Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-18-2014, 01:23 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
KJRitchie's Avatar

 
2008 25' Classic
Wichita Falls , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4,217
2 Portable Solar Systems

I plan to get a portable solar system, e.g. Zamp 160 or 200. If in the future I desired more charging capability could I purchase another Zamp system and clamp both of them onto the battery terminals or would that confuse the two solar controllers on each of the solar systems? Would I have to get the same capacity or could I purchase a 120 watt system and connect it to the batteries along with the 200 watt system?

Kelvin
__________________

__________________
KJRitchie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2014, 01:29 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
dznf0g's Avatar

 
2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 9,399
Images: 5
Kelvin,

I believe you would want to add more panels in parallel UPSTREAM of any controller. This would be easily re-wired with connectors which could facilitate easy use of one or both portable "suitcases" as you needed.

However, I believe you never want more than one controller operating the system as a whole. This would probably mean you would need to source a single controller with enough current carrying capacity for all the proposed panels.
__________________

__________________
-Rich-

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
dznf0g is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2014, 03:33 PM   #3
4 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
ottawa (greely) , Ontario
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 390
Blog Entries: 1
My solar system at home I can add many charge controllers they Have to be set to follow the main charge controller, not all charge controllers are made to work this way , first of all your solar panels should be the same wattage same make,and specs . Just buy a good charge controler I have a midnite solar ( the kid ) charge controler for my trailer its capable up to 30 amps and 150 volts dc of solar panels this is if you conect them in series and it will down convert voltage to charge 12 volt ,24 volt,36 volt or 48 volt batteries and when hooked up to 12 volt battery can have two 215 watt panels hooked up in series for a total of 430 watts this can go up if hooked up to charge 24,36 or 48 volt batteries and 430watts is plenty of power for most people as I use a 60 watt panel for two people in our trailer 60 watts of portable solar panel( in the sun ) is like having 300 watts of a roof mounted panel in the shade

Don
__________________
2012 silverado ext cab 4x4 ,5.3 L , 6 speed trans,3:42 final drive,tow package standard box 6 1/2 foot . 2014 honda forza 300 scooter, #2 2015 honda crf 250 L (Dual sport)
scamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2014, 04:14 PM   #4
4 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
ottawa (greely) , Ontario
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 390
Blog Entries: 1
You can also have two panels of different wattages as long as they have separate charge controllers and the charge controllers are set to the same charge voltages for bulk ,absorb,and float, and equalize if your charge controler has it ( I dought that ) and just hook up to your battery from each seperate charge controler outputs.
Also have a look at (ROC solid ) portable folding solar panels I think these are the best in portable panels as you can expand by just plugging into main panel ,the only problem is to ship them to North America they are a Australian company, there is also (go power) folding portable panels from canada
Don
__________________
2012 silverado ext cab 4x4 ,5.3 L , 6 speed trans,3:42 final drive,tow package standard box 6 1/2 foot . 2014 honda forza 300 scooter, #2 2015 honda crf 250 L (Dual sport)
scamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2014, 09:47 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
KJRitchie's Avatar

 
2008 25' Classic
Wichita Falls , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4,217
I contacted Zamp technical support and they said it couldn't be done by their systems because of the built in controllers. One would probably go to a standby mode.

I'd have to connect the 2nd panel system to the first in parallel but then the 2nd systems controller may not handle the amps.

They didn't offer any advice for upgrading.

Too bad they don't offer this option.

Kelvin
__________________
KJRitchie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2014, 09:52 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
dznf0g's Avatar

 
2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 9,399
Images: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
I contacted Zamp technical support and they said it couldn't be done by their systems because of the built in controllers. One would probably go to a standby mode.

I'd have to connect the 2nd panel system to the first in parallel but then the 2nd systems controller may not handle the amps.

They didn't offer any advice for upgrading.

Too bad they don't offer this option.

Kelvin
Kelvin, yes, I agree with ZAMP folks as they state. And they won't tell you work arounds, or mods, due to warranty/liability reasons.

An easy mod can be made, as I stated above. See my single system mod here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...ar-124920.html

The same sort of mod can easily be made with 2 portables in parallel with connector installations. And yes, you would need a single larger capacity controller, mounted in the AS, while bypassing the ones mounted on the panel case.

It isn't really hard, and could accomplish what you want to do.
__________________
-Rich-

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
dznf0g is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2014, 10:33 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
KJRitchie's Avatar

 
2008 25' Classic
Wichita Falls , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4,217
When I had my 17' Casita I built my own portable 60 watt system. Bought the panel and controller and then fabricated PVC tubing to make a folding stand. I never got around making a bag to carry it in and when I sold my Casita I threw in the panel to sweeten the deal. I figured I'd need more watts for 2 12v battery capacity moving to the AS.

