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Old 05-16-10, 09:59 AM   #41
Xringer
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I've been looking at 250 watts of PV for $2.64 per watt delivered.
WHOLESALE 125 Watt


But, I'm in a quandary about buying them, since the summer sun is so high now,
more and more blockage is showing up. (Especially with all the leaves coming out).

The hours of clear sun on the tracker don't seem to be much better
than the winter hours.

Anyways, I'm doing flood repairs in my basement (new flooring & some pumps),
so I disconnected the coax cable from the chargers on the two indoor car batteries.

The other end of the coax cable is from the little 5-10W PV on the mount.
So, to keep it from shorting out, I needed some kind of cap for the cable.
I was in a rush, so I just screwed on a 50 ohm RF load. (N-type).

Big mistake! Yesterday when the sun was bright, I was downstairs
cleaning and happened to pick up the cable. It was warm!
I touched the 50 ohm load, and Dang! It was about 200 degrees!!
The heat was being dissipated about 3 feet down the coax cable..
All from a tiny little PV panel...

So, I'm more encouraged now, that even with all the blockage, I could
harvest some pretty good wattage with a little 250 watt array..

I'm on the verge of buying some panels!! I just wish these repairs were
weren't so time-consuming! (and cash-consuming)!

Cheers,
Rich

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Old 05-19-10, 03:48 PM   #42
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Default 500 Watts of PV is in the mail.. :)

Okay!!

WHOLESALE 125 Watt 12 Volt SOLAR PANEL- 4 PCS - 500W - eBay

These are sweet looking little panels, and the price wasn't too bad!

MODEL NUMBER: ASM125P-N
Nominal Voltage: 12 Volts
Maximum Power at STC: 125 Watts
Optimum operating voltage: 18.0 Volts
Optimum operating current: 7.11 Amp
Open circuit voltage: 21.9 Volts
Short circuit current: 7.68 Amp
Cell: Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells 156mm x 156mm
No. of Cells and Connections: 36(4x9)
Weight (Panel Only): 36 lbs
Dimension of module: 58.35 x 26.61 x 1.97 (in)
Solar Panel Grade: A
Operating temperature: - 40 to +85 C
Maximum system voltage: 1000 V DC
Type of output terminal: Junction box
Cable Length: 3 ft.
Connection: MC4 style connectors

According to what I've found at the vendor E-store, the weight is actually
26.51 pounds.
Maybe it comes with 10 pounds of shipping packaging??

125 WATT POLYCRYSTALLINE SOLAR PANEL - STP125P-N
(Different PN, but I think it's the same panel)..


Now, I've got to figure a way to mount these on my tracker!
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Old 05-20-10, 07:49 AM   #43
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Nice thread! I don't know how I missed it for so long. I have that same type of old dish that I've been thinking of doing something like this to. It is really close to where my current solar array sits. I think I'll have shading in the evening during parts of the year though. Mine is mounted in concrete.

Those panels you bought are about double the power per sqft and probably per pound, as my old ones ,.

I'm eager to see how your panel rack (frame) turns out. Mine would need to be very similar if I wanted to put my 4 panels up.
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Old 05-20-10, 10:31 AM   #44
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My mount location looked real good in the winter, but now that the sun is so high in the sky,
I'm getting shading from trees just to the east of it.. And in the PM, I'm getting
shade from trees about 45 yards to the west, in the next-door backyard..

I would like to move my mount about 20 feet South and 15 feet West from it's
current location, but their are five(5) 4"x4" 'legs' that extend down into the ground about 3 feet..
The base is an old deck that I built many years ago..

For scale, the garage is 24'x24'.

SM=Solar Mount, 2T=2 trees that are giving me problems now.
That T out to the west is my afternoon problem.
You can see the shadows of the two big trees in the yard to the East
of me, but they are not a real problem after 10 to 10:30 AM.

If I had 16' of 4.5" pipe, I would install it in the solar sweet spot..


I'm not real sure how I'm going to mount these yet.. I had planned on just
buying two panels before. Now that it's four, I'll need to re-think the problem.



I'll be looking at other DIYers work.. Here's one with 6 panels.

Top view: http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f1.../mcintyre2.jpg

I've seen some 10 foot steel U-channel at at Home Depot that might make a good framework.

