Solar battery charger

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by Vulkyn, May 28, 2017.

  1. Vulkyn
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    Vulkyn Senior Member

    Well the charge controller doesn't kick in unless the battery is connected, so it sort of regulates the volt output so its a sort of toned down.
    The 60 amp battery started at 12.2 and reached around 13 volts at the end but panel should be able to provide maximum of 17.5 Volts.

    I will take the controller out of the protective box or see if i can cool it down as it overheated today.

    The charge controller is programable but i haven't really tinkered with the setting yet, was too busy with the boats engine. Will do more tests tomorrow
     
  2. BertKu
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    BertKu Senior Member

    Are you sure your battery has all his 6 cells properly working. The charger at 13 Volts should have reduced the current already to not more than 50 to 100 mA. i.e. if your battery is 13 Volt and your solar panel provides 17,5 Volt, the heat dissipation should not be more than 0.1 Ampere (100 mA) times (17,5 - 13) 4,5V = 1/2 watt At 13.8 Volt you exceed the gassing voltage of your I assume Lead acid battery and that should be at all times be avoided. A good regulator does charge high currents below the 12,5 Volt and taper it down to low currents and should stop at 13.6 Volt. There is something drastically wrong when your charger is overheating. You may not have your settings correct or not properly wired up or one of your cells are faulty in your battery. Bert
     
  3. Vulkyn
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    Vulkyn Senior Member

    Yah i took it out of the water proof housing which was basically a small green house !!! Kept it out of the sun and it run fine :) temperature was 33 degree Celsius on charge controller (keep in mind im in Egypt so weather is VERY hot it was 36 degrees today.).

    So lesson learned need to keep the charge controller in shade out of the waterproof box with ventilation and it runs well.
     
  4. BertKu
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    BertKu Senior Member

    Yes it crossed my mind that it is summer in Egypt, but I thought you would not place the charger in a hot place. Well we are never too old too learn. Pleased you got to the bottom of the problem. Bert
     
  5. Vulkyn
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    Vulkyn Senior Member

    I got to learn everything the hard way for some reason ...... probably because i'm just to stubborn to learn any other way :D
     
  6. BertKu
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    BertKu Senior Member

    Well at least you will never forget such error, and will apply this to all electronics. Enjoy the late summer days. Bert
     
  7. Vulkyn
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    Vulkyn Senior Member

    Panel is kicking 1.15 Amp / hour (lets say 1 Amp/ hour) .... Egypt has sun 9-11 hrs per day .... so around 8 amp / day worst case scenario.
    Tomorrow im passing by a friend who has a boat wind turbine generator, might as well have a look who knows this might change into a new boat running on Renewable energy :D
     
  8. BertKu
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    BertKu Senior Member

    Vulkyn, I am sceptical that you will get around 8 ampere per day. Early in the morning, special if your panel is not 90 degrees with the sun, and also late at night, if you get 0,3 to 0,5 Ampere you must be lucky.
    Except , if you are sitting the whole day with your solar panel and follow the sun, then you may get 8 to 10 Ampere. I think realistically you will get about 5 Ampere per sunny day. The angle of the sun rays early in the morning and late at night will be unfavourable. But I am curious, I love to hear what your current is at 8 o'clock in the morning. I am doing in the winter with a 1 Ampere panel 0.45 Ampere directed directly to the sun. Bert
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
  9. Vulkyn
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    Vulkyn Senior Member

    Well if you keep the panel 20 degree - 30 degrees pointing south so you catch sun rise and sunset (but yah those are weaker than the rest of day you are right) you will get most coverage the angle also allows less reflection so more amp output. I am worried about measuring amp as this is how u blew my first multimeter (well i did measure 60 mp battery with a 40 amp rated one lol). I might be going next weekend and will try to do the test (any ideas how to do so with out destroying my multimeter? keeping in mind the charge controller will not work with out a battery).

    Oh btw FYI Egypt has 2000 - 3200 KWH / Square meter solar radiation and 9-11 hrs of sun.
     
  10. Vulkyn
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    Vulkyn Senior Member

    Another factor will sonar panel itself of course and its output. Needless to say efficiency various considerably. I have attached the specs on mine for reference and i think as long as battery is attached if i measure amps it should be ok right ?? :D
     

    Attached Files:

  11. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    I just noticed Egypt and Florida are about the same distance from the Equator. Plenty sunny. :cool:
     
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  12. BertKu
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    BertKu Senior Member

    Well Vulkyn, that is very simple. You are aware that if you disconnect your solar panel and short circuit the two leads coming from the solar panel, you have the short circuit current. (You cannot damage your solar panel) That is the way to measure your panel. But instead of short circuiting, you place your meter is serial with the two leads. Plus (red) to the plus side of the panel and the black, minus to the negative side. The meter must be at 10 Ampere reading set. i.e. your leads must be in the 10 Ampere and ground inputs.
    Then, you just look at what the short circuit current is at early in the morning and the same way at night. It is not 100% correct but good enough to make assumptions that is will approx the same average charging current as charging a battery with the charger.

    With charging a battery and your battery is connected to your charger you need to exceed the battery voltage + the voltage loss over your charger. If your charger is a MPPT (maximum power point tracking) it charges normally a large capacitor which then is discharged if the voltage is higher than your battery. Because your battery is not connected, this energy will then be discharged into your multi meter and therefore you blew your fuse.
    By not having your charger plus your battery connected and you only measure the short circuit current, you are safe and will not blow a fuse, nor meter in 10 Ampere mode, but be not disappointed if the current is less than 0.5 Ampere early in the morning or late at night.
    Good luck.
    Bert
     
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  13. Vulkyn
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    Vulkyn Senior Member

    Our sun is more "special" then Florida sun :D :D :D

    Bertku

    Very informative and simple thank you :) i have over engineered the solar panels and fitted MC4 connector but it i think the multimeter will fit in (sounds dirty I thought age will grant me wisdom but there goes my theory)

    Its fine it was rough calculations and assumptions in the first place, i would be interested to get a more sophisticated monitoring tool to measure all day round amp output and put it on a graph ....
     
  14. Vulkyn
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    Vulkyn Senior Member

    Ok so I missed the 8 am window, the measurements in the pics are for 9 am one (one slightly angled for better sun). I could get more than 1 amp but i would need a sun tracker :D
     

    Attached Files:


  15. BertKu
    Joined: May 2009
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    BertKu Senior Member

    Vulkyn, You are cheating !!! (I have a good laugh) Nobody is sitting for 12 hours at his solar panel and direct the panel at the sun. But I give you this compliment. Well done, you have more sun there, than by us or in Europe. You are very lucky that you had at 9 oclock probably 0.8 Ampere on a horizontal placed panel. I was wrong and I wish, I was in that position. Yes, you could be right that you would have 8Ah per day with your panel. Please Vulkyn, the Egyptians have always been good in making big items, like pyramids etc. Can't you make a very big mirror ( a few kilometres high and wide) and shine some sun in our direction ??? Bert
     
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