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Voltage drop

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JDEM
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:16 am    Post subject: Re: Voltage drop Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Voltage drop when choosing wire size is calculated as a worse-case under highest possible load. So . . if a 12 volt solar
panel is rated 17 volts and 120 watts - drop is figured with 7 amps. 3% drop is usually the max desired in a low voltage
system.

120 watt panel at 120 degrees F, with 130 foot run of plastic covered copper wire:

7 amps @ 18 volts: 10 gauge - 11.5% drop, 6 gauge - 4.2% drop, 4 gauge -2.9% drop

4 amps @ 18 volts: 10 gauge - 6.6% drop, 6 gauge - 2.6% drop, 4 gauge -1.1% drop

2 amps @ 18 volts: 10 gauge - 3.3% drop, 6 gauge -1.3% drop, 4 gauge -.8% drop


In cold areas that also get lots of snow, you add 10% to the panel rating since they can overproduce in those conditions.
 
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JDEM
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:29 am    Post subject: Re: Voltage drop Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Inverters are a crap-shoot. Most so-called "sine-wave" or "true sine-wave" inverters do NOT make a real sine-wave. I have
had more compatibility issues with "true sine-wave" inverters then cheaper modified-wave inverters. Note I am talking about
portable off-grid inverters. NOT certified grid-tie inverters that can cost thousands of bucks.

On the issue of known name-brand versus unknown Chinese? Again, a crap-shoot. I am still using a 2000/4000 watt mod-wave
inverter I bought new for $89 ten years ago and it still works fine. I also have an Xantrex "sine-wave" and an Outback
"certified sine-wave" that both went bad when less then two years old and very little use. At least Outback sent me the
parts to fix it.

I bought a new AIMs 3000/6000 watt "true sine-wave" last year and used it for 20 days before it started turning itself on
and off. I called the company and they cannot even come up with a schematic for it.

The funny part of this is - I have yet to have an el-cheapo no-name Chinese inverter crap out on me. I guess I have been
lucky. I also have yet to have a "true sine-wave" inverter make a real 60 Hertz sine-wave. Imperfect wave really shows up
when running a smart phone, lap-top computer, batter charger, motor starting, etc.
 
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Texasmark1
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:00 am    Post subject: Re: Voltage drop Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Yes sirree.
 
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JDEM
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:05 am    Post subject: Re: Voltage drop Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I see it the other way around. I have a cabin in the Michigan UP, in the middle of heavy forest with a "port-hole" in the tree-tops for sun. 800 watts of solar that only works for a few hours a day. I want NO loss. Makes no sense to have it. Difference of a few dollars to prevent loss with big enough wire or high enough voltage.
 
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TomA
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:20 am    Post subject: Re: Voltage drop Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I recently installed a solar pump and shopped for 2 100 watt panels to run in series. Prices were about $1 per watt.
My wife is having a system installed using 12 280 watt panels. She paid significantly less, I think about 65 cents per watt. She says prices are due to rise dramatically due to one of the trade deals going on.
 
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buickanddeere
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:32 am    Post subject: Re: Voltage drop Reply to specific post Reply with quote

per dollar spent the extra PV capacity would still charge the batteries faster than saving a few watts of I2R losses on the cable .
Going to 48V would reduce most of the loss concerns to minimal.
 
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Stan in Oly, WA
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:49 am    Post subject: Re: Voltage drop Reply to specific post Reply with quote

CIOA? Shame on you Guido. If you're going to use the one Italian word the whole world knows (not counting the names of food, anyway), you should at least spell it right. After all, you're Italian.

Stan
 
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guido
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Voltage drop Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hello JDEM,

In is case, he stated that he has three weeks for charging time and one week of use time, with minimal low amp usage. It should work for him just fine,

Guido.
 
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guido
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Voltage drop Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hello Stan,

How did I do that? I only had 12 years of schooling in Italy, Back to school I guess. I was 17 years old when I crossed the big pond. As you recall we served about the same time. Think I got in a couple of years before you. Keep a sharp eye, I will do the same.........

Guido.
 
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buickanddeere
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:20 am    Post subject: Re: Voltage drop Reply to specific post Reply with quote


These charge controllers , do they get warm ?
 
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Roger in Wisconsin
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:52 am    Post subject: Re: Voltage drop Reply to specific post Reply with quote

We have a small solar system at our hunting cabin. It just
does lights and a tv to watch the Packers. Our only problem
is that the German charge control is temperature compensated
that means less charge the colder it gets. Our next step is
to make a separate room for the batteries and pipe some of
our wood heat there.
 
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Texasmark1
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Voltage drop Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Snuck that one past the site cops didn't you. Grin
 
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Texasmark1
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Voltage drop Reply to specific post Reply with quote

OT

Speaking of super cooled, the focusing magnets for the Superconducting Super Collider Ion beam were designed for 4^K. Design called
for a Cryo unit every 5 miles of the 52 mile circumference. Thank Sam Donaldson, 60 minutes for crashing that. Cern in Switzerland did
the same thing on a smaller scale and lots less money. He saved the taxpayer $200M per year in operating expenses alone, not including
the cost of construction. Purpose was to prove the equations of the international scientists there about their Top Quarks and such when
collided at the speed of light....big train wreck.
 
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buickanddeere
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:33 am    Post subject: Re: Voltage drop Reply to specific post Reply with quote


Is the charge controller just a zenor diode shorting the pos and neg incoming line together when ever the voltage is too high? Or a power transiter dropping voltage ?
 
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sotxbill
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:38 am    Post subject: Re: Voltage drop Reply to specific post Reply with quote


Everyone is talking about voltage drop, but if the controller is for a 12 volt system and dropping it to 13.8 volts anyway...............................................................

a couple of volts drop on an 18 volt feed.... will not affect the system.

Now in reality, do the panels keep the voltage at 18 at full current rating... if so... no problem.

but if that's the open circuit voltage,,, they will drop voltage, pending on load as current increases, it may be a whole different ball game.
 
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