Solar Boler - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-05-2009, 11:33 AM   #15
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Hi Jim,

If you happen to find a couple of solar panels between Calgary and Langley just give me a call.
See you this weekend.


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Old 05-05-2009, 12:27 PM   #16
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I haven't done a wind tunnel test (although my neighbour did suggest a large fan and a 50 lb. bag of flour)I just guessed and "eyeballed" an angle. Hopefully it won't create a vortex and rip the panels off from the back!
An aquaintance of mine made a simple "air tunnel" setup for designing a new airplane: He mounted his model airplane mockup (a 6' long x 5' wide balsa wood and "doped" fabric mockup) on a pole on a utility trailer, loaded his propane barbeque in the back of his pickup, fired up the bbq, then had a friend drive along side of this rig filming the airplane at different speeds while dripping motor oil through a tube into the bbq. I've seen the video . . . the "wind tunnel" worked really well, but his next set of hamburgers sucked.

What did you make the dam from? Fiberglass over formed foam block?
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:36 PM   #17
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Hi Jim,

If you happen to find a couple of solar panels between Calgary and Langley just give me a call.
See you this weekend.
Will do Kevin, though there is such a thing as salvage rights you know.

I will be leaving 5AM or earlier on Friday.
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:18 PM   #18
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What did you make the dam from? Fiberglass over formed foam block?
I went to the junkyard and pulled a spoiler off the back of a Saturn.

3 wood angles fibreglassed to roof of trailer and then screwed the spoiler onto the wood.

Drew a line around the shape and then ground the trailer down to fibreglass. I then wrapped fibrecloth over the spoiler and attached fibre cloth to fibreglass roof around the entire spoiler.

I am working on smoothing it out with Bondo. Will give it the road test to work the bugs out before completing it next weekend.



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Probably won't get the video completed for a few weeks also.
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Old 05-14-2009, 12:41 PM   #19
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Just completed a 1200 mile road test through the mountains and am happy to report that the panels and wind deflector are still on the trailer. Spent the first 90 minutes stopping and checking with my eye in the rearview mirrors expecting to see them fly off. Didn't happen. Traveled through heavy rain, sleet and snow and there were no leaks . Viewed a new Escape trailer that had one panel bolted to the top of its' roof. Spoke with Reace (the manufacturer) and they simply use four attach points and large washers. As usual I appear to have over-engineered my setup

As a side note I forgot to turn off my furnace and it stayed lit for an entire 12 hour leg of the trip. The flame on the fridge did not stay lit. The interior of the fridge was still cold though.
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:30 AM   #20
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Just an update on the performance of the solar panels (160 watts) on the trailer in actual use. This is meant as a rough guide for anyone contemplating adding solar to their trailer and is not sure of the size of panel required.

While camping at the Langley meet last weekend with the trailer parked in a sunny location I found I would use about 4% of the battery capacity each night (240 amp/hour battery). (1% of this loss is from my "phantom" loads) The radio was on all night and I was using a few lights (Superbright LED's) for a few hours. Battery would be up to 100% by 11 am. It wasn't warm enough to use the fantastic fan.

While working on the trailer parked in my driveway yesterday (in full sun) I had the radio on, a few lights on and put the fantastic fan on the highest setting. The battery stayed at 100% Over the span of three hours. Based on the system performance so far I believe I could easily get enough re-charging capicity from a single 80 watt panel for single or double occupancy.

(today is rainy and solid overcast. At 7:30 pm the battery is sitting at 97%. The 5 LED's have been on since 11 am and the CD has been playing for the past 4 hours.

Will keep this post up-dated as my sister, her husband and two young girls will be taking the trailer for a "family of four" test. Using more running water, more lights, DVD players,video games, etc.
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Old 05-18-2009, 01:56 PM   #21
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Here is a link to some photos of the progress of a Solar Panel install on the Boler.

Will complete a video once the project is complete.

http://flickr.com/photos/76boler/326376209...57613488933155/
Hi Kevin I guess I should of looked at your BOLER a little more closely{At the Langley Egg Fest} as I see you have many new additions to the little BOLER ,they all look great especially the electrical as I am an Electrician you have done a great job keep it up I am now just installing puck lighting,stereo ,dvd,and the flat screen,I am also changing 120v wiring as to have one breaker for each receptacle and for the fridge and converter also installing outside receptacle as the BIGFOOT there is not much to do except small additions,anyway stay in touch...
Rick and THE BC BIGFOOT
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:41 PM   #22
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Just an update on the performance of the solar panels (160 watts) on the trailer in actual use. This is meant as a rough guide for anyone contemplating adding solar to their trailer and is not sure of the size of panel required.

While camping at the Langley meet last weekend with the trailer parked in a sunny location I found I would use about 4% of the battery capacity each night (240 amp/hour battery). (1% of this loss is from my "phantom" loads) The radio was on all night and I was using a few lights (Superbright LED's) for a few hours. Battery would be up to 100% by 11 am. It wasn't warm enough to use the fantastic fan.

While working on the trailer parked in my driveway yesterday (in full sun) I had the radio on, a few lights on and put the fantastic fan on the highest setting. The battery stayed at 100% Over the span of three hours. Based on the system performance so far I believe I could easily get enough re-charging capicity from a single 80 watt panel for single or double occupancy.

