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ScottyGS

SOLAR Power Management - Questions

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Would some of our more SOLAR - ly advanced brethren provide a quick primer on managing power OFF the grid?

 

I thought that the IPN ProRemote manual would give me some tips on that but I might be missing something.   The back button on the remote switches between the "Battery Volt/Amp" screen and the "Remaining Battery Capacity Screen".   Here are my questions about those screens.

 

"Battery Volt/Amp" screen -  What exactly does the voltage measure?   I have the 4 AGM batteries, six volts each, but this screen maxes out at around 13.3 V -  How do i use this figure to tell me the state of remaining power?

 

"Remaining Battery Capacity Screen" - Should I interpret this screen like a gas gauge?   Would 50% capacity indicate that all 4 AGM's are now at 50% and I should stop trying to get any additional power out of them.   How do I know when I am critically low and should be shutting everything down to avoid damaging the batteries?

 

And finally...    What in my ignorance have I forgotten to ask about managing battery power?

 

Thanks in advance for your help and just so you know... I did manage to set the monthly discharge rate after reading the IPN manual.  He can be taught!

 

Thanks,

Scotty

 

 

 

 


Gregg & Donna Scott and Piper the Westie  -    The Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145     Western NC


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Scotty,

 

I am no expert on the solar, and we have the AGM batteries, and we use the % gauge to tell how much power is remaining. I'm sure you will get some expert opinions on the subject.

 

Stan


Stan and Carol


Blacksburg, VA


2014 Dodge Durango 5.7 Hemi


2014 Legacy Elite II Standard  Hull 63

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We don't have the same monitor, so you may want to call a manufacturer rep and see what the readings really mean for you. Our monitor gives us a per centage of remaining power, and how many amp hours to full when charging.

 

We have two agm batteries, and 200 watts solar, running for 8 years. We typically have a "full" reading at 13.2 to 13.4. (Same reading you get when charging with plug in or generator power). We try not to run the battery capacity below 75 per cent. With any kind of sun, we're above 85 in a short time, by noon. A series of rainy days means we use less power, to retain battery power.

 

May seem primitive, but turn off lights, use a flash light at night. We charge computers and cell phones in the sunny part of the day, or on a series of rainy days, while driving into town for dinner because we can't cook on the campfire. Or, give it up, and connect the honda 1000 to charge the batteries.

 

The gas refrigerator won't operate when you draw down too many volts on the battery, nor will the furnace. Our two key pieces of equipment, so we are careful to make sure they can operate.

 

Curiousity... how often do you get a reading of 50 per cent. And what are you running, for how long? Even on crappy, gloomy days, or in mottled shade while camping, we get a little charge, and can go two or three, even four days, before we hit 70 per cent.

 

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Scotty, I just reread your post. We have two 12 volt batteries, and I see you have six volt batteries.

 

I'm not sure what this means in the per centages you are seeing displayed since we have different systems. Perhaps someone who uses your system can be more helpful.

 

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Volts are a very poor (at best) indirect measure of power, and only valid IF the battery has been disconnected from all loads and chargers for 24 hours. Watts are the actual measure of power. Amps are the most reliable way of determining battery capacity remaining. If batteries are run down to 40-50% very often their lifespan will be measurably reduced. A quote from Battery University ( http://batteryuniversity.com/ ):

 

"The battery is a feeble vessel that is slow to fill, holds limited energy, runs for a time like a wind-up toy, fades and eventually becomes a nuisance. It exhibits human qualities in that it needs recuperation from the daily travails by applying a long and restful charge. It then delivers for a time and quits on its own terms. Some batteries need as much charging time as they deliver, and there is a resemblance to growing teenagers."

 

Battery University has a lot of useful info and you can get as deep into it as you can stand.

  • Thanks 1

Aubrey and the two wingmen, Woodstock & Rascal


Oliver #032, "El Huevito"


Ford F-150 4x4


El Juevito's Travels

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Battery University has a lot of useful info and you can get as deep into it as you can stand.

 

Appreciate the link.

Started using a 100W suitcase solar panel (two 50 watt panels) while camping with the Ollie, need to learn more about batteries!


Bill

LE2 Tundra

 

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