Author Topic: Solar panel for northern cold climates  (Read 1108 times)

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Offline wxmanmhd

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Solar panel for northern cold climates
« on: December 26, 2018, 09:05:15 PM »
I live in northern Minnesota and because of the low sun and cold weather my batteries from my fars fan do not get charged so it runs only from around 10 am to 4:30 pm.  1)What are other northern climate stations doing to keep the batteries charged?  2) Is there a power supply that you can buy to run the fan using AC power instead of solar panel?  I have a Vantage Pro 2 with radiation shield/fan.

Offline ValentineWeather

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Re: Solar panel for northern cold climates
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2018, 10:18:02 PM »
I hope you mean charges from 10 am to 4:30 pm. That should be enough sunshine as long as you are running 2 healthy batteries. I've gone a couple days with little sun and fan is still chugging along.
Randy

Offline wxmanmhd

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Re: Solar panel for northern cold climates
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2018, 10:26:25 PM »
I should of maybe changed the batteries this fall. It was purchased last March.  Another problem I have is a tree blocks out some the sun also.  I was hoping to find out a way to convert it to AC with a transformer if someone has done that.

Offline CW2274

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Re: Solar panel for northern cold climates
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2018, 11:17:14 PM »
Is there a power supply that you can buy to run the fan using AC power instead of solar panel?  I have a Vantage Pro 2 with radiation shield/fan.
I applaud you for wanting to aspirate your ISS in your climate, especially this time of year. A few here use 80x20 case fans that need a mere modification to fit like it literally belongs. If you're able, which I guess you are, it's for more reason than just one, certainly one of the best mod for your VP2.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2018, 01:34:39 AM by CW2274 »

Offline wxmanmhd

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Re: Solar panel for northern cold climates
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2018, 11:57:41 PM »
Thanks..Will not be doing much now and next month since tomorrow a blizzard heading our way. Received 3.3" of snow so far today with another 3-5" expected tomorrow with 45 mph winds, and then expecting -15 by Friday morning. If you want to follow my falling temperatures go to fmweather.com. :-)

Offline ValentineWeather

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Re: Solar panel for northern cold climates
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2018, 06:04:08 AM »
I would replace both batteries, not all are made for cold climates. I've had luck with these made in France.
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Randy

Offline wxmanmhd

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Re: Solar panel for northern cold climates
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2018, 08:30:13 AM »
I see the battery that Davis has is 5000mAh and this one is 2300mAh.  Is it ok to go down in mAh, less power?

Offline CW2274

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Re: Solar panel for northern cold climates
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2018, 01:49:07 PM »
I see the battery that Davis has is 5000mAh and this one is 2300mAh.  Is it ok to go down in mAh, less power?
With your climate/latitude, who knows if you can fully charge 2300 let alone 5000. The 2300 shown above is what my VP2 came with as OE.

Offline ValentineWeather

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Re: Solar panel for northern cold climates
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2018, 01:49:43 PM »
I see the battery that Davis has is 5000mAh and this one is 2300mAh.  Is it ok to go down in mAh, less power?
I know Davis has changed batteries probably linked with California regulations and batteries jumped to higher mAh, but for years they used 2300mAh which was rated for cold climates. 
I've used these down to almost -37 below.
Randy

Offline wxmanmhd

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Re: Solar panel for northern cold climates
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2018, 03:06:12 PM »
Thank you both for the help on this. Since itís snowing now with vis 1/4 mile and temp of 16/WC -5  have nothing else to do but order the batteries.  :-)

Offline CW2274

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Re: Solar panel for northern cold climates
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2018, 04:43:50 PM »
have nothing else to do but order the batteries.  :-)
Does this mean you're poo-pooing the a/c route, or just waiting for wx that's a little more "hospitable"? Going a/c for myself was unequivocally the best mod on my VP2, especially since my ISS is a PIA to access, and so easy to do too.

