Jump to content


Photo

Anyone Interested In A Solar "How To"????


  • Please log in to reply
41 replies to this topic

#31 Art Davis

Art Davis
  • Casita Club Member
  • 95 posts
  • Local time: 09:38 PM

Posted 16 August 2009 - 07:47 AM

QUOTE (k4fcp @ Aug 14 2009, 05:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (malcolm the dog @ Aug 14 2009, 12:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
yes for malcolm the dog

Let me know if you have any additional questions. I'll be glad to help!
Rich



JUST A WORD OF WARNING!!!!!

K4fcp has put together a magnificent tutorial which was extremely helpful to me when I was putting together my own "solar system," but BEWARE of the link to:

http://www.solarsell...nt_tracking.htm
aka John Drake

These MPPT convertors are extremely delicate and easy to fry. If you disconnect your battery for any reason and forget about the very rigid reconnection rules of these convertors, you will see a smoke trail coming up from the convertor, smell a very bad odor of burning plastic, and one or more of the ic's inside will have melted down into a slag heap. The seller and the manufacturer are aware of the problem, but will not stand behind their product.

Not a knock on K4fcp, just a warning for folks who might be considering these particular solar convertors.

#32 k4fcp

k4fcp
  • Topic Starter
  • Casita Club Member
  • 60 posts
  • Local time: 01:38 AM
  • Location:Blacksburg, VA
  • Interests:I teach 6th Grade Math and Science at Blacksburg Middle School. I try to camp year-round and have solar powered my 13'. I usually try to camp where I can canoe, kayak, hike, and can usually be found operating a ham radio at my campsite.
  • Gender:Male

Posted 16 August 2009 - 10:46 AM

QUOTE (Art Davis @ Aug 16 2009, 10:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (k4fcp @ Aug 14 2009, 05:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (malcolm the dog @ Aug 14 2009, 12:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
yes for malcolm the dog

Let me know if you have any additional questions. I'll be glad to help!
Rich



JUST A WORD OF WARNING!!!!!

K4fcp has put together a magnificent tutorial which was extremely helpful to me when I was putting together my own "solar system," but BEWARE of the link to:

http://www.solarsell...nt_tracking.htm
aka John Drake

These MPPT convertors are extremely delicate and easy to fry. If you disconnect your battery for any reason and forget about the very rigid reconnection rules of these convertors, you will see a smoke trail coming up from the convertor, smell a very bad odor of burning plastic, and one or more of the ic's inside will have melted down into a slag heap. The seller and the manufacturer are aware of the problem, but will not stand behind their product.

Not a knock on K4fcp, just a warning for folks who might be considering these particular solar convertors.


Thanks Art, and I have not had a problem, HOWEVER, I have had contact with the manufacturer and they were not real cooperative. I am going to remove that link and continue to search for an under $200 MPPT controller. That said, maybe the $25.00 Morningstar with its inefficiencies is not such a bad buy after all
Rich Beamish, k4fcp@arrl.net
1994 13' Casita solar-powered
2001 Nissan Frontier KC 4x4
http://richbeamish.m...bumName=album01

#33 Art Davis

Art Davis
  • Casita Club Member
  • 95 posts
  • Local time: 09:38 PM

Posted 16 August 2009 - 03:07 PM

Rich,

I was hoping that this would be your response, for I had a very disastrous experience with this charge controller, and I don't feel it was entirely due to my stupidity (though, perhaps in part).

After this somewhat deflating experience, I decided to go with an ASC pwm controller at

http://www.altestore...ntroller/p1477/

I am not connected at all with this outfit, but I think they delivered good service. I chatted with one of the guys there on the phone. He was helpful, knowledgeable, and pleasant to deal with. Though his recommendation was for a Morningstar unit, I decided to go with the ASC because it seems to be one of the most rugged units available. After I have acquired a bit of experience with this one, I might decide to upgrade to an mppt type unit.

But I feel that a very rugged unit is a better bet for a neophyte just getting his/her feet wet with solar. Just my opinion.

