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Author Topic: solar while in storage, on or off?  (Read 345 times)

blw2

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solar while in storage, on or off?
« on: May 09, 2019, 11:05:09 AM »
What do you do?

I'm sidetracked with another honey-do at the moment, but I'm in the middle of installing my first solar system....100W from Renogy Wanderer system and I will very likely add a 2nd panel to it shortly.

While thinking through and designing my set-up, I came to the idea of putting a disconnect on the panel side of the controller...just in case...(I'm a former maintenance engineer)
and I remember reading a post by one of you here about not liking to leave anything "On" when not being used.  I'm the same way...especially since it's on a lot not at my house, and not monitored regularly... I just don't love the idea of leaving things on
but
the primary reason I'm doing the solar is to keep my battery topped off while in storage.  We usually store it anywhere from 4 to 10 weeks between trips... and currently I just use a mechanical disconnect at the battery post
so
now I'm thinking that once installed I might leave it all off...then once in a while turn it on for a few days.
Originally I figured just leave the coach disconnected using the Use/Store switch relay while leaving the solar controller on the battery 24/7

What do you do?...
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

Gizmo100

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Re: solar while in storage, on or off?
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2019, 11:23:51 AM »
With our TT in the backyard I can keep an eye on it everyday. (When I'm home). I leave it on and connected most of the time. Although I have disconnected to move the panels in orders to do yard work. Our panels just sit on the ground for now. I'm still in the learning phase of what I want from the solar and what I should expect.

Besides if we ever get moved...I may have other uses for these panels and upgrade the setup for the TT.

The controller seems to do a good job of maintaining the batteries.

One side note
The panels only get direct sun until about 2 PM. After 2 they are getting indirect sun and still working just not as much output.
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solarman

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Re: solar while in storage, on or off?
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2019, 12:23:17 PM »
On all the time unless there is some maintenance issue that requires to be turned off..


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Kevin Means

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  • SolaRVector
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Re: solar while in storage, on or off?
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2019, 12:58:44 PM »
I don't think there's a right or wrong answer here Brad, but here's what I do, and my thought process. I leave our system on and connected unless I'm doing some maintenance on it. When our RV isn't being used, it's plugged in and stored at our house in an attached garage, so I have quick access to it. I'm always tinkering with it, so if something were to go wrong, I think I'd notice it.

If it were stored somewhere where it couldn't be plugged in, but where it could get some sun, I'd leave the solar connected to keep the batteries charged. IMO the risks associated with leaving it on are minimal, and outweighed by the benefit of keeping the batteries topped off.

If ours was stored somewhere where I didn't have quick access to it, and it was plugged in with a good three stage charger, I'd probably turn the solar disconnect switches off - just for the reason you mentioned - it's not doing anything, so why leave it on. Admittedly, what I do at our house isn't much different than if it were stored elsewhere with shore power, but I'm always tinkering with the RV, so I think I'd notice a problem. FWIW

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
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RVI Brake 2, TST 507 TPMS, 960 watts of solar, SolaRVector tilt
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blw2

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Re: solar while in storage, on or off?
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2019, 03:19:19 PM »
Thanks!

on full time is what I'll probably do then...unless someone else changes my mind for me.

I plan on connecting to the battery at the post on the use/store relay..battery side, so that I can press "store" and disconnect everything but the solar (assuming there's nothing tied into power between that and the battery).  I'm not entirely sure on that one, I've never verified my LP alarm power on when in "store" mode.  I'm thinking that might be the only thing.
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

Frank B

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Re: solar while in storage, on or off?
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2019, 02:12:44 PM »
I'm late to this particular party, but I had the same conundrum with our unit. we park ours in the yard beside the house, so I can use the shore power to keep the batteries maintained.


The only concern I have had with leaving the solar turned on is that mine was a self designed system, and I did not fully understand how to program my outback solar controller. Shore power stays on day and night, so once the converter has done an absorb cycle on the batteries, it doesn't do another one until the next time it is unplugged. Solar starts and stops every night. that means that each new day, it goes through the full bulk, absorb, then float cycle. It is the absorb cycle that will cause the batteries to gas and use water.


Solarman helped me understand how to program it so that the solar absorb stage did not overcharge the batteries, which it may have been doing before.
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