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post #8 of Old 07-08-2011
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You stated in your post these panels are all wired in parallel. You may want to consider establishing serially connected banks of "like" panels where possible. This will accomplish two things:

1. clean up and simplify much of the on-deck wiring
2. multiply each solar bank voltage output while reducing the collective voltage/amperage drop due to wire loss (as you already indicated)

Let your Morningstar MPPT (assumed as not stated in your post) controller handle the useable voltage/amperage conversion.

You may also want to consider not all solar panels are equal in terms of efficiency. For instance, poly is less efficient in converting solar to voltage when compared to mono panels. Flexible panels are even less efficient than poly panels. Most advertized panel voltages are measured under optimum conditions in a controlled environment. This is not likely to compare to a "real world" implementation. It is not realistic to expect to achieve advertised performance especially in an environment whereas most everything on deck is coverd by a shadow at some point.

As an interesting confirmation, compare the input voltage/amperage to the controller vs. the output to the batteries.

I do agree with the other opinions regarding battery charge. It is very important to appropriately size your battery bank to your usage. Too small a bank will require you to deplete it too deeply during normal usage. Its like digging a hole in the ground and filling it back will take more dirt to fill it than was removed to begin with.

Like others, I am very interested to see your panel installation....thats a lot of deck real estate!

1983 Morgan OI 416
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