

The hardware you picked up is good; and can allow  you to do a few things even when moving back.   I was looking real close to your setup for an out building that needed a bit of light along with a few other items.

Limit peak usage during the day so surge can be absorbed by the solar array + dipped into with the battery pack.  Get a cheap but good battery gauge to let you learn how good this hardware will work for you.  I assume you matched the cable connectors from the panel to the charge controller. 

You might even keep using the trailer and live out of that to manage smoke, and other bad things that can be in the air.

My setup was going to be 2 - 4 panels, 2 controllers, 2 batteries, one small dc to a/c (pure sine) to run a computer, etc.  An optional pad for a small genny to support high load items that would over tax the solar.   A transfer box that would let me move from genny to DC to zero power.   I would use gravity to pump up a 50 gal metal barrel (food grade), so I would have running water when I needed it.

MorningStar was one of the brands I was looking at; however, the hardware that I chose is obsolete.   

how about connecting a smaller load parallel to the panels? Like a 12v charger or a 12v fan etc?
Ypu won't be using those extra energy anyway, since the charger controller is a choke to the system when it is in its peak


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