Measuring Solar Panel Charging Rate - Page 3 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 09-19-2016, 08:28 PM   #21
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Remarkable. In less than 12 hours all have you have come to my assistance with education, explanation, and other relevant information. Many thanks to every one of you!
Being homeschooled here?
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Old 09-19-2016, 08:56 PM   #22
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Old 10-02-2016, 06:58 PM   #23
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We're back in Canada after 6 weeks hiking/biking/rafting in Utah & Wyoming (fabulous trip -- more posting soon/elsewhere in forum!) with our solar panel & inverter installed at ETI just before our trip.

Solar panel performed flawlessly, except we're noticing the following strange behaviour. Advice requested & appreciated. Using the "standard" ETI-installed GoPower controller -- and adding at this time the oft-mentioned Trimetric or equivalent monitor for another $200 will be a tough sell after the cost of the solar & inverter!

Battery is usually fully-charged by approx 10 - 11 AM each day. And "loses" power all during remainder of day, despite being in full unshaded sunlight. Would usually be down to around 50% by bedtime, despite using no power during the day?

To my untrained (in these matters!) mind, this suggests either something draining the batteries during the day (but we're not using anything!) or the batteries not holding their charge. Am I right?

On Reace's advice, checked the batteries with a hydrometer, and all six cells (dual 6-volt batteries) are showing specific gravity around 1.25 - but I have no idea how to "interpret" that.

Is it time to buy new batteries? Batteries are ~ 4 years old.
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Old 10-02-2016, 07:18 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by maurerl View Post
We're back in Canada after 6 weeks hiking/biking/rafting in Utah & Wyoming (fabulous trip -- more posting soon/elsewhere in forum!) with our solar panel & inverter installed at ETI just before our trip.

Solar panel performed flawlessly, except we're noticing the following strange behaviour. Advice requested & appreciated. Using the "standard" ETI-installed GoPower controller -- and adding at this time the oft-mentioned Trimetric or equivalent monitor for another $200 will be a tough sell after the cost of the solar & inverter!

Battery is usually fully-charged by approx 10 - 11 AM each day. And "loses" power all during remainder of day, despite being in full unshaded sunlight. Would usually be down to around 50% by bedtime, despite using no power during the day?

To my untrained (in these matters!) mind, this suggests either something draining the batteries during the day (but we're not using anything!) or the batteries not holding their charge. Am I right?

On Reace's advice, checked the batteries with a hydrometer, and all six cells (dual 6-volt batteries) are showing specific gravity around 1.25 - but I have no idea how to "interpret" that.

Is it time to buy new batteries? Batteries are ~ 4 years old.
I'm interested to find out what it is.......

now following the thread...



Good luck -

but lots of wise people here. You'll get answers fast.
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Old 10-02-2016, 07:34 PM   #25
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I'm currently following a thread on another forum about the exact same issue with the same controller. The OP in that thread is waiting for an amp meter to verify the individual trailer components usage. What are you seeing that's telling you you are losing charge during the day? How are you checking?

As far as reading a Hydrometer... You want all cells to read pretty much the same, if one is bad it'll be a good deal lower then the rest. 1.25 is good.
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Old 10-02-2016, 08:08 PM   #26
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Any body have thoughts re drag effecting MPGs and or impacts on roof maintenance and integrity (over the long haul) r/t having fixed solar panels vs. portables? I keep going back and forth on my plans for having panels installed with trailer purchase, or having portable(s) available as needed.
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Old 10-02-2016, 08:13 PM   #27
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Any body have thoughts re drag effecting MPGs and or impacts on roof maintenance and integrity (over the long haul) r/t having fixed solar panels vs. portables?
I can't help with MPGs or drag but I do know I'm awfully glad to have the fixed roof panel for all seasons except winter so I'm not dragging () them around with me and horsing around hooking them up. And I'm glad to have the additional portable panel for the winter season.

I don't know what r/t means.
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Old 10-02-2016, 08:17 PM   #28
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I'm awfully glad to have the fixed roof panel for all seasons except winter so I'm not dragging () them around with me and horsing around hooking them up.
Ditto!

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I don't know what r/t means.
I was stumped too. I think it means "rather than".



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Old 10-02-2016, 08:34 PM   #29
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Sorry. Too used to abbreviating at work. r/t was meant to be "related to".
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Old 10-02-2016, 08:42 PM   #30
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I'll take a crack at the mpg.

The panel is roughly 1.5" by 60", or .6 sf. On my trailer it's behind the roof AC, so about 50% of the panel profile is actually exposed, or about .3sf. The trailer is something like 9'x7.25' or 65.25 sf.

65.25 sf vs 65.55 sf.
I lose 4 mpg when towing, leaving me at 13.5.

I'll leave the math up to someone better at it then me, but it sure looks pretty insignificant. YMMV of course.

I agree with Karen and Robert, fixed is the way to go, adding a portable if you do winters without hookups
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