Determining State of Charge on Solar Systems - Page 2 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-17-2013, 01:24 AM   #11
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baglo

I think you are just seeing confirmation of the truth of Kermit's observation that it is not easy being green, and on the eve of St. Patrick's Day too!

Brian

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This thread just reminds me of other solar threads I've read and affirms my decision to buy a generator.
In my next life, my next retirement, I may have enough time to think about a solar installation.

I can't even figure out an appropriate Smilie.
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:35 AM   #12
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While it is true our battery may be on its way out (it is three years old), another explanation might be that the "true" State of Charge of our battery in the middle of the day is quite a bit less than 100% -- the solar regulator is being influenced by the charging voltage. Our trailer is parked at the back of our lot and it is mostly shady even on a sunny day. There is rarely any measurable charging amperage. You will notice that the voltage is not particularly high while charging. When on shore power the voltage is usually over 13 volts.
Brian

You are probably right. Mine goes up to over 14 volts sometimes and usually is over 13 volts when sitting at 100% but my trailer is sitting in a driveway that faces south west so it gets a fair bit of sun during the day ....... when we see it. If I go into the trailer and turn on a couple of lights the charging amps will go up to .3 or .4 until I shut them off. If I turn on the inverter then it will shoot up to 2 or 3 amps if the sun is out.

I'd plug the trailer in for a couple of days and then do the same test if I was you.

Barry
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:47 AM   #13
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I feel once you establish your 12v needs and a newer battery to meet those needs your numbers will increase. A 3 year old liquid factory stock battery maybe your issue. I always heard that AGM and solar are a good match, perhaps a group 29 may fit. That is what I'm going to install once my factory unit starts to drop. Have you check your fluid levels in your battery and the sg of each cell?
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
This thread just reminds me of other solar threads I've read and affirms my decision to buy a generator.
In my next life, my next retirement, I may have enough time to think about a solar installation.

I can't even figure out an appropriate Smilie.
Baglo, you don't need to understand any of this to enjoy solar power. I would suggest that a generator is more complicated because you have to DO something! With solar, all you need to do is...well, enjoy the benefits! We have enjoyed our solar for 3 seasons, and have not done a single calculation or measured a single amp, volt or joule! Go green!
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:44 AM   #15
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Repeat of State of Charge test March 18

I plugged the trailer into shore power for 18 hours and let the converter charge it, then disconnected from shore power. The solar panel did what it could to maintain the charge. There were no loads apart from phantom loads. Here are the results:

Time......State of Charge....Voltage(BM)......Comment
8:00AM.........100%..................13.43........ ..Just disconnected from shore power
9:00AM.........100%..................13.10........ ..Bright diffused light (trailer in shade)
8:00PM............93%..................12.73...... ....Dark

The initial high voltage was due to the battery just coming off charge. In my opinion, the state of charge at 8:00 PM is likely a reasonably accurate estimate of the real state of charge. The solar panel was not able to do much to charge the battery during the day since the trailer was in shade. (You need sun to run a solar system!) Temperature was cool (10 deg C = 50 deg F.) which may effect results. This test does not show the reserve capacity of the battery because no load was applied. I used a clamp-on DC ammeter to check the size of the phantom load. It was about 300 milliamps, or about 4 amp-hrs for 12 hours, which explains most of the loss of State of Charge. (The single group 27 battery has a theoretical maximum capacity of about 100 amp-hours when new, i.e. 100% State of Charge = 100 amp-hrs.)
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:15 PM   #16
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State of Charge on Solar Systems

I just came across an excellent source of information on managing power on trailers and RVs. The author recommends a Bogart Engineering Trimetric 2020 or 2025 for determining State of Charge. This device calculates State of Charge from measuring power into the battery and power out and other factors rather than estimating it from battery voltage.
Here is a link: https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/...ging-puzzle-2/

Here is a link to Bogart Engineering: Bogart Engineering Products | Bogart Engineering
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:27 PM   #17
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Brian when I do my solar charging system I will have the Bogart on the trailer. It shows how much goes into the batteries and how much is being used. I have room for two 120V panels on the roof. PantherRVProducts sells lots of the Bogart system.
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:09 PM   #18
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A very commonly mentioned device for tracking state of charge is the Xantrex LinkLITE Battery Monitor (or its predecessor). It works on an in/out balance basis, like the Bogart product. The measurement basis is actually current, rather than power.
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:21 AM   #19
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state of charge

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Brian when I do my solar charging system I will have the Bogart on the trailer. It shows how much goes into the batteries and how much is being used. I have room for two 120 watt panels on the roof. PantherRVProducts sells lots of the Bogart system.
Chuck
The panels are 120 Watt.
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:14 PM   #20
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I will have solar on my new 17B and have purchased an EMS from Progressive which Reace is installing for me. I will show my ignorance here - will the EMS do what the LinkLite battery monitor does?
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