Solar panel angle ???? - Page 2





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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Solar panel angle ????

    Quote Originally Posted by ZS6HDV View Post

    BTW, with 160W, my battery recharges before 11 am with the panels flat on the Landy's roof. 45 liter Campmaster running as a fridge (2 degrees C) in the Landy. With one 80W panel, it is fully charged by lunch.

    Hein
    And herein lies the quandary.

    If you achieve full battery before sundown with a static panel, (ie you are generating more power than you are consuming) why bother with all the optimizing and shifting and moving and measurements and software etc.

    Rather relax, have a braai and enjoy a cold beverage.

    If you are running out of power, then by all means start tracking the sun.
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD
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    The frogs are starting to notice that the water is getting warm but it is already too hot to do anything about it.....

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Solar panel angle ????

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    And herein lies the quandary.

    If you achieve full battery before sundown with a static panel, (ie you are generating more power than you are consuming) why bother with all the optimizing and shifting and moving and measurements and software etc.

    Rather relax, have a braai and enjoy a cold beverage.

    If you are running out of power, then by all means start tracking the sun.
    Ah, but I posted just SOME info (specifically to compare with the OPs setup). Namely the fridge setup in the Land Rover (or Ford when we go camping in that). This was tested in isolation at home.

    In the camping trailer, I have another fridge, plus various lights, and most importantly, a number of cell phones and tablets (two teenage daughters). And that's if I don't start up any of the HF radios.

    On non-cloudy days I generally don't need any tracking. My most marginal situation was at Augrabies (no Eskom power) coming out of the Richtersveld, where the trailer battery (160Ah) went dead, and I had to run two fridges and all the rest off one 105Ah battery (the one in the vehicle).

    Hein

    P.S. the time-to-full-charge was done at home, just to see how much one 45l Campmaster requires in terms of solar panel time.
    Last edited by ZS6HDV; 2016/03/01 at 04:30 PM.
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  4. #23
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    Default Re: Solar panel angle ????

    Quote Originally Posted by ZS6HDV View Post
    Ah, but I posted just SOME info (specifically to compare with the OPs setup). Namely the fridge setup in the Land Rover (or Ford when we go camping in that). This was tested in isolation at home.

    In the camping trailer, I have another fridge, plus various lights, and most importantly, a number of cell phones and tablets (two teenage daughters). And that's if I don't start up any of the HF radios.

    On non-cloudy days I generally don't need any tracking. My most marginal situation was at Augrabies (no Eskom power) coming out of the Richtersveld, where the trailer battery (160Ah) went dead, and I had to run two fridges and all the rest off one 105Ah battery (the one in the vehicle).

    Hein

    P.S. the time-to-full-charge was done at home, just to see how much one 45l Campmaster requires in terms of solar panel time.
    Fair enough, but that even makes my point more valid.

    Whatever the conditions or situation, if you generate more power than you need without moving (sun tracking) the panels, then why bother.

    If you are battling for every last Watt you can get, then go for it. (Or get bigger panels)
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD
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    The frogs are starting to notice that the water is getting warm but it is already too hot to do anything about it.....

  5. #24
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    Default Re: Solar panel angle ????

    IMHO if you have a single battery of 100 Ah or so and a single fridge plus some lights, then you can just leave the panel/s flat if you have anything more than 120W of panel/s. For those with only a 80W panel, I would highly recommend just getting a second 80W panel then you can just place them flat and relax.

  6. #25
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    Default Re: Solar panel angle ????

    Glad I went with the 160W! From the sound of it, I won't have to worry to much about running out of power with my limited setup. I already downloaded the app, so I will use it to align the panels on the first day. I will then forget about them until it is time to pack up.

    Thanks for all the input guys, I really learned a lot!
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  7. #26
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    Default Re: Solar panel angle ????

    I rely on the "pissed off neighbour" technique. You know that you are not at optimum angle to the sun when the people from the next camp spot up ask you to move your panels because they are reflecting straight into their camp. This method works even if you have forgotten about them!!
    Last edited by Biggles; 2016/03/02 at 11:16 AM.
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  8. #27
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    Default Re: Solar panel angle ????

