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Old 05-28-2015, 11:53 AM   #61
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I think Jon has used both the roof mount and a portable together, don't know of anyone else. I was looking into it and figured I'd add a 2nd set of leads off the INPUT lug on the controller. and NOT use the controller that's mounted on the back of the portable so I'd need enough room for both. Changed my mind and if needed all add a 100W to the roof.

Samlex Manual http://www.samlexamerica.com/documen...814%20Lrez.pdf
My solar system has changed quite a bit. I added a 100W panel to the roof, so I now have a total of 195 watts built into the trailer. I hope I won't need the portable panel, but I did add a connection that is wired to the input of the GoPower controller so I can bypass the portable panel controller. I can also use the portable panel built in controller & feed its output through the trailer 7 pin connector.
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:21 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by padlin View Post
I think Jon has used both the roof mount and a portable together, don't know of anyone else. I was looking into it and figured I'd add a 2nd set of leads off the INPUT lug on the controller. and NOT use the controller that's mounted on the back of the portable so I'd need enough room for both. Changed my mind and if needed all add a 100W to the roof.
I plan to have two panels in use by fall - the roof mount plus a portable. I had Escape add a "porthole" near the current battery for that eventuality so I can bring in the wires with a minimum of fuss.

It is important that both panels have roughly the same output voltage and have a blocking diode (very common). The roof mount is in the 17-19 volt range. Many of the bigger-newer panels (200 watts and up) are in the 30-37 volt range and will work but will essentially negate the roof panel (it just won't contribute its output.)

Finding a 150/160 watt panel is becoming a bit of a problem. Both Amazon and Home Depot are out of stock. E-bay seems to be one source at the moment.

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Old 05-28-2015, 09:52 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by alanmalk View Post
I plan to have two panels in use by fall - the roof mount plus a portable. I had Escape add a "porthole" near the current battery for that eventuality so I can bring in the wires with a minimum of fuss.

It is important that both panels have roughly the same output voltage and have a blocking diode (very common). The roof mount is in the 17-19 volt range. Many of the bigger-newer panels (200 watts and up) are in the 30-37 volt range and will work but will essentially negate the roof panel (it just won't contribute its output.)

Finding a 150/160 watt panel is becoming a bit of a problem. Both Amazon and Home Depot are out of stock. E-bay seems to be one source at the moment.

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Hi Alan do you have the Escape installed Samlpex or the Go Power ?I was thinking to hook portable up at trailer cord in front of trailer . Go power has nice adapter to plug right in . Now that panel is 80 watt . I think The roof will be 150 watt that they install . Waiting for Tammy and Reace to get back from rally then give them a call . I only have a couple months to get this straight . Will I need to by pass the controller on 80 watt panel or just leave it alone ?
And have the roof one hooked up to that controller that is in trailer ?,Pat
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Old 05-29-2015, 12:43 AM   #64
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Hi Alan do you have the Escape installed Samlpex or the Go Power ?I was thinking to hook portable up at trailer cord in front of trailer . Go power has nice adapter to plug right in . Now that panel is 80 watt . I think The roof will be 150 watt that they install . Waiting for Tammy and Reace to get back from rally then give them a call . I only have a couple months to get this straight . Will I need to by pass the controller on 80 watt panel or just leave it alone ?
And have the roof one hooked up to that controller that is in trailer ?,Pat
Just making some educated guesses here since I haven't traced every wire.

If you attach the portable panel to the trailer cord, the Escape expects the same voltage that a car alternator would provide. Something around 13.8 to 14.5 volts most likely. So, the portable panel controller should be providing that voltage. But that said, it is unlikely that you can "over voltage" a pair of Escape 6 volt batteries with an 80 watt panel if the trailer is in use. (Long term storage might be a problem since the batteries will be full all the time, and the panel might be providing 16 to 18 volts.) If you do bypass the controller, be certain the blocking diode is still in the circuit or the 80 watt panel will do more harm than good.

Meanwhile, the roof panel and its controller will be functioning normally, just as if you were hooked up to a running vehicle.

I have the GoPower. I can't imagine there is any functional difference between my 160 & GoPower vs. your 150 & Samlpex.

As noted earlier, I plan to replace the Escape batteries and controller with my own design and parts. A long term project that remains to be proven functional.

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Old 05-29-2015, 01:05 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by alanmalk View Post
Just making some educated guesses here since I haven't traced every wire.

If you attach the portable panel to the trailer cord, the Escape expects the same voltage that a car alternator would provide. Something around 13.8 to 14.5 volts most likely. So, the portable panel controller should be providing that voltage. But that said, it is unlikely that you can "over voltage" a pair of Escape 6 volt batteries with an 80 watt panel if the trailer is in use. (Long term storage might be a problem since the batteries will be full all the time, and the panel might be providing 16 to 18 volts.) If you do bypass the controller, be certain the blocking diode is still in the circuit or the 80 watt panel will do more harm than good.

Meanwhile, the roof panel and its controller will be functioning normally, just as if you were hooked up to a running vehicle.

I have the GoPower. I can't imagine there is any functional difference between my 160 & GoPower vs. your 150 & Samlpex.

As noted earlier, I plan to replace the Escape batteries and controller with my own design and parts. A long term project that remains to be proven functional.

