So after spending at least a year whining that my battery bank is too small, I can’t generate power etc etc I’ve decided to FINALLY do something about it, spurred on by the discovery of $130 6V 220 AH batteries at the local costco (they don’t put them on the website).
So, first stage is to buy and install 2 6V batteries, giving me a battery bank of 220AH, as opposed to the old 70AH. Tripling the battery bank for $260 – not bad! Not the long term solution (that’s 400AH lithium) but it’ll tide me over for a year. Hahahahahaha ‘tide’, get it, hahahahahaha *tumbleweed*
Now the hard part – working out where to put the solar panels.
For the longest time I planned on fixed solid panels on an arch. This of course, meant building an arch, an expensive and difficult project that continually got pushed back because seriously, building a stainless steel arch sounds like SUCH a huge pain.
Until I had a brainwave! Semi-flexible panels have CRASHED in the last couple of years, now under $2 a watt. I grabbed two of these 100 watt panels and am going to mount them directly on the deck! Again – long term I will have an arch with more solar (I can probably cram 400 watts on there) but this will do for now, as my power consumption is really low.
I plan to mount these two panels in two places – one on the ‘slopey bit’ where the cabin roof turns into the deck, and the other on the cabin roof just before that.
I’ve circled in red where the panels will go.
Now, these are not optimum (esp the front one) but they are low cost and should put out enough power to really help out. And for less than 400 bucks, its hard to go wrong!
Max 20 amps, which should cover both panels, again for under $200. I went for an MPPT controller as for a bit more, it really optimizes the panel output.
ANYWAY, this is all the plan, I’m sure it will have to be modified when everything arrives and I measured it wrong or something else super dumb as I subscribe to the ‘measure once, cut wrong’ philosophy of workmanship.
Long term plan is still to have 400AH of lithiums with 600+ watts solar but this setup should get me around the island in August.