    Quote Originally Posted by PGJ View Post
    Take a golf-tee , with a small blob of prestik and stick it in the centre of the panel .

    If it doesn't cast a shadow you are spot on .
    Now that is a brilliant tip.

    Reminds me of when my Swambo got in the Volvo for the first time, she pointed to a golf tee in my little coin holder and asked what that is for. I explained that it was for putting my balls on when driving.

    Wow she said these Swedes think of everything.
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  9. #28
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    Default Re: Solar panel angle ????

    Two 80's hinged, I will just open them at a +-45degree angle and place them on the ground, one facing west and one facing east.
    But then again, Im the simple solution guy.
    Last edited by Damdan; 2016/03/02 at 02:23 PM.
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  10. #29
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    Default Re: Solar panel angle ????

    Mine are mounted permanently on my roof rack, I just leave them laying flat.

    I would rather pay a bit more and get extra capacity than stressing whether my solar panels are properly aligned while I'm out camping. Or moving them about the whole day. 100w Did me just fine in the Kgalagadi winter running my Engel 60, I guess in summer it would be a different story...............

    I'm looking to increase mine up to 240w, that's about the may my CTEK 250s Dual can handle - hopefully that will get me sorted for those misty / overcast West Coast days.
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  11. #30
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    Default Re: Solar panel angle ????

    Just a note to the OP in the first post. it is important to connect the regulator to the batteries first and then only connect the panels. The regulator then self senses if the system is 12v or 24v and adjust accordingly. If you connect the panels first the regulator will adjust for 24v and you will fry your battery

  12. #31
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    Default Re: Solar panel angle ????

    Quote Originally Posted by offroad4x4sa View Post
    Just a note to the OP in the first post. it is important to connect the regulator to the batteries first and then only connect the panels. The regulator then self senses if the system is 12v or 24v and adjust accordingly. If you connect the panels first the regulator will adjust for 24v and you will fry your battery
    Thanx, I connected the regulator and mounted it permanently in the trailer. All I have to do is connect the panels when I set up camp. But nobody told me this ^ .
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  13. #32
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    Default Re: Solar panel angle ????

    Quote Originally Posted by offroad4x4sa View Post
    Just a note to the OP in the first post. it is important to connect the regulator to the batteries first and then only connect the panels. The regulator then self senses if the system is 12v or 24v and adjust accordingly. If you connect the panels first the regulator will adjust for 24v and you will fry your battery
    Are you sure.

    Sitation needed.

    I don't think so.
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD
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    The frogs are starting to notice that the water is getting warm but it is already too hot to do anything about it.....

  14. #33
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    Default Re: Solar panel angle ????

    It's just what I have picked up. Also every regulator I have bought (and I currently have 5 different types) all make the pertinent point to connect the battery first. Also most regulators can charge either 12 or 24v

  15. #34
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    Default Re: Solar panel angle ????

    Want to buy the Bushpower Eco set to trickle my 100ah which I use monthly to keep it active.
    Is it OK to just "aim" the panel towards the afternoon sun ?
    There is no task too simple for some people to complicate !



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  16. #35
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    Default Re: Solar panel angle ????

    Quote Originally Posted by duncang View Post
    Want to buy the Bushpower Eco set to trickle my 100ah which I use monthly to keep it active.
    Is it OK to just "aim" the panel towards the afternoon sun ?
    This Solar Angle Calculator will help you.

    http://www.solarelectricityhandbook....alculator.html

    Its best if the panels are perpendicular to the sun.
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  18. #36
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    Default Re: Solar panel angle ????

    Much more important than angle is whether they are in full sun. Partial shading makes a huge difference - disproportionately to the amount of the panel in the shade.

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  20. #37
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    Default Re: Solar panel angle ????

    A word or two of advise please....
    Wire from Steca to battery and wire from battery to LED strips, which should be shorter ?
    I have light strips on 7ah 12 volt battery and a 105ah battery for tv etc. Can they both charge at same time from a 30w panel or must I unplug 1 each time ?
    Thanks
    There is no task too simple for some people to complicate !



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