I Installed a Solar Panel for my Lil Snoozy - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-25-2016, 06:19 PM   #15
Moderator
 
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Michigan
Posts: 3,080
Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeCamp View Post
I used 90 degree stainless steel angle brackets bolted to the solar panel. Then put foam padding between solar panel and rack. I then used stainless steel radiator clamps to hold angle brackets to the rack and covered them in clear plastic tubing to protect the bottom side of the rack.
Dang that is an impressive bit of git-r-done with off the shelf parts and still have all the bases covered. Imagine a power screwdriver with a socket to fit the hose clamps could remove that pretty quickly.

I considered roof top with VHB tape but I want to park camper in the shade, I don't want to route wires down the outside or make holes to get wires inside.

Main problem for me was stowing it away for travel. Best I can do inside is 30 - 40 watt panel which would fit against the side of the closet. I don't mind parking the car in the sun and running a connection wire. Just have to have some sort of indicator to hang on the steering wheel so I don't drive off while connected. For example a nylon bag the connection wire was stored in.

They make some rims, like for gulf carts with a bolt pattern that will fit the 4 bolt campers, which drop the height a couple of inches at least, and the e trailer 10 inch will fit the 5 bolt camper hubs, drops them 1.5 inch. Or you can swap to just rims with no tire, and put something like plywood down to protect the floor and drive into the garage. Scary sounding but hey it works.
__________________

__________________
RogerDat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2016, 10:36 AM   #16
Member
 
Name: Ransom
Trailer: plan on buying lil snoozy
Massachusetts
Posts: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilles View Post
That's about the same price I paid for my install myself monocrystalline solar panel 100 watts.
But I installed on the roof of our Bigfoot, fixed with a tape 2 "wide manufactured by 3M.
3M VHB RP25, 2 inches wide.
RP25 identifies exterior, protected from UV rays, but was advised to add some protection with some caulking UV-resistant, which will increase at the same time, protection against the weather ...

Two other members of the group have used this tape for about 5 years, including one for its solar panel and one for the bar that holds the awning of his trailer ...

Here is what appears in my installation. No hole in the roof, only two small perforations between the roof and part of the air-vent, I plugged with caulking, and then make the son along the top of cabinets and get under the seat to the before the trailer and connect to the controller of the solar panel ...
How much of an issue is it having to give up a shady spot to park to have sun for your panel?

Any idea how much amperage your panel generates when parked in shade?
__________________

__________________
Ransom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2016, 11:57 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Gilles's Avatar
 
Name: Gilles
Trailer: Bigfoot 15B17G, 1986.
Quebec
Posts: 596
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ransom View Post
How much of an issue is it having to give up a shady spot to park to have sun for your panel?

Any idea how much amperage your panel generates when parked in shade?
Last week, just to see measures without performance for data, I did work with a cloudy sky, no sun of the day, the fridge was working on the battery with the solar panel.
He started at 10 hours in the morning to 4:00 in the afternoon and the voltage has not descended below 12 volts.
It should be noted that the solar panel is a monocrystalline, which identified to me better performance than the polycrystalline.

I'll install again later, the ammeter to obtain complete figures on its performance.
To be continued...
__________________
Gilles
Bigfoot 15B17G.
Towed with Dodge Journey 2012, 3.6 L., 6 speeds.
Gilles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2016, 12:45 PM   #18
Moderator
 
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Michigan
Posts: 3,080
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ransom View Post
How much of an issue is it having to give up a shady spot to park to have sun for your panel?

Any idea how much amperage your panel generates when parked in shade?
Overcast but even level of sunlight is not as productive as bright sun but also is not detrimental. But according to some information out there at solar web sites.... shading some of the individual cells inside the panel can really flatten output.

