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Old 10-05-2015, 12:35 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slloyd47 View Post
. I too question the distance of the charge controller from the batteries when it is put above the fridge. Any thoughts on this? .
RV solar controllers are just average electronic boxes.
A good Solar controller has a connection to the batteries that monitors the voltage, with no real load from its monitoring circuit.
A good solar controller also has a battery temperature probe.

That way a good solar controller can set the voltage it outputs to the battery to arrive at the correct potential at the battery. So it will up the voltage output so that the correct voltage is sensed at the battery terminals. Likewise it can increase or decrease the charge voltage on cold and hot days. So it wouldn't matter how far away from the battery it was.

The real concern with wire size is when powering a large inverter, when it can be sucking 20 or more amps.

With the solar panel on the roof and the trailer parked in the sun for weeks and not drawing down the battery, the battery does seem to get a good charge.
Replacing the amperage used in a day by the next day can be problematic if you use a lot of amps because at this time of the year a 150 watt panel has a hard time getting a good 5 hours of sun. You may only be generating 36 or so amps per day.

You need to live with the system, or maybe your old system to know the way you consume amps and how much sunshine is available in your area.

Maybe you don't need another 5% or maybe you do need another 80%.

I'm still trying to figure this out myself. Another panel would ensure I have the batteries fully charged before each night. And I haven't run out of power yet with just the single panel. Ah, but what if I was on a wind swept beach after a couple of days and nights just above freezing? I'd like to have another solar panel as insurance for that but the other 99% of the time it would be overkill.

I think the wire size from the controller into the battery won't change the suitability of just one panel verses two very much. It's too small of a percent.


It is rare that the controllers themselves can handle more than #6 wire. And I'm pretty sure the one installed by ETI specifies #10.
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Old 10-05-2015, 09:43 AM   #22
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Thanks Jxoco for sharing your experience and thoughts. They confirm some of my thoughts about how much to be concerned about this. Per a rough calculation (with lots of assumptions) you could burn/loose about 3W of power across 10 ft of 10g wire if you are getting a full 150w off the panels (which isn't likely) - that is less than 2% loss. A lot of other variables make a much bigger difference - panel angle, a touch of shade, etc. I am trying confirm the gauge with ETI.
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Old 10-05-2015, 10:29 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by slloyd47 View Post
Thanks Ken and Cathy for the quick replies. Ken, what you say is true about the wire gauge. I wonder if Reace upped the wire size when he moved the controller? The distance from the controller to the batteries changed dramatically ( a couple feet to 10+) with the relocation of the controller on the 21's. It is nice to have the display up high, but from my reading if there was even 5% increase in resistance the charge rate will have dropped substantially. I haven't have time to confirm this (this is from one of the other solar threads).
Mine is above the fridge and is at least 10ft from the batteries. I cant say if they increased the wire size, but i do know that it is working prrrrfctly. If u chck on the install manual for samlex u will see the sizing chart. My 5.0ta has 4 items above fridge so there is lots of room. Have 2panels running thru 1 pwm controller.
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Old 10-05-2015, 11:06 AM   #24
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Ken, how did you get the wires into controller if it is a portable panel?
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:17 PM   #25
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I am a Fan of the "Handy Bob's" solar school. After discussing with Reese what he will and will not do to modify ETI solar set -up, I will install the system after my pick of my 21' next week.

I am using the ETi supplyed 2 6volt Interstate batteries.
I will put 300 watts of tiltable panel on the roof, Panels wires run to a junction box on the roof.
#4 wire will run from junction box to Bogart SC2030 controller, with temputure sensor, mounted next to the batteries.
A bogart remote monitor will be placed in the cabinet over the refer.
This monitor tells you all amps into and out of the batteries.
With running larger wires the cost is small, No voltage loss, and is able to handle more panel additions either mobile or roof mount.
Yes, I'm building a large system that needs to handle boon docking with…..Lots of shady camping or Northern Montana in late Fall/winter
The solar is very important to me, so something that operates at highest efficacy is needed . The ETI system is not for me, but works for most.
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Old 10-05-2015, 04:07 PM   #26
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Ken, how did you get the wires into controller if it is a portable panel?
Both panels were installed by eti. If i were using a portable panel i would connect direct to batterys.
ken
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Old 10-05-2015, 07:37 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by kvermeulen View Post
Both panels were installed by eti. If i were using a portable panel i would connect direct to batterys.
ken
If you have a battery monitor, you want to go through it when charging. This precludes connecting directly to the battery unless you connect the negative side from the controller to the non battery side of the shunt.
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