Minimal Solar Power System - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-06-2013, 01:20 PM   #15
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Some interesting kits offered on eBay. Here is a 120 watt one for $290, with free shipping, supposedly from California.

120W Folding Solar Panel Kit Battery Charger Car motorhome Caravan Boat Camping | eBay

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Old 09-06-2013, 06:55 PM   #16
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I just got a 100W kit from amazon for $210. We left for a week-long excursion to Colorado with the battery around 12.3V, and with our lights, water pump, and fantastic fan use- the battery was fully charged by the time we headed home. This was with the panel is mounted flat on the roof. Solar panels really are getting incredibly affordable.
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:32 AM   #17
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What is the wattage of original the uhaul solar panel?
I have good performance from that old panel running led lights and fans in my egg...
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tartosuc View Post
What is the wattage of original the uhaul solar panel?
I have good performance from that old panel running led lights and fans in my egg...
I calculated it once based on area and the fact that it is amorphous technology. But I've forgotten. My best guess is 10 watts or less. You can repeat my calculation if you measure it.

An Introduction to Photovoltaic Systems | GreenBuildingAdvisor.com

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Polycrystalline PV arrays have a peak rating of 10 to 12 watts per square foot, while amorphous PV arrays have a peak rating of 5 to 6 watts per square foot.
When I measured my original panel, the output was almost zero - I guess due to age. This was done while by passing the controller.
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:31 PM   #19
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If you dont have a fantastic fan already(wich is very expensive in my opinion)
You could use a solar vent like the sunforce...
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:28 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Roy in TO View Post
Randy,
David Tilston just gave me a heads up on a 40W system on sale for $100 in today's Canadian tire flyer. Reg. $250.

The price shows regular online, not sure if there is a price correction in the stores. If not this is a great deal you can pick up locally.
Coleman 40W Folding Solar Panel | Canadian Tire
I bought two @ $100 / each. One for the 18 year old, one for me. They are in the regular flyer now. It comes with a cheep charge controller big enough for two cells, in parallel. What struck me was the size. They are poly crystalline arrays, so I expected them to be bigger. The dimensions are D 37.5" x W 14.5" x H 2". With some hinges, two cells could make an excellent 80W fold up array. Only one day left.
What I saw yesterday though, Costco has their 6V golf cart batteries for $79. Two of those would make 240 Ahrs @ 12 V. That is a substantial amount of power. At half discharged, the two solar cells from Canadian Tire, in full sun, would take 26 hrs to charge 120 Ahrs.
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:42 PM   #21
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I just bought two of the Sam's club golf cart batteries. I am having a custom stainless steel box created for the tongue of my Scamp. Next up, an e-meter to start watching the usage and charging. I have my doubts re the built-in charger that comes with the scamp, not to mention the size of the wires leading to the battery.

We shall see.

Once I have a handle on that, then I will look at solar. The nice part is, the longer I wait the cheaper it gets so there is no down side to taking my time and learning what I really need.
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:57 PM   #22
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We started out with one 50w panel attached to the roof of our Scamp 5er, but found (during a cold, cold September night in Yellowstone National Park) that 50w is not enough when your furnace runs a lot. We added a second panel. In all, we spent around $500 on panels for the Scamp.

We have a second, project trailer we're working on, and I just bought a 100 watt "polycrystalline" solar panel for it for less than $140, delivered. I haven't installed it yet, but I tested and found it delivers pretty good power levels, even at steeper angles of the sun and across a pretty wide temperature range. (Monocrystaline and polycrystaline panel power production falls off rapidly once they reach 120 degrees or so.) On the hottest day of the year here in Vancouver, WA I tucked my panel into its box so air could not circulate underneath and cool it, let it heat up in the sun to the point where I literally burned my arm when it brushed its aluminium frame when I picked it up after testing, and it still managed to produce 23.4 watts of power with the sun hitting it at a 30-degree angle.

Back to how large a capacity panels do you need. If you're like me, which means you use all LEDs in your trailer, have a furnace that gets a