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Old 07-28-2014, 08:28 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I believe Jon V. posted he was getting some voltage while covered with snow?
With the Escape cover (they no longer sell it) and a minimum of snow - I usually scrape the snow off the cover when it gets over 4"-5".
I get enough of a charge to keep the batteries up with the disconnect off (shuts off everything, including the propane detector.)
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:11 AM   #22
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Just curious how much solar panel performance is degraded by dust or dirt. I noticed controller readings this year are only 12.5+ compared with 13+ last year. The trailer top was quite dirty when I pulled it out of the barn and I didn't take time to wash it off. I also neglected to check electrolyte levels over the winter and they got down to below the plate tops. Hope I didn't ding the batteries too badly.
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Old 07-31-2014, 02:43 PM   #23
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A consideration in long term storage of flooded batteries using solar charging is the equalization cycle, which most good solar charge controllers provide. The electrolyte in flooded batteries can get stratified with low activity over time. This means the electrolyte is more dense at the bottom of the battery. The equalization cycle charges the battery at a higher voltage for a period of time to purposely gas the electrolyte a bit. The rising bubbles stir the electrolyte and dissipate the stratification and improve the life and efficiency of the battery.

On the effect of shading on solar cells, a lot depends on the type of cell you have, crystalline or thin film. Generally speaking, though of less output for a given area, thin films do better under partially shaded or cloudy conditions. This last would be approximated by a translucent cover or snow.
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:30 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by The Minimalist View Post
A consideration in long term storage of flooded batteries using solar charging is the equalization cycle, which most good solar charge controllers provide. The electrolyte in flooded batteries can get stratified with low activity over time. This means the electrolyte is more dense at the bottom of the battery. The equalization cycle charges the battery at a higher voltage for a period of time to purposely gas the electrolyte a bit. The rising bubbles stir the electrolyte and dissipate the stratification and improve the life and efficiency of the battery.

On the effect of shading on solar cells, a lot depends on the type of cell you have, crystalline or thin film. Generally speaking, though of less output for a given area, thin films do better under partially shaded or cloudy conditions. This last would be approximated by a translucent cover or snow.
Excellent info.
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:31 PM   #25
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I am pleased to report that my Go Power Solar Controller GP-PWM-30 display screen shown 14.3 charge with 12v battery terminal turn off and solar pannel covered with Sumbrella fabric. This evidence support "The Minimalist" info that solar charging is better than shore power charging.
My battery charge never go above 13.6 when connected to shore power previously. It also confirms that the sun can penetrate sunbrella fabric to provide energy for solar system to charge 12 battery .

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Old 08-01-2014, 04:43 PM   #26
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Quoth Tonny LR: "This evidence support "The Minimalist" info that solar charging is better than shore power charging." In the spirit of giving credit where credit is due, I didn't say that solar charging was better than shore power charging. A great deal there has to do with the particular equipment and how it is set up. The better converter/chargers have this feature as well I believe.

I did say that thin film solar may perform better under shaded or partly cloudy( or covered) conditions.

Additionally I stated that, in terms of flooded battery life and efficiency, the equalize cycle of better controllers is a benefit.


I'm curious what type of panels you are using; monocrystaline, polycrystaline, or thin film(amorphous).

I am still working with my solar array; 80 Watt Amorphous flat mounted on my Little Joe. Just finished and did final testing before installation of a unit to monitor battery charge state and amp usage as well as charge voltage and amps. Once this is installed I plan to keep records over time to determine the efficiency of the system.

I went with the amorphous cells because the places we camp tend to be on the shady side and it rains every day in parts of the year. Also, the cells are more tolerant of imperfect sun incidence, note the permanent flat mount, and produce power through a greater range of the sun's spectrum.
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:52 PM   #27
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The Minimalist,
I was making an assumption and I am sorry for mis-quoted you.
My solar system is a Go Power GP-RV-95 installed by ETI. I have no idea what type of panel is used. The owner manual mentions photovoltaic modules generates DC electricity when exposed to sunlight or other light source. I am sorry I have no info to offer. I know nothing about solar power.

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Old 08-01-2014, 06:49 PM   #28
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De nada...........just didn't want to confuse folks.
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