Solar Rescue update
Stan called and he was happy.
His old 12v system, pictured above, is really getting tired. It consists of nearly 50 mismatched modules and two windmills in parallel on a single overworked charge controller! His new 24v system is running, but only half-installed and there have been issues.
After our little troubleshooting session the other day, Stan-the-Hermit left the cabin on the creek for a few nights on the beach. He’d returned to the creek to find his batteries were full for a change. Of course, to zing me, he started out like there was some kind of problem.
Best news of all, for the first time ever, he ran his well pump and got all of his tanks charged up so he could bathe. Normally he has to fire up the generator to run the well pump, but it started and the charge held until all four of his tanks were full and the pump shut off. Given that his inverter is of the modified square wave variety, that’s quite a feat, as motors tend to prefer sine wave inverters.
To review what happened, Stan THOUGHT he had 5 of his 10 300+ watt modules connected in parallel to his 60 amp charge controller. Owing to a bad MC4 connector, 3 of them were actually NOT connected. Just as well, because all 5 of them would have exceeded the capacity of the charge controller. We replaced the connector and reworked the arrangement to two series pairs of panels, which reduced the amperage (and loss) on the downlines and gave the controller a little more voltage to work with in the morning and afternoon.
He swears he will finish wiring the rest of the modules and return my big roll of wire. I hope he remembers that if his 60 amp charge controller isn’t big enough for 5 modules, then his new 40 amp controller won’t handle the remaining 6 modules. I’ll be expecting a call next time the sun comes out.