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How far away from the battery can I locate a 10 watt solar panel.

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  • 51flood
    replied
    Well I got the mighty mule setup and the 10 watt solar panel instl...Had some pictures of the multimeter attached to the panel wires and the voltage it was drawing..
    Alas your attachment setup doesn't work for me....Was producing way better than the 18 volts per the instructions...

    Leave a comment:


  • inetdog
    replied
    Originally posted by 51flood View Post

    How about if I switch on the opener with the multimeter attached to the s.p. 16 awg within the controller? Wouldn't be hard...the opener is at the gate hinge...during the swing there is
    little travel of the controller ..
    That should work, just note that you need to put an ammeter in series with the panel, not just measure voltage, since the motor current is coming from both battery and panel while the gate is moving.

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  • 51flood
    replied
    Originally posted by inetdog View Post

    This instruction leaves out that there must be a load connected to the panel as well as a voltmeter. If you open circuit the panel the voltage will depend only very weakly on the health of the panel and the amount of light hitting it. The "specification" states that you should be getting 300ma or more at 18V from a good panel in full sun, but does not tell you how to hook up something that will draw that 300mA current while you are testing the pane.
    How about if I switch on the opener with the multimeter attached to the s.p. 16 awg within the controller? Wouldn't be hard...the opener is at the gate hinge...during the swing there is
    little travel of the controller ..

    Leave a comment:


  • inetdog
    replied
    Originally posted by 51flood View Post

    Instructions for the FM123 Installation;

    If the solar panel must be placed more than 10 ft. from the control box in order to receive direct sunlight, you can use up to 250 ft of stranded 16 gauge, direct burial, low-voltage wire...etc.

    Info about the solar panel.....The output of the s.p. is variable during the day depending on the intensity of the sun, angles...etc etc..The output may vary from a few millivolts to as much as 22 volts. To check the output..etc etc...connect solar panel leads to a dc voltmeter..(which I plan to do)..In bright sunlight the panel output should read at least 18 volts dc at approx. 300mA.
    This instruction leaves out that there must be a load connected to the panel as well as a voltmeter. If you open circuit the panel the voltage will depend only very weakly on the health of the panel and the amount of light hitting it. The "specification" states that you should be getting 300ma or more at 18V from a good panel in full sun, but does not tell you how to hook up something that will draw that 300mA current while you are testing the pane.

    Leave a comment:


  • sdold
    replied
    The wire length might be OK then. One thing to consider is if you think you might want to up-size the system, it would be nice to have larger wire if the cost isn't too much more.

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  • 51flood
    replied
    Originally posted by SunEagle View Post

    I think the problem is how far can the OP mount the solar panel from the battery with the wire that was sent with the package. I would have expected that Mighty Mule would have provided that info
    Instructions for the FM123 Installation;

    If the solar panel must be placed more than 10 ft. from the control box in order to receive direct sunlight, you can use up to 250 ft of stranded 16 gauge, direct burial, low-voltage wire...etc.

    Info about the solar panel.....The output of the s.p. is variable during the day depending on the intensity of the sun, angles...etc etc..The output may vary from a few millivolts to as much as 22 volts. To check the output..etc etc...connect solar panel leads to a dc voltmeter..(which I plan to do)..In bright sunlight the panel output should read at least 18 volts dc at approx. 300mA.

    Leave a comment:


  • SunEagle
    replied
    Originally posted by sdold View Post

    There are two reasons to have wire that's "big enough." The first is that the wire needs to be large enough to carry the current without overheating. Your 16 awg is fine for that. The second reason for going bigger is to minimize losses. Even though the wire may not overheat, you'll lose a little power in every foot. Having a couple feet of #16 at the panel would be fine since it's a small part of the run.
    I think the problem is how far can the OP mount the solar panel from the battery with the wire that was sent with the package. I would have expected that Mighty Mule would have provided that info

    Leave a comment:


  • sdold
    replied
    Originally posted by 51flood View Post
    Another thing..the 10 watt solar panels wiring is integral to the panel...There is no place to disconnect the 16 awg wire and replace it with 10 awg...Does it make much difference if a bigger wire is connected to a thinner one?...ie..
    There are two reasons to have wire that's "big enough." The first is that the wire needs to be large enough to carry the current without overheating. Your 16 awg is fine for that. The second reason for going bigger is to minimize losses. Even though the wire may not overheat, you'll lose a little power in every foot. Having a couple feet of #16 at the panel would be fine since it's a small part of the run.
    Last edited by sdold; 01-24-2019, 09:59 PM.

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  • 51flood
    replied
    Another thing..the 10 watt solar panels wiring is integral to the panel...There is no place to disconnect the 16 awg wire and replace it with 10 awg...Does it make much difference if a bigger wire is connected to a thinner one?...ie..

    Leave a comment:


  • 51flood
    replied
    Originally posted by SunEagle View Post

    I would look for a basic electric circuit theory manual.

    The bigger the wire the lower the resistance which makes it easier for the current to travel and results in less losses and lower voltage drop.

    The smaller the wire the higher the resistance which causes more losses, heat and higher voltage drop.
    Thanks...Makes be wonder why mighty mule didn't put a bigger wire in their kits which include a solar panel...

    Leave a comment:


  • SunEagle
    replied
    Originally posted by 51flood View Post

    Guess I need to pull out the ole physics book...Thought it would take less effort for current to travel through a thinner wire...16 awg vs 10 awg...
    I would look for a basic electric circuit theory manual.

    The bigger the wire the lower the resistance which makes it easier for the current to travel and results in less losses and lower voltage drop.

    The smaller the wire the higher the resistance which causes more losses, heat and higher voltage drop.

    Leave a comment:


  • 51flood
    replied
    Originally posted by Ampster View Post

    As [USER="21665"]sdold[/USER] said, if you increase wire gauge to 10 AWG you can go 100 feet with only the same voltage loss as 10 feet of 16 AWG. Correct? It depends on how much voltage loss your equipment or you can tolerate.
    FWIW, I would use 10 AWG stranded THHN wire that will be easier to pull through the conduit than the heavy jacket of direct burial cable.
    Guess I need to pull out the ole physics book...Thought it would take less effort for current to travel through a thinner wire...16 awg vs 10 awg...

    Leave a comment:


  • 51flood
    replied
    From what I've read..mighty mule used to offer a 5 watt solar panel with their "kits"...But apparently there were complaints of battery's not being strong enough to move the gate...

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  • PNPmacnab
    replied
    "Active draw"is 2 to 5 amps. On a 10W panel it will be a miracle if you get anywhere close to one amp. Given that is likely a PWM, voltage loss will have almost no effect.

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  • Ampster
    replied
    Originally posted by 51flood View Post

    16 gauge, stranded, direct burial dual conductor low voltage wire..10 ft came with the kit....That is whats on the 100' roll I bought...
    .......
    Is anyone saying this wire I am going to use is not correct?

    As [USER="21665"]sdold[/USER] said, if you increase wire gauge to 10 AWG you can go 100 feet with only the same voltage loss as 10 feet of 16 AWG. Correct? It depends on how much voltage loss your equipment or you can tolerate.
    FWIW, I would use 10 AWG stranded THHN wire that will be easier to pull through the conduit than the heavy jacket of direct burial cable.

    Leave a comment:

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