Yes weather has changed.I'm not an expert, but I have stayed in a Holiday Inn a few times.
It would appear that it was either much sunnier or you were parked outdoors longer '3 days ago' than any other day. You yielded 260Wh in 4 hours, whereas 'yesterday' you yielded just a little more but it took almost twice as long. I'm not sure what your weather or parking situation was like over those three days, but I would assume that if you have 600W of total yield, that if you were in direct sunlight you should see a higher Pmax than 178W.
There are several experts on here who will be able to provide you much better information and correct any of the mistakes in my thought process.
Wow. Thanks Gary exactly what I was looking for. That makes sense as well because my batteries should be full. The only thing running is my fridge and a little phantom drain from the USB plugs.Hi Josh,
Nice that it gives such a detailed report.
If you look at "yesterday" (day 1), I think it is saying that you generated a total of 280 watt-hours for the day. Watt-hours are an amount of energy, so if your PV panel produces 100 watts output for 2 hours, that's 200 watt-hours of energy. You can convert watt-hours to amp-hours by dividing by 12 volts, so 280 watt-hours is about 280/12 =23 amp-hrs into your batteries on that day.
The 116 watts says the max power your PV panels delivered at some instant during "Yesterday" was 116 watts.
The 37.5 volts is the maximum voltage your PV panel produced at some instant during the day -- your charge controller converts this to something in the 12 to 15 volt range to charge the battery.
It looks like the 9.25 is saying that you were charging the battery for 9.25 hrs on that day. I guess it divides this into bulk charge time, absorb charge time, and probably float charge time (I can't see the last one on the picture).
If it seems like the watt-hour numbers are low on a given day, it can be for two reasons: 1) its cloudy or you are in the shade, so not much sun on the panels; or 2) your battery may already be nearly charged at the start of the day and it gets to full charge early in the day and can't take anymore charge even though the PV panels could provide it.
The top 600 watt-hours is the total energy produced for the 4 days -- about 50 amp-hrs.
People get confused over watts and watt-hrs. Watts are a rate of producing energy -- in the fluid world it would be like gallons per minute -- its the instantaneous RATE at which your panel is producing energy. Watt-hrs are a quantity of energy -- in the fluid world its like gallons.
So, if a panel produces a steady 100 watts for 4 hours straight, it has produced a total quantity of energy of 400 watt-hrs.
You see the phrase watts per hour sometimes -- this makes no physical sense as watts are already a rate of producing energy. What they probably meant to say is watt-hrs per hour.
It would be nice to see one of your controller reports for an actual trip or two -- just to see how much we actually get our of our solar in your typical use.
I have two 100 watt Renogy Eclipse panels wired in a series with a Victron 75/15 mppt controller charging two Vmax slr125 batteries wired in parallel.Very interesting to see that. I have the same color teller and installer to install with the Bluetooth dongle. Just so I and others don't have to go look for it can you post your solar setup so I can put the figures to a panel size/wattage etc? I will have 2x100 watt renogy panels so I'm curious.
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Thanks for the thoughts nebulight. Without people here helping I would have no clue.I'm no expert, but here are my thoughts....
You have the following:
200w of solar
Victron 75/15 MPPT
250AH of AGM Batteries
tripplite aps1250 inverter/charger with 30amp charger
I'm guessing a Virtifrigo C62IBD4-F (draws 3.38 amps)
Your fridge uses 3.38 amps, so in 24 hours that's 81 amps at 100% duty cycle, which this probably isn't at. If we say 50% duty cycle, that's still 40 amps. If you are taking in 260Wh for the entire day that's only 20 amps for the entire day. So you are operating at a net loss of 20 amps at a 50% duty cycle on the battery.
Now when you plug in your shore power with a 30 amp charger, you are getting 30 amps PER HOUR to the batteries. So it can charge MUCH faster.
Solar is great, but with a small setup on a cloudy day (or even a big setup on a cloudy day), you can't match the power from a dedicated charger or alternator with a relay.
Thanks. I wired in series because most everything I read said to wire in series with an mppt controller. Also if I wire with parallel the circuit wizard says I need 6awg wire (25' round-trip run). The biggest I can buy from Renogy already made with their ends is 10 guage. And 10 guage is the biggest that will fit in that victron controller.Well you have said it's been very cloudy and that you've only been getting 14w when looking at the live data. I'd do some more tests during sunny days when you can get 150-170 watts. My guess is that you'll be fine once the sun comes out. Also, I couldn't find it in your build thread, but did you wire your panels in series or parallel. They should be wired in parallel to help reduce the negative effects of shaded panels. And what gauge cable did you use going for the panels to the Victron?
EDIT: I see that you wired in series based off your screenshots. I don't think this is your problem right now, but it's always best on a small installation (that can fit on the roof of a van) to run the panels in parallel. Basically if you have shading on one panel, but the other is in the sun, the entire array output drops as if both panels are shaded. The main reason people don't run in parallel for larger installs is the voltage drop and the need for thicker cables. However since in vans we have short runs, voltage drop isn't an issue, and we aren't running high current through the cables that we would need super thick cables.
So are you saying my panels would charge my batteries twice as fast if they were in parallel because they'd be pushing 10.7 (double of 5.7 is 11.4 so I assume that was a type unless that isn't where you got that number)?Again, I don't think your wiring is what's causing your low input from solar as you said it's been very cloudy in your area, and that is probably what is causing your issues.
Now for parallel vs series, just because you have an MPPT controller does not mean you MUST wire in series it means that you CAN wire in series. In your example with a 100w panel, your panel can max do 17.7v (vmp) at 100 w, so that will give you 5.7 amps. Now with two of them in series, what that does is increase the voltage, but keeps the current (amps) the same. So when you have both panels in series, that will put in 35.4v into your MPPT at 5.7 amps. The MPPT controller can adjust the current and match the battery voltage to give you all that powering going into the battery (which is why the cost more than PWM). Now if you do two in parallel, you are keeping the voltage the same at 17.7, but now that you have two panels, you are doubling the current so now you are pushing through 10.7amps to the controller. Your controller can still handle that current and according to this chart, your 10awg can handle it too.
The reason a lot of people recommend series is if you had say 600 watts of panels, you'd be looking at a max current of 57 amps, so you'd need a much larger cable. However since you have a much smaller setup you'll be fine because remember that you solar panels will never be 100% efficient.