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Wild Skies at Campground

7/5/18

Shadows and Solar

Adventure Location:Decatur, Al.
Adventure Date:July, 2018
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It is time for a solar and shade report. Supposedly even a little bit of shade on a solar panel nearly kills the output. So the OFM Teams decided to put that concept to the test. Why? you may ask. Because we have been boondocking for 3 to 5 months each year for the last three years and keeping batts charged is important to that lifestyle.

We have been camped in this dense trees campsite for a couple of months now. It never gets really bright. The Castle has been running with the convertor hooked to the 120 volt system so the panels have not had to work much if any to keep the batteries charged.

On the Castle, unhooking or hooking up the convertor to the 120 volt is as simple as unplugging the convertor from the dedicated circuit at the wall plug.

Converter Plugged In


Since rolling time is about four weeks away, we decided to test the boondocking systems to be sure they were ready for rolling again. The Castle was put into full boondocking mode about two weeks ago including unplugging the converter. With all the shade we expected to get very little charging from the highly filtered sun since we are deep into some tall trees. See the pic.

Deep in the Shade, nice for the A/C.



It has been a real eye opener for the OFM. Our two 95 AH AGM batts would drop a bit at night and early morning as was expected. We expected to get a little bit of charging  but eventually run down to the point that we needed to reconnect the 120 volt to the converter to bring the batts back up to full.

Every evening about 2200 we would check the voltage reading and every evening it was about 12.7 volts for the batts. Every day by noon they were reading 13.02 volts, otherwise known as fully charged again.

So after two weeks of electrically boondocking here in the trees, our solar panels are getting the recharge done very easily in spite of all the shadows on the panels. We do not know why or how but we are very glad that the solar electrical charging system is doing an excellent job.

Having plenty of power while boondocking is really important while trying to have tooooo much fun.

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