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Don't use any buck converter with a 12V source and expect to get 12V from it. You want a boost/buck converter. On the other hand, most 12VDC motors and 12V regulated electronic devices run fine with somewhat lower voltage.1
From what I know, a lightning rod X meters away should be at least X meters above the object being protected. Ie, locate your shorter one a couple of meters north of the panels.
There is something to be said for physically disconnecting things in storms. And surge protectors.1
Ignore the Youtube video - what matters is watts at MPP, not open circuit voltage.1
> Forget diodes.
Not to mention that there is no flow path here such that diodes are needed.1
Worth repeating - insufficient absorb time can kill batteries. And with low charge rates (like < 10%), it can take a long time.1