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100 Watt Solar Panel Upgrade

100 Watt Solar Panel Upgrade I finally saved enough pennies, and got enough Amazon gift cards to do a 100 watt solar panel upgrade to my tiny solar power system.

100 Watt Solar Panel Upgrade

I was able to pick up a RENOGY 100 Watt  Monocrystalline Photovoltaic Panel from Amazon.com. This took my Solar power from 20 watts (10 watt panel and 2 5-watt panels) to 110 watts. The 5 watt panels are mounted, but are disconnected, they are destined for another project (More on that project at end of post).

100 watt panel

I also installed a weatherproof box to route the solar panel wires into the shed. The wires will be cleaned up and secured when the weather warms up enough to make them more pliable.

box

Installed weather proof box for wire ingress into shed.

I also added some new 4 gauge battery cables between battery 1 and 2 and used good quality Terminal Ends to secure them on the battery.

I understand that 4 guage isn’t large enough to maximize the power into the batteries, but my Sunforce 60031 10amp charge controller has “built” in wires for both the incoming solar leads and the output to the batteries, and those wires are very skinny.

Once I upgrade the charge controller, I’ll get Zero gauge wires and keep them as short as possible. I plan on replacing my 12v deep cycle marine batteries with about 6 of the 6-volt Trojan T-105‘s, wired for 12v, at that same time also. That’s going to be a very expensive upgrade, so it’ll be a while.

batteries inverter charge controller

It looks like the 100 Watt Solar Panel Upgrade is charging the batteries nicely.

inverter solar charge controller

Upcoming project

instapark 12v charge controller

Charge controller

I plan to use the 2 5-watt panels, a spare car battery and the tiny 12V Solar Charge Controller (came bundled with my Instapark Black 10W Mono-crystalline Solar Panel) to power my CPAP machine when I am camping. I know a car battery isn’t the best option, but it was free and still holds a decent charge, so that’s what I am using.

 

 

 


3 comments

  1. If you have any information of figuring your system sizing I’d love to see that. I’m not very skilled I’m this area and looking in to building a system of my own is simple enough for the 24V DC side, all the equipment there is rated in amp draw so just multiply it by usage for the ah needed I’m the battery and figure your peak sun for the wattage of the panels, but once I started playing with adding an inverter for my office I quickly became lost.

    300W of panels and 310 ah of batteries will give me three day independence at a 50% draw down for the DC portion. My office draws 300W of 110 AC for eight hours per day on top of that though and I have no idea how to figure that so I keep the three days at 50% with just the DC.

  2. Saw your heading for the solar powering of a cpap project….

    I’ve done this! and it works great….

    However — check the power supply of the cpap. Some are 12v, some are 24v.
    I now have the later and have to reconfigure my setup.

    Also consider this…. I did this with a 50w Renology panel as anything lower would not run cpap all night with its current draw and still come back for full change for the next days use. Recovery will greatly depend on how much sun you get, so if you’re camping and don’t have good sunlight, your batteries will need to be larger, or your panels will need to be higher abilities….or you’ll find yourself cpap-less unexpectedly in the wee hours of the morning.

    I’ve not used “electricity” for my setup since I went solar! Minor victory, but every path helps.

  3. I did my research and found a 12v CPAP machine. It came with a auto adapter and a 12v power brick to convert the household AC to DC to power the machine.

    I can get by with a 35 watt panel for a few days, but that automotive battery runs out fast. The 50 or 100 watt is def the way to go.

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