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Thread: Solar charger for 12v battery running shurflo

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Princeton, MA
    Posts
    242

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    Just standard 14 or 16 gauge extension cords will do, but it depends on how long the cords are and what size charger or amps of charging current. If you let me know that I can run some numbers. You want to keep the voltage loss low, like a volt or less, for best results, or charge time will be longer.

    I have used "Newpowa" solar panels with chargers from eBay, they are simple and cheap but seem to do the job.

    Dave

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    347

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    Thanks Dave, as others have said already, good information. Based on your experience, you are one that should know a great deal about solar.
    Gary
    16' X 24' Sugarhouse
    2' X 6' Leader Inferno Arch with Revolution Raised-Flue Pans, Smoky Lake preheater and hood
    Deer Run Maple gas-powered 250 RO
    WesFab 7" filter press
    Kubota 1100 RTV with tracks and 125 gallon tank for transporting sap
    600+ taps on gravity and vacuum
    Very supportive wife who is the best coworker
    http://mapletrader.com/community/sho...ing-Sugarhouse

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    7,831

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    For a charge controller (CC) this looks good https://www.amazon.com/ALLPOWERS-Cha...B2KMN75BC9AF84
    Then search out the Newpowa 150 or 170 watt 12V panels, they look good too.
    If you need an extension cord to set the panel farther from the battery and CC use a long enough MC4 ext. cord, rather than several connected together. The fewer connections the better.
    A word of caution, solar panels are generating power anytime light is on the panel and it is DC power. DC is unlike AC, it can jump a very large gap once started, so, never unplug an MC4 or any other solar connection with light on the panels, either tip the panel face down, or cover with a dark colored blanket if you need to unplug the DC. If you do need to unplug a DC4 it can be done by releasing the catches using a screw driver on both sides, but it's far easier to use: https://www.amazon.com/Renogy-TOOL-M...B2KMN75BC9AF84
    You do not need nor want an inverter unless there is an absolute need to run something on 110-120V AC or 220-240V AC, converting wastes energy thru heat generation, you are far more efficient staying on DC when you can. If you want to run a light too, get a 12V DC light but run it only when needed. LED is most efficient there too.
    If done right, the 12V deep cycle battery can remain in the woods all season in many cases, the exception will be if you fail to keep snow off the panels or if you have too many days that are extremely cloudy in a row.
    Just as a bit of trivia, back when I only had 4 panels 185 watts each on my sugarhouse system we had a "super moon". I looked at the CC and it was making 200 watts at about 9:30 at night. We had snow cover also, which helps unless it is on the panels, snow on the ground helps reflect both sun and moon light to the panels.
    Be sure to check the electrolyte level once a month, distilled water will need to be added periodically.
    Last edited by maple flats; 01-10-2018 at 08:21 AM.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, down to about 700 in '16, up to 850 for 2018?
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    added a gooseneck equipment trailer and F350 to tow it to haul more sap
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Princeton, MA
    Posts
    242

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    Good stuff, thanks Dave K.

    The wiring has more loss than I thought. 100' of 14 gauge wire has a total resistance of about .5 ohms round trip. The voltage loss across a 100' extension cord for a 5 amp charge current is then 2.5 volts loss (volts loss = amps times ohms). A 200' cord would be double that, 5 volts loss. Hmmm, a bit high. The solar panels put out enough extra voltage to compensate, up to a point, but maximum charge current will be less with the longer wires, and battery charge time will be longer. Hope I didn't explode any heads with all the numbers!

    Dave

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    central NH
    Posts
    100

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    So we are running 3 pumps off 12V deep cycle batteries. We have solar panels but aren't able to charge the batteries enough. I have to change them out almost daily. What size solar panels and controllers do I need? We are running 2 4008 shurflo and 1 4048 shurflo. On a thermostat and 3 way ball valve to go to gravity when the pump shuts down.
    Steve

    2017
    2x8 Mason drop tube evaporator
    420 Taps
    3 surflo pumps on 5/16
    79 gallons of syrup made
    2016
    New kitchen addition to sap house
    400 taps
    52 gallons syrup made

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    7,831

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    Read my answers in replies #8 and 13. To know what size panel you need to know the running watts, then get a panel or panels to get 8 times that or more. Use a charge controller and as long as the panel is 20V or less you can use a much cheaper PWM controller. (remember, if you connect 2 or more panels in series, you must add the voltage, if you tie 2 or more in parallel, the voltage stays the same, but the amps get added. Never use 2 panels unless they are exactly the same, if mixed and matched, the whole array will perform at whatever is the poorest panel as far as the specs go. For solar, do not try to do your own wiring on the DC from panel to charge controller. That wire should all be factory made MC4 connections unless you have the official crimp tool and terminals for MC4, (if older panels, the older MC3 is ok too but do not try to mix them without a connector made to join them. If anyone has the right 10ga wire for solar and wants to crimp their own, I have the tool and would loan it, but do not try using UF or even THHN of the proper gauge for solar, the jacket is vastly different. Also, if you are making connections use a good dielectric grease to get a good connection on the wiring from the charge controller to the battery. Everything you can do to get the best connection is real important in solar.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, down to about 700 in '16, up to 850 for 2018?
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    added a gooseneck equipment trailer and F350 to tow it to haul more sap
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    indiana
    Posts
    46

