Need the solar/power pros to weigh in

TantoTrailers

Well-known member
Got lucky with some sun today so I can test mid day. Set the 2 panels up in series and the most I have seen so far is 113w in the app. It’s pulling good voltage I think, I just don’t think this little 12Ah battery is enough to really put the panels to the test. I’m letting it run an hour to see how the box and controller heats up if any. Then I will run it for an hour out of the box to see how it does....not sure if charging the same battery for 2 hours straight will be a fair comparison but I will try anyway.

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Before hooking in panels:
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After:
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More to follow...
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
A 12AH battery will get full pretty quick with a 100w charge rate. You should consider trying a 100W load on the battery to keep the charger running at full output.

At 14.3V that battery is likely already tapering from max charge rate.
 

TantoTrailers

Well-known member
Might have to wait to test that this weekend with the fridge and fan and lights running and my 100Ah Renogy AMG discharging. After an hour of charging the 12Ah battery there is very little if any noticeable heat on the unit faceplate itself or the outside back of the box which the heatsink is sitting firmly against. I took the unit out of the box, and will let it sit this way for the next hour on the same battery. As you said it is probably well charged now but I am happy to report that even the back of the heatsink doesn't feel any warmer than my skin. This is in my garage which is already a solid 80+ degrees. I will keep an eye on it over the weekend but I think I may be ok with keeping it in the box for my current uses (pun intended).
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
The unit is probably fine at only 100W input if its not getting warm. Most of these solar controllers are well over 90% efficient. Running 100W through it means you have less than 10W of heat, which is probably acceptable.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
if your loads are low enough you can run everything through the controller, perhaps.. I think some of the smaller smart solar chargers by victron has a load output..
I actually do that with my setup. Power out goes to a small fuse box 20amp max load I fused it at 15amps. Rarely ever do I pull more than 8amps
 

TantoTrailers

Well-known member
I actually do that with my setup. Power out goes to a small fuse box 20amp max load I fused it at 15amps. Rarely ever do I pull more than 8amps
Yes the unit does have Load terminals but since I have not yet decided whether or not I am going to keep the panel out all the time I didnt mount the controller, thats why its in the box, and so I didnt want to complicate (and make a mess) my wiring. I honestly dont know where I was going with the whole mobile controller thing, it makes more sense to just mount it inside my galley, I have room for it. I will use it as it is now and if I find that its becoming a pita I will just permanently install the controller and do a bit of re-wiring to add the load terminals.
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
wire up a small DC cooling fan to that load output if you run into heating issues.. which with that little battery you cant really test yet to see if they are okay..
 

shade

Well-known member
Got lucky with some sun today so I can test mid day. Set the 2 panels up in series and the most I have seen so far is 113w in the app. It’s pulling good voltage I think, I just don’t think this little 12Ah battery is enough to really put the panels to the test. I’m letting it run an hour to see how the box and controller heats up if any. Then I will run it for an hour out of the box to see how it does....not sure if charging the same battery for 2 hours straight will be a fair comparison but I will try anyway.

View attachment 541157
How warm were the panels?
 

TantoTrailers

Well-known member
No the ribs in the plastic liner give plenty of ventilation and it was crazy windy. When in real use the panels will be on my white camper roof.
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
Heat is one of my concerns and I will be monitoring it closely during the first few tests in the field. The unit itself doesn’t have any vents or fans or openings for airflow. There is a heatsink on the back.
Why not Drill some holes in the side of the Box and fit a Small 12v Computer Fan in there because it will force the warm air out of those gaps around the edge of the Controller ?? You can wire it direct in to the load sockets of the controller or if it has a USB socket use a 5.2v fan ??,
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
Seeing as you are running a 100Ah Battery you might want to change that Noco G3500 to either the Noco G15000 or the G26000, I have all 3 of them but on Lead Acid batteries a normal Workshop Charger of around 9 to 16 Amps will charge the battery a lot faster than a Smart Charger because they have their 7 or 8 steps to run through where as a Normal charger just gets on with the job, I also have a 35 Amp workshop Charger that I run at 9 or 10 Amps and it charges a lot faster than smart chargers do,

Smart Chargers are great for when you are at home and have time on your hands or if you want to leave the battery hooked up forever but out on the road At Hook ups a normal charger that can put out 10 to 20/25 Amps might be the better option for when you need to get it done and on your way and they will run well when plugged in to a 1000w Generator and it will only use about Half a gallon of Gas to charge the battery, and a 25 Amp Charger will work well on 2 100 Amp batteries,

hope that helps.
 

TantoTrailers

Well-known member
Seeing as you are running a 100Ah Battery you might want to change that Noco G3500 to either the Noco G15000 or the G26000, I have all 3 of them but on Lead Acid batteries a normal Workshop Charger of around 9 to 16 Amps will charge the battery a lot faster than a Smart Charger because they have their 7 or 8 steps to run through where as a Normal charger just gets on with the job, I also have a 35 Amp workshop Charger that I run at 9 or 10 Amps and it charges a lot faster than smart chargers do,

Smart Chargers are great for when you are at home and have time on your hands or if you want to leave the battery hooked up forever but out on the road At Hook ups a normal charger that can put out 10 to 20/25 Amps might be the better option for when you need to get it done and on your way and they will run well when plugged in to a 1000w Generator and it will only use about Half a gallon of Gas to charge the battery, and a 25 Amp Charger will work well on 2 100 Amp batteries,

hope that helps.
I actually have never hooked up at camp. The last thing my clumsy ass needs is a cord to induce a faceplant. I will be trying to be fully self sufficient with the solar. The G3500 is always plugged in when the trailer is at home. Cant wait to give this all a full test this weekend.
 
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