Friday, June 19, 2015

The Solar saga continues

100w panel in the evening sun...
My main goal here is simply to be able to run a Thermoelectric cooler continuously. The cooler draws about 3.8 amps when running. Normally (a subjective word in itself), I'd estimate the cooler has about a 50% duty cycle. It cuts in alot during a hot day but not so much at night. Therefore, my calculations will be based on an estimated average current draw of 2 amps. For a 24 hour period, that's 48, so let's just go with 50 amp hours for each day of use. My Battery Bank is 230 amp hours, but you don't want to run it down much past 50%. Therefore, we're looking at about 2.5 days of use before some sort of charging is needed.

 Here's the cooler I'm using. It's a little better than the regular Canadian Tire variety. Most of them only cool to 20c below ambient...not good enough. This one cools to 30c below ambient. It also has a 7-position thermostat that cycles it on and off.


Here's my 2 x 115 amp-hour Deep Cycle Batteries. To help achieve the off-grid nirvana, I have a 100-watt Solar Panel. It's rated at a 5.8 amp maximum, so I'm hoping that on each sunny day, it will be able to supply about 30-40 amp hours of charge...
4.1 amps from the panel.
That may be a bit ambitious, so I plan on adding a portable setup of another 100 watts or so for any time we are staying put for a couple of days. Of course, any driving will result in a nice boost from the van's alternator, so I think we'll be ok. More to come...

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