Solar power for 2 weeks test





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  1. #1
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    Default Solar power for 2 weeks test

    On my last trip through Mozambique and Zimbabwe I struggled to keep my Fridge/freezer going for 15 days. Swambo was less than impressed with me by day 6 . I did the classic mistake of trying to run a 220v Camp Master freezer, with an inverter off solar. I had to admit stupidity, and get the correct stuff, 12 V freezer and Ctek D250S.
    I tested my new power setup in November 2013 at home, the aim being to see how long my freezer can operate until I run out of battery power. This will give me a fair idea of what is achievable and what is not, as far as solar panel sizes and batteries are concerned. What I know about solar/batteries etc. I have learned through trial and error, mostly error, so take it as info from a novice. My equipment is as follows:
    1 x 80 lit Snowmaster.
    2 x 102 Ah, Deltec 1251 High Cycle batteries in parallel.
    Ctek D250S
    1 x 95 W solar panel.
    1 x 55 W solar panel.
    I did not move the solar panels during the day, they were facing more or less North, and at ± 20Ί.The result was that I ran my freezer off solar, for 24 hrs every day, for 14 days set at -10 C, and my batteries were still fine on the last day. I had 4 x 2 lit Coke bottles filled with water in the freezer. I have a digital Waeco freezer thermometer which I put in the freezer, to check how accurate the Snowmaster’s thermometer was. The Snowmaster showed consistently 2Ί warmer than the Waeco reading. The batteries were fully charged when I started the test. I opened the freezer every day as follows, to simulate daily use.
    1 x @07h00 for 1 min.
    1 x @07h30 for 1 min
    1 x @12h30 for 2 min
    1 x @15h30 for 1 min
    1 x @17h00 for 1 min
    1 x @17h30 for 1 min
    1 x @18h00 for 1 min
    1 x @18h30 for 1 min
    1 x @19h00 for 2 min
    1 x @ 19h30 for 2 min
    1 x @ 20h00 for 1 min
    1 x @ 20h30 for 1 min
    Weather:
    Day 1 – max temp 30C, partly cloudy 5/8. Clear from 15h00
    Day 2 – max 24C, overcast the whole day, lite rain from 14h30
    Day 3 – max 22C, overcast the whole day.
    Day 4 – max 32C, cloudy in the am, afternoon clear
    Day 5 – max 35C, no cloud for the whole day.
    Day 6 – max 38C, clear in am, 8/8 cloud by 15h00, thunder storm.
    Day 7 – max 38C, cloudy the whole day 5/8
    Day 8 – max 35C, partly cloudy in am 6/8, clearing in pm to 1/8
    Day 9 – max 34C, partly cloudy whole day 3/8.
    Day 10 – max 32C, partly cloudy 3/8 whole day
    Day 11 – max 32C, clear in am, cloudy 4/8 in pm.
    Day 12 – max 35C, no cloud whole day.
    Day 13 – max 23C, 8/8 cloud whole day, rain.
    Day 14 – max 25C, cloudy whole day 6/8.
    The morning of day 15, I switched off the freezer, disconnected the Ctek from the batteries, and connected a 12 A Power Master AC – DC charger to the batteries, it took charge for 3 hours and 20 min before the batteries were fully charged again. I now know that I can camp and run my freezer, and have cold beers, for at least 2 weeks without moving, or needing charge from the alternator.
    Gerrit.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Nice, this is good info, Thanks

  3. #3
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    With a similar setup (only 1 x 90W solar panel we went 7 days at Chizariera in Zimbabwe without other external power and minimal driving (so minimal alternator input).
    After the 7th day the batteries were low but quickly recovered with a long drive on day 8.
    Bear in mind that in addition to the NL Weekender they were also running my CPAP device average 7 hours per night.
    Did not run out of cold beersl.
    Answering the call of the wild is just so much beter than answering the telephone.
    ISUZU KB 280 DT LE NOW POWERED BY THIS AMAZING COMMUNITY
    Modified Glider Hunter trailer fitted with RTT.
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  4. #4
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    interesting.
    my real life test
    1x 102 ah AC Delco deep cycle
    1x 52 l NL weekender @ 0c
    1x cdf 35 waeco @ -8c
    2x 90w solar panels
    1x 20a solar regulator

    next to vaaldam for 8 days in october ave daytime temp 28c
    i found that the batery was fully charged bu around 1 pm every day

    packed up on last day and went home with fully charged batery

    run lights and waterpump and chargers of seperate home made batery pack with 3 alarm bateries and 30 watt solar panel so above purely for refridgeration
    also paid heavy school fees ---1000w perfect power waeco inverter and 1x 90w solar panel with coolfreeze 40l waeco fridge(220v).... 2 1/2 days max.

  5. #5
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    Oh, thanks for reminding me, the ambient temperature is also very relevant for the fridge power draw. In Zim we experienced 40 deg c for most of the days (November).
    Answering the call of the wild is just so much beter than answering the telephone.
    ISUZU KB 280 DT LE NOW POWERED BY THIS AMAZING COMMUNITY
    Modified Glider Hunter trailer fitted with RTT.
    Platkar = Chevy Spark 1.2

  6. #6
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    Best is to use equal panels, else one the one with lower volts may not supply its full amps.
    Johan Kriel

  7. #7
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    Thanks Gerrit, that is dedication.
    I once tried to do something similar but always either forgot to open fridge or something else.
    I have 2x80Wsolar panels connected to a HCdP power panel and a 102/105? Ah Royal battery in my trailer driving all LED lights, water pump and a NL40 ('02) and I have also never run out of power. In fact I had a HCdP battery box with a too small solar panel and that did run out but I took the fridge (Snowmaster 45/15) and also connected that to the trailer no problems.

    Thanks for taking the time and posting the results.

    Alan

  8. #8
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    Just a question, wouldn't replacing cold beers with warm beers during the day change things.
    If I can add a few points
    We added extra insulation between the fridge and the travel bag that zips around the fridge and freezer.
    At night just before we go too sleep we turn both fridge and freezer down to save on electrical consumption. In the morning when the sun comes up we turn up the fridge and freezer again.
    Take a blanket and cut it so that it covers the inside of the fridge, when the fridge or freezer is running have this cover things, you will be surprised when the wind is blowing how much cold a fridge can loose, this extra insulation really helps.
    Works like a charm for us.
    Land Rover Puma 110 '2009'
    Terrafirma suspension
    African Outback add on's

  9. #9
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    Cool thread, thanks! Also need to gear up for this. I already have 2x 55 W Tenesol panels and a 102 Ah battery, presently being used for ham radio kit.
    ZS6VL


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