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Lost Solar Power And Lightning Hits The Off Grid RV

Lost Solar Power And Lightning Hits The Off Grid RV


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Wednesday was a very bad day for power at the off grid homestead. In the morning hours my solar panels quit charging my batteries. Later in the afternoon my off grid solar powered RV got hit by lightning blowing out my AC wiring inside the RV walls.

In the morning hours it was very very hot as you have seen in the previous videos. My fridge was running full out for 5 hours. Suddenly my solar charge controller showed no output from the solar panels at all.

I could not figure out what had happened. I had just wired up the battery bank properly and improved the overall performance of my solar power system. Then a few hours later the power suddenly goes out. I know I did the wiring properly because the solar panels were putting out a nice amount of power and I recorded it on video.

My fridge again drained my battery bank and I had to shut it down.

I called Tristar and talked to their tech support for a while to see if the solar charge controller was defective. After extensive trouble shooting and testing, we found out that the charge controller is perfectly fine but my solar panels were not working.

It was the strangest thing. The solar panels were putting out 90 volts DC but no current. Absolutely no current. This is very strange. How can this be?

I went out and fired up my DC generator to charge up my battery bank and also my HF generator to run my air conditioner. It was brutally hot outside and inside with near 90 percent humidity.

It was raining out pretty hard with thunder and lightning the whole afternoon so I was inside working on my websites. You just cant work outside in a thunderstorm so I figured I would work on my websites a bit and improve The Off Grid Project site.

While I was sitting here working I saw a bright flash outside my RV window and saw like a photo flash inside the RV. Then I heard a little pop and my inverter blanked out and came back on again. Then came the very loud thunder right outside my RV.

I immediately shut off the power inverter to protect it and I am happy that I did. One minute later lightning hit my RV again. This time the flash inside was brighter and the pop louder. The thunder was powerful and so loud.

Now I was sitting in the dark with no AC power at all. My solar panels were not working and I just got hit by lightning directly.

My fridge was off and my food was getting warm.

I could not go outside to check the solar panels due to the lightning. It was not safe.

All I could do is sit and wait out the storm. After a while there was a break in the lightning and I went outside on the porch to troubleshoot my AC problems.

I can only guess that somehow the lightning hit my air conditioner on the roof of the RV, following the power lines down into the breaker box. From there it followed the line to my RV fridge and blew out the breaker and the wires.

I now have no working AC wires on the whole side of my RV. The whole wall is dead.

I had to run an extension cord through my RV from the bedroom out through the RV and onto the porch so I can run my electric fence, fridge and DSL internet line. For now though I had no power to run the fridge.

It was a dark, boring evening at The Off Grid Project, waiting for the next day.

Follow my daily progress on the path to self sufficiency on my off grid solar homestead.

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