My solar setup, that I discussed in Baby Steps into Solar, has slowly been growing. Here are the additions and modifications I’ve made since the previous post.
Baby Steps into Solar Part II
I am pleased with the Instapark 10W Mono-crystalline Solar Panel and it’s 12V Solar Charge Controller, but I wanted to harness more sun power.
Luckily I had a few solar flood lights, with dead battery packs, I salvaged the solar panels from those and added them to the charge controller. They produce about 7-8 watts each (I forget the amps).
I also decided that it was time to move to a mounted system, so that I wouldn’t forget to take the solar panels out on sunny days. I hate it when I miss the chance to charge my 2 12v Deep Cycle batteries.
I promptly took all 3 solar panels outside and mounted them on my shed, running the wires inside the shed to the charge controller and the batteries.
I added the 2nd battery to the system by simply using a spare set of jumper cables that I had sitting in the garage. I connected the positive (+) of battery A to the positive lead on battery B and the negative (-) of battery A to the negative on battery B.
Then I connected the female 12v plug via alligator clips to the battery poles on Battery B. This is where I can plug in my Cobra 400-Watt inverter if needed. I’d much rather use 12v DC native charging though, so I’ll most likely use my car chargers to power our cell phones and only use the inverter when truly needed.
Keep in mind this is a system that provides power now and will grow as I learn more and as money becomes available for this project (after all I just bought a bunch of lock picks and stuff).
The 12V Solar Charge Controller that came with my 10W Mono-crystalline Solar Panel is working fine, but I just ordered the Sunforce 60031 10 Amp Digital Charge Controller, so once that arrives and I get it mounted and connected it should allow me to scale up a bit more.
My 10W solar power setup was designed to grow as I learn and is expanding at a nice pace into a full solar power lifestyle. I’ll add another post once I get the Sunforce 60031 10 Amp Digital Charge Controller hooked up and running.