January 3rd 2020

Happy Friday! It’s six o’clock in the morning, the skies are clear and the temperature is 50 or 10 degrees, so all and all not a bad start to the day. Sunrise is not till 7:41 so we haven’t bottomed out yet but we are within a degree or two of the low temperature. We have been operating totally on battery power for two nights and while everything has worked as expected we are depleting our batteries faster that we have been able to recharge them with solar.

When we pulled in to the BLM land on Wednesday afternoon the lot was very full, so we ended up being parked with Thunder facing almost due south, so the sun rises on our left side and sets on our right, this does not afford me the opportunity to tip the panels to maximize our solar intake. So we only got a partial solar charge yesterday so as I check our status this morning we have used well over 70% of our available battery power supply. So my plan is to take a walk around this morning and find a parking area that will have us facing more easterly, then I can tip the solar panels to maximize our solar intake and hopefully start to gain on the recharge of the battery bank.

Well I decided not to move Thunder, as we are moving in a few days anyway, I made the corporate decision to just run our generator to see how well the batteries would accept a recharge from the inverter/charger. With the old batteries and inverter/charger they would accept up to 70 amps of bulk charge but it would only charge at that rate for about thirty minutes, before dropping into the absorption charge cycle. But after close to two hours of charging the rate of charge on the lithium batteries is still close to 100 amps, now I have understood this to be true from all my research, but seeing it is just a bit more than impressive. So we were able to bring the battery level of charge up 25% in less that two hours of generator run time, so by ten o’clock the solar is carrying the total coach load but not adding anything into the battery bank.

If Miss Laurie is feeing up to it, we will venture off to the theatre today, as we want to see the most recent Star Wars movie, a matinee showing most likely, you know us and a theatre full of old grey haired farts…lol.

Friday afternoon update: Miss Laurie is still down with a cold so no movie today, and I changed my mind shortly after lunch and decided to reposition the coach, I was just so frustrated that we were only just covering the daily load with full sun, so I repositioned the coach to have us facing almost west. I then went to the roof to tilt three of the four solar panels to get better sun harvest. This is not my normal direction for tilting so I had to make some minor modifications, the panel that I did not tilt is being partially blocked by the front air conditioner so the benefit would have be limited, considering the difficulty of reworking that panel.

That 20 plus amps is what is getting to the battery bank, the tilting of the solar panels has added the extra 10 plus amps.

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