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 > Costco 100W 18V solar blanket: which controller to use?

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BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 06/20/22 04:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It works with a power station, as seen in this video. It is not a "normal" solar panel.

https://sterlingwong.com/2022/02/05/revi........-watt-solar-blanket-folding-solar-panel/


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pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 06/20/22 05:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

How large is the battery bank?


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

profdant139

Southern California

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Posted: 06/21/22 09:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very useful comments -- thanks! If I decide to keep this panel, I would use it to charge a group 31 deep cycle battery, with 110 amp/hour capacity.

My existing 120 watt panel fully recharges my battery every day -- we carry a spare battery but never need it! (And yes, we carry a generator, also never run it.)

So this new 100 watt panel (if it works with a 12 volt battery) would just add to my existing charging options.

And yes, it is clearly too expensive on a "per watt" basis -- but it folds easily, it is very light, and it is easy to store. Those are important considerations, especially since our trailer is so small.


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BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 06/21/22 09:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How do you connect that 18v power wire to the 31 battery? or even to a solar controller that then connects to the battery?

You might have a power station that you charge up with that like in the video, and then use a battery charger plugged into the power station, but that seems a bit much.

2oldman

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Posted: 06/21/22 10:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I can't find specific specs like with 'normal' solar panels. Open circuit voltage is normally 18v or higher, but when hooked to a load like a battery that voltage comes down. But, I can't say for sure if 18v is open circuit.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 06/21/22 12:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

profdant139 pwm controllers do not drop the voltage. They operate at what ever the battery voltage is. As the battery gets fuller the control "pulses" the power, with shorter "on" time and greater "off" time. PWM does include a one way diode to prevent the panels from drawing power from the battery bank.

110 amp-hour battery flooded? Then with this panel under PERFECT conditions 5.5 amps are going into the battery. But that only happens around solar noon.

I would be comfortable doing direct connection to the battery with an on/off switch between the panel and the bank.

profdant139

Southern California

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Posted: 06/21/22 05:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, after all that, I am going to return the panel to Costco. All of the connectors are dinky little metal tubes, the kind you'd use for powering a boom box. (I'm showing my age here.)

So the way I figure it, if the manufacturer of this panel thought that this unit could charge a real 12v battery, they would have included some hardware (maybe alligator clips??) that would attach to the battery terminals. But they didn't.

Bottom line -- I might (or might not) be able to get it to work with enough add-on hardware, but it is not worth the "sunk costs" of the hardware. I can easily return the panel to Costco -- but it is not so easy to return the hardware for a full refund.

pianotuna

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Posted: 06/21/22 06:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

profdant139,

A good decision.

BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 06/21/22 07:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Apparently nobody watched the video I linked back when.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 06/21/22 08:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BFL13 wrote:

Apparently nobody watched the video I linked back when.


Hi BFL13,

I watched it.

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