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Old 10-12-2016, 09:00 AM   #11
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S, how long wire run from panels to the Prostar 30? Gauge? How far to batteries? By keeping the SCC closer to the batteries, the voltage compensation feature is less needed. And, if you have your heart set on MPPT (I can't imagine why, but who am I) can you bump up the Absorb / Float voltages up a skosh in setup?

Responding to #9. And the last one.

Tony, Handy Bob cautions his readers that spending money on cabling that goes beyond the manufacturers recommendations (-3% in my case) is a waste of resources and money, while pointing out many, if not most are indeed undersized. He got on me for going with #4/0 - inverter to batteries - when #2/0 would have worked ... if marginally.

I read about 21 volts from my panels no matter the ampere available /demand as long as its enough sun for them to be charging. So, like SB so correctly stated (#2), "controller with remote sense eliminates the voltage drop entirely" .. with higher voltage available in abundance and as needed ... as long as it isn't beyond the SCCs design limit ... 3% in the case the SC-2030.

Pmsherman, X2. I think for a house were shade can be avoided and nothing is moving, MPPT and series panels makes perfect sense especially considering the small wire size and longer wire runs. But, RVs move and shadows fall and the run is often not so long as to consider larger wire sizes too costly. Most people don't want to crawl onto an RV roof to tilt panels for a short stay; I would add a panel rather than do that. Many folks don't realize how affected panel output is when just a small (in close) shadow falls on one cell. If it falls on a parallel panel only that panel is affected, but if in series the entire string's output could drop to near nothing.
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Old 10-12-2016, 09:40 AM   #12
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This always descends to more copper!!! Frankly, we all have to look at the specifics of our units to determine the best course of action. Most Georgetowns with rear power bays suffer from one basic limitation. The converter is almost 22 feet from the batteries and is wired with #6 or #8. Forgetting solar, my 70 amp PD converter (with no remote sense) loses .3 to .4 volts when charging, which lengthens genny run times. It seems that FR has not only wired the converter with small leads but has run both the positive and the negative all the way to the batteries, rather than resorting to a chassis ground for at least the negative, which effectively cuts the run length in half. For those who point out that there are issues with chassis ground, let's not forget that the whole battery bank (in my case 4 deep cycles) connects its negative ONLY through a chassis ground! The best fix here is to ground the negative and up the positive to something a little bigger, which will help all around.

My 300 watts of solar (parallel) comes down from the roof into the rear bay with standard #10 PV wire. The voltage drop from the panels to the controller is far less important since this voltage is unregulated and is generally far higher than the voltage needed by the controller to maximize output to the batteries (even for 15 volt equalization!) They connect to the SC2030 in the rear bay and piggy back to the battery bank using the converter connections, as does my 1000 watt xantrex inverter. The main bus from the converter is used by the inverter (converter not running); by the SC2030 with remote sense and by the converter when connected to shore power.

Now the converter wants to put out 70 amps and does not have remote sense. The 12 to 15 amps or so from the panels has a much lower v-drop, since it tops out at maybe 20 amps and the 2030 will up the voltage to compensate for the battery bus drop.

Copper is not a magic bullet. Unfortunately most RVs are designed to be connected to shore power all the time. Boondocking is another thing and you will have to adjust the design to accommodate it best. Using MPPT for 300 watts is pretty out there, especially if you already have a Trimetric.
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Old 10-12-2016, 01:36 PM   #13
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My system when I purchased the rig was a single 75 Watt panel and two T105. I purchased two additional 130 Watt Kyocera panels and the ProStar 30 charger. I removed the 75 watt panel and old charger to trickle charge my truck batteries when in the garage.