Anyways, I like the idea of 500 watts! My plan to heat hot water will have a much better chance of success.
500W (1706 BTUh) is about twice what I used for testing (250W AC heater),
so I'm expecting even low sun days to work out pretty well.

UL-Solar gives you four little 4W panels 'free' with your 500W order.
But, I'm requesting two of their 8W panels instead.
I think the 8W panels will be more useful for charging my old 12V back-up batteries,
or maybe running ventilation fans. It's still 16 watts total.

Last edited by Xringer; 05-20-10 at 12:20 PM..
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Old 05-20-10, 10:40 AM   #45
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Xringer, do you think you could get us some screenshots of your land from the "birds eye view" from here:

Your web browser and the Maps site are incompatible


It should give us something similar to this. Its much easier to see the layout.
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Old 05-21-10, 09:35 AM   #46
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Default Shipped yesterday..

your eBay item WHOLESALE 125 Watt 12 Volt SOLAR PANEL- 4 PCS - 500W has shipped.
(It's actually 5 packages total).

But, it's a long ways from ANAHEIM to Beantown..
(Which seems strange, since their actual store is in Los Vegas).

Anyways, yesterday was another day that I kept noticing the tracker was in the shade a lot!!
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Old 05-21-10, 06:49 PM   #47
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Thumbs up Cool Project so far!!!

This is the first time I've even found somebody else building a c-band Solar mount re-build. Are ya gonna try and post some pictures of your mount? I've really enjoyed your progress up to now, and must admit, I'm almost there too!! I've got only 160w up on the tracker mount right now and waiting for a tracker circuit of some kind. Can't decide if I want to build my own or buy one>> anyhow, I'm old too, and ramble alot. Just wanted to let you know I really enjoy your posting.....Till later......Bill (from Alabama)
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Old 05-21-10, 11:07 PM   #48
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Default What to do, what to do.?.

Hi Bill,
I've figured out how I might want to mount the panels. If they are all placed in a row, they will be only 8' 8" x 4' 10"..
I would mount the row vertically on the mount, and maybe leave a gap in the center for the sensor pod.

However, with all the summer shade on the mount right now, I'm thinking of
making a little PVC ground mount for the yard.. Look kinda like this..
But bigger and with horizontal pipes 38" apart for mounting the panels..
Maybe some adjustable legs to set the angle to the sun..

I've got an idea of using my little lathe to bore out the stops inside the
PVC 'Tee' joints, so a straight pvc pipe can be used as a axle.



PVC might be the only way to go right now. Since it would be very hard to move my deck+tracker-mount..
It would be quick and not too costly.
Plus, I could drag the whole thing into the garage while on vacations..
Maybe have some caster wheels on the bottom? They would work on the driveway and in the garage..

Whatever I do for mounting, I'll be sure to update this blog with pics..
It might take a while, since the Honey-Do list is longer than ever..

Cheers,
Rich

Last edited by Xringer; 05-22-10 at 09:30 AM.. Reason: Adding more comments..
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Old 05-22-10, 03:31 PM   #49
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Default That's do-able

Thanks for the reply Rich, it sounds like that will be a "workable" build, but watch out.......you may get it built and then say, "Too much work to put it back on the tracker mount!" By then, you'll be used to moving it 3 times a day (good exercise, eh). That's what I have to do now. I've got my panels up on the tracker-rack, but, I have to go out 3 times a day to push the switch up/down to position for the sun. Still don't know if I gonna make or buy the tracker circuit. I saw pictures of yours and I may just make one. Anyhow, here's a picture of where mine is. Oh, by the way.....I bought my actuator off of flea-bay for $49.99 delivered (24"-24v but works great on 12vdc).
Please keep the pix coming cuz I love other crazy people ideas/solutions, too! See ya later.............Bill
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Old 05-22-10, 03:45 PM   #50
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Default MC4 PV connectors came in..



MC4 connectors male and female pair for solar panel - eBay

I saw these and really liked the heavy duty solder-type pins..
Those flimsy thin crimp-on pins just didn't look robust enough..
http://www.sunstore.co.uk/csi/926679...leexploded.jpg

I got 2 male&female pairs, and the quality looks good.
The inside barrel of the female socket has neat little integrated springs
and hold the male pin (w/ the black plastic tip) solidly.
The machine work looks very precision.. The plastic parts seem
solid and no special tool is needed to unplug the parts.

I'll post a report on how well they fit the UL-Solar panels, after I try them.

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