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Old 04-07-2021, 01:11 PM   #41
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Today I checked this out on a bright sunny day about noon in Texas. I was getting 84 volts to the controller but only 3amps. What went wrong?
Maybe nothing. I believe the maximum your panels are going to put out in ideal/perfect conditions is 9 amps ((190 x4) / 84).

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Old 04-07-2021, 01:19 PM   #42
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All is charging so i guess I am Ok.
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Old 04-07-2021, 05:05 PM   #43
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My single 80W panel will put out 5.8A in full sun.
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Old 04-07-2021, 06:00 PM   #44
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I think you might want to wire them in Parallel to get closer to 12 V output and increased amperage.
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Old 04-07-2021, 06:19 PM   #45
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I think you might want to wire them in Parallel to get closer to 12 V output and increased amperage.
X2. Parallel with 4 190 W panels and 12 V output would be as much as 63 amps in ideal conditions.
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Old 04-07-2021, 06:39 PM   #46
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Putting two 12 v batteries that are a 100 amp hour each in parallel are going to give you 200 amp hours but still at 12 volts, two 12 volt 100 amp hour batteries in series will only give you 100 amp hours but 24 volts, the parallel advantage is the combined amps but the draw back is the gauge of wire you will need to get all those amps to the controller, I think your 84 volts is a waste an you would get more out of your panels going to parallel, just my opinion
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Old 04-07-2021, 08:16 PM   #47
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Thanks EA37TS and Baseman for you comments and continual support.

As far as batteries, I have four 12V 100AH AGM batteries wired in Parallel.

I wired in Series because a panel has a Optimum Operating Current of 9.36A Four panels in parallel could reach 36-38 amps (on a perfect day. That exceeds the amp capacity of my 10 AWG wire from the panels to the controller. I am now reading 94 volts and less than one amp. I had expected the 90ish volts output but expected 80-10 Amps.

Later today I will recheck the panel wiring to see if in fact my adult grandsons wired it properly in series. If that checks OK I will do a change to parallel or a series parallel. My solar controller output feeds into the inverter and batteries.

A question to you experts. If the batteries are fully charged, will the panel amp output decrease?
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Old 04-07-2021, 08:34 PM   #48
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Fullabunk
Your 10 gauge wire will safely handle 24 amps at an 80% loading factor, since they are generally rated for 30 amps. If your batteries are fully charged, the energy created by the panels is virtually wasted as it has nowhere to go, other than to continuously top off your batteries. I would agree with the series parallel combination, seeking as close to 30amps as possible on a normal day, achieving the best performance and maximum output.
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Old 04-07-2021, 09:03 PM   #49
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How are you measuring the 3 amps, at the controller input or output? If at the output, 3 amps is horrible. If at the input, that is 3*84= 252 watts. Not great but at a low sun angle, ok. It will also mean .95(efficiency)*252/12= 20 amps to the batteries.

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Old 04-07-2021, 09:52 PM   #50
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It is the controller output. I think Rod gave me the problem. The MH is plugged into 50A power and the solar panels are doing their best. Unfortunately for the solar, the batteries are fully charged so there is no work for the panels. About 15 minutes ago I unplugged from the shorepower and seeing if the batteries start to deplete and the solar starts doing its job. I just looked at the solar and it was 5 amps. Will keep everyone posted.
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Old 04-08-2021, 01:27 PM   #51
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Just got the roof schematics from Thor via email- Thank You very much! After a quick perusal I see that there is not that much sheet metal up there and that's fine- I've already located some of the roof supports and they are 16" on center. I'll be using them when I get started with the solar system. Thanks for all the excellent information. Ed
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Old 04-10-2021, 11:07 PM   #52
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I unplugged the MH from 50a service and let the batteries drain 10-15%. The next morning the panels began charging real well with 8-9.5 amps. That is about the best I can get with 760 watts on panels and getting 84 volts. Today I added 3 additional AGM batteries. I know have 7 for about 700 amp hours capacity.

I have a question. During this discussion I mentioned my panels are wired in series to keep the amps within the 10awg wire and to allow for adding a few more panels later if needed. It was suggested I change to a series/parallel structure to get the amps closer to 30. I was wondering why? My controller seems to handle any volts or amps(within reason) and outputs 12 Volts to the batteries. Am I missing something?

Thanks for all the suggestions.
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Old 04-10-2021, 11:24 PM   #53
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everything you use from the batteries is pulling amps and you can add series panels till the cows come home and they are not going to replace the amps you are using, stop an think about the volts you are using to try to charge 12 volt batteries, you need to put back the amps back in you are using, your panels will take a long time to replace what you pull out of your batteries, contact some firm like Renogy and tell them what you are trying to accomplish, they will ask you to list all the things you power off your batteries and that includes the inverter and they can help you with your solar project, you are not getting the benefit of the output of the panels with the series hook up
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Old 04-10-2021, 11:57 PM   #54
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Take a look at your engine alternator, its set up for a 12 volt system and it will put out around 14.5 volts depending on the type of battery you have for the engine battery, that alternator will probably be rated at 100 amps or more to take care of all the stuff the coach might be using going down the road, your 84 volt solar system putting out around 10 amps will take forever to recharge 7 batteries, you will be good for a few days with 700 amp hours but the solar panels will never get a chance to charge them back up, you have a very high dollar trickle charger with the panels in series
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Old 04-11-2021, 12:19 AM   #55
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How would hooking them up in series affect things?
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Old 04-11-2021, 12:40 AM   #56
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Series you double the volts and parallel you double the amps, but you got to increase the size of the conductor to handle the amps with parallel depending on the distance between the panel and the battery
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Old 04-11-2021, 09:20 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by Fullabunk View Post
I unplugged the MH from 50a service and let the batteries drain 10-15%. The next morning the panels began charging real well with 8-9.5 amps. That is about the best I can get with 760 watts on panels and getting 84 volts. Today I added 3 additional AGM batteries. I know have 7 for about 700 amp hours capacity.

I have a question. During this discussion I mentioned my panels are wired in series to keep the amps within the 10awg wire and to allow for adding a few more panels later if needed. It was suggested I change to a series/parallel structure to get the amps closer to 30. I was wondering why? My controller seems to handle any volts or amps(within reason) and outputs 12 Volts to the batteries. Am I missing something?

Thanks for all the suggestions.
As long as you stay with the specs of the MPPT controller the higher voltage will reduce the loss in the wire running from the panels down to the MPPT controller. The controller does the job of converting back to the 12 volt range. Power is power. The equation is P=I x E or power is the current times the voltage. 20 amps times 12 volts equals 240 watts and 5 amps time 48 volts equals 240 watts. What is left out of the equation is the resistance of the wire. 10awg wire is about 0.000999 ohms per foot. If you have 20 feet of wire from the panels to the MPPT controller the loss is P=I (squared) x R. At 20 amps the loss in the wire is about 8 watts but at 5 amps it is 1/2 watt.

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