Dream Solar system - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-01-2012, 06:14 AM   #15
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
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Solar Panel Mounts

I'll find the previous posts for our solar Installation.

The panels run from near the roof excape hatch forward to the front of the trailer.

The wires from the panel go thru the roof into the bathroom ceiling. The wires run thru a boat underwater fitting. The wires run to the closet over the front couch where a solar controller is mounted to the front of the closet. This is not too far from the battery'converter.

I'll seek out the pictures. I thought they were under Modifications/ Preparing a 1991 Scamp.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:11 AM   #16
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New Solar Install

LK Gray,

The following is a link to New Solar Install and details our installation showing the panels taped to the roof, the thru roof connector and the solar controller. This post contains a lot of information about various approaches to solar panels.

If you have any questions about my installation just ask.

New solar install....
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:19 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
The following is a link to New Solar Install and details our installation showing the panels taped to the roof, the thru roof connector and the solar controller. ]
Norm how has the tape install you used for securing stood up? Has it been subjected to any lengthly freezing periods or snow yet?
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:42 AM   #18
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Carol.

Our panels have been on for more than a year and stood up without a single issue in varying weather situations.

The tape is designed for exterior use. I do not know it's low temperature spec but it has been below freezing a number of times. The panels have been covered in snow twice, have been in three small hail showers and tons of rain.

It also has seen a number of sand storms with rather strong winds, exceeding what one sees in our extensive driving.

Here's a link to the tape.

Amazon.com: Scotch Permanent Outdoor Mounting Tape, 1 Inch x 450 Inches (4011-LONG): Office Products

Others have mentioned other 3M Very High Bond Tapes that may be better.

I will sayIt is on a surface covered by Red Max Pro 3 and I did no pre-cleaning, I guess I just got too excited. Should have cleaned the surface first.

As well the fapels are not sitting flat, the tape is holdig them in a 'stressed' curved shape. As a result there's a small apart of force trying to lift them off the tape. No motion seen over time. Tape seems to work.
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:15 PM   #19
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Name: LKG907
Trailer: Casita 17'SD
Washington
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Eva

Honda03842,
Thanks for the link. Your photos, research & comments have been most valuable to me.
I'm seriously considering the Sunflex panel for my installation.
Rather than do the homework, I;ll just nquire of you. No sense doing the research if you've already done the homework.
So, how does the EVA (Ethyline Vinyl Acetate hold up to prolonged exposure to ultra violet light? (sumlight) It may not turn out to be a factor for me, as I store my Casita indoors.
Thanks,
LKG907
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:14 PM   #20
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LKG

I assume the EVA is the tape material. The way I used the tape between the panel and the roof, only the edge of the tape is visible. Since the tape's made for exterior use I'd be shocked if it was UV resistant.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:15 PM   #21
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Eva

No, actually the EVA is what binds the monocrystalline photovoltaic cells together and give the panel it's shape, flexibility & strength.
I'll get around to doing some homework one of these days and let all know what I find out.
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:53 PM   #22
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Hmmm, don't know for sure but since the nature of solar is to be in prolonged sunlight I'd assume the EVA would be designed for such use.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:39 PM   #23
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Do you know if Solar South is still in business? I emailed them a few days ago and left a couple of voice-mails and have had no response.

David
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:56 PM   #24
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Has anyone tried those ultra thin Unisolar roofing laminates from Solar Blvd? They look interesting.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:45 PM   #25
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Solar South is still in business!!

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Do you know if Solar South is still in business? I emailed them a few days ago and left a couple of voice-mails and have had no response.
I got the answer to my own question. Mark from Solar South called today and was very straightforward and informative. He had been traveling and unable to respond to my questions. Seems like a good guy. I plan to order two 40-watt panels and a 15 amp controller for my Scamp 5er.
David
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:21 AM   #26
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What is the minimum strength that a system should have and over what strength would be a waste of time for a camper. I've been on ebay and there are about 600 plus pages of good deals. Some come with chargers most don't. The chargers are mostly between 10 and 30 amps. It appears a 10 amp will easily handle up to 150 watt panel, but the 20 or 30 amp controlers look nicer and have more features for just a few dollars more.
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:45 AM   #27
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As a general rule, most solar forums will tell you to have a minimum of one watt per amp hour of battery capacity, with many recommending more which is often difficult with a trailer due to space constraints, and cost. Then you would size your controller based on that. Keep in mind good deals don`t always equal good quality. Panel efficiency on good deals tend to be terrible so it`s important to ignore STC ratings and look at NOCT ratings. A good panel will have a small watt difference with a bad panel having a large watt difference. A good manufacturer will list them on the spec sheet.

I inherited a 75w Siemens (Shell) panel which rarely ever reaches it`s STC rating unless conditions are perfect, which is hardly the case while camping. Because of that I upgraded to a Morningstar mppt controler and I`ll be adding a high voltage panel in the spring, but my needs are to never ever plug in. Usage is key, if you know what you draw then you can size based on that which might be a lot less than the recommended amount.

Controllers boil down to amp capacity to support or grow your array, then pwm or mppt. If you go high voltage you need mppt, if not pwm is most likely the way to go. And of course cost, everyone has a different budget
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:47 AM   #28
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Good Info! I'm such a novice when it comes to solar. I was reading some of the ad info and what appeared to be the better/most expensive panels listed "efficiency rates". Surprisingly these went from 14% up to 19%. To me this was quite shocking as I expected better. The cheaper units didn't even bother to list their efficiency rates. I also hear that there is a huge difference in efficiency between the MPPT and PWM controllers with the MPPT being superior. What is the key thing I should look for in a decent panel? I am going with 2 6v deep cycle batteries (like what Costco or Sams Club sells). I will be installing Led lights inside but I'm also leaning to a 12v high efficiency compressor refigerator. I rarely go more than 3 days w/o being plugged in somewhere for a night.
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