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    Quote Originally Posted by maple flats View Post
    For a charge controller (CC) this looks good https://www.amazon.com/ALLPOWERS-Cha...B2KMN75BC9AF84
    Then search out the Newpowa 150 or 170 watt 12V panels, they look good too.
    If you need an extension cord to set the panel farther from the battery and CC use a long enough MC4 ext. cord, rather than several connected together. The fewer connections the better.
    A word of caution, solar panels are generating power anytime light is on the panel and it is DC power. DC is unlike AC, it can jump a very large gap once started, so, never unplug an MC4 or any other solar connection with light on the panels, either tip the panel face down, or cover with a dark colored blanket if you need to unplug the DC. If you do need to unplug a DC4 it can be done by releasing the catches using a screw driver on both sides, but it's far easier to use: https://www.amazon.com/Renogy-TOOL-M...B2KMN75BC9AF84
    You do not need nor want an inverter unless there is an absolute need to run something on 110-120V AC or 220-240V AC, converting wastes energy thru heat generation, you are far more efficient staying on DC when you can. If you want to run a light too, get a 12V DC light but run it only when needed. LED is most efficient there too.
    If done right, the 12V deep cycle battery can remain in the woods all season in many cases, the exception will be if you fail to keep snow off the panels or if you have too many days that are extremely cloudy in a row.
    Just as a bit of trivia, back when I only had 4 panels 185 watts each on my sugarhouse system we had a "super moon". I looked at the CC and it was making 200 watts at about 9:30 at night. We had snow cover also, which helps unless it is on the panels, snow on the ground helps reflect both sun and moon light to the panels.
    Be sure to check the electrolyte level once a month, distilled water will need to be added periodically.
    Great info, thanks. If I use this controller and the 170 watt panel, would I put the controller and battery by the panels and run wire out to the pump in the woods. Would 12 ga. wire be enough to go 250'-300', it may not be that far but I am not sure. How would be the best way to set this up. Then I would also need to get the mc4 connectors, crimping tool, and the tools to take them apart if needed. I understand I may not need the crimper and other tool, but I have found it's easier to just spend the little bit of money and get the right stuff to start with. Lot of questions and I am sorry about that, I just really want to get this solar set up this year. I wanted to do it last year but thought I was to far away.

    Thanks Jason

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    7,831

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    How many watts or amps does the pump draw? Is it 12V? Give me those numbers and I'll calculate it. In general, the higher the voltage, the less you lose, as such, running 12V is a big loser. I doubt 250'-300' is even possible with 12ga. I'll calculate it when you tell me what it draws. This is what I use: https://www.rapidtables.com/calc/wir...alculator.html
    If you are 250' away, the distance is 500' because the power must go to the pump and then back to the battery. If you have 1A draw, on 12V DC and a distance of 500', you lose over 10% of the voltage on 8 ga. copper. Generally 2-3% is considered max. acceptable, at that distance you lose enough that the pump may not even run or it will not perform according to specs. If you must go that far, look into a step up and a step down transformer, it would cost less than going even heavier on the wire ga.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, down to about 700 in '16, up to 850 for 2018?
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    added a gooseneck equipment trailer and F350 to tow it to haul more sap
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    indiana
    Posts
    46

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by maple flats View Post
    How many watts or amps does the pump draw? Is it 12V? Give me those numbers and I'll calculate it. In general, the higher the voltage, the less you lose, as such, running 12V is a big loser. I doubt 250'-300' is even possible with 12ga. I'll calculate it when you tell me what it draws. This is what I use: https://www.rapidtables.com/calc/wir...alculator.html
    If you are 250' away, the distance is 500' because the power must go to the pump and then back to the battery. If you have 1A draw, on 12V DC and a distance of 500', you lose over 10% of the voltage on 8 ga. copper. Generally 2-3% is considered max. acceptable, at that distance you lose enough that the pump may not even run or it will not perform according to specs. If you must go that far, look into a step up and a step down transformer, it would cost less than going even heavier on the wire ga.
    It's a shurflo 4048 I think, maybe 4008. I will have to check. Sounds like I may not have been wrong about being to far away.

    Thanks Jason

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    7,831

    Default

    Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Aweking-Water...dc+transformer and this: https://www.amazon.com/uxcell-Conver...dc+transformer
    may help. Those are just the first DC/DC transformers I found, you can search for more. With those 2 you could have the solar panel 250' away, put the CC, battery and pump close to each other and only lose 3.3% on 12 ga., that is about the best, unless you step up to a higher voltage or use 10 Ga wire. From Amazon you could then buy 10 lengths of 10 ga. MC4 wire (50' each) for under $25 a coil. While 2 lengths of 250' MC4 would be better, you may not be able to get that at a great price. The MC4 connectors are truly very high quality, and are waterproof.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, down to about 700 in '16, up to 850 for 2018?
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    added a gooseneck equipment trailer and F350 to tow it to haul more sap
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

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