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LunaCycle Wolf battery parallel running while solar charging at the same time

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    #31
    I used to have a panel that would be perfect for that sort of thing, it used what was called amorphous silicon and while the direct light efficiency was not as good as regular panels it was best in class for power generation in indirect light. It also used a plastic instead of glass so it was nowhere near as heavy.

    That was ten years ago. You would think specialty panels would have gotten cheaper but the only real competition I see using the same tech is powerfilm which costs about ten times as much as I paid. The manufacturer I used (unisolar) apparently went out of business last I heard.

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      #32
      On the power produced it's more complicated than that but I'll try and give a simplified explanation.
      Each cell, dark square, on the panel produces about .5 volts. These are wire in series to produce 18V. If one or more of the cell is shadowed than that cell doesn't add to the voltage and actually reduces the output voltage as well because it introduces resistance into the circuit.
      So if say 8 cells are shadowed your output voltage will drop by about 6V, .5V*4 plus about .25V*4 for the resistance introduced, Now instead of 18V you're only getting 12V which depending upon the charge controller can be a real problem.
      A basic charge controller will stop charging completely because the voltage is too low to charge with. This is where a MPPT, Maximum Power Point Tracking, charge controller is worth the money. It's smart enough to boost the voltage up so it can charge but at the expense of less amps coming out. So with an MPPT charge controller you'll still be getting some charge but as a significantly reduced rate.

      Hopefully this make sense. So I consider an MPPT charge controller a must have for this kind of system because unlike a roof mounted systems ours is almost never going to be perfectly facing the sun even when stopped. It's also harder for us to just throw up a couple more hundred watts of panel to offset for this. The beads on the surface of these panels are another plus as well help out a with the misalignment.

      That brings me back to another issue this time MPPT charge controllers. While you cant get a cheap MPPT charge controller it is going to be that cheap. This basically boils down to two things. How efficient they are and how fast they cycle or correct for the voltage changes. The best one that I've found is a Genasun brand.The only downside is that they are also expensive as well a fixed set voltage MPPT from them depending upon your needs is about to run $200-300 for the boosting model. Where as you can get a cheap one from Ebay for about $40 that can be reprogrammed on the fly with the included screen.

      I'm right now going to wire up the "cheap" one but I'm going to save up and get two of the Genasun when I can just because they work that much better. I'll do that when I can also include a fourth Wolf battery on each trike as well. So between the two batteries and two charge controllers that's going to end up being another $2000. Like I said NOT cheap.


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        #33
        Originally posted by paxtana View Post
        I used to have a panel that would be perfect for that sort of thing, it used what was called amorphous silicon and while the direct light efficiency was not as good as regular panels it was best in class for power generation in indirect light. It also used a plastic instead of glass so it was nowhere near as heavy.

        That was ten years ago. You would think specialty panels would have gotten cheaper but the only real competition I see using the same tech is powerfilm which costs about ten times as much as I paid. The manufacturer I used (unisolar) apparently went out of business last I heard.
        I remember those and did consider the power film but like you said it cost ten times as much per watt. YIKES! Can't afford that.
        The Renogy semi-flexible beaded panels are a great compromise. They're still twice as much as a "Traditional" panel but considering that I'm only going to be able to fit two per trike it not near as bad. Also considering the 100W panel is only 4#, well probably 10# by the time I count the frame on the Bob but only 5# on top of the canopy. I mean I've still spent $800 for 400 watts so $2 per watt but that still way better than the $16 per watt for the power film.
        I debated a traditional panel with the built in frame for the Bob trailer but I really wanted the beaded surface and they only offer that in the semi-flexible model. I know my frame weighs more than the traditional panel but I'm hoping it'll perform better while actually riding.

        What I'm really hoping for is the solar to be able to supply 50~% of the power while traveling. Other than on up hills we ride in about the 200-300 watt assist range. So if I can pull at least 100W from the solar while riding that is about 30-50% which I'd consider success.

        On other subjects how did the harness come out with the diodes and let Joel know that I fixed the speed limit issue I finally set the speed limit in the Eggrider up to 50 and I can now get 26MPH at 22A on a flat.