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Thanks Alan . Pat
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Old 05-29-2015, 09:50 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by alanmalk View Post
I plan to have two panels in use by fall - the roof mount plus a portable. I had Escape add a "porthole" near the current battery for that eventuality so I can bring in the wires with a minimum of fuss.

It is important that both panels have roughly the same output voltage and have a blocking diode (very common). The roof mount is in the 17-19 volt range. Many of the bigger-newer panels (200 watts and up) are in the 30-37 volt range and will work but will essentially negate the roof panel (it just won't contribute its output.)

Finding a 150/160 watt panel is becoming a bit of a problem. Both Amazon and Home Depot are out of stock. E-bay seems to be one source at the moment.

--
Alan
I'd avoid a high voltage (24V+) panel unless you change to a MPPT controller. The PWM controllers (the GoPower & Samlpex supplied by Escape are PWM controllers) do not make use of the higher voltages the way that MPPT controllers do, so much of the output of the high voltage panels will be wasted even if it is the only panel feeding the controller.

As Alan states, if the panels are going to be wired in parallel, both feeding the same controller, it is important to match the voltages as closely as possible. If they are feeding the batteries through individual controllers, it doesn't matter since the controller will determine the output to the batteries for each panel.

I did notice that under certain circumstances the controller on my portable panel was "fooled" by the GoPower controller and would not produce full charging voltages. Unfortunately, this happened when the trailer was parked in the shade & the portable was in the sun (the situation where the portable makes the most sense). Even in the shade the GoPower controller produced enough voltage that the portable panel controller determined the battery was full. This is why I added the connection that lets me bypass the portable panel controller and connect it directly to the input of the GoPower controller. Another solution would be to install a switch between the roof panel and the input to the GoPower controller, so the built in panel can be disconnected under those conditions.
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Old 05-29-2015, 01:13 PM   #67
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I'd avoid a high voltage (24V+) panel unless you change to a MPPT controller. The PWM controllers (the GoPower & Samlpex supplied by Escape are PWM controllers) do not make use of the higher voltages the way that MPPT controllers do, so much of the output of the high voltage panels will be wasted even if it is the only panel feeding the controller.

As Alan states, if the panels are going to be wired in parallel, both feeding the same controller, it is important to match the voltages as closely as possible. If they are feeding the batteries through individual controllers, it doesn't matter since the controller will determine the output to the batteries for each panel.

I did notice that under certain circumstances the controller on my portable panel was "fooled" by the GoPower controller and would not produce full charging voltages. Unfortunately, this happened when the trailer was parked in the shade & the portable was in the sun (the situation where the portable makes the most sense). Even in the shade the GoPower controller produced enough voltage that the portable panel controller determined the battery was full. This is why I added the connection that lets me bypass the portable panel controller and connect it directly to the input of the GoPower controller. Another solution would be to install a switch between the roof panel and the input to the GoPower controller, so the built in panel can be disconnected under those conditions.
Thanks Jon for the info . Pat
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Old 05-29-2015, 01:30 PM   #68
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I did notice that under certain circumstances the controller on my portable panel was "fooled" by the GoPower controller and would not produce full charging voltages.
Consider moving (or bypassing) the blocking diode out of the portable panel and adding a blocking diode just downstream from the portable controller. That way the controller can't "see" the voltage produced by the GoPower controller. It actually shouldn't make much difference until the "load" (trailer & battery) needs more current than a single panel can provide. But under heavy loads both should contribute which really is the main objective.

A simple explanation: Two diodes connected at their cathodes (outputs) form an "OR" circuit. Meaning the current will come from the one with the higher voltage. But since the source of the power is a solar panel with a well defined maximum output, when it hits that limit then the current flows through both diodes.

Another example: A big panel in the shade produces less power than a small panel in the sun. But a large load will exceed the capacity of the small panel and pull what it can from both panels. Blocking diodes assumed to be between the panels and the controller if only one controller is used, or after the controllers if two are used.

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Old 05-29-2015, 02:14 PM   #69
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The electronic control board for my refrigerator has a maximum supply voltage of 14.8 VDC.
The voltage output of several charge controllers that I have looked at are in the 14.8 to as high as 15.1 VDC range. The suggested solution was to disconnect the battery from the trailer's converter and hook the charge controller to the battery only, so that the high voltage cannot damage any equipment tied to the converter. That option would work to protect my refrigerator but it creates the problem of not being able to run any of the trailer's 12 VDC equipment when charging. Getting my battery to 100% would be great but not at the expense of destroying something in the process.. Is this a real concern or is it making something out of nothing.
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Old 05-29-2015, 02:21 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by alanmalk View Post
Consider moving (or bypassing) the blocking diode out of the portable panel and adding a blocking diode just downstream from the portable controller. That way the controller can't "see" the voltage produced by the GoPower controller. It actually shouldn't make much difference until the "load" (trailer & battery) needs more current than a single panel can provide. But under heavy loads both should contribute which really is the main objective.

A simple explanation: Two diodes connected at their cathodes (outputs) form an "OR" circuit. Meaning the current will come from the one with the higher voltage. But since the source of the power is a solar panel with a well defined maximum output, when it hits that limit then the current flows through both diodes.

Another example: A big panel in the shade produces less power than a small panel in the sun. But a large load will exceed the capacity of the small panel and pull what it can from both panels. Blocking diodes assumed to be between the panels and the controller if only one controller is used, or after the controllers if two are used.

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Thanks Alan I have printed out all information given to go over . Pat
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