All wiring is 10 AWG - length from panels to charger is about 5 feet and length from charger to batteries is 12 feet. I live in Colorado but do not boondock in the winter - temperatures in Spring and Fall can be in the thirties. My panels are mounting flat. I do not currently have an inverter so just running lights, pump, and furnace on 12 volt. I have converted most of the daily use lights to LED. I had to replace the T-105s earlier this year with a couple of T-145. The T-105 lasted ten years

Would the Bogart charger/meter make a significant difference in charging and/or battery like compared to the ProStar 30?
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Old 10-12-2016, 01:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjansky View Post
...Would the Bogart charger/meter make a significant difference in charging and/or battery like compared to the ProStar 30?
Not really. You have a pretty good unit. Besides, the Bogart controller only works in conjunction the their TriMetric battery monitor which mounts inside the RV and gives you a really good view of your state of charge, your charging sources like converter, engine, solar, etc. It would cost you almost $300 to switch and i don't see the value. You should be pretty good since the ProStar has remote battery sense as well.
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Old 10-12-2016, 03:56 PM   #15
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I agree with SB but many people have the Trimetric TM-2025 or the newer TM-2030 to monitor what ever they have. Not a thing wrong with the PS30.

What is your system not doing that you would like it to do better? Could it be you are not getting those great batteries fully charged? But, if the first lasted 10 years, you are doing something right
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Old 10-13-2016, 09:58 AM   #16
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I do not believe that the batteries are getting a full charge - the charger seems to go to absorb and float very quickly. I probably just need to get a good hydrometer to check for sure. I am thinking about getting a temp sense probe and put in fridge to "fool" the charger into adding more voltage to batteries. If Handy Bob is right and you need higher voltage and more amps to batteries - I really think the T-145 are under charged. The settings on ProStar 30 is 14.4 for bulk - it does an equalize charge every 25 days to 14.9 for an hour and 15.1 for two hours if battery voltage goes to 11.7.
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Old 10-13-2016, 10:17 AM   #17
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The Bogart SC2030 has a profile for Trojan batteries that does an equalize at 16.2 volts. This is changeable and settable manually, of course. Trojan generally advocates significantly higher voltages than some of the other vendors. Don't know how the rest of the stuff in the system will react to a dc voltage of 16.2, but a solar controller easily has that much voltage at its disposal.

The problem with converters like Progressive Dynamics is that their power supply sections usually top out at 14 volts or so and can't manage much of an equalize.
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Old 10-13-2016, 10:41 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by sjansky View Post
I do not believe that the batteries are getting a full charge - the charger seems to go to absorb and float very quickly. I probably just need to get a good hydrometer to check for sure. I am thinking about getting a temp sense probe and put in fridge to "fool" the charger into adding more voltage to batteries. If Handy Bob is right and you need higher voltage and more amps to batteries - I really think the T-145 are under charged. The settings on ProStar 30 is 14.4 for bulk - it does an equalize charge every 25 days to 14.9 for an hour and 15.1 for two hours if battery voltage goes to 11.7.
I like the idea of fooling your SCC.

I have my Absorb point (the voltage where Bulk ends) set to 14.8 volts; Float is 13.2v right now. I don't have Trojans but I have not needed to Equalize in the year I have had these Duracells, but I am close. Higher charging voltages (nothing wrong with 14.6v to 14.7v just takes longer) seems to be the key. My SCC considers full charge (and resets to 100%) when 14.8 is reached the same time 2% of the Ah that is set (460*.02=9.2A). Using the Magnum (set to 80% of its 100A) I have to lower the reset voltage on the SCC to 14.7v to get a reset to 100%. I can also raise the % to 2.5 or 3 and accomplish the same thing. At the resting voltage (and SG) for 50% battery, the Magnum can get these 460 Ah of battery through Bulk... 1.5 hours of Absorb to Float (if I am using float) in about 3 hours. The Trimetric is showing 102 to 105% by that time. I love having a good charger. These are so programmable that frankly, I am still learning how it all works.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:30 AM   #19
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Looks like if you get a sensor and put it in the freezer, you will get between .125 and .250 more than you have at 25 degrees C. Might work, sort of the kind of thing that I might try before my wife would throw it out!
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