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Old 08-13-2019, 11:13 AM   #61
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Thanks guys, I'm going to get 2 panels on the roof. I think that should cover my usage boon docking even in less than ideal conditions.
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:18 AM   #62
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Thanks guys, I'm going to get 2 panels on the roof. I think that should cover my usage boon docking even in less than ideal conditions.
It is still handy to carry a portable. I have 2 160 watt panels on the roof, made them tiltable, but sometimes in the dead of winter, I'll add a 160 watt portable panel. Also useful if parked in the shade.

When wired in parallel, I have not had a problem producing the full output from the portable with the roof top panels in the shade. While there may be very little current from the rooftop panels, they still produce enough voltage that they do not pull down the portable. I do have bypass diodes on the GoPower rooftop panels.
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:37 PM   #63
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Hmmm- this might be true. When buying a solar system for the house a Tigo optimiser was part of the system. It was explained that a primary benefit was to isolate a shaded panel(s) as to not drag down the performance of the others.
We too have a home 11.3 kW system. When looking over the proposals, both companies used "micro inverters" mounted under each panel that converted the DC from the panels into AC and isolated each panel. When I asked why they didn't just use one large inverter they both gave that same explanation about shading, or if one panel experiences problems. Also with the DC converted into 240v AC there is much less loss on the wire running from the panel groups to the utiltilty connections.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:07 PM   #64
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After talking with a solar installer, I apparently need to go a different direction. He said if the roof panels and portable are wired together at the GoPower controller, that they effectively become one panel electrically. So even if the portable is in full sun, but the roof panels in mostly shade, that the portable output will be severely limited. So I may buy a relatively inexpensive controller and mount it next to the GoPower, connected to a port for the portable and to the batteries.
home systems are often wired in series, but RV systems are generally wired in parallel. in series, what he said is true, in parallel its not.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:09 PM   #65
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I believe Jon has a good point. He points out winter usage issues with tilting panels as a time when portable maybe needed. I am frequently in heavy forested areas and a rooftop panel may not get any sun during the day due to trees. I also am a heavy user of battery, with my son on a CPAP, it is not uncommon to have 25% of the battery gone in the AM.

Portable is critical.
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Old 08-13-2019, 04:52 PM   #66
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After talking with a solar installer, I apparently need to go a different direction. He said if the roof panels and portable are wired together at the GoPower controller, that they effectively become one panel electrically. So even if the portable is in full sun, but the roof panels in mostly shade, that the portable output will be severely limited. So I may buy a relatively inexpensive controller and mount it next to the GoPower, connected to a port for the portable and to the batteries.
Hummm ... While I would never argue with the 'experts' my real world experience does not support this theory. We have 2x100W on the roof and a Portable

If you only had Roof panels the same should be true .. if one panel is in shade then the power output of the others would be 'severely limited'. Taking this to the extreme you would then need to have a controller per panel!!!

Before I would install ,a second controller I would install a inline 3-way switch to resolve this issue... A=Roof, B= Portable, C=Roof+Portable. this way I could select the bank of solar panels to charge the battery.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:48 PM   #67
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home systems are often wired in series, but RV systems are generally wired in parallel. in series, what he said is true, in parallel its not.
Pairs of my system panels are in series, as is my portable. I have never had trouble with getting a good charge amperage from my portable when the trailer panels are shaded. Two permanent sets are in parallel, as is the dual portable panels. The only difference to using series in my setup is that the input to the MPPT controller is at 36V. I had a local solar company review my plans and approve. The only difference they made was adding two breakers on either side of the controller for isolating things if I need, as well as current protection in the case of a fault somewhere.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:43 PM   #68
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so your portable panel is also 36 volts ?
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Old 08-13-2019, 10:34 PM   #69
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...
Before I would install ,a second controller I would install a inline 3-way switch to resolve this issue... A=Roof, B= Portable, C=Roof+Portable. this way I could select the bank of solar panels to charge the battery.
With our ordinary fixed and portable panels that most of us use in our Escapes, there is no need to "resolve" anything. The built-in blocking diode in each panel effectively isolates a shaded panel and allows all sunlit panels to contribute - automatically, with out user intervention. In Boolean logic, diodes form an "OR" circuit - A or B or Both.

As others have pointed out - a higher voltage system that uses series panels has shading issues. But the vast majority of us use parallel panels by default.

And like many others above, I plug my portable directly into the Escape provided Go-Pro regulator - when the factory panel is under trees. Works like a charm.
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:38 AM   #70
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so your portable panel is also 36 volts ?
Yes it is (was, but was stolen). Being two panels with a cheaper controller, I just wired it up with MP4 connectors so I could either hook it in series at 36V to tie directly into the trailer, or connect it at 18V and run it through the controller to charge any 12V system independently.

I am likely replacing it with a Lensun two panel portable and will do the same, wiring in series, though this time will just use a separate controller I have if connecting in parallel.
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