• Ray
    531
    In this video, I add two more Renogy 100-watt solar panels to go with my existing 5 for a total now of 700 watts. I explain how I mounted and wired them from rooftop all the way to my battery bank located in the fifth wheel trailer from the storage compartment.



    I also show you a new mod that I made to the wiring connections and distribution. I cut out part of my RV toilet room wall and installed an access panel. Behind it, I have 2 buss bars for connecting the negative and positive solar panel wires plus a switchable 40A breaker.

    On the panel front, I mounted my Trimetric Battery Monitor display. From the 2 buss bars down to the solar charge controller, I ran a new cable run beefing up the wire gauge from 7GA to 4GA.

    See the complete solar power playlist - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLp14lzXh07unQMg1COXX2LOEoLNZoel7z
    Link to solar power blog posts on the LYRV website - https://www.loveyourrv.com/tag/solar/
  • Greg F
    175
    Great upgrade! I have really enjoyed watching all the videos over the years as the system has evolved.

    Is the 30 amp controller big enough for your total system? 700 watts should be able to produce over 50 amps when the sun gets higher. The Bogart controller is ok with over paneling though I think. Maybe a second charger will be upcoming mod? :D
  • RVsolar
    233
    Very nice Ray you are slowly get closer to my
    2880watts. WTG
  • Rush and Lola
    140
    You a busy fellow Ray.
  • MikeD
    3
    Nice setup Ray. Just curious how those buss bars are attached to that wall.
  • Ray
    531
    I was able to screw into the bathroom vanity cabinet on the other side. Only had a few inches to work with though so that's why everything is lined up vertically. :)
  • Ray
    531
    haha, yeah!
  • Ray
    531
    Thanks. :) The controller will safely dump any extra. The goal has been to max it out during the shortest winter days and its pretty close now. Also, the extra panels will help with the overcast days.
    But as we all know somehow we always start to find ways to use that extra power and need more!
  • RVsolar
    233
    Ray are you using that hairdryer LOL
  • John612
    9
    Ray-Have you been able to determine an average of watts produced/panel watts?. I know it varies due to many conditions, but looking for your rule of thumb. We have 300 watts and don't think we've produced more than 150 or so. Hoping that will change on our trip through the southwest.
    thanks, John
  • Ray
    531
    The panels are rated for perfect lab conditions, most people in the real world conditions are seeing around 80-85% of the rated wattage on a clear day, not too hot and sun pointed 90 degrees at the panel. Temperature and elevation make a difference. Better results up higher and on cooler days
    Then there will be loses in the wiring and solar charger, so final amps/wattage into the batteries can be quite a bit lower.
  • John Ingebretson
    3
    Great work Ray. The nice thing about accomplishing a project over time is you can tweak and think things through thoroughly! I have always wondered what soldering iron you use, especially coming from your background in electronics. I notice you soldered #4 wire, do you have a method for doing that? My Weller #7200 died after all these years, and replacing the tips no longer does it. Thanks John
  • Ray
    531
    Thanks, back in storage from my electronics repair days I have Hakko stuff a Hakko hot air solder station and one of there regular stations and a portable desolder gun.
    But for traveling on the RV I carry a little Bernzomatic torch for smaller jobs and a Weller D550 260W/200W dual heat gun for the heavier stuff. It puts out a lot of heat quickly which is the key to solder the heavy wire.
    You want it to heat quickly so it doesn't have time to travel down the wire and start melting insulation and so the solder flows into the wire and doesn't just blob on the surface. Solder flux paste helps too, I use solder that has the flux built into the core so it helps it flow quick.
    Oh and also very clean wire helps. Any dirt or oxidation ruins the job.
  • John612
    9
    Ray - Do you know if we can get historical data from the Trimetic? It would be nice to see how the panels performed, similar to what I get from panels on our home roof.

    Thanks again,
    John

    PS Leaving Tucson for Las Sienegas NCA tomorrow. Took the drive up to Mt Lemmon today, sage brush & cactus turned to pine trees & snow, wonderful scenery, highly recommend it.
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