        Here's a strange one. I've been using the Eggrider for over a mount now. When I bought it I assumed that I could reprogram the Bafang with the include phone app because that was how it was marketed.. I looked several times but never had a menu for that. Only option was the "Eggrider" options. So after frying the controller with the piece of Sh!t programming cable. I'm on the Bafang facebook group and they're telling me I can reprogram the Bafang from the Eggrider. So I end up going back and looking again and now I have three new menus for exactly that. Only thing I can think of is that my phone ran two system updates which must have fixed something that was stopping the Eggrider software from working right. So now I'm really happy about this.
        Still need to hook up the replacement controllers to the old motor to see if the sensors inside are fried but am going to wait until after vacation to tackle that project. For now the replacement controller is going into the spare kit for vacation.

        Comment


          #34
          Originally posted by Gadgets4grls View Post
          On the power produced it's more complicated than that but I'll try and give a simplified explanation.
          Each cell, dark square, on the panel produces about .5 volts. These are wire in series to produce 18V. If one or more of the cell is shadowed than that cell doesn't add to the voltage and actually reduces the output voltage as well because it introduces resistance into the circuit.
          So if say 8 cells are shadowed your output voltage will drop by about 6V, .5V*4 plus about .25V*4 for the resistance introduced, Now instead of 18V you're only getting 12V which depending upon the charge controller can be a real problem.
          A basic charge controller will stop charging completely because the voltage is too low to charge with. This is where a MPPT, Maximum Power Point Tracking, charge controller is worth the money. It's smart enough to boost the voltage up so it can charge but at the expense of less amps coming out. So with an MPPT charge controller you'll still be getting some charge but as a significantly reduced rate.

          Hopefully this make sense. So I consider an MPPT charge controller a must have for this kind of system because unlike a roof mounted systems ours is almost never going to be perfectly facing the sun even when stopped. It's also harder for us to just throw up a couple more hundred watts of panel to offset for this. The beads on the surface of these panels are another plus as well help out a with the misalignment.

          That brings me back to another issue this time MPPT charge controllers. While you cant get a cheap MPPT charge controller it is going to be that cheap. This basically boils down to two things. How efficient they are and how fast they cycle or correct for the voltage changes. The best one that I've found is a Genasun brand.The only downside is that they are also expensive as well a fixed set voltage MPPT from them depending upon your needs is about to run $200-300 for the boosting model. Where as you can get a cheap one from Ebay for about $40 that can be reprogrammed on the fly with the included screen.

          I'm right now going to wire up the "cheap" one but I'm going to save up and get two of the Genasun when I can just because they work that much better. I'll do that when I can also include a fourth Wolf battery on each trike as well. So between the two batteries and two charge controllers that's going to end up being another $2000. Like I said NOT cheap.

          Thank you. The information is greatly appreciared. It seems i have"accidentally" bought the right components. Your achievments wth a 100 watt panel exceed my expectations with 160 watt.
          solar should increase range without larger battery.
          --infinite with sunny akies--
          same weight as another battery about same cost.
          lower voltage drop.
          Properly mounted aero, rain and cold protection

          Anybody who asks how much did it cost is not interested.
          ... feeling manic today......


          Comment


            #35
            Originally posted by Gadgets4grls View Post

            I remember those and did consider the power film but like you said it cost ten times as much per watt. YIKES! Can't afford that.
            The Renogy semi-flexible beaded panels are a great compromise. They're still twice as much as a "Traditional" panel but considering that I'm only going to be able to fit two per trike it not near as bad. Also considering the 100W panel is only 4#, well probably 10# by the time I count the frame on the Bob but only 5# on top of the canopy. I mean I've still spent $800 for 400 watts so $2 per watt but that still way better than the $16 per watt for the power film.
            I debated a traditional panel with the built in frame for the Bob trailer but I really wanted the beaded surface and they only offer that in the semi-flexible model. I know my frame weighs more than the traditional panel but I'm hoping it'll perform better while actually riding.

            What I'm really hoping for is the solar to be able to supply 50~% of the power while traveling. Other than on up hills we ride in about the 200-300 watt assist range. So if I can pull at least 100W from the solar while riding that is about 30-50% which I'd consider success.

            On other subjects how did the harness come out with the diodes and let Joel know that I fixed the speed limit issue I finally set the speed limit in the Eggrider up to 50 and I can now get 26MPH at 22A on a flat.