This from Solar Choice is typical. (emphasis added)
Quote:
In extreme cases, a shadow does not necessarily need to fall on an entire panel–depending on the technology used in the solar panel in question, shading of even just one cell could flatten the output of the panel and in turn the entire string. Many modern panels, however, come equipped with devices called bypass diodes which minimize the effects of partial shading by essentially enabling electricity to ‘flow around’ the shaded cell or cells.
Partial shading and solar panel arrays - Solar Choice

So the effect may well depend on the design of your panel, I'm just guessing but I imagine the cost goes up as the number of individual cells in each bypass grouping go down. E.G if each line of 20 cells within the panel have a bypass diode that would cost less than if every 4 cells had one. If every 4 lines of cells had a diode that would cost less than every line having one.

The smaller the number of cells getting bypassed the less loss there will be. But imagine a big branch casting a shadow across several bypass grouping of cells.

I recall reading that on a camper roof install the shadow from AC, sewer stack or vent covers hitting the panel can degrade performance. I guess I figure that means I park under the trees so I'm in the shade to keep the camper cooler I get nothing or close to it from a roof top solar panel.
__________________
RogerDat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2016, 01:20 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Name: Tom
Trailer: interested in HC1.
Colorado
Posts: 118
I know next to nothing about this subject, but wouldn't it be most effective to have solar panels that are portable? Move them out into the sun point them right at it, and crack open another cold one? Why is this not standard procedure?
__________________
TomandCallie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2016, 01:34 PM   #20
Member
 
HomeCamp's Avatar
 
Name: Dan
Trailer: Lil Snoozy 2014
East Tennessee
Posts: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomandCallie View Post
I know next to nothing about this subject, but wouldn't it be most effective to have solar panels that are portable? Move them out into the sun point them right at it, and crack open another cold one? Why is this not standard procedure?
Besides worrying if some one might walk away with it if your not around and finding a place to store, it sounds good if your staying at one place for awhile. But I needed something to charge my battery while going down the highway from point A to B with stops in between without shore power. Can't travel if I need to stay waiting for the portable solar panel to charge my battery. Everyone has their own needs and the portable solar panel didn't fit mine.
__________________
HomeCamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2016, 02:04 PM   #21
Senior Member
 
Gilles's Avatar
 
Name: Gilles
Trailer: Bigfoot 15B17G, 1986.
Quebec
Posts: 596
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
This article date of 2012, there has been much progress in this area for 4 years.
__________________
Gilles
Bigfoot 15B17G.
Towed with Dodge Journey 2012, 3.6 L., 6 speeds.
Gilles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2016, 05:44 PM   #22
Senior Member
 
Bill Nolen's Avatar
 
Name: Bill
Trailer: 1978 Scamp 13'
Oklahoma
Posts: 601
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilles View Post
This article date of 2012, there has been much progress in this area for 4 years.
Problem is that unless a person is very knowledgeable about the different type of solar panels available, it would be very easy to buy one of the old types where the slightest bit of shade lowers the panel's performance.

I remember once while camped in the desert near Yuma, I could pass my hand over the front of a very large solar panel and watch the meter output drop greatly!

so I mounted my two 75 watt panels on the roof of my RV.

Bill
__________________
Bill Nolen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2016, 07:19 PM   #23
Moderator
 
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Michigan
Posts: 3,080
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilles View Post
This article date of 2012, there has been much progress in this area for 4 years.
Went with one of the first ones in Google. Read a couple more, efficiency has gone up, manufacturing processes have improved. The thing to remember is by-pass ability cost, the better the panel handles a hard shadow the more the panel will cost. Not sure Amazon is going to make it easy to tell how well the ones they sell will handle this situation.

The observation that a hazy day that avoided a hard shadow actually produced more output than a full sun with a hard shadow across the panel is telling in regards to how well they will work under a shade tree.

I'm not even sure why we would discuss the relative merits of having a solar panel in the shade under a tree. Just not a good place for it.

Now charging from solar while traveling makes sense especially if one is dependent on 12 volt for refrigeration and as I noted I can leave the camper in the shade and park the TV in the sun to hook up for a recharge. Or one can do as Bill has done provide plenty of surplus output from the panels on the roof.

