Saturday, January 2, 2016

Solar panel experiment

This apartment has a southerly facing that may allow some sunlight into the balcony.  I don't know if it will be a whole lot, nor do I know what devices that the panel could power.  At the moment, I am considering powering my phones and tablet with it.  If I can make it work well enough, I may power my little scooter with it.

The scooter has a couple 12 volt batteries in it that I purchased in the summer of 2014.  It has been sitting around here for over a year.  There is also the 12 volt battery that I used to power my electric tools out at the ranch last April.  It got a good workout, but it is still relatively new.  I could bring that into the action, as well as the inverter and have all these tools get a workout.

Getting the solar panel a stand to sit on involved a bit of ingenuity.  I didn't spend a penny.  Just got a chair, some elastic cord, a "C" clamp, and put the thing together.  The chair allows the solar panel to lean on it, while the other stuff keeps it securely on the chair so that the wind won't blow it off.  If it hits the concrete, that won't be good.

I hope all this will give me some practice for living out there.  At least I will know what I didn't find out when I was out there.  I didn't find out the capabilities of the solar panel because something was wrong with it.  I wasted a lot of time setting the thing up out there.  That's one of the reasons it took me longer than I bargained for when I was planning the outing.

Of course I took the malfunctioning panel in and got it replaced.  I checked it out, as can be seen on one of my videos.

I've been busy today, even though I should be working.  Actually, this is a lot more fun.  They don't call it "work" for nothing.


It may take some maneuvering of the chair in order to get some sun.  Besides that, I've got to fix something that came loose.  Now, if I could only remember how I did it in the first place.  In the meantime, there's a football game.

Earlier today, I put in some work.  Need to make some bucks.


Set it up, but it isn't putting out much.  Too much shade.  Hopefully, I assembled everything correctly, and all it needs is some sunshine.  I'll check it again tomorrow morning.


Didn't wait till tomorrow morning.  Put a voltmeter on it, and it is generating some electricity.  Too much shade to be effective.


This is "tomorrow morning" and I've done a check out on the panel.  Sunny day, but the controller doesn't seem to be working.  The panel is putting out plenty of volts, but it doesn't show at the controller.  The battery shows no current going to it.  This suggests something, but not sure what.

Perhaps my mc4 work leaves something to be desired.

Need to check some more, and make sure it isn't the controller itself.

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