Offline wxmanmhd

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Re: Solar panel for northern cold climates
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2018, 05:48:39 PM »
CW 2274. No like to change but wondering what rpm and where did you get the fan and power transformer.  Will they work at -20 F . Have not looked around for the fans to see what is out there.

Offline CW2274

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Re: Solar panel for northern cold climates
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2018, 06:03:14 PM »
CW 2274. No like to change but wondering what rpm and where did you get the fan and power transformer.  Will they work at -20 F . Have not looked around for the fans to see what is out there.
ValentineWX (Randy) will be the one to chime in, he has a climate similar to yours and uses something that'll take it.

Offline ValentineWeather

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Re: Solar panel for northern cold climates
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2018, 06:58:10 PM »
These are rated for -40. Make sure any AC voltage outside is on GFCI circuit.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2018, 07:33:50 AM by ValentineWeather »
Randy

Offline wxmanmhd

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Re: Solar panel for northern cold climates
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2018, 11:02:44 PM »
Is there lot of modification that needs to be done..suppose cut off the corners since a square peg does not fit into a round hole as we were taught when we were 4 yrs old.  LOL found it on Digit Key which we have around 100 miles from us so could take a little day drive and get it.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2018, 11:04:59 PM by wxmanmhd »

Offline CW2274

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Re: Solar panel for northern cold climates
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2018, 12:02:59 AM »
Most likely just trimming only two corners (~1/8 ") on the bottom of the case should do fine. The four untouched corners on top make the case sit perfectly on top of the sensor chamber cylinder. Just make sure the air flow is from bottom to top.

Offline wxmanmhd

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Re: Solar panel for northern cold climates
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2019, 12:54:43 PM »
Follow up: I tried some new batteries that were rated at 4000 mAH from Batteries Plus here in town but only lasted couple of days then same problem. I now have order the AC fan and should be here Monday or Tues and will install that when it warms up. Fan works now during the daytime hours so will have to do.  Expecting temps of -30 with wind chills to -60 to -65 on Tues, Wed. I donít like snapping off covers and unhooking wires to bring the unit inside when itís that cold or standing out there. Just looking for more trouble then. Thanks again for the help CW2274  & Valentine Weather. 

Keith

Offline CW2274

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Re: Solar panel for northern cold climates
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2019, 01:14:42 PM »
Sure. However, why would you need to unhook wires to bring it inside? Unless you've got something else going on, all you should need to do is dismount the ISS.

Offline wxmanmhd

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Re: Solar panel for northern cold climates
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2019, 05:48:00 PM »
Only wire I have to disconnect is the wire going over to the temp sensor then take it all in.  That plastic cover for the ISS solar panel is so hard to get off in cold weather without maybe breaking it I rather wait till it gets about zero, beside it is cold out there walking in 9" of snow.  LOL

Offline CW2274

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Re: Solar panel for northern cold climates
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2019, 05:52:18 PM »
Only wire I have to disconnect is the wire going over to the temp sensor then take it all in. 
Then obviously you have something else going on. :?

Offline wxmanmhd

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Re: Solar panel for northern cold climates
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2019, 06:14:32 PM »
Update:  Fan came in today and itís above zero so took the unit in and replaced the fan. I will give the fan a test on its rating. Says good for temperatures of -40 and we are expecting lows of -23/-38/-33 the next 3 nights. Wind chills of -55 to -60 Tues night.  💨🌊

Offline wxmanmhd

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Re: Solar panel for northern cold climates
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2019, 06:19:53 PM »
One more comment.  The 24cmf is great plenty of wind flow, more than the old Davis fan.

Offline WxLover16

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Re: Solar panel for northern cold climates
« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2019, 05:21:22 PM »
One more comment.  The 24cmf is great plenty of wind flow, more than the old Davis fan.

That is the AC fan I have and it works great. Anybody who still has a stock fan that is able to convert to AC should do so. You pay these kinda big bucks for your hobby, why not upgrade to make it perform even better than it already does? No brainer.
Davis Wireless VP2 SHT31 24hr 24CFM FARS

 

anything