[aprssig] Solar Powered Digi

James Jefferson Jarvis jj at aprsworld.net
Wed Dec 22 10:34:17 EST 2004

Ryan - I have two solar powered weather stations. There power budget would 
also support them being digipeaters, so I guess they qualify. 

One is located on an island in Lake Superior. You can see it at:

It consists of:
50 watt PV panel (ASE, I think)
2 x 105 amp/hour marine deep cycle batteries
Morningstar Sunsaver-6 with low voltage disconnect
Yaesu FT-1500M

Note that I use the marine deep cycle batteries because I had them, not 
because they are any good. The low voltage disconnect is essential for the 
system. If you don't have LVD you can run your batteries down to a point 
where the charge controller won't operate to charge your batteries. I've had 
this happen twice at other locations. It's not a good feeling finding your 
battery bank at 1.86 volts instead of 14.

The other is located in Winona County, Minnesota. You can see it at:

Uni-Solar US-32 thin film PV panel
1 x 48 amp hour Concorde AGM battery
Morningstar Prostar 12 with low voltage disconnector
ADI AD-400HP 70cm 5watt walkie-talkie

When designing a stand-alone system, at least here in the midwest, plan for 
having a week or more without solar input. Also design it to not discharge 
your batteries more than 20%. If you go to full discharge every night your 
batteries will last 100 cycles, if you go to 80% SOC (ie you've used 20% of 
available stored power) your batteries will last about 3000 cycles or more.

I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have. I'm sure there are others 
on the list (Brian Riley and others) that can also help you out.


On Wednesday 22 December 2004 09:17, Tourge, Ryan R. wrote:
> Can those of you operating solar powered digipeaters email me with the a
> basic summary and/or pics of your setup?
> Thanks!
> Ryan, K2RRT

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