If 100 watt panel would be plenty having two 75 watt means that you have considerable margin of error and are making the most of early and late sun that might be at an angle to come under the shade tree. Push comes to shove you can pull the trailer out into the sun for 4 hours and add a lot of amp hours back into the battery with a pair of 75 or 100 watt panels on the roof.

Me I don't need a lot of power but given a choice between a 40 watt with legs that is portable but has to be stored in the camper or a 100 watt on the car roof I would totally go with the car roof. Car is after all portable too.

Not worried about theft, panel is not enough money to really get worked up over, battery cost more and sits right there on the tongue, and I seldom am gone long enough to make for a good opportunity.

Worse case I stow it inside. The roof rack mount should not be hard to remove if I was going to be leaving the car someplace for a day while sight seeing or what have you. Not to mention catching a sneak thief and giving them a few good whacks with a chunk of firewood is not going to ruin my day in the least. Matter of fact I would put it right up there with picking wild berries for recreation value.
__________________
RogerDat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2016, 07:50 PM   #24
Senior Member
 
Timber Wolf's Avatar
 
Name: Tim
Trailer: '88 Scamp 16, layout 4
North Florida
Posts: 1,440
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
shading some of the individual cells inside the panel can really flatten output.
I just received a portable panel system (will be posting a review soon) and have been playing with it. It is two 50 watt panels hinged together with an attached controller. It is impressive to see the output when it is directed straight on to the Sun. Each panel has 12 "cells" for a total of 24. Holding my hand over just one cell dropped output by 40%.
__________________
Timber Wolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2016, 09:39 PM   #25
Senior Member
 
Name: Paul
Trailer: Escape 19 ft (sold) Escape 21 May 2014
Wisconsin
Posts: 258
Registry
It appears from your photograph that the Morningstar solar controller is placed inside your sealed battery box. This is not considered best practices and in some locations against code. The reason are: with flooded batteries, they will from time to time emit corrosive vapors, they will circulate inside the box, even with your fan, and shorten the life of the electronics. Also these vapors can be highly flammable and there is a risk of spark from the electronics, thus best practices is 500 mm separation of any kind of lead battery and your electronics.
__________________
Paul Braun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2016, 11:20 PM   #26
Senior Member
 
KenjiFox's Avatar
 
Name: Kenji
Trailer: Scamp
Arizona
Posts: 119
Registry
When they refer to a bypass diode, they mean for one panel at a time. These are meant to be in an array. Usually in series. Each individual solar cell is like a battery. Each one makes about 0.5v. When you get a single 100w panel it will have about 36 cells (depending if it is meant for charging batteries with a controller or if it meant for grid tie systems. Those have more cells and higher volts.)

Since each cell is in series, blocking one single cell will kill the whole panel. The bypass diode is installed across the outputs of the entire panel, not per cell or even string.
This way when one of your panels gets shaded it won't take out the whole series array of panels. In parallel configurations there is no need for this. Series is more efficient and allows you to use MPPT(Multi Point Power Tracking) controllers to get the most out of your solar setup. Even moon light will charge your batteries with series of 2+ panels and MPPT. (No joke!)

If you place a single quarter over one of your cells you will reduce the output of your entire panel by the percentage of that one cell that was blocked. It acts just as if you placed one quarter on EVERY cell. Solar cells do not pass current without light. In-fact, the CONSUME energy when in the dark. This is why there is an anti reversing diode installed to keep the panels from draining what they are connected to at night.

If there were a diode for each and every cell it would mean that you would lose only 0.5 volts per cell shadowed. However encapsulating a diode into the panel per cell would be very difficult. Each cell makes the full amp rating of the panel at 0.5v. This means you need a fairly beefy diode, AND it's only 0.5v. Which means the forward voltage of the diode would cause so much loss that it wouldn't be worth it. You might save some power if a cell were blocked, but you would loose so much at all other times that it would be a moot point.


