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Old 12-02-2022, 02:35 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnoland30 View Post
Sloping your panel at 45į will help the snow melt off, and help clean it when it rains. Solar panels are more effeicient in the cold, so pointing east might work best, but in snow country, I'd aim it southwest so that the sun melts the snow during the warmest part of the day. <clip>
For the real facts on solar panel orientation, here's a calculator
https://pvwatts.nrel.gov/
You can see the difference between panels laid flat vs at the proper angle for sun in your location. Also, what direction to face the panel (South, generally). You'd want to orient the panel for the "winter" sun path (more vertical) rather than the "summer" sun path (higher overhead) to obtain more Photovoltaic Energy during the winter. For a full year of a single angle, they suggest using your latitude (mine's about 46 degrees) for the angle.
Also, living in snow country, consider placing the panels at an angle so that the snow might sluff off when it falls rather than piling up on a flat panel surface.

Note also that it will base its calculations on your specific location. For instance, I live at 46 degrees N latitude in the Northern Rockies. If I change the location to a similar location at the same latitude in the Pacific Northwest where it is usually cloudy during the winter, my solar panel output drops by about 30%.
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Old 12-13-2022, 02:58 PM   #22
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Here in SE Michigan it's been almost a week since we saw the sun. I checked on the motorhome in the AM today and found the battery just below 50%. Even on cloudy days a 110watt solar cell is almost enough to keep the propane detector, a 150w 12vdc to 110ac inverter and 2x mouse chasers running. I suspect a few weeks after the solstice I can turn it back on and be fine.

*While boondocking in the fall with the solar cell and one 90amp hour battery I reached 100% charge most sunny days. Heater took the battery down near 50% every night.
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Old 12-13-2022, 05:12 PM   #23
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Did you end up tilting the solar panel at 45 degrees and facing it directly south? That will give you the most solar gain over the day and reduce snow loading on the panel.
I assume that you're running a Lead Acid battery. Be aware that discharging it below 50% charge will cause long-term damage to the battery. Generally that is approximately 12.0 volts (assuming Flooded Lead Acid).
I do not know how this value changes with regards to temperature. Generally lead acid info is provided assuming 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Old 12-13-2022, 05:39 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcsdpo View Post
Did you end up tilting the solar panel at 45 degrees and facing it directly south? That will give you the most solar gain over the day and reduce snow loading on the panel.

I assume that you're running a Lead Acid battery. Be aware that discharging it below 50% charge will cause long-term damage to the battery. Generally that is approximately 12.0 volts (assuming Flooded Lead Acid).

I do not know how this value changes with regards to temperature. Generally lead acid info is provided assuming 70 degrees Fahrenheit.


Itís an older flooded lead acid battery. I have seen a temperature chart for voltage vs state of charge.

I did move the solar panel to 45deg and facing SSW, itís charging the battery even with the clouds, just not enough.
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