New solar install.... - Page 15 - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-18-2012, 11:42 AM   #197
Senior Member
 
Name: Rene
Trailer: Bigfoot 2500 truck camper
British Columbia
Posts: 233
Thanks for the detailed report Norm. I purchased a controller very similar to this one. Mine is a Steca PR3030 also available on Ebay for a bit more. The Steca is made in germany rather than china. The big advantage is of course the system monitor built into these controllers. System monitors are often expensive options on many controllers. I cannot imagine trying to use my solar system without actually knowing what is happening. I also do not think that MPPT controllers are cost effective on small systems. Better to spend your money on a larger panel or battery bank.
__________________

__________________
Rene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2012, 04:48 PM   #198
Senior Member
 
Trailer: 1980 Burro
Posts: 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
Flexible panel report.

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

Safe Travels
Norm,

I would appreciate any insight you could give us on how well the panels charge in low light conditions. For example if parked in the full shade do they produce usable power? Same if there is part shade, like the shadow of a large tree branch across the middle of the panel. How about overcast weather?

Thanks,
Andy
__________________

__________________
Andy B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2012, 06:06 PM   #199
Senior Member
 
honda03842's Avatar
 
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
Posts: 7,300
Andy B,

This is not a real test but it provides a data point.

We're just north of Seattle, and have been parked in our son's drive way for 3-4 weeks. We are surrounded by trees and generally mostly in the shade (LOL), is there any thing else since's it's overcast 90% of the time. I can honestly say we have had less than 24 hours of sunny skies since we've been here.

I just measured our battery and it's at 13.02 volts and the convertor is and has been off.

This all must be qualified. The only thing running on 12 volts is the lights.

For us the only significant load is the water pump when we're boondocking other than that we draw little 12 volt power because the other items, computers, TV, sat dish, and lights draw very little power.

Of course I realize, our use of the panels and trailer is different from most on this site. On this trip we're driving about 100 out of 330 days we get 4-5 hours of non-shaded sunlight every 3 or 4 days, along with parked charging it seems to be enough.



After I install the solar controller that shows energy accumulation and energy use I'll have a better idea on how effective the panels are. So far I am pleased with the panels.
__________________
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
honda03842 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2012, 04:02 PM   #200
Senior Member
 
Trailer: 1980 Burro
Posts: 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
Andy B,

This is not a real test but it provides a data point.

We're just north of Seattle, and have been parked in our son's drive way for 3-4 weeks. We are surrounded by trees and generally mostly in the shade (LOL), is there any thing else since's it's overcast 90% of the time. I can honestly say we have had less than 24 hours of sunny skies since we've been here.

I just measured our battery and it's at 13.02 volts and the convertor is and has been off.

This all must be qualified. The only thing running on 12 volts is the lights.

For us the only significant load is the water pump when we're boondocking other than that we draw little 12 volt power because the other items, computers, TV, sat dish, and lights draw very little power.

Of course I realize, our use of the panels and trailer is different from most on this site. On this trip we're driving about 100 out of 330 days we get 4-5 hours of non-shaded sunlight every 3 or 4 days, along with parked charging it seems to be enough.



After I install the solar controller that shows energy accumulation and energy use I'll have a better idea on how effective the panels are. So far I am pleased with the panels.
Thanks for the detailed reply Norm. It sounds like the panels are producing some power under adverse conditions since you have been parked in the shade for weeks and still read 13 volts. I look forward to when you install the controller and can determine the accumulation and energy use.
The reason I was asking is because I almost always camp in the shade so low light performance is very important.
Thanks,
Andy
__________________
Andy B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2012, 07:11 PM   #201
Senior Member
 
honda03842's Avatar
 
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
Posts: 7,300
Andy B,

I thought you might find the begining of this article interesting.

What Are the Best Solar Panels for Low Light? | eHow.com

Of course, if you're a shade person, an alternative is to mount your panel on a moveable surface.

Today I was working on the installation of Solar in my Son's trailer. I had two lights on, 4 bulbs, 8 amps and the voltage drop was significant. He has about 20 amps worth of bulbs in his trailer if all lamps are on.

I think anyone who's doing solar panels has to consider the entire rig. One of the most important steps to being a successful solar camper is to switch to LED bulbs.

In a sense we are spoiled by the amount of energy available and it's price. For the cost of an installed solar panel ( say $400) we could buy enough energy (2,000 to 4,000 kw-hrs at $0.10-$0.20 per kw-hr). If you're careful at 4,000 kw-hrs that's enough to run a small trailer for 7 years since when on AC I use about 1-2 kw hrs per day.

Hope the article provides some insight since most people think amorphous is better in low light.
__________________
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
honda03842 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2012, 08:45 PM   #202
Junior Member
 
Trailer: Boler 13 ft
Posts: 15
Norm,

How did you connect the two panels? In series or in parallel?

TIA

François
__________________
François P. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2012, 09:02 PM   #203
Senior Member
 
honda03842's Avatar
 
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
Posts: 7,300
Solar Panel Wiring

I connected them in Parallel. If I were doing it over I would buy one panel.

