I finally saved enough pennies, and got enough Amazon gift cards to do a 100 watt solar panel upgrade to my tiny solar power system.
100 Watt Solar Panel Upgrade
I was able to pick up a RENOGY 100 Watt Monocrystalline Photovoltaic Panel from Amazon.com. This took my Solar power from 20 watts (10 watt panel and 2 5-watt panels) to 110 watts. The 5 watt panels are mounted, but are disconnected, they are destined for another project (More on that project at end of post).
I also installed a weatherproof box to route the solar panel wires into the shed. The wires will be cleaned up and secured when the weather warms up enough to make them more pliable.
I understand that 4 guage isn’t large enough to maximize the power into the batteries, but my Sunforce 60031 10amp charge controller has “built” in wires for both the incoming solar leads and the output to the batteries, and those wires are very skinny.
Once I upgrade the charge controller, I’ll get Zero gauge wires and keep them as short as possible. I plan on replacing my 12v deep cycle marine batteries with about 6 of the 6-volt Trojan T-105‘s, wired for 12v, at that same time also. That’s going to be a very expensive upgrade, so it’ll be a while.
It looks like the 100 Watt Solar Panel Upgrade is charging the batteries nicely.
I plan to use the 2 5-watt panels, a spare car battery and the tiny 12V Solar Charge Controller (came bundled with my Instapark Black 10W Mono-crystalline Solar Panel) to power my CPAP machine when I am camping. I know a car battery isn’t the best option, but it was free and still holds a decent charge, so that’s what I am using.