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Old Jun 06, 2012, 09:01 PM
Heavy thinker..I mean tinkerer
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Canada, ON, Aylmer
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Club Field Charging Station Set-Ups?

Hey guys we are trying to set up a charging station at our local club. We are going to be using two 12v car batteries hooked up in parallel to a solar panel on the roof. Now my question is what is going to be adequate enough(solar panel sizes, and whatever else) to do the job and what else is going to be needed to complete this whole project properly.

Maybe someone could chime in with some good details on what they have at their field already for a set-up.
It would be much appreciated.
Thanks
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Old Jun 06, 2012, 09:40 PM
RC Helicopter Pilot
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United States, CA, Westminster
Joined Mar 2010
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It would be interesting to see how long your 2 batteries last.

I wouldn't think you could put a large enough solar panel up to recharge them in a reasonable amount of time when guys are waiting to charge.

There is a guy over on Helifreak that uses 2 deep cycle batteries in the back of his car to charge his helicopter batteries in the field.
He would know how many charges you can get out of them.

Green is all well and good but sometimes not very practical.
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Old Jun 06, 2012, 09:57 PM
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United States, CA, Brentwood
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Ok, I can give you one tip. Run two 6volt golf cart/deep cycle batteries from Costco in series. You will get a whole bunch more amp per hour out of those. 12 volt batteries only give you the large cranking amps. That's why the motor home and large boat guys use the 6 volt batteries. It's still going to need a rather large solar panel, or multiples of them.
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Old Jun 07, 2012, 10:25 AM
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United States, MN
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How many users are we talking? I think you would need quite the bank of deep cycle marine batteries and a good system to monitor their health. I know guys who fly large heli and use two deep cycle batteries just for themselves. You figure 110Ah deep cycle, you shouldn't discharge below 50% so 55Ah worth of charging out of it minus efficiency loss. You don't get too many charges. And not sure how you can keep people from draining them too low.

You're basically looking at an off-grid solar system like this:
http://www.wholesalesolar.com/solarp...er-system.html
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Old Jun 07, 2012, 10:36 AM
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MODEL AVIATION, Jan, 2010, has an article on a solar charging station for less than $500 that a Club in California built.

hwoell
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Old Jun 07, 2012, 10:46 AM
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United States, MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwinhh View Post
MODEL AVIATION, Jan, 2010, has an article on a solar charging station for less than $500 that a Club in California built.

hwoell
I get the feeling some donations or discounted items were involved. Unfortunately I don't have that issue. Anyone care to share the details?

Well here's someone who did similar after that article:
http://www.sky-knights.org/solar.htm

And the important part:
Quote:
They also allowed the club to purchase all of the parts at their cost.
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Old Jun 07, 2012, 01:59 PM
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I think you should start with some data collection. As an example, I usually take 8-12 charged batteries to the field, and then use about 30ah on recharges from my 100ah deep cycle battery. I fly about 6.8 days per week so the solar needs to keep up. But am I "typical"? At my club I would say I'm one of the higher than average wattage users, but not the highest. At your club? No idea.
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Old Jun 07, 2012, 07:20 PM
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Some great points here to think about, thats why I posted the question. Thanks guys.
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Old Jun 07, 2012, 08:39 PM
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Denver, CO
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--We are finishing up a charging station at our field. The overall cost of the system is

around $3000. $2500 just in equipment and shipping. I can send you details if you wish.

2 - 145 watt 12volt panels
1 - 30 amp charge controller
1- 60 amp load controller
1 - PV combiner/ breaker panel
4- 110 amp hour AGM (absorbed glass matte) deep cycle sealed batts
Misc, feeder wire, hardware, equipment mounting board, battery box, charge stations
8x2 ft counter top work shelf, etc
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Old Jun 07, 2012, 08:57 PM
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United States, MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Forse View Post
1- 60 amp load controller
That's enough to cover one iCharger 306b charging 6S batteries at 30 amp. You guys must not have any heli people, they will hit that 60 amp easy
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Old Jun 07, 2012, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
2 - 145 watt 12volt panels
And they can only replenish the PB at 290watts.
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Old Jun 08, 2012, 12:38 AM
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Denver, CO
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--The current setup is designed to be expandable. Initial cost is already $3k.

--We will see how the summer goes. Next year probably add another 60 amp load controller, more batteries, and two more solar panels. This upgrade will be about $1900.

--The two 145 watt panels put out 16.5 amps at mid day with no clouds.
--The load controller protects the batteries from over discharge
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Old Jun 08, 2012, 06:16 AM
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Kingston, Canada
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Me, or whoever has one, plugs a generator into an outside outlet of the clubhouse. About half a dozen outlets on the inside for power supplies. There are lights on inside of the clubhouse to let you know not to plug another one in.

Gord.
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Old Jun 08, 2012, 09:55 AM
PGR
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United States, CA, Costa Mesa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grimbeaver View Post
That's enough to cover one iCharger 306b charging 6S batteries at 30 amp. You guys must not have any heli people, they will hit that 60 amp easy
People with those kinds of power needs should be able to provide it themselves. That, or they should be willing to contribute a proportionate amount of funds towards a club-owned system.

Pete
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Old Jun 08, 2012, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PGR View Post
People with those kinds of power needs should be able to provide it themselves. That, or they should be willing to contribute a proportionate amount of funds towards a club-owned system.

Pete
Holy crap no kidding! That's a killer set-up though.
Our club is small and only charge mostly 3s 2200ma packs, about 4-5 guys on a busy day.
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