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Solar fun! Effects of long cable runs panel to controller
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:30 am    Post subject: Re: Solar fun! Effects of long cable runs panel to controller Reply with quote

j_dirge wrote:
crazyvwvanman wrote:


I am not very interested in a portable panel setup so large as to 100% fully charge my aux battery each day while I am camped. I don't need it to do that. My goal is to have a panel and long cable with me for those times when I find that I need it with the goal of extending my battery capacity for my 12volt fridge. That is it. I just want to be able to stay put for more than 3 nights and have my fridge still running.


I think this mirrors the real "needs" of most Westy owners. And if you take the fridge out of the equation you can go a long time on a very small panel.

I found that a 45watt panel, an 85amp/hr battery and a cheap ebay controller was all I needed to keep a 65qt Edgestar fridge\freezer running for 3 days.


This is my goal too. I've been using a 100w panel for more than a year and it's "been fine" but that's been out in the desert. It sure seems like I'd "need more" for the PNW but..... is that the gear-itis kicking in or genuine need?
I do like to park the van in the shade, so the remote panel option is tempting.

Where's the best place to buy "solar extension wire" and appx how much $ per foot (for 2 strands)?
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valvecovergasket
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:41 am    Post subject: Re: Solar fun! Effects of long cable runs panel to controller Reply with quote

I've ordered from these guys before, red/black pair
$35 for 25ft of 10g


https://powerwerx.com/red-black-bonded-zip-cord
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E1
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Solar fun! Effects of long cable runs panel to controller Reply with quote

Sodo wrote:
j_dirge wrote:
crazyvwvanman wrote:


I am not very interested in a portable panel setup so large as to 100% fully charge my aux battery each day while I am camped. I don't need it to do that. My goal is to have a panel and long cable with me for those times when I find that I need it with the goal of extending my battery capacity for my 12volt fridge. That is it. I just want to be able to stay put for more than 3 nights and have my fridge still running.


I think this mirrors the real "needs" of most Westy owners. And if you take the fridge out of the equation you can go a long time on a very small panel.

I found that a 45watt panel, an 85amp/hr battery and a cheap ebay controller was all I needed to keep a 65qt Edgestar fridge\freezer running for 3 days.


This is my goal too. I've been using a 100w panel for more than a year and it's "been fine" but that's been out in the desert. It sure seems like I'd "need more" for the PNW but..... is that the gear-itis kicking in or genuine need?
I do like to park the van in the shade, so the remote panel option is tempting.

Where's the best place to buy "solar extension wire" and appx how much $ per foot (for 2 strands)?

Great thread, Mark.

Sodo, portables are wonderful for exactly as described in this thread. Our main cord goes maybe eight feet once exiting the van, when I re-wire it sometime I'll do it at ten feet. That lack of two feet has us attaching the 30' extension maybe twice as often as I'd like. The extension makes the controller reading drop about 0.2 volts, which I consider reasonable for parking in the shade.

We have a 120 watt panel feeding a 210aH battery, as the panel was originally bought to feed a single 100aH AGM that proved not enough capacity for our needs. If sunny, we get enough to maintain the battery, but up your way I'd want at least 200 watts to do the same things.

The alternator does us well, about 0.4 volts an hour at idle, and a bit more when driving in open country. Even up your way, after a drive and if little sun follows, we're good with 210aH a day or two and like that capacity when so. But there's no making up for panel input in conditions like yours.

If your usage is low and not needing long capacity for higher-draw items, if traveling up there and having to choose, and wanting to stay put a few days, I'd do more panel with less battery rather than the other way around as we've done.
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