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Monday, June 22, 2020

Solar power

We are still getting parts together for our solar set up but in the mean time we used a single 100 watt Renogy solar panel on our last two trips, I hooked it to a cheapo Harbor Freight solar charger that I had from a project for our popup camper and I used automotive wiring connectors to attach the Harbor Freight wiring to the Renogy panel.

At best this setup with it's light wiring and cheapo controller put out 3.6 amp from a 5.29 amp panel.
We laid the panel flat on our flatbed trailer early in the am on the first trip and then tied it to the gate in the afternoon.
On the second trip we left it flat on the trailer only tilting it with blocks toward the sun afew times during the day. On this trip I put it out on our third day in camp we woke up to 83% battery power which is in the range we normally fire up the generator to recharge the batteries. At 83% we have used about 90 amps out of the batteries so I hooked up the solar panel in the am and by dark we were back up to 95% battery
power so we were only about 23 amps from a full charge which kept us from running the generator even once during the five nights we stayed there so for me it was a success so I will look to replace this portable set up with heavier wiring about 8 gauge and some Renogy panel connectors, a better charge controller and two of these 5.29 amp 100 watt panels with a piano hinge to connect them together and maybe some legs so they could be stood up. This setup I used this trip cost us about $110-120 so not bad.

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