from Survival Blog:
First, this article is for entertainment purposes only. I have used all this equipment in the ways I describe, but I am not a licensed electrician. I am professionally trained in off-grid solar electric systems and have installed, consulted on, or maintained hundreds of systems, the most remote of which were in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. I do not advise setting up your own PV system without consulting an experienced and knowledgeable source.
After perusing the survivalblog archives for new ideas and methods in off-grid solar, and finding very little at all in the way of solar power explanations, I decided to add a little to the survivalist community by writing my own article. I figured “it cant be that hard… after all, I have written 1000’s of emails explaining these principles to individual clients.”
But what I found is that it IS very difficult to summarize all aspects of solar power in one article, especially with an audience whose background and experience is as varied as this one. I am sorely disappointed in the outcome, but I do hope this article helps enlighten some of you to the possibility of off-grid solar, and saves others of you some costly mistakes. So forgive me for not being able to explain all the details, as that would be a book.
I do want to mention this article from survival blog as I agree with and have tried not to restate most of what was said.
For the sake of simplicity, I will use a specific set of equipment in the scenario described below. Obviously there are hundreds of different panels and charge controllers that can be used, but they are not all compatible with this example. In this example (and what I am currently using), we will use four UNI-SOLAR PVL-136 panels and one Midnite Kid charge controller.
Imagine you have arrived at your bugout or bugin location and have your KID charge controller connected to a 250 Amp Hour battery. You have rolled your flexible panels out on a south facing roof or lawn (provided you are in the northern hemisphere.) Now you will connect the panels. Connect the positive wire from panel 1 to the negative wire of panel 2. You now have one 48v string. Do the same to the other panels for a total of two pairs or “strings”. Connect the negative wires of each string together, along with up to a 30’ length of UV inhibited #10 wire. Do the same for the positive wires of each string. Bring two the #10 wires down to the PV positive and negative inputs on your KID charge controller and connect them (don’t reverse polarity). You’re done! You now have up to 30 amps of power charging your 12v battery.
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