Whiiiiiich brings me nicely to the next point. Mounting the panels on the roof is always going to be your best bet. Having a panel to move around with the sun when parked under trees is ideal, but if you could only have one go for the roof mount. The reason is like the diodes per cell thing. With the roof mount you are getting to charge more often, you can have more total watts, and you will be more likely to have a full battery once you get to that nice shady spot under the trees. Chasing the sunlight that breaks through the tree cover all day isn't fun, and solar panels are large and hard to deal with. They also like to grow legs and walk away if you know what I mean.

Even worse, you would need a long run of cables to be able to have a remote panel. Long cables with low voltage DC is a terrible idea. Especially when dealing with solar. Sure you are powering a battery and therefore there is voltage present on both sides of the line. This reduces the effect of ohm's law in a simplified perspective. The calculated loss between the charge controller and the battery is no longer the full 14 volts vs amps, but rather the difference between the battery and the output of the controller instead which is only a few volts. Between the array and the controller is actually more important overall for this reason.

Also, Paul is absolutely right. Never install the controller inside the battery box with flooded cells. AGM or lithium etc are good to go though.
__________________
KenjiFox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2016, 11:42 PM   #27
Senior Member
 
KenjiFox's Avatar
 
Name: Kenji
Trailer: Scamp
Arizona
Posts: 119
Registry
Here are my Renogy panels mounted on my Scamp 16 deluxe.
I used stainless steel hardware to mount them. The Renogy Z brackets work great for a Scamp roof. They simply flex to follow the curve without issue. I drilled right through the roof like a boss, no fear. These will never leak with how I sealed them, and I can just glass or marine epoxy the holes back if I ever wanted.
I made a ring of butyl rubber around each hole before placing the panels and brackets over top. I also put another around the bolt head and washer before tightening it down with my 1/4 impact. Snapped one clean off to find the max torque these bolts could take and tightened them all to just a bit less.
On the inside I used stainless washers and stainless nylock nuts. You cannot remove the panels from the outside because the nylocks would just spin.
I don't want my panels to go for a walk when I am not looking.

I kept the brackets near(ish) the ridges in the roof for strength.
I had to drill new holes in the panel frame for the second panel to clear the first tightly. the third will use the stock mounting points.

On the inside I am replacing all of the insulation with poly iso foam boards. The bubble wrap stuff is pathetic. I marked the location of the fasteners using orange tape on the underside of the boards should I ever want to remove the panels. This way I can cut a circle out of the foam cleanly without having to tear the whole thing down looking. The original "rat fur" marine carpet will go back over top of the boards.
Attached Thumbnails
IMAG0448.jpg   IMAG0449.jpg  

IMAG0452.jpg   IMAG0446.jpg  

__________________
KenjiFox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2016, 08:42 AM   #28
Senior Member
 
Name: Gordon
Trailer: Scamp
Idaho
Posts: 150
Registry
Dan, Gilles and Kenji,

Nice work!

Gilles, you Will tell us if your panel flies off on the highway, won't you?

My solution to shade (and shorter days) was adding another panel. It was the least expensive way to compensate for less than ideal conditions. I, too, have found that cloudy days are better for energy production than shade. Something about photon diffusion. Don't ask me for proof.

One thing to keep in mind. Dirty panels will also reduce performance. Clean em up once in a while.

Gordon
__________________

__________________
Gordon in Idaho is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
lil snoozy, solar, solar panel


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
My Solar Installation in a Lil Snoozy MCDenny Modifications, Alterations and Updates 57 07-03-2017 04:46 PM
Rhino Rack awning installed to our existing solar panel rails? ajdemo76 Modifications, Alterations and Updates 0 04-22-2015 09:03 AM
Solar Panel Set up Question - Grounding the panel? Anne H Electrical | Charging, Systems, Solar and Generators 2 09-07-2012 05:48 PM
New Camper - Lil Snoozy Old Man Snoozy General Chat 7 08-08-2011 07:12 PM
Installed a solar powered entry light Mike Montville Modifications, Alterations and Updates 1 04-03-2008 06:53 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 04:17 PM.


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