panel recommendations please

HI All,

I've received a lot of help from everyone on this forum so i'm very appreciative.

I need another 200w approx solar panel and i'm going to get another MPPT controller to go with it. My question is which solar panel should i get? Here are the one's i'm looking at..

I think the solar controller i get will be able to handle either a 12v or 24v panel...
if i'm missing anything please chime in...

200w ebay special

Bosch panel off ebay

sharp 185w panel

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Reply By: Sleeprequired - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 18:22

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 18:22
also looking here - low energy solar panel.
AnswerID: 508755

Reply By: Adam H - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 18:29

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 18:29
Hi Sleeprequired
'
many have purchased from the same ebay site though 140W folding. i am extremely happy with it. I didn't expect it to work to the specifications that were quoted though my panel has exceeded the max amps quoted. Must say i have only had my panel for 2 months and it has not been left out. Packed up after each camping weekend.
AnswerID: 508759

Follow Up By: Adam H - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 18:30

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 18:30
that should be "i have"
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Follow Up By: Sleeprequired - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 19:07

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 19:07
Which link are you referring to?
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Follow Up By: Sleeprequired - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 19:09

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 19:09
Also wouldn't mind knowing how you an test it?
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Follow Up By: Adam H - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 22:21

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 22:21
the link is the first one. how i tested it is though the controller (morningstar pro 30)it tells me how many load amps and solar amps are being used and put into the battery. nice little feature. keeps me watching the regulator more than other things while on holidays LOL.
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Follow Up By: Sleeprequired - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 22:55

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 22:55
Yeah I just watched a YouTube video on the moot controller I linked and its got the wattage and amps on the screen
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Follow Up By: Sleeprequired - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 22:56

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 22:56
Mppt controller. Apple auto correct
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Reply By: Warb - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 19:58

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 19:58
I have purchased many panels of various types from Low Energy Developments and have been happy with both their service and product.

Regarding MPPT charge controllers, most of the inexpensive units are not MPPT even if they say they are (especially the cheap Chinese ones). Often they simply hold the array's minimum voltage at a fixed level (say 13V) rather than allowing the battery to drag it down too far. It's probably better than nothing, but it's not true MPPT and it won't be as effective as "real" MPPT.

Running multiple controllers to one battery is OK (if this is what you intend) as they will each decide when to drop to float depending on the settings of each unit, but do make sure that the battery can handle the combined maximum charging current! For example a 100Ah AGM battery may have a maximum charge rate of perhaps 30Amps, which is 405W at 13.5V or 345W at 11.5V.

I don't know what you are going to use this panel for, but a 200W panel is physically quite large. If you're going to use it freestanding make sure it doesn't blow away!!
AnswerID: 508768

Reply By: Sleeprequired - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 20:14

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 20:14
ok so i currently have
AnswerID: 508771

Reply By: Sleeprequired - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 20:20

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 20:20
ok so i currently have this 130w folding panel, along with the controller that came with it.

I also have a 120ah ritar battery.

What i am going to do is add another battery and a 200w solar panel.

so this panel 12 v 200w panel, with this contoller here - MPP PCM-3012

it says 300w max but i'm thinking the 330w total will be ok given real world limitations.

Comments? What is the difference between 12v panel and 24v panel? Is this the right setup? how do i run both panels into the controller? At the moment i have 2 x anderson plugs going to the battery, and the crappy controller is connected to the portable panels.

do i just run both anderson plugs combined into the controller, then to the battery?
AnswerID: 508772

Reply By: Member - DereelGirl - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 01:27

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 01:27
Hi Sleeprequired,

Just be careful not to run a 12v panel and 24v panel together, or put them through the same controller. Either run two 24v panels and set the controller for 24v or two 12v panels with the controller set to 12v.
Are you going to run the 2 batteries in series or parallel? I would recommend you set them up in series as most things you have will be 12v and you will get max. benefit out of your batteries. I would also run one good quality controller and have your two Anderson plugs out from the controller. Stick with all 12v. Good luck.

Dereelgirl
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AnswerID: 508791

Follow Up By: Member - daz (SA) - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 09:19

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 09:19
wiring in series will give a 24 volt battery.
are you sure of your advice here.
I think 12 volt motors will burn out on 24 volt supply.
daz
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Follow Up By: Member - DereelGirl - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 14:36

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 14:36
Thanks Daz,

It was very early in the morning here and you have it right I should have said parallel. I'm glad you picked that up.

Dereelgirl.
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Reply By: Sleeprequired - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 03:41

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 03:41
Ok I believe my existing panel is 12v so ill buy another 12v Panel. Then run Anderson's back to the controller where they will join where they are inserted into the controller which is then connected to the battery.

I was shooting for basically one big 240ah battery.. Is that hooking them up in series or parallel? If I hook them up in parallel does it become 24v

Can you explain what you mean and how it would be getting the most out of my batteries to have then hooked up in series instead of parallel
AnswerID: 508794

Reply By: Sleeprequired - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 03:46

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 03:46
If I hook them up in series aren't I doubling the voltage instead of the amp hours? Why would that be best. ?
AnswerID: 508795

Follow Up By: Member - daz (SA) - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 09:02

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 09:02
Hi there sleep required
Do NOT wire your batteries in Series
wire as Parallel ... Positive to Positive Negative to Negative.
The amperage will then be the two batteries combined
You need to retain 12 volt not 24 volt

Daz
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Follow Up By: Sleeprequired - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 09:21

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 09:21
Thanks... Everything I read was suggesting that
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Reply By: Sleeprequired - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 13:11

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 13:11
I. An earlier post above I asked about the Mppt PCM-3012 being able to handle both this 130w folding panel and this 200w panel from rich solar.

Can someone take a look at the specs of the controller and panels and tell me which amp and volt measurements on the panels apply to which specs on the controller?

I think I'm pretty spot on with the amps - 18, however I'm not sure if I'm correct with the volts???

AnswerID: 508848

Follow Up By: Sleeprequired - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 13:15

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 13:15
Whoops - the 200w specs there must be for a 24v setup

The specs for the 12v 200w solar panel are here
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Reply By: Sleeprequired - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 20:31

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 20:31
ok i need some help here...

the solar controller i'm getting is in the above post - it's the pcm-3012. The guy selling it to me is telling me to hook my panels up in series rather than parallel...

1. because the current is bordering on 18a which is too much
2. and because the voltage of the 130w panel is rated at 16.88

He is saying that in low light conditions that the 16.88v MPV may fall below the solar controllers 15v lower limit, thus rendering the MPPT useless and hardly charging anything.

so should i series them and get the combined voltage of 16.88+18.7?
does this halve the amps?
will the MPPT then convert the extra voltage to amps?

He thinks i will get about 260w if i series them which is close to the 300w limit anyway..

So i'll be adding the voltage and halving the amps but then the MPPT will convert the additional voltage to amps correct?

so how many amp hours can i expect from 260w in series pushing say 33-36V?
AnswerID: 508891

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