New solar install.... - Page 14 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-23-2012, 07:56 PM   #183
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
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Canadian Tire Currently has a 30 Watt system with stand on for $99 reg. $249.99 includes carrying case
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:54 AM   #184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas G. View Post
Another deal from Solar Blvd. 80 watts for $99

Solarblvd's 80 watt pre orders starts now Sale!
This flash sale only lasted 2 hours. If you are in the market, sign up for alerts from Solar Blvd (see left column on home page).
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Old 06-16-2012, 11:29 AM   #185
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Name: Norm and Ginny
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10,000 miles and counting

Flexible panel report.

Since there seems to be continuing interest in our solar solution.

The two 40 watt panels seem to do the job for us, supplying adequate power for LED lamps, water pump, TV, Sat dish, occasional electric blanket and charging of computers and the like.

We've had our 80 watts of Solar panels for about 10,000 miles of travel, been buried in two snow storms and seen months of rain. They are still solidly attached to our roof and have not had a single issue, either minor or major.

Many of the concerns expressed in this long post, all reasonable concerns, have turned out not to be problems:

The panels stuck to the Red Max Pro 3; moisture under the panels, if any, has not been a problem; the panels have not increased the inside temperature to any noticeable degree; there's no visible heat damage to the gel coat; neither high outside temperatures or snow have done any damage; there has been no signs of panel lifting; though we've had no significant branches fall on the panel, we've had numerous hits by acorns and the like without a scratch; the thru hull fitting has never leaked and we've seen many inches of rain in the NorthWest.

The only negative is the panels cost, higher than the more traditional variety.

Another less obvious advantage is no fear of theft, only people who read this site are even aware that we have solar panels.

We choose not to have tiltable solar panels, not wanting the bother of having to tilt the panels and not wanting to impact the smooth surface of the trailer. As well with our travel philosophy of minimizing loose items we decided against internally stored panels.

On this long 11 month, 14,000 mile trip we like the fact that the panels are charging the battery as we drive and not stored in the trailer or our 2004 Honda CRV.

We are about to install a similar installation on our son's 1977 Scamp 13. He has chosen a single 70 watt panel that should fit nicely on the Scamp.

Safe Travels
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:42 PM   #186
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Thanks for the report. Looking forward to upgrade are uhaul with solar soon.

Fred
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:48 PM   #187
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70 Watt Solar

Coincidence.

My son received his 70 watt Solar Panel today. Early next week I plan to install it.

The picture shows the trailer under a plastic canopy. We put up the canopy so we could work in this rainy climate and to keep pine needle off the trailer as we gave it multiple coats of Red Max Pro 3.

His trailer is nearly ancient, a 1977 Scamp 13, soon to be modernized with thin Solar Panels.

As well he bought a rather interesting solar controller that has an LCD display. The display shows voltage, load current, charging amp hours, discharging amp hours. It also allows the setting of a number of levels like maximum charged battery voltage. He bought it on Ebay, a Solar 30.

I can't wait to give the controller a spin.

The blue painter's tape is of course temporary, just to check that it fits and to prevent it from blowing away.
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Old 06-16-2012, 04:59 PM   #188
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any pictures of the display?
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:48 PM   #189
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Solar Controller

Jim,

If you double click on the thumbnail picture you'll be able to read the various screens. If you study them for a couple of minutes you'll be able to understand the ability of the controller.

The first screen simply shows battery voltage, charging and discharging state and battery level. From this screen the load can be enabled or disabled.

The second screen shows battery temperature, really ambient. A temperature sensor is provided and the controller compensates for temperature. Not too useful because the batteries are outside and the sensors are inside the trailer though I suppose the sensor might be capable of being remoted.

The third screen shows the amount of current being produced by the solar panel.

The fourth panel shows the current being supplied to the load from the battery. This requires wiring the loads appropriately.

The fifth screen shows ampere hours from the solar panel to the battery. This screen is resettable to zero.

The sixth screen shows ampere hours from the battery to the load.

The seventh screen shows the minimum voltage the battery is allowed to discharge before the load is electronically disconnected from the battery . Certainly 10.6 is too low. This number is adjustable by the user.

The eighth screen shows the recovery voltage, the minimum battery voltage where the load will be electronically connected to the battery. This voltage level is adjustable by the operator.

The ninth screen indicates the voltage at which the solar panel will electronically be disconnected from the battery, the fully charged battery level. This level is adjustable by the operator.

The tenth screen is rather unusual. It allows you to control for the period of time that the controller supplies battery current to the load. It can be set for continuous by selecting 24 hours, probably the normal mode for most. However it can be set up to provide power for any number of hours once darkness arrives from 1 to 23 hours. There is also a third mode where power is supplied after dark and shut off once daylight arrives.

The controller has short circuit and overload protection on the load side. It also detects the presence of the panels.

Hope that helps. All info is from tne data sheet because I won't have it connected until next week.
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:53 PM   #190
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thanks, Norm
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Old 06-16-2012, 08:24 PM   #191
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Name: George
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Norm,

Thank you for the update. I would definitely use flexible panels like yours if I would be installing again.

Regarding the controller, is it MPPT type? I assumed that measured load is for devices attached to controllers just like in Morningstar controller. If you have devices directly attached to the battery the controller will not be able to distinguish between charge and load currents. In my case all devices are connected via shunt to the battery so I can measure battery load by measuring voltage on the shunt.

George.
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Old 06-16-2012, 10:02 PM   #192
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Thank you very much for reporting on your install. We are definitely going to do something similar on our trailer.

François
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:05 AM   #193
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Solar 30

George,

What I most like about this controller is that it can directly display current to and from the battery. I'm sure there are other controllers that do this but I haven't seen one.

It seems most people want to know how much 12 volt power their trailer uses and this controller measures it instantaneously. As well it acccumulates and displays ampere hours drawn from the battery by the load and ampere hours supplied to the battery by the solar panels.

"How much 12 volt power used?" is a most commonly asked question and the answers are rarely definitive. This controller easily provides that opportunity to know power usage. This specific controller is limited to 36 amps current draw from the battery before an overload is reported.

On my son's trailer I intend to run the entire 12 volt load thru the controller.

I suspect the controller uses field effect transistors (FET) to control flow from and to the battery, possibly with a current sensing lead or simply just measuring the drop across the FET

As to MPPT, the controller states it operates as an Intelligent Pulse Width Modulation Controller.

Measuring the voltage drop across a shunt is a way to measure power draw, what's neat about this controller is it accumulates usage and displays it, a Solar Controller I have not seen before.

(Sorry I'm so repetitive but I suspect most forum members may not understand what this controller offers.)

I'll follow up wwith another report once I hook up this controller this week.
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:31 PM   #194
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pics of AM Solar mounting brackets
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:26 PM   #195
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So Norm what is the name, model number of your controller?

Cheers John
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:37 PM   #196
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John,

Here's a link to the solar controller

30A 12V/24V Solar Controller Regulator Charge Battery Safe Protection CE Certify | eBay
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