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Old May 4th, 2013, 02:42 PM   #1
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Default Testing the Harbor Freight solar panels

Got the coupon for $139 for the 45 watt solar setup and figured I'd put it on the TransVan.

So- testing today to see if it's worth doing.





Charging the auxiliary battery seem to be no problem. As it turns out, my neighbor has this same solar setup that he uses with his ham radio equipment on field days. 2 years and still works fine- he even keeps it mounted to his garage roof as a maintainer for the battery in his 71 Duster.

Now, just need to work on a mounting system for the roof....
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Old May 4th, 2013, 02:57 PM   #2
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i dig it!
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Old May 4th, 2013, 03:19 PM   #3
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Awesome! Nothing better than free energy!
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Old May 4th, 2013, 03:40 PM   #4
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how many watts or amps though?
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Old May 4th, 2013, 04:01 PM   #5
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how many watts or amps though?
a little more than 3 amps.
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Old May 4th, 2013, 04:15 PM   #6
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a little more than 3 amps.
3 amps for 3 of them together?
or 3 amps each?
i assume thats for all three.
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Old May 4th, 2013, 04:24 PM   #7
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a little more than 3 amps.
confirmed/tested, or just going off the specs?

most solar specs are misleading because you never have optimal angle/duration, etc
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Old May 4th, 2013, 05:25 PM   #8
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I need to run my battery down a little and put the ammeter in line.

Details to follow.
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Old May 4th, 2013, 05:36 PM   #9
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OK, I turned on a few lights and fans, here's what I have (battery has been charging all day)

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Old May 4th, 2013, 06:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
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3 amps for 3 of them together?
or 3 amps each?
i assume thats for all three.
Correct.

Amps = watts/volts

45/12=3.75 amps

I am getting around 2.25 amps measured (fluctuates, pic is showing 2.18 amps)

And I'm using Fluke meter, not a freebie HF DVM

Not bad, IMHO.

The charge controller has a USB charging port for phones, and a 3v and 6v with a multi-plug for other rechargeables. No worries about 'dirty' generator power. With an inverter, it's possible to run a laptop.
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Old May 4th, 2013, 09:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlooMule View Post
Correct.

Amps = watts/volts

45/12=3.75 amps

I am getting around 2.25 amps measured (fluctuates, pic is showing 2.18 amps)

And I'm using Fluke meter, not a freebie HF DVM

Not bad, IMHO.

The charge controller has a USB charging port for phones, and a 3v and 6v with a multi-plug for other rechargeables. No worries about 'dirty' generator power. With an inverter, it's possible to run a laptop.
thats actually not too bad... Please report back on a cloudy day... and in 6 months
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Old May 4th, 2013, 09:15 PM   #12
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thats actually not too bad... Please report back on a cloudy day... and in 6 months
With the panels half shaded from the shadow of my garage, I was still seeing .6 amps.

My neighbor's HF solar panels are 2 years old, and outside year round- still working!

It will be interesting to see how well this works when I go camping this summer.
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Old May 4th, 2013, 10:55 PM   #13
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Subscribed. This is interesting.
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Old May 4th, 2013, 11:29 PM   #14
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Nice I was just at harbor freight today i was going to get one and test it out I'm interested to see how this holds up
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Old May 5th, 2013, 12:03 AM   #15
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somebody with a wombulance needs 1 of these it may charge his RV build to got faster
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Old May 5th, 2013, 08:36 PM   #16
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Subscribed....I was thinking about doing this for the hunting camper as we are normally there 2-4 days at a time and the rest of the time it could be re-charging the batterys we use for lights/furnace.
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Old May 5th, 2013, 09:03 PM   #17
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I'm curious to see how it handles not in direct sun but more natural light. I got 11 acres up north all trees
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Old May 12th, 2013, 01:19 PM   #18
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Update?
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Old May 16th, 2013, 06:55 PM   #19
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I'm going to be going camping June 8th, I'll post how well it works.
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Old June 7th, 2013, 01:22 PM   #20
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I'm going to be going camping June 8th, I'll post how well it works.
Also wondering how this will work in the woods. I need to charge camper batterys and my camper is on my property in the woods. Also was thinking about getting a small 500 watt quiet generator.
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