Saturday, August 5, 2017

Solar power arrives?

Originally posted 7.31.17, updated on, 

8.5.17 :

Been monitoring this for the last couple days.  It does appear to work, but power is a bit lower than I would like.  It stops charging at 13.7 volts, or so I think.  At 5 amps, that is only 70 watts, compared with the 100 watts I thought I would get.

However, by putting a load on it, I may get that difference, or some of it.  Thinking of adding a second battery, which I thought I may need anyway.

At best, I may get 600 watt hours per day out of this thing.  Not a whole lot, but enough to power some small devices.



Looks like it is working now.  I ran a lot of things off of the panel, while keeping the battery charged up.  One thing that will take getting used to is all the fluctuations in the voltage.  It runs up and down, and it may be because of a cloud covering the sun, and lowering the output of the panel.  At least, I hope so.

Crossing my fingers, and hoping this thing is really working now.

6:00 :

Spent the last hour reworking the mc4 connectors at the solar panel.  It may be inaccurate to blame myself for this failure, as the solar panel itself was already wired when I bought it.  Therefore, it was wired incorrectly.  Why should this surprise me?  The first panel I bought didn't work at all, now this one isn't wired correctly.

Well, at least I can stop beating myself up.  In the bargain, maybe I am learning how to wire these things correctly.  If for nothing else, at least that is worth something.

Maybe I am getting ahead of myself.  It hasn't been tested yet.  For that I must wait for sunrise, in less than an hour.

I work before dawn because of the heat.  This part of the day is the coolest.  But the bugs are out, and complicates things a bit.


Frustrating turn of events.  I thought I had it fixed up, but wrong!  Evidently, the wiring is still wrong.  Don't know what it is about these mc4 connectors.  I thought I had 'em figured out.

The panel checks out at about 100 watts.  The battery is now charged at about 13 volts.  Not quite fully charged, but close enough.  Not sure about the controller, but the new one arrived yesterday.  It has different connectors, so maybe I can try hooking this up that way.

Still have an mc4 connector problem though, at the solar panel itself.  Why these are so popular, I don't know.  They seem foolproof, but if that's so, why these problems?  I'm not sold on them, that's for sure.

My cooling plan for the bedroom is discombobulated at the present.  It seems that the battery became discharged more than I thought.  However, the solar panel will be charging that battery, while the grid electricity will charge the battery that runs the bilge pump.  I may need to beef up that battery system with an extra lead acid battery, like the one that is already out there.

It's frustrating, but it can join the list.  Lots of things frustrate me at this juncture.


Everything is now hooked up, and it appears to be working.  The battery needs charging, and the solar panel will do the job, provided it is working properly.  By the end of the day, we will see.

I will run small stuff off this panel.  Nothing big.

original post follows:

Well, it looks like my work was flawed.  The controller really seems to work after all.  The problem seems to be with the wiring.  This type of connector was supposed to be idiot proof.  However, this idiot seems to have found a way to screw it up.

In spite of all that, now it does appear that the solar panel will work.  Or so I think at this moment.  The panel produces power, that much I verified today.  The controller works, and now the wiring works.  It is just a matter of connecting them all together and let's hope it all works when assembled.

If memory serves, the panel will produce 100 watts.  So, it is a rather modest little output.  Starting modestly is the only way at this point.  No need to buy a butt load of stuff and not know how to put it together.  You have to be able to crawl before you can walk, walk before you can run, and so on.

With this modest of an output, all I could run would be some battery chargers and some led lighting.

The bilge pump will draw too much current.  Don't want to add another battery to beef that up, so the bilge pump is out.

It has been a long time coming, and to get this thing to start producing something useful is a milestone, to say the least.  I have had this equipment for over two years.

One more thing may about to be crossed from the list.  Yay, team.

1 comment:

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