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Thread: Questions and help needed on small solar project

  1. #1
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    Default Questions and help needed on small solar project

    Hi this is my first post, I'm new to solar power I bought a 45 watt kit from a popular hardware store. not sure if I'm allowed to say it on here. Also purchased a deep cycle battery,
    but here is my problem the charge controller stops charging at 12v and my power inverter cuts off at 11.5 so that does not leave me much power for use.
    I thought I could fix this by adding another battery but most inverters I see are for 12v.
    So how do you guys have a multiple batteries?
    Thanks in advance


    Ok I bought a harbor freight kit which has 3 15 watt solar panels a thunderbolt magnum 4 amp 12 volt charge controller...
    a chicago electric 400watt power inverter.
    a everstart marine battery with 845 cranking amps and 122 amp hours @ 1 amp

  2. #2
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    Go ahead and tell us exactly what you bought Brand and model number and the specifications of each item.
    Not enough information in your post to determine anything. There is something amiss with the CC only charging to 12V but there may be adjustments on it to change that.
    Rich
    WWW.solarsaves.net

    NABCEP certified Technical Sales Professional

    http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...Battery-Design

    http://www.calculator.net/voltage-drop-calculator.html (Voltage drop Calculator among others)

    www.gaisma.com

  3. #3
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    Ok I bought a harbor freight kit which has 3 15 watt solar panels a thunderbolt magnum 4 amp 12 volt charge controller...
    a chicago electric 400watt power inverter.
    a everstart marine battery with 845 cranking amps and 122 amp hours @ 1 amp

  4. #4
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    I couldn't find any documentation on the CC that relates to charging voltage.
    Best thing is to contact Harbor freight tech assistance.
    Rich
    WWW.solarsaves.net

    NABCEP certified Technical Sales Professional

    http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...Battery-Design

    http://www.calculator.net/voltage-drop-calculator.html (Voltage drop Calculator among others)

    www.gaisma.com

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown View Post
    I couldn't find any documentation on the CC that relates to charging voltage.
    Best thing is to contact Harbor freight tech assistance.
    well I'm considering upgrading so what type of charge controller is popular?
    and how do people use multiple batteries ?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by i.mikey View Post
    Ok I bought a harbor freight kit which has 3 15 watt solar panels
    Now we understand why you would not want to say what you bought. Of course we already knew that, but wanted to see if you had the guts to admit your mistake.
    MSEE, PE

  7. #7
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    I don't see it as a mistake. I got a good price on it and it was a good way to get started.
    I knew when I bought it the charge controller was not great but the panels work great and I'm looking into
    upgrading at this point.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by i.mikey View Post
    I don't see it as a mistake. I got a good price on it and it was a good way to get started.
    I knew when I bought it the charge controller was not great but the panels work great and I'm looking into
    upgrading at this point.
    A upgrade would be to sell the HF stuff on Flea Bay, and get real panels and a good charge controller. YOu need a good 200 watt panel and a 20 amp charge controller to maintain your battery.
    MSEE, PE

  9. #9
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    I see the Harbor Freight set as a good starter set for people. It is a good starting point to learn the concepts of solar. No it's not very powerful, that's not the point. Telling people they need to spend $700 to $1000 on a starter kit is kind of rediculous. MaKing fun of someones starter set is rather uppity.

    There is a company (I won't mention thier name out of respect for this forum's sponsor) that has a 50 watt Kit for people that are concidering the HF setup. It has a nice 50 Watt polycrystaline panel and a good chargre controller and cables. I thought that was an excelent idea because a lot of people are buying these small starter kits.

    My 2cents, (about all it's worth also)
    Green

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by green View Post
    I see the Harbor Freight set as a good starter set for people. It is a good starting point to learn the concepts of solar. No it's not very powerful, that's not the point. Telling people they need to spend $700 to $1000 on a starter kit is kind of rediculous. MaKing fun of someones starter set is rather uppity.
    Well you are missing a huge point. He is trying to use the HF kit to charge a 112 Amp hour battery. The HF kit can barely even charge up a 30 AH battery which it was designed for. So throwing more money into a bad idea is just silly. By the time he buys enough useless kits he will end up paying way more for inferior products and results. So is that what you want to encourage?
    MSEE, PE

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