Thanks again for your magnificent tutorial article!

Art




#34 Huevo Movil

Huevo Movil
  • Casita Club Member
  • 913 posts
  • Local time: 12:38 AM
  • Location:"Rocket City USA", Northern Alabama
  • Casita Model/Size:None att :-(
  • Gender:Male
  • Casita Club Directory #:3089

Posted 16 August 2009 - 03:30 PM

Does a "Si" mean the same as a "Yes?" huh.gif

Please document it at the 3rd grade level...

I'm interested! rolleyes.gif

Thanks.

Live well, life is good!

Live well, life is very good!!!
Best. Shorty sends...
Rocket City USA, AL

2014 Roadtrek 190 Popular,  "Big Edna II"  :D

1999 Coach House 192KS Wide Body, aka "Big Edna"  (Sold, but not forgotten also... :unsure:)
2007 Casita 17' FD - (R/V Huevo Movil - RIP - Died on I-75)
2006 Casita 17' SD - (Sold, but not forgotten!)
“Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God.”
- Ronald Reagan


#35 jfor

jfor
  • Casita Club Member
  • 18 posts
  • Local time: 11:38 PM
  • Location:SW Colorado

Posted 16 August 2009 - 05:26 PM

Me, too. Maybe we could buy the parts at a discount if lots of us were ready to buy?
2009 SD HLA; '06 TOYOTA 4RUNNER 4X4, 6 CYL, TOWING PKG.

#36 Art Davis

Art Davis
  • Casita Club Member
  • 95 posts
  • Local time: 09:38 PM

Posted 16 August 2009 - 07:39 PM

Huevo Movil and jfor,

All you have to do is page back one page on this thread. Rich (K4fcp) has already responded to Malcolm the Dog and provided a downloadable pdf. All you have to do is right click the icon and download his file, which he has already provided. This is the substance of the thread he originally proposed here, and there was another entire thread in which we discussed it quite a bit. Just do a search on Solar to find that thread.

#37 Huevo Movil

Huevo Movil
  • Casita Club Member
  • 913 posts
  • Local time: 12:38 AM
  • Location:"Rocket City USA", Northern Alabama
  • Casita Model/Size:None att :-(
  • Gender:Male
  • Casita Club Directory #:3089

Posted 18 August 2009 - 02:10 AM

QUOTE (Art Davis @ Aug 16 2009, 10:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Huevo Movil and jfor,

All you have to do is page back one page on this thread. Rich (K4fcp) has already responded to Malcolm the Dog and provided a downloadable pdf. All you have to do is right click the icon and download his file, which he has already provided. This is the substance of the thread he originally proposed here, and there was another entire thread in which we discussed it quite a bit. Just do a search on Solar to find that thread.


Art et al.

WILCO.

Thanks for taking the time to share this knowledge.

Live well, life is good! biggrin.gif

Live well, life is very good!!!
Best. Shorty sends...
Rocket City USA, AL

2014 Roadtrek 190 Popular,  "Big Edna II"  :D

1999 Coach House 192KS Wide Body, aka "Big Edna"  (Sold, but not forgotten also... :unsure:)
2007 Casita 17' FD - (R/V Huevo Movil - RIP - Died on I-75)
2006 Casita 17' SD - (Sold, but not forgotten!)
“Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God.”
- Ronald Reagan


#38 k4fcp

k4fcp
  • Topic Starter
  • Casita Club Member
  • 60 posts
  • Local time: 01:38 AM
  • Location:Blacksburg, VA
  • Interests:I teach 6th Grade Math and Science at Blacksburg Middle School. I try to camp year-round and have solar powered my 13'. I usually try to camp where I can canoe, kayak, hike, and can usually be found operating a ham radio at my campsite.
  • Gender:Male

Posted 18 August 2009 - 04:33 AM

QUOTE (Art Davis @ Aug 16 2009, 07:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Rich,

I was hoping that this would be your response, for I had a very disastrous experience with this charge controller, and I don't feel it was entirely due to my stupidity (though, perhaps in part).