I first bought a 40 watter as a test liked it and bought a second. When I put one on my son's Scamp 13 we bought a single panel.

My panels have now been on for one year, The VHB tape has worked well.

From wonderful Route 93 in Idaho.....
__________________
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
honda03842 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2012, 10:32 AM   #204
Junior Member
 
Name: Kerry
Trailer: Scamp16-1985
Maryland
Posts: 4
Norm,
after a year of use, what are your thoughts about controllers and monitors?
__________________
Kerry227 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2012, 07:45 PM   #205
Senior Member
 
Name: David
Trailer: Escape Trailers
Massachusetts
Posts: 208
Olympian Wave 3 catalytic heater

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterh View Post
Our Scamp 5er runs on solar and have also converted all our interior lights to LEDs. The key to making solar work, I think, is using LEDs instead of traditional bulbs. One regular, incandescent bulb uses as much power as ten LEDs; two of them burn as more battery power than the furnace does.

We originally had one 50w panel permanently mounted to our roof, and that worked really, really well. When we went to Yellowstone, however, we had a furnace problem that made the furnace run all night, running the battery way, way down. We've since added a second fixed 55w panel and installed an Olympian Wave 3 catalytic heater in addition to the furnace. The second solar panel and Wave3 are overkill -- one 50w panel really was enough to meet all our needs -- but we never have to worry about running out of power. Lynne is looking forward to our buying a 12v electric blanket to warm the bed sheets before we climb in to bed.

I also built a portable 40w solar panel setup made of two Ramsond 20w panels for our Surfside trailer. I'm pleased with Ramsond. Their panels seem to be a pretty solid product at a good price.
Peter,

What is your fuel source for the Olympian Wave 3 catalytic heater? If it's your 20# tanks, how did you tie into the propane line?

Thanks
__________________
Stretcher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2012, 10:24 AM   #206
Senior Member
 
Name: David
Trailer: Escape Trailers
Massachusetts
Posts: 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
I connected them in Parallel. If I were doing it over I would buy one panel.

I first bought a 40 watter as a test liked it and bought a second. When I put one on my son's Scamp 13 we bought a single panel.

My panels have now been on for one year, The VHB tape has worked well.

From wonderful Route 93 in Idaho.....
Norm,

Did you remove the clear plastic (shrink-wrap) from your 40-watt flexible solar panels? It looks like it should be removed, but the grommets were installed after the plastic. The plastic on mine is very wrinkled and looks like it might cause some shading.

Thanks and Happy Holidays,

David
__________________
Stretcher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2012, 10:43 AM   #207
Senior Member
 
honda03842's Avatar
 
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
Posts: 7,300
Merry Christmas David,

Yes I did remove the protective shrink wrap.
__________________
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
honda03842 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2012, 11:16 AM   #208
Senior Member
 
Jon Vermilye's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21
Oswego, NY
Posts: 1,407
Registry
Just an update on the 95 Watt Go Power system installed on my Escape 17B (I have an earlier post from last year in this thread).

This summer I camped in the Leadville, CO area (at 10,000') for two weeks without hookups. Some shade, and some cloudy days with night time temperatures in the low 30°F. The solar system managed to keep up with my usage with no problems.

I have all LED lighting, a 1.8 Amp furnace, run a router & cell phone amp that draws 2 amps (although it was shut down for the last week since there was no cell service at the Camp Hale campground) various camera & phone chargers, powered an 85 watt laptop for a couple of hours per day, and used a 1000W inverter to make a pot of coffee each morning (the inverter draws 60 amps @ 12V for 6 minutes). I have a pair of 6V, 235 amp/hr Interstate batteries.

All in all, I like the combination & it certainly provides enough electricity to outlast my various water tanks...
Jon Vermilye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2012, 02:53 PM   #209
Senior Member
 
BAMA & Pachyderm Posse's Avatar
 
Name: Herschel
Trailer: Casita
Arkansas
Posts: 681
Registry
solar

best by I have found so far Complete Kit 100 w Watt 100W 100WATTS Photovoltaic PV Solar Panel 12V RV Boat | eBay
__________________
HERSCHEL AKA BAMA
BAMA & Pachyderm Posse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2012, 04:11 PM   #210
Senior Member
 
honda03842's Avatar
 
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
Posts: 7,300
Jon,

It's truly amazing how little power is really required to have a very satisfactory life style.

Like you we used to run our coffee pot off the inverter, a short duration high power draw. Now we just boil the water and pour it into the filter.
__________________

__________________
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
honda03842 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
solar


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Window AC install slbran Modifications, Alterations and Updates 12 06-27-2011 07:25 PM
A new way to install AC Jacob S. Modifications, Alterations and Updates 12 02-21-2010 08:51 AM
What to install? Gwenn Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 4 08-23-2007 12:37 PM
A/C install Legacy Posts Modifications, Alterations and Updates 8 02-04-2006 06:27 AM
A/C install Legacy Posts Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 8 12-15-2002 08:49 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:59 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.