            Here's a strange one. I've been using the Eggrider for over a mount now. When I bought it I assumed that I could reprogram the Bafang with the include phone app because that was how it was marketed.. I looked several times but never had a menu for that. Only option was the "Eggrider" options. So after frying the controller with the piece of Sh!t programming cable. I'm on the Bafang facebook group and they're telling me I can reprogram the Bafang from the Eggrider. So I end up going back and looking again and now I have three new menus for exactly that. Only thing I can think of is that my phone ran two system updates which must have fixed something that was stopping the Eggrider software from working right. So now I'm really happy about this.
            Still need to hook up the replacement controllers to the old motor to see if the sensors inside are fried but am going to wait until after vacation to tackle that project. For now the replacement controller is going into the spare kit for vacation.
            Have not had much chance to make it unfortunately. Knowing my schedule it will probably take a while lol. I'll let Joel know, thanks. I have not used an Eggrider myself but one of my colleagues likes it.

            Comment


              #36
              Though I'd post an update for anyone following this thread.
              We went out and did our first real life test of the etrike/solar charge system yesterday. We had just short of full touring loads on each of the trikes. So we're heavy as H#!!.

              First thing charging/running paralleled Luna Wolf batteries simultaneously worked perfectly.

              The charge controller we're using aren't harvesting all of the power coming from the panels because I was only getting an average of 75W out of 200W of solar on a perfectly clear day. This should improve when I replace them with real mppt Genasun boost charge controllers.

              We rode 60.9 miles with the first 40 miles mostly in the 200-250 assist range bumped up for a couple of short hills. The last 20 miles was in 450-550 watt assist range. It was running late in the day and I was trying to simulate our previous ride where we didn't have the solar charging but had to stay in 400-800 assist range for the last 20 miles because of cross/headwinds. That ride was a total of 48 miles and I ended the ride with 58% battery remaining. This time with almost an additional 13 miles I ended the ride with 78% battery remaining. The system consistently stayed in the 90% charge range for the full ride until we bumped up the assist only than did we see the battery capacity going down.

              So take away from this 200W of solar is the minimum I'd recommend trying to do this with.
              Spend the money and get the Genasun charge controllers. The cheap MPT-7210A is not a MPPT charge controller at all. It is a cheap boost controller and nothing more with absolutely no MPPT functions at all. Charging stops entirely when a shadow passes over the panel and it takes a good minute to resume charging once clear of the shadow. I would expect the Genasun to give me at a minimum another 30W and probably closer to 50W of output from the same panels.

              Comment


                #37
                Definitely tempering my expectations. Been to busy to get frame built. Disappointed with the 7210a alreaxdy. Not even hooked up.
                thanks.

                Comment


                  #38
                  Originally posted by Gr8fun View Post
                  Definitely tempering my expectations. Been to busy to get frame built. Disappointed with the 7210a alreaxdy. Not even hooked up.
                  thanks.
                  Don't get me wrong the 7210A will charge the system and at 10% of the cost of a Genasun they're hard to beat for the cost if that is what you can afford. It's easier to swing two controllers for $70 compared to two for $600.

                  We will run them for this vacation but I am planning on upgrading before we attempt an unsupported, ie no AC power, tour. If we keep the motor power around 200~ watts the system stayed consistently in the 90% charge range with reasonable sun during the last two runs.

                  We plan on doing our "bulk" charging via AC so these controllers are doing what I was hoping for from them, extending our range.

                  The run down:
                  Is the 7210A an MPPT charge controller. Big fat NO! It's a boost charge controller.
                  Will the 7210A charge a battery? Yes.
                  Will this give you maximum wattage from your panels. No! Expect less than 50%. In my case I'm getting 80W out of 200W of panel so about 40%
                  Is 7210A more versatile than the Genasun. Big fat YES! Genasun have to be ordered custom programmed to a specific voltage and can't be changed. 7210A can be customized at any time.

                  So for $40 I would recommend the 7210A as an option to help charge your battery. Though plan on bring an AC charger and use it whenever you can because the 7210A won't take the place of it.

                  I'll post longer term info on how the 7210A performs after our vacation. I planned our days between 60-80 miles and 1500-3500 elevation gain.

                  Gadgets


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