For the Airstream I could mount the controller under the bed and run the battery wires under the trailer to the A frame battery compartment and keep the panel connectors in there too but knowing my AS it will probably be a harder job than I envision. Then I have to fabricate stands and covers and by the time I do all this I'm probably not saving much money.

Kelvin
__________________
KJRitchie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2014, 11:02 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
dznf0g's Avatar

 
2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 9,399
Images: 5
You lost me, Kelvin, with the "Stands and covers" comment. Are you now thinking of fabricating from scratch? The Zamp comes with frames, stand, and cover.
__________________
-Rich-

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
dznf0g is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2014, 11:17 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
Royce's Avatar
 
1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Colorado Springs , Colorado
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 716
Images: 9
I have a Go Power 80 watt suitcase solar and was told when purchased that I could add up to two additional 80 watt panels to it. Didn't check the details because the 80 watt covers my usage with spare.
__________________
Royce (K0RKK) 146.460 simplex
Web page http://spearfishcreek.net/
AIR# 3913
'77' Minuet 6 Metre, behind a 2005 stock Jeep Rubicon with Equa-L-Zer hitch.
Royce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2014, 11:20 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
dznf0g's Avatar

 
2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 9,399
Images: 5
Sounds like the 80W Go Pro comes with a large enough capacity controller for 240 watts. You can add as many as you want, with proper wiring and a larger capacity controller....within reason.
__________________
-Rich-

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
dznf0g is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2014, 11:28 AM   #11
Rivet Master
 
dznf0g's Avatar

 
2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 9,399
Images: 5
As an FYI, I can make 3.5 days @ somewhere around 30Ah/day, before I am at 50% state of charge on my 2-group 29 Lead Acid Interstates, using no charging method at all. I'm all LED on the interior of the AS and we use power sparingly, but not anal retentively. We shower and use water pump as normal, don't watch much TV (LED tv). So unless we had many days of cloudy skys, 160 watt panel is fine for us. On a mostly sunny day, I get a bit north of 50Ah restoration of juice.

If we had a long string of dark clouds, I would just pull out the 2000 watt gennie every week or so. (hasn't happened yet, but if we need fans, tv, have guests, etc. it's there as a backup)
__________________
-Rich-

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
dznf0g is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2014, 12:11 PM   #12
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
lewster's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,278
You can easily parallel charge controllers if they are designed for the application. The Blu Sky iPN Pro remote can accept and control up to 8 controller heads, using either the 2512iX-HV or the larger 3024 controllers.

I'm just completing a 2000 watt solar array on a 36' Winnebago that is using 3 of the 3024 controllers in parallel. This will yield up to 120 amps at the batteries!!!!

Quite a system ..............


Lew Farber
RVIA/RVDA Nationally Certified Master Tech
Master Tech Energy Systems, Inc.
AM Solar Certified Installation Center
Lifeline Batteries**Magnum Inverters
541-490-6357
__________________
Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
lewster is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2014, 12:19 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
dznf0g's Avatar

 
2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 9,399
Images: 5
Thanks Lew, That's perhaps what Kelvin needs to hear. Although he probably doesn't need a huge capacity master controller. What is out there that would be compatible with the stock Zamp controllers at, say, 400 watts?

Also, maybe you can clear some theory up for me. Why would multiple (branch) controllers be necessary? If getting the most out of the panels is the desire (assuming proper sized wiring and connectors) wouldn't you want the highest voltage possible to arrive at the master controller in order to make the best "conversion" or "scavenging" of that higher voltage to increased amperage (MPPT controller)? Why would you drop the voltage on the branches and have a lower voltage arriving at the master controller?
__________________
-Rich-

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
dznf0g is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2014, 08:42 PM   #14
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
lewster's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,278
Most controllers out there are designed with a set maximum voltage threshold, which generally can not be exceeded. Most solar charge controllers that are compatible for RV use have a 24VDC+/- voltage limit, with controllers for larger systems handling a max. voltage of 40-45.6VDC.

The higher limit controllers typically are 24VDC output where the 24VDC max. controllers are for 12VDC battery systems. These max. input voltage climb over 100VDC for 48volt battery systems. The difference in output voltage limits, V(mppt), will not produce more solar boost with higher input voltage, as the charging voltage also increases.

The triple controller system I described above has a 40 amp limit on the controller into a 12VDC system, and a 30 amp limit if used in a 24VDC system. These are also voltage limited to 24VDC input, but when the house battery bank id depleted, the 3 controllers in parallel (640 watts into each controller) will more than likely operate at the full rated amperage output, or 120 amps of charging voltage to the batteries when needed.

Hope I wasn't talking in circles........ ...........
__________________

__________________
Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
lewster is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Portable GPS systems JakBluMule On The Road... 100 05-26-2008 07:58 PM
Cleaning the portable water systems after use Silvertwinkie Fresh Water Systems 4 07-01-2003 04:46 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:59 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.