Solar system upgrade.

Grim the Viking

Full Member
Hi Guys, after just doing 2 months wild camping (off grid) in Spain and always watching what electrics we had turned on, decided to upgrade our solar setup from 1 x 150 watt panel to 3x150=450 watts, battery AGM 2x 95ah to 3x 95ah and MPPT Solar Regulator/Controller to EPever 4210AN 40A, and battery master to keep engine battery topped up.
My question is; do the figures on the attached screenshot look correct for what I have installed ? Regards.

Screenshot_2019-05-13-13-25-39[2351].png
 

Trotter

Full Member
I’m not sure about the ins and outs of solar. I’ve been away now for almost 2 and a half months now, with 100w of solar, 2x 135ah batteries and a Ctek B2B. I’ve not seen my batteries anything lower than 12.2 volts.
Of course I’ve no idea what you need to power, with me it’s lights, laptop, iPad and phone . Although I move on every few days, I did stop for 10 days without EHU with out a problem. If you read a different thread, you’ll realise that I’ve not had wall to wall sunshine during the trip.
What I’ve got suits my needs.👌
 

Grim the Viking

Full Member
Thanks for that info Trotter, our needs are pretty much the same as yours lights, laptop, phones, plus Tv for us, and on the move every few days apart from a couple of 6/7 day stops, we were only on hookup for 4 days out of a total of 10 weeks, but we were below the 12v a couple of times especially on the dull days so hence reason for upgrade before heading to Scandinavia in August. Just trying to pick the brilliant bright solar brains on here to see if the new setup is showing correct figures on display.
 

wildebus

Full Member
It looks good - converting the excess voltage into extra current.
It is remarkable that the outgoing power from the Controller is identical to the incoming power from the Panels - that seems to show a 100% efficiency for the controller which is basically impossible I would say.
 

Grim the Viking

Full Member
Hi Wildebus, so the figures are Ok for the set up, apart from the 70.37w in and out to the batteries, that was on a boost charge just after I had run them down a bit,, do's that make any difference to the power figures going in ?? Much appreciated
 

Grim the Viking

Full Member
Attached figures are from the app, other figures I took later direct from the controller display showed; PV 62V, 1KW, 0.9A, and BATT 13.9V, 3.9A, 25C
 

wildebus

Full Member
Hi Wildebus, so the figures are Ok for the set up, apart from the 70.37w in and out to the batteries, that was on a boost charge just after I had run them down a bit,, do's that make any difference to the power figures going in ?? Much appreciated
I am not familiar with that controller, but the specs say "High quality components, perfecting system performance, with maximum conversion efficiency of 98%", so if it is getting 70.37W in, the output should be no more than 98% of 70.37W.
Not something I would worry about, it is just the way the numbers are shown.
 

Trotter

Full Member
I did say I could only give you my own experiences with solar. From what I understand, no matter how much solar you’ve got, if the sun doesn’t shine the panels don’t work. If I run low, I’d run the engine.
Look up what Dave ( Wildebus) has put up on this forum. I’ve taken his advice in the past, and it’s worked for me. Somewhere within all of those facts and figures, there’s a lot of common sense.😇
 

nabsim

Full Member
I have the same controller for a spare looking at the pic. If your needs are similar to Del (Trotter) the you are going to be fully charged by breakfast with 450w solar on a sunny day lol.
I am a fairly heavy user and 300w Solar is enough if the sun shines from April to September for me. I estimate around 100amps a day I use but that’s when I am using heating and darker nights rather than now.
I am on my 35th day off grid (all UK) and haven’t moved for 14 days now and still okay. I have run my generator a few times when charging my mobility scooter but they were days without sun.
 

wildebus

Full Member
I did say I could only give you my own experiences with solar. From what I understand, no matter how much solar you’ve got, if the sun doesn’t shine the panels don’t work. If I run low, I’d run the engine.
Look up what Dave ( Wildebus) has put up on this forum. I’ve taken his advice in the past, and it’s worked for me. Somewhere within all of those facts and figures, there’s a lot of common sense.😇
It's like a game of "where's wally" in my posts :)
 

Grim the Viking

Full Member
I have the same controller for a spare looking at the pic. If your needs are similar to Del (Trotter) the you are going to be fully charged by breakfast with 450w solar on a sunny day lol.
I am a fairly heavy user and 300w Solar is enough if the sun shines from April to September for me. I estimate around 100amps a day I use but that’s when I am using heating and darker nights rather than now.
I am on my 35th day off grid (all UK) and haven’t moved for 14 days now and still okay. I have run my generator a few times when charging my mobility scooter but they were days without sun.
Thanks for this info Nabsim,, Yes 450 is maybe a bit more than I need, But I prefer to have more than enough than not enough 😜, I am thinking with our usage; full by noon on a sunny day and late afternoon on a not so sunny day,, Had to upgrade controller to 40amp and this one EPEVER/Triron4210AN was recommended by Sunshine Solar who also supplied the rest of my setup. Hopefully it will do the job,
enjoy the rest of your trip. (y)

Controller.jpg
 

Grim the Viking

Full Member
Thanks Guys,
the above comments are much appreciated, I just needed to know that the setup was working as it should after just been installed. (y)
 

nabsim

Full Member
Yes if you are doing it put what you can on panel wise it all helps and worst case is it extends useful harvesting time 👍
 

wfdTamar

Full Member
Can I jump in here and ask - have 2 X 100 watt panels with a Votronic controller (supposed to be good) and separate LCD display that shows battery voltage, charging current, solar power. Connected it all up just to check that all worked. Battery showed 12.6 volts (standard lead acid battery), but got no reading for anything else! Someone said that was because the battery was charged enough not to need any more.
 

wildebus

Full Member
Can I jump in here and ask - have 2 X 100 watt panels with a Votronic controller (supposed to be good) and separate LCD display that shows battery voltage, charging current, solar power. Connected it all up just to check that all worked. Battery showed 12.6 volts (standard lead acid battery), but got no reading for anything else! Someone said that was because the battery was charged enough not to need any more.
12.6V would not represent a charged battery. If you had a solar setup and a fully charged battery, I would expect to see a voltage level around the 13.8V region being a float voltage.
 

Mike Barry

Full Member
You need to do some extra checks. Your controller isn't putting out any power. That could be faulty controller or faulty panels. Check panels first. They should be providing a voltage at the controller of at least 20v if in sunshine, double that if in series (and maybe more still depending on the panel configuration). If no voltage it sounds like a faulty panel or faulty wiring and most likely your panels in series. If series it would only take one panel to be broken to stop all power, or perhaps having panel polarity reversed. Parallel is more fault tolerant but reversing one or both panels would still kill power. If there is voltage of 15v or more that would suggest controller failure to me
 

wfdTamar

Full Member
I got over 20 volts from each panel. It matches the sticker on the back. I blew the fuse in my multimeter when I tried to measure amps when both panels were connected (rookie mistake). Even so, the solar controller should show correct lights (it has lights to show it's got MPP, low battery, >80% battery capacity and full battery, but the only one that lights up is the MPP.

So I'm pretty sure the panels are ok. I reckon it's a dud controller.
 

Okta

Full Member
Remember that 10A for 1 hour coming out of the solar does not mean 10AH in the battery. Not only only are there losses in the solar controller and wiring but a lead acid battery itself is probably only 95% efficient at storing electricity.
 
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