Another one of my projects has mixed results. I did a survey of the black plastic sheet and camo tarp plants and came away disappointed. Both have been in place a little over six weeks so I was hoping to see scorched earth underneath. Both had killed off a lot of brushlings but there were still some green underneath. I was hoping to move them this afternoon but it’s obvious they need more time.
A little over two weeks ago I added some translucent plastic I had left over from somewhere. Looking under it I was impressed with the amount of dead vegetation. It appears as if it is passing a lot more heat in and cooking the brush much faster. If I’m lucky it’s cooking the roots so I won’t have to keep dealing with rampant growth.
To help combat the brush I’ve begun to spread cardboard and tossing something like a pallet on top to hold it in place. This works somewhat but nothing like the tarp or two plastics. Believe it or not, American cardboard doesn’t work as well as Chinese cardboard. The Chinese cardboard is so cheaply made that a heavy fog is enough to collapse it thus smothering the brush. The American cardboard just hangs in there refusing to turn to mush. To me this is clear evidence that all those folks who say I’m not a globalist type of guy are wrong.
Got the skeleton semi finished and two 100 watt panels up and hooked up. Naturally I had to fabricate mounts since Grape Solar is to dammed cheap to include a dollars worth of mounting hardware with their panels. They also provide mounting slots which are 20.5 inches on center. Naturally nearly everything here in the states is built 16 inches on center. So of course the engineers who design their stuff would never think 8 inch on center mounting slots.
I’ve been running a fan, charging my lap top, and playing
the radio a bit. Everything seems to be working well,,,,wait for it,,,,except the 110 ah batteries only seem to be delivering about 12 ah before reaching nearly 50% discharged. I’ve been scratching my head, checking my battery calcs, rewiring and checking everything a zillion more times and I still can’t get but about 4 hours run time on a small table top fan.
My charge controller tells me ball park how many amps I’m pulling from the batteries. My inverter with no load is pulling .5 amps. The small fan is pulling roughly 3.3 amps for a total load of nearly 4 amps. So I should have at least 25 hours run time before I approach the 50% discharge cut off.
Instead after 3 hours battery voltage is around 12.3 volts with 12.24 being 50%. I don’t even have to take my shoes off to count 12 ah and realize that it ain’t 110. Once I get back to town I’ll be burning up the internet trying to find an answer to this. I’m really hoping I don’t have to return the batteries since that will leave me stranded without batteries for a week or more as well as making me very angry.
I have the frame done for the last panel. It’s ugly as sin but sturdy and once I get some painting done it will be beautiful since everything looks good in OD green. I also have a 15 watt panel I need to move and cut in as well. I’m hoping for something around a 20 amp charge rate during the day from the panels which will let me run fans while still topping off the batteries. I’ve seen a 15 amp charge rate with two panels so 20 with three should be well within reason.
Days later I’ve figured most of it out. Regarding the short run times above, never mind.