I am very satisfied by AM Solar‘s job. Their reputation is warranted! Thank you to Charlie who did the installation (and added some Dicor to other screws on the roof that needed it), and Deb and Roger in the office! It took 6.5 hours to get the panel installed, but I didn’t even see time go by thanks to the comfy waiting room with wifi. There was even coffee this morning!
My brain is a little fuzzy right now (I didn’t sleep last night), but let’s see if I can remember the gist of the important information. 🙂
First of all, the installation of the controller. AM Solar prefers to use the fridge vent over any other route and then they cut a hole in a wall and flush mount the controller. I had a very easy and even perfect set up to do this since they were able to use the side of my new overfridge cabinet for mounting instead of cutting into a wall. I’m still able to put my pantry baskets in there, so I haven’t lost any space. The solar panel is located right above the fridge so the wiring was brought straight down and then across to the batteries.
Second, they left my 15 watt panel on the roof and hooked up, but it’s not tied into the system. It gives me an extra half to one amp a day. What want to do at some point is hook it up to the truck battery when I’m parked for extended periods of time.
Third, I was advised to do a few tweaks to my battery bank, including added vented covers, which they gave me at no charge to install myself (left behinds from other customers). No major issues, just little things that would lessen worst-case scenarios!
Fourth, the HPV-22B charge controller is a nice little device. There’s an on/off switch that I don’t need to worry about unless I’m parking for an extended period of time out of the sun. There is also a dry camping/shore power mode that provides the best charging for both scenarios. I also have three LED displays: battery voltage, array amps, and charging amps. Right now, I forget the difference between the array and charging amps, but for the moment they are the same (I think array is the amperage going out and charging is the amperage coming in). Finally, I have two indicator lights. One tells me if I am charging (solid) or at full capacity (pulsing). Right now it is pulsing. There is another light that tells me if I am charging at maximum capacity.
The total was $1,600. That would have gotten me a 100 amp panel on special in Canada, including taxes, and excluding the tilt bars I can use when parked for extended periods of time. AM Solar is very good value!
The only thing my electrical system is missing now is a battery usage monitor. Voltage readings really mean very little since they vary depending on what I am using. They do not tell me how many amps I have left. Andy Baird explains this very well in Eureka.
I was warned that depending on where I spend the winter (so how much sun there is and how much I heat), I may be tight for boondocking in the colder months. The next week or so is going to be a good test!
Tonight, I am parked against the back of the building and plugged into 30A power with access to the shower room. I plan to take full advantage of it. 🙂 I was told that there is no rush for me to get out of here tomorrow, but I’ll try to do so before ten.
I have a viable solar system!!!!!Share on Facebook