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Basic Camp Setup

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  • Basic Camp Setup

    Hello, I've been scraping through this forum for a few months in anticipation of setting up a simple system to pair with a yurt. This would be a very basic system, just something to occasionally charge batteries, run a few DC lights, maybe eventually a full PC/monitor setup and/or DC refrigerator.

    Right now I'm in a cabin that has a large generator in the garage and various appliances wired to it. If I could test this system out by plugging the charge controller into the right place it would be nice to just run a ceiling fan and charge a few batteries inside, but I have no idea how to go about that. The yurt situation would go live some time in March most likely.

    I decided to go with 12V because of minimal demands and convenience of crossover with the electrical systems on my vehicles.

    I found a great deal on an old, unused REC 290W panel. I calculated that 2 6V Interstate GC2 225ah batteries should cover my initial needs. These will have to deal with extreme cold in all likelyhood and the chances of damaging LFPs before they pay back on the investment seems too high. Given the batteries and the panel, I've guesstimated that a 30A charge controller would be appropriate, though I'm not sure I understand all the factors. I bought an EPEver 30A MPPT. I'm kinda wondering if paying the extra $35 for a 40A would work with this and give me more flexibility to upsize going forward?

    We had some 60+ MPH wind gusts a few weeks ago and I had the heavy panel leaning up on a tree at what I thought was a safe angle, but it ended up being flung onto a stump like the face of a sledge hammer. The entire glass is crazed into dime sized chunks, but all still in place. Can I still use this in reduced capacity to test my setup? What performance should I expect, and how much would it improve with some sort of 'healing' epoxy on it? Is it possible/worthwhile to replace the entire glass?

    Looking around, I found someone not too far away selling the 350W REC Twinpeak split panels. These seem available from eBay for $175 + undisclosed freight. This place is 75 miles away and selling for $225. Would one these be a good investment for the situation I've outlined?

    Another place 250mi away is selling the panels for 170. If I waited a few months (when I could use the full capacity of the system more), I might find reason to travel that way as part of another 'mission'. They might also sell out if these are a good deal. I also travel to Madison and Milwaukee, WI occasionally to see friends and family if there are places around there to find deals at. Seems like everyone here giving location info is from Socal though?

    Thanks for reading through all this...
    Last edited by Coydon; 01-11-2022, 08:10 PM.

  • #2
    1) you can use the cracked PV panel for as long as it lasts. there is no feasible repair. epoxy will reduce the light, worse then the cracks

    2) I'd have gotten the 40A, but the 30A charge controller will work

    The drive to get a couple of the 350W panels seems like a plan, but verify the panel Voc to the charge controller max allowable voltage input
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A