(today is rainy and solid overcast. At 7:30 pm the battery is sitting at 97%. The 5 LED's have been on since 11 am and the CD has been playing for the past 4 hours.

Will keep this post up-dated as my sister, her husband and two young girls will be taking the trailer for a "family of four" test. Using more running water, more lights, DVD players,video games, etc.
Hi Kevin,
I've found your videos quite interesting because I'm in the process of adding a 115 Watt 24V panel to my trailer. Determining the size of panel and which components to use has been an interesting experience. I chose the 24V panel to keep wire size from the panel to charge controller at a minimum(even if I have to add a second panel I can maintain the same wire by wiring in series). I've ordered an MPPT controller(Blue Sky Solar Boost 2512ix from www.renewcanada.com) which I need to convert 24v to 12V for the battery(1 group 27 [at] 105 A/H). The MPPT controller is expensive but gives me the voltage conversion already mentioned, 4 stage charging(3 levels + equalize), and supposedly up to 30% more power out of the panel than non MPPT). The Xantrex monitor you have looks good but the company I bought from sell the TriMetric TM-2020 so I went with it. Still waiting on delivery of the controller and monitor. I havn't decided if I want to add adjustment to panels on the roof. I've come up with a design that I think would allow setting the panel to a compound angle in any direction but just fastening flat in one position would be much easier and less expensive, and possibly more robust.
So my question now is did you do your trial with the panels flat on the roof or aimed at the sun?
Bill
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:52 AM   #23
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So my question now is did you do your trial with the panels flat on the roof or aimed at the sun?
Bill
With 160 watts of panel and my limited consumption I find leaving the panels flat does the job. Probably the only time it will make a difference is if I am camping in the middle of winter.

I still have the option of easily moving the panels to my truck if I park the trailer in the shade.

I will do some testing with the panels flat on the trailer while camping in partial shade to get a feel for their performance under these conditions. If they keep up with my consumption there will be no need to move or adjust them.
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:37 AM   #24
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Lynne and I found that we can do quite well with a single 50 watt panel fixed to our trailer roof as long as we limited our use of our fantastic fan and furnace. We found out in Yellowstone last year that 50 watts is a good start, but not quite enough to run the furnace heat when the outdoor temps are in the teens and twenties without pretty much running the battery down each night.

One of my (few remaining) "big" projects for our Scamp is to add a second roof panel so we can run the heater. It was a choice between that and swapping the furnace for a Wave 3 catalytic heater, and we decided to keep the furnace. 105 watts of solar is more than enough to keep the lights, furnace, and various 12v electrics running as long as sunlight makes its way down to our trailer.
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:18 PM   #25
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With 160 watts of panel and my limited consumption I find leaving the panels flat does the job. Probably the only time it will make a difference is if I am camping in the middle of winter.

I still have the option of easily moving the panels to my truck if I park the trailer in the shade.

I will do some testing with the panels flat on the trailer while camping in partial shade to get a feel for their performance under these conditions. If they keep up with my consumption there will be no need to move or adjust them.
Thanks Kevin and Peter,
Kevin, I did order the shunt and battery temp sensor. The shunt was necessary and I thought the temp sensor might help to get maximum charge level in cooler weather when we need the additional power for our furnace. We camp spring and fall here in Canada(furnace time) and we enjoyed Texas enough last winter that we will likely go again this coming winter(we use the furnace going to and coming from Texas as well). As soon as I get time I'll have a look at that website.

Peter, I know from our experience in Texas last winter and some calculations since that I probably need to get about 25-30 A/H charge daily. I figured an 80 watt panel at 6.5 amps X 6 hrs./ day at full power should give me a little more than I needed but thought if I went to 115 Watt I would be able to get that even in poor sunlight with the panel flat on the roof. Last winter I stayed at South Padre Island for 12 days and had to hook booster cables to the van for about 45 minutes each morning. It was during those days that I envied one of my neighbors with his 210 watts of solar panels. He had someone install the system for him but I didn't get the impression he knew much about it. He still had to run his Honda 2000W generator at night to watch his 30" TV. He also was very interested in my LED lights.
Bill
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:41 PM   #26
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Just an update on the performance of the solar panels. Just completed another week long trip and found I had a heck of a time drawing the battery down to below 95%.

160 watt panel charging a 240 amp-hour battery.

Even parked in the tall pine forest with only 1 hour of direct sun for two days. Finally got it down to 93.9% by charging my laptop and cellphone. However I did not watch any TV/Video or DVD's.

I will try to use every available appliance next trip for extended periods to gauge the performance.
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:02 PM   #27
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Hi,

My used Boler came with a 60 watt panel fixed on the roof, and that worked great for lights, etc. But when I added an electric fridge (danfrost low power compressor) I realized I needed more power. So I added a plug on my battery box and put my new 120 watt panel on a 15 ft cord that it plugs into it.

I did not like having to park in the sun on hot days so this way I can park the trailer in the shade and put the panel in the sun (usually on the roof rack of my tug).
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:31 AM   #28
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