Thursday, March 29, 2012

Suburban Solar Part 2 "AmmoCan Controller"

Charge controller for the battery.
What is a charge controller ?
The charge controller is really just a voltage regulator for the solar panel to prevent over charging the battery.
The solar panel at peak power will deliver 17.1 volts, too many volts for a 12 volt system.

So the charge controller will reduce the voltage to a maximum of around 14.6 volts, monitor the battery voltage,  reduce the output both voltage and wattage to prevent overcharging the battery.

I have installed a simple MorningStar ProStat 15amp maximum  solid state controller.

Mounting the controller in a cabin that carries lots of stuff from time to time I wanted something quite rugged to protect it from being bounced around.
So, I looked around among my extra stuff and found an ammo can that would work perfectly.

ammo can with hole

Actually this can came from Arkansas (thanks Brad & Tammy).
Since I like to monitor the battery voltage, I made a hole in it to install a digital voltmeter to know what the voltage is at anytime.

This is a top view of the controller in the box a piece of 3/4" plywood positioned the unit in the center of the box, I used nylon barbed fittings as insulators  to protect the wires going out of the box from being cut.

Side view of the "Ammo Controller Box" with the meter installed and working.

I installed the "Ammo Can Controller Box" on the back shelf using bungee straps.
The leads are long enough to be able to move the unit to another location, (as in outdoors), the can is sealed and I can use the unit in wet outdoor weather, the wires have connectors so it can mobile.
There are times when I would like to use another solar panel, that is sitting on the ground and need a controller to run that one.

Another thing I like about the "Ammo Can Box" is that it is somewhat .... EMP proof (just in case ;)  )

Coming next the Battery

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