solar panels questions Answered
In the quest to turn my garage 'green' I started with a purchase of a Sunforce 60 watt solar panel charging kit. I already own a 12v 15amp charge controller that I bought from Green Energies. The Green Energies controller is bigger than the kit supplied so I'm currently using this one. My questions; The Green Energies charge controller is supposed to have a blocking diode in it. When I put my volt meter on the leads going back to the panels (panels dis-connected, controller still hooked to battery) I'm getting approximately 10 volts. Should there be any reading at all? I went out this rainy morning to see if there was any power coming from my panels. To my surprise I read 8-10 volts (depending on cloud cover). This leads to my next question. It is worth adding a boost converter? I suspect the amperage would only be that of the incoming voltage, not what it is boosted up to.. Close? If my guess is correct, my 5amp (system at full power, rated at 24vdc), would only be about 1.6- 2 amps @ 8- 10 vdc. I also suspect the controller is stealing some amperage. 0.5 amps??? That should leave me with at least 1 amp coming in and giving me a 10 amp day. Not bad for a rainy day. Right, wrong or hopefully close? I'm not seeing my battery come up to full charge. I'm using a marine deep cell acid battery from my boat. Every 5 years I replace it to insure the boat will start as needed. Paddling that craft back to shore is not an option. One reason could be the fact of the battery being 5 years old and it will never get back to full. Second I believe would be the draw going back to the panels at night. Will the panels draw power?