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2019 - 20 Trip to the Southwest
Tuesday, December 31, 2019 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 23 - 0 Miles, 3,894.2 Miles for the Trip
A bit warmer over night, but still cool during the day, at least for Quartzsite. Today's high was 59°F. There was mixed sun & clouds, enough sun so I managed to refill the batteries by 2:30.
A relaxing day in the trailer most of the day. I did go for a long walk up the large wash this morning, but quit before too long - walking on the fine gravel is tough.
I thought about making a trip to Parker to do some needed shopping & because I'm bored, but decided it can wait until Thursday. I spent the day reading forums, and posting a report in a thread on lithium batteries on my solar experiences here at Quartzsite for the last 21 days. Since I don't have much else to write about, I'll stick a copy here:
For anyone interested, I can give some user data on a combination of 480 watts of solar & a pair of 100 amp hour Battleborn lithium batteries here at Quartzsite, AZ. The data was collected by the Victron bluetooth readouts for both the solar controller & the battery monitor. While it is obviously conditioned on the solar conditions, which, of course, are variable, it might give users some "real world" idea of what they can expect from a system. I consider myself a "heavy" user of power - typically 50 amp hours per day. I usually make a pot of coffee, often microwave breakfast or dinner, use an electric toaster, and set the furnace at 60°F (it has been cooler than usual this winter)
I have 2 160 watt rooftop panels tilted for the correct angle for Phoenix, AZ for mid January. The trailer is aimed a bit west of due south. I also have a 160 watt portable panel that I shift 2-3 times a day to "follow" the sun. Batteries are charged through a Victron 100/30 MPPT solar controller. Since lithium batteries stay in the bulk mode until 95% filled, and only spend a few minutes in the absorption mode, unlike lead acid batteries, the full output of the panels is available at the batteries until they are filled.
While so far this winter I have not depleted the batteries to the point where I had to run a generator, after a 3 day stretch without enough sun to put the controller into the float mode, and being down 54 amp hours, I ran a small propane generator for 4 hours to bring the batteries back to full (and do a monthly generator run). This was probably not necessary, although the prediction was for another 3 days of heavy clouds. The lithium batteries can be safely drawn down to 10%, so I could have gone without the generator, but I needed to run it anyway, and I tend to be a bit conservative.
This has been the coolest & most cloud covered winter I've stayed at the Q over the last 4 years so the results would probably be better under more usual conditions. This is for December 9 - December 31. (21 days). Today (the 31st) is obviously not finished, but as of 11:00 AM I'm putting 91 watts into the trailer, had a peak of 195 watts, and collected a total of 250 watt hours (it is cloudy). Still down 49 amp hours for the day (I did not reach float yesterday).
Peak solar wattage - 423 watts. Minimum solar wattage - 42 watts. Peak KW hours collected - 1.49KWh. Lowest watt hours collected - 140 watt hours. # of days the controller never received enough sun to get out of the bulk mode - 7.
# of days the batteries reached full - 15. Largest discharge - -72 amp hours.
The image below is the December solar output. White = Bulk, Gray = Absorption & Light Blue = Float.
|December Solar Panel Output|
I spent the rest of the day reading. Current book is Fleishman is in Trouble, by Taffy Brodesser-Akner. A strange tale of life after divorce.
Dinner was another chicken leg & thigh and coleslaw plus some steamed vegetables.
Until Next Time -
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Last Update: January 1, 2020