solar install completed

Solar is installed on the camper.  img_20170818_123916

Here are some measurements from the first morning of operation.  I am at 525’ above sea level.

  • 124W at 9am, sun at 26deg elevation.  Ambient temp 83F.

  • 161W at 10am, sun at 33deg elevation.

  • 30W at 11am, full shade / no direct light on panels.

  • 78W at noon under gas station awning.  Full shade except last row of cells on last panel (back of van).  Ambient temp 90F.

  • 415W average at noon, solar noon.  Ambient temp 90F.  Peak of 434W observed.

By the time I got out from lunch the bank was in Absorption (14.7v) so current was dropping off.  Ambient temp was 95F.

My reading suggests that for cycled lead banks we can charge at C/3, which would be something like 66A.  That’s well beyond the capabilities of my system.  Even if the panels could make that the controller would still cap output at 40A (~520W).  I doubt I’ll ever see that, either.

I’m more interested in generating useful power under degraded conditions (clouds, fog, rain, shade) than I am in peak production anyhow.  If I didn’t care about that I could have stuck with something like one big 250W  panel mounted lengthwise.