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Old 02-06-2015, 09:54 AM   #11
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Location: Corinth, Mississippi
Trailer: 2014 19' Escape
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Thanks for the input everyone.

Couple of more items to address some of the questions/suggestions.

I've no doubt the low solar gain at both Ocean Pond and in the Everglades was influenced by the shadowing effect of both the a/c shroud and the MaxFan being raised. No secret that shadow on even a small portion of a solar panel reduces efficiency of the panel. Considering the location of the 95w panel, shadowing at some time of the day is a fact.

I have seldom see a 5 amp output from the solar panel for any length of time (theoretical max is 5.3). Angle of the sun, shadowing on the panel, shade, haze, partly cloudy skies generally kept the output below 5 amps. I usually see a slightly lower amp input reading on the Trimetric than I do from the GoPower controller.

I do have the Interstate GC2-XHD batteries. I did change out the main board on the WFCO 8955 and replaced it with a PowerMax Boondocker 4 stage converter/charger. The 4th stage of the Powermax is a "desulfation mode" which raises the voltage to 14.6 once a day for 15 minutes when the battery is in the storage (float) mode. Still less than the 15.3v equalizing voltage recommended by Interstate, but it's what I have. At the completion of my solar testing at home, I used the converter/charger to recharge the batteries. It required 9.5 hours to return to the 96% charged state and an additional 24 hours to reach 100% charged (as measured by the Trimetric monitor).

The average use during the periods tested while we were traveling was around 45 amp-hours per day.

No question I'll have to add more solar panels and likely change the controller. I'm comfortable with doing most anything, but mounting solar panels on the roof isn't on my comfort list right now.

I will be contacting AM Solar in Springfield, OR to see what they would recommend (gives us a reason to head west again ). I'm going back and forth between roof mount and portable. Maybe I should just mount a panel(s) on the Pilot's roof racks and make them adjustable so they could act as air deflectors and improve my MPG at the same time.
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Old 02-06-2015, 02:32 PM   #12
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Location: Janesville, WI, Wisconsin
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Quote:
At the completion of my solar testing at home, I used the converter/charger to recharge the batteries. It required 9.5 hours to return to the 96% charged state and an additional 24 hours to reach 100% charged (as measured by the Trimetric monitor).
How does the Trimetric know what is 100%? My impression is this is determined and remembered by the Trimetric once it successfully achieves a full charge. What determines a full charge? It appears the settings that you enter for P1 and P3 but the user manual does not clearly explain how these settings interact.

I use the following settings:
P1 = 15.28
P2 = 4.64
P3 = 232

The P3 setting is obviously the goal for 100% but it appears that you could set P1 for say 14.6, then the Trimetric would flash "full" once that voltage was achieved, since it was measuring your battery as full it would assume 232 Ah based on your P3 settings but in fact you would not be at that level of charge.

My point is, the Trimetric is pretty dumb, everything is based on what you program. If you program low charge rates it will indicate full battery when indeed it is less than full. I might argue that the setting for P1 should be the figure Interstate recommends for a charge rate.

The downside to all this is, if you are not charging your battery to the full amount, then based on a reading from the Trimetric you discharge the battery to 50% you are actually discharging it much lower, perhaps to 40% or less depending on the starting point or actual full charge.

I know there are not may owners of Trimetric battery system monitors on the forum but if anyone can dispel my myths or add a comment it would be welcome.
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