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Off grid wildlife camera system design help

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  • Off grid wildlife camera system design help

    Off grid wildlife monitoring system:
    Blue Solar mppt 100/15
    3x Victron gel 12v 110Ah (12v)
    2 x CanadianSolar 260W Voc 37.5V, Imp 8.56A, pv wired in series
    Victron Pheonix inverter 12/180
    Running during the summer months(Europe) this powers 3 poe bullet cameras and poe+ switch, total 35W, and a wireless bridge 25W, all running 24/7.
    What changes would be necessary to add to the load a PTZ camera (using high poe injector)with max rating of 50W?

  • #2
    Exactly how do you plan to get the panels in full sun with no shade issues from sunrise to sunset?
    MSEE, PE


    • #3
      Thanks for replying, the set up is located on an offshore island with no shade issues arising from location, it has worked successfully for three seasons, my concern is what modifications would be required when adding the extra load.


      • #4
        OK quit using gel batteries and never ever parallel batteries. With 520 Watts of solar panels you need a 40 amp MPPT controller with the panels wired in series. 520 Watts og panels will support a battery as small as 300 AH and as large as 450 AH but not in Europe during winter months as you just do not have enough Sun to support a low C/12 charge current.

        Based on your daily usage of 1.4 Kwh would require a 12 volt 400 AH battery, 500 wat panel, and 40 Amp MPPT charge controller. You need to ditch the batteries and use a pair of 6-volt 400 AH AGM batteries. Gel is just not suitable for solar and daily cycle applications. They are made for Emergency Egress Lighting and Fire Alarm Panels in Float Service.
        MSEE, PE


        • #5
          Thank you. I understand the reasoning for 6v/400Ah AGM but fear the extra weight will cause significant transport issues. With the panels wired in series and therefore no additive Amperage, why would I require a larger mppt ? Many thanks


          • #6
            Originally posted by ddzoomer View Post
            With the panels wired in series and therefore no additive Amperage, why would I require a larger mppt ?
            Because you get more amps out.


            • #7
              Originally posted by ddzoomer View Post
              With the panels wired in series and therefore no additive Amperage, why would I require a larger mppt ? Many thanks
              MPPT Controller Amps = Panel Wattage / Battery Voltage

              Anything less than 40 amps is robbing you. 520 watts / 12 volts = 43 amps.

              The formula can also be factored around to say.

              Panel Wattage = MPPT Controller Amps x Battery Voltage.

              Example in your case (Blue Solar mppt 100/15) is 10 amps x 12 volts = 120 Watts. So much for your 520 watts. You have 400 watts not being used other than a piss poor mirror so you can see the guy who screwed up looking back at you.
              Last edited by Sunking; 01-03-2019, 02:38 PM.
              MSEE, PE


              • #8
                Many thanks for making that point perfectly clear! Mppt will definitely get upgraded...


                • #9
                  You desperately need a Controller upgrade. The one you have now can only handle up to a 145 watt panel and that is based on a battery charge voltage of 14.5 volts. So it cannot even handle one of your panels. It limited you to 120 to 140 watts. You are going to need at least a 40 amp model with an Input Voc voltage of 100 or more volts.

                  The upside is likely kept from cooking your gel batteries. Gel batteries require a much slower charge and lower voltages to keep them drying out the gel and turning them into that Jello Mold you forgot about in the back of the fridge last Christmas and now looks like Grandma cracked, winkled, gray, and dry leather skin. Your batteries stayed in chronic undercharge and did not dry out.

                  Stay away from 12 volt batteries unless you only need 12 volts @ 110 AH. Weight is not an issue for you if you get out of that 12 volt box you are stuck inside of. If you need 400 AH, buy 400 AH batteries. You will not find 400 AH batteries in a 12 volt box. They will be in 2, 4 or 6 volt boxes. Example a 4-volt 400 AH battery will not be much larger or heavier than the 12 volt 110 AH battery you have now. The difference is you wire the 4 or 6 volt batteries in Series which will double cycle life vs 12 volts in parallel.

                  Other than replacing everything except the panels, your deign was perfection.
                  Last edited by Sunking; 01-03-2019, 08:00 PM.
                  MSEE, PE


                  • #10
                    If I understand correctly, all of your devices are POE capable?

                    Why not go with 48 volt battery bank and feed your POE Injectors directly from battery?


                    • #11
                      Hi, thank you. I have poe, poe+ and high poe devices connected, requiring 12-57vdc, to achieve this they