CCCamp 2019 - Chewie's Setup
I brought the following Solar Panels to site:
- 5 x Fuji F-wave 92w flexible panels with a converter down to 48v
- 3 x Maplin 30W 12V semi-flexible panels
- 1 x GB-Sol custom sized 90W semi-flexible panel
The first system was connected to the Infuanfu Village Tent as I could not bring any structure with me, and my plan was to connect it to any 42v/48v system that was on site. Sadly, nothing else was running at this voltage, and we did not have any safe way of connecting the system to Infuanfu's existing system, therefore it was just used to charge a LiFePO4 battery from PowerTech Systems.
The charge controller was a Genasun 10A version specifically for Lithium Battery systems, but was used with a car cigarette lighter plug, which was bad idea. On the last day of the camp, I noticed that no power was going into the battery, even after fixing the connectors (using MC4 instead). Either it couldn't cope with 30V@5A, or the temperature (~30-35degC) destroyed it, even though it was under shade. Due to lack of monitoring capabilities etc, I will not be replacing it with the same model (but need to test it when I'm back at home).
The second system (Maplin panels) were connected in parallel and then directly to an old 105Ah Lead-Acid Battery with no charge controller, as the battery was in poor condition and needed a lot of charging (if it was still capable). These worked admirably, and was mainly used to power a 12V evaporative cooler, and a StarTech USB hub for lights and charging phones etc. This was chosen due to the wide input voltage (9-48V), supposed surge protection and high operating temperature range. I also warmed (not boiled!) some water on 2 days to pre-heat it for a gas stove to make tea. Due to the lack of voltage in the battery, I couldn't really use it to charge a laptop via an inverter very often.
The third panel was not used as I didn't have anything to connect it to, and was a slightly different voltage to the Maplin panels.