After this somewhat deflating experience, I decided to go with an ASC pwm controller at

http://www.altestore...ntroller/p1477/

I am not connected at all with this outfit, but I think they delivered good service. I chatted with one of the guys there on the phone. He was helpful, knowledgeable, and pleasant to deal with. Though his recommendation was for a Morningstar unit, I decided to go with the ASC because it seems to be one of the most rugged units available. After I have acquired a bit of experience with this one, I might decide to upgrade to an mppt type unit.

But I feel that a very rugged unit is a better bet for a neophyte just getting his/her feet wet with solar. Just my opinion.

Thanks again for your magnificent tutorial article!

Art


Thanks Art! I have found that charge controllers are very sensitive to cross polarization...even when they say that they have protection circuits. Inline fuses are fairly cheap and I feel that you should install the fuses prior to hooking stuff up. I actually do it with all my 12 volt connections. I just assume I will do something stupid at some point. Now, if I could just install one on my mouth.
Rich Beamish, k4fcp@arrl.net
1994 13' Casita solar-powered
2001 Nissan Frontier KC 4x4
http://richbeamish.m...bumName=album01

#39 JudyinWis

JudyinWis
  • Casita Club Member
  • 172 posts
  • Local time: 12:38 AM

Posted 19 August 2009 - 01:55 PM

[/quote]

JUST A WORD OF WARNING!!!!!

K4fcp has put together a magnificent tutorial which was extremely helpful to me when I was putting together my own "solar system," but BEWARE of the link to:

http://www.solarsell...nt_tracking.htm
aka John Drake

These MPPT convertors are extremely delicate and easy to fry. If you disconnect your battery for any reason and forget about the very rigid reconnection rules of these convertors, you will see a smoke trail coming up from the convertor, smell a very bad odor of burning plastic, and one or more of the ic's inside will have melted down into a slag heap. The seller and the manufacturer are aware of the problem, but will not stand behind their product.

Not a knock on K4fcp, just a warning for folks who might be considering these particular solar convertors.
[/quote]

My experience with John Drake and the charge controller he sells has been a bit better. He spent a lot of time with me on the phone (possibly on his nickle, but I forget) answering my questions about how safely to install it.

I'm not technically savvy enough to know whether this would make a difference in case of screw-ups in the order of reconnecting the leads, but I paid a bit more and got the 10 amp controller, and I also got an inline fuse installed. Then my set-up is such that I never really have to disconnect and reconnect the charge controller: It is velcroed right to the battery and has a few inches off the female end of the extension cord from the solar panel permanently wired to the controller.

I haven't yet been able to work out installing a gromet to keep the whole assembly from getting ripped apart accidently while moving the solar panel around, but since this set-up requires leaving the battery cave door open when the panel is plugged in, I am just cramming the short female end of the cord down between the door and the body of the trailer for the time being.

No mishaps doing it this way so far. I'm not clear what I will need to do to protect the charge controller when removing my battery from the trailer for the winter and reinstalling it next spring, but expect to be able to call John Drake for clarification if I can't figure it out from the instructions.

Judy

Judy

#40 crisbill

crisbill
  • Casita Club Member
  • 25 posts
  • Local time: 11:38 PM
  • Location:Albuquerque NM

Posted 25 August 2009 - 06:54 PM

Yes--please send!

#41 TraderIce3

TraderIce3
  • Casita Club Member
  • 17 posts
  • Local time: 10:38 PM
  • Location:Hood River, Oregon

Posted 18 September 2009 - 07:52 AM

I posted this solar install on my 17' Casita, you might find it interesting. There is a parts list at the end.

Casita Solar Installation


#42 NadaWolf

NadaWolf
  • Casita Club Member
  • 16 posts
  • Local time: 11:38 PM

Posted 08 October 2009 - 01:19 PM

Very interested. I have been researching solar power and would like to hear from someone who has done it successfully.