Solar Power System -- part 1
This is a project I have been working on for a while, and it's been partly functional for over a month. It is still a work in progress, but it's mostly finished now. Thanks to Don (Linda of Raven's Roads husband) for advice and helping me get the pannels mounted on the roof of my RV at the RTR.
The panels and controller were purchased from AM Solar in November. I have one OM100N panel, two OM100W panels, one OM150 panel, and a Morningstar Tri-star 60 MPPT controlled. (Prices have changed, and they no longer list the OM100W or OM50 on their web page.) I purchased the mounting feet and tilt bars from AM Solar, but I felt their prices on wire and accessories was high and purchased that elsewhere. (Marine cable for the roof from Ebay, some other wire from a scrap metal dealer by the pound.) Parts of it will be redone when I get the correct cable.
The 60-amp controller is larger than I need, but it has an ethernet interface that the 45-amp version does not. This allows me to monitor the controller via a web page, and I plan on doing more in the future. Placing the controller was a bit of a problem, it needs to be mounted vertically with six inches of clearance top and bottom, near the battery bank but not in the same compartment, and should not be exposed to road grime. My compromise was to mount it low in the corner of the kitchen, cutting a cupboard door in half and using plywood to strengthen the thin wall it is mounted on. This makes the lower section of this cupboard unusable. The wires to the battery/generator compartment run through a hole drilled in the floor of this cupboard, coming out over the batteries. Other things may be mounted in the former cupboard space in the future. The 80-amp fuse holder is mounted under the controller.
My solar system is sized for a significantly larger battery bank than my pair of 6-volt golf-cart batteries. I have plans to put in a higher-capacity battery bank in the near future. As things stand now, I have plenty of power during the day and have to watch my power consumption at night.