Originally Posted by Otters
What kind of solar set-up do you have? Is the 65 Watt adequate for you 13' or would you go bigger if you had it to do over? Thanks for any info you can provide. There's so much on this forum about differenet brands/types/sizes, I'm really perplexed.
The 65 Watt works great for us. Bigger would not necessarily be better.
The first thing I did was to reduce the usage by, 1. Installing CCFL lights
, later changing all other lights
to LED. 2. No other electrical
devices except the furnace fan.
Battery charge currents are generally a product of how far the battery has discharged. My battery charge current is maxed at about 4 amps. If connect a standard smart charger I will usually settle to a charging current of about the same or less, depending on the charge state of the battery. Therefore anything bigger would not be any better since I'm already near the maximum charge current. I use a 74 amp hour deep cycle battery on the trailer.
I also use the same 65 Watt panel to charge my amateur radio battery, which is a 50 amp hour gelcell.
If it's really really cold, (below freezing) I probably need to charge the house battery every other day. If it's warm and I don't use the furnace I can go for almost a month with charging the house battery.
One more thing, I built a frame so I can stand the panel up and move it around to follow the sun. That way I don't have to park the trailer in the sun and can also easily charge the radio battery.
You only need a solar panel
if you're either is very cold weather, or staying a long time in one place. Much of the time we move often enough the tow recharges the batter and don't have to bother. Again it all depends on the biggest usage, the furnace.
Description of my solar system.
Panel = Kyocera 65Watt panel. (T65W I think)
Charge Controller = Don't remember brand, but it's a 6 amp controller.
25' of twin 10 gauge wire with Anderson Power Pole connectors.
Batteries each with at least one 18" twin 10 gauge wire with Anderson Power Pole connectors.
Home built stand up frame which also holds the charge controller.
two 2x4s and a piece of plywood covered with carpeting. This is used as a pocket to slide the panel into in back of the pickup and allows stuff to be stacked on top of it. There's full canopy over the bed and a "Bed Rug" in the bed of the truck. The panel slide in and out very easily.