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Old 02-28-2020, 08:09 PM   #1
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Portable suitcase solar panels

I looking at getting a 100 to 130 W suitcase solar panel top off dual 12v batteries while dry camping and have some questions:

1. do you connect to the 7-pin trailer cable or attach wires directly to battery with SAE or other terminals?

2. if attaching directly to the battery, do you just connect to one battery or both?

3. get one with a 10 Amp voltage controller or go with 20 Amp?

4. looking at Renogy, what is the difference between the regular Monocrystalline or Eclipse?

Thanks!
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Old 03-01-2020, 09:19 AM   #2
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Assuming you have 100 amp hour or better batteries, you are talking at least 6 hours to fully charge your battery of direct sunlight and 100% efficiency. FWIW, I have 800 Watts of rooftop solar on a 184BH with 7000 KWHours of Lifepo4 battery storage.

You are going to want to connect a cheap 20amp solar charge controller directly to the either one of the batteries in between the panels and the battery. Renogy is fine, and for your small setup it doesn't matter what type of panel you go with, the difference between them is how well they work when setup in series or parallel and have slight shading.

Also, if you are going to use your batteries at night, do some research into victron battery disconnect to save your batteries from over discharging.
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Old 03-01-2020, 10:50 AM   #3
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I have a Go Power 120 watt portable solar. It came with the connectors...I just clamp to the positive and negative battery terminals. In full sunlight it will put out 6.7 amps so the 10 amp controller that comes with it is adequate for it’s capacity and with it’s digital display, it will show percentage state of charge. I did buy the 30’ extension to be able to keep it in the sunlight as much as possible. You can charge both batteries together.
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Old 03-01-2020, 11:11 PM   #4
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Do you just connect to one battery in the series? Or do you have to each one individually?
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Old 03-02-2020, 03:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCx213 View Post
I have a Go Power 120 watt portable solar. It came with the connectors...I just clamp to the positive and negative battery terminals. In full sunlight it will put out 6.7 amps so the 10 amp controller that comes with it is adequate for itís capacity and with itís digital display, it will show percentage state of charge. I did buy the 30í extension to be able to keep it in the sunlight as much as possible. You can charge both batteries together.
+1

I have the same solar unit and it works just fine. Keeps my battery topped off well and it's easy to move as the angle of the sun changes.
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Old 03-09-2020, 05:27 PM   #6
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It seems to be standard practice when connecting to two batteries system connect the positive to one battery and the negative to the other battery so they both take a charge.
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Old 03-09-2020, 05:32 PM   #7
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It seems to be standard practice when connecting to two batteries system connect the positive to one battery and the negative to the other battery so they both take a charge.
They'll take a charge no matter how connected but by doing is as above, they will charge equally. I goes without saying that the load should be connected in the same fashion so they discharge equally.
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