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Date:         Fri, 9 Dec 2016 08:41:24 -0800
Reply-To:     Don Hanson <dhanson928@GMAIL.COM>
Sender:       Vanagon Mailing List <>
From:         Don Hanson <dhanson928@GMAIL.COM>
Subject:      Friday off-T solar questions:long
In-Reply-To:  <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8

We're running off the grid in the southern California desert with two deep cycle batteries and two solar panels. One panel is ancient, with a dull pebble front and a 4 post controller, about 3' square. We had only that one, for a few prior winter seasons, and it often didn't keep up, though our power requirements are low...Last winter we got a second panel, modern, with a second controller, and I connected that right to the original panel's controller, which connects to the batteries. This set up works OK now, but it's "messy". A lot of connections, two different controllers, wires and panels to move around and keep upright in the wind, etc. So, I'm trying to "Fix" it. I'm an electrical dunce. That being said, I've just taken the older panel and it's controller out of the system, thinking that it may be inhibiting the other panel's electrical input to the batteries. My digital meter ( I have two, and they match numbers) shows around 17v when I check at either panel, or when connected like I said up top, same reading...both inline(?). Ànyone have any suggestions for an effective way to connect all this up? Or to measure the input into our batteries? It seems to be putting a little less power back into the batteries, using only the newer panel alone, but I have no clue how to verify that, other than a dorky multiple LED test panel (like the westie unit) or my digital multimeter...but the digital meter and different sun intensities, day to day has got me stumped. Currently(not a pun) in light overcast, I'm reading 12.87v at the batteries, with the voltage going up about 1/100th each few seconds. Some numbers for the newer panel, the older one I have no available data.... Panel says: 75 watts. 16.6v. 7.5 amps. The 2 batteries are larger dual purpose marine/RV in good condition. ?😁

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