Flat versus 52 Degrees

The last 14 of the ground deployed panels has been laying flat on the ground for a long time.

We built a new rack and raised the panels to a similar 52 degrees angle. The 52 degrees is not optimal for all winter but mainly for the shortest days of the year.

The rack also protect the panels from getting very dirty and keep the junction box out of the dirt. A similar design to the other rack has been built. Triangles made of 4x4 as bottom and rear with a 2x4 facing the panels. Each triangle is placed on 2 cinder blocks to avoid termites attack. Ground anchors attach each triangle to the ground with a turnbuckle. Multiple 2x4 assembled with mending plates is used as rail. 1/4 inch bolts, washers and nuts are holding the panels in place. We have earlier tested with just using screws to hold the panels, this did not work properly because the heat and dry environment is loosening the screws over time.

The first days shows a 30% improvement on output of the Inverter/Charger, even this is three weeks later and the days are shorter. Adjusting for the different date and also the panels on the wings of the trailer that remained flat is the improved output 68%. Over a full day is this producing over 8 kWh of extra energy.

This graph show the different output. The reason the red curve is higher end of the day is based on the panels angled slightly too far west for optimal production.

We have many days during the winter where the trailer is producing maximum from morning to evening. Charging 2 Tesla's is a lot of energy. We also use the Heat pumps in the RV morning and evening to save the propane for the really cold days when heat pumps does not work well with low outside temperature (below 4 Celsius/40 Fahrenheit).

December 5th was a good day for capturing the suns energy, very few clouds and we had plenty of energy to store in the Tesla cars. A total of 64 kWh was created and probably 50 kWh went to the cars, a $20 value at Buckeye Supercharger pricing. The battery bank also ended the day at a higher state of charge and got to 99% during the afternoon.