Phase 3, Upgrading The Charge Controller


The included solar controller is really cheesy.  Almost nothing inside the box.  Many reports of failures of these controllers, so mine instantly went onto the shelf as an emergency backup.


The solar controller I'm using is a MorningStar Sunlight-10.  Regulates up to 10 Amps  (120 Watts).  Fine for my initial setup.  A slick feature about this controller is that it has the ability to control lighting.  When the sun sets, it starts a 10 minute timer to verify the array hasn't been briefly shielded from the sun.  The internal relay then supplies up to 10 Amps of 12VDC to external lights.  The amount of time they are on is adjustable by turning a small switch.   I'm using this to turn on my LED garden lights, and a 400 Watt inverter, which is connected to a couple of Compact Fluorescent (CF) bulbs.  More on that later...

The charge controller is situated at the bottom of my Alt-Energy panel.

Closer view.  Details of the other items are discussed later...


Phase 4, Adding a 130 Watt Kyocera Solar Panel





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Last updated 04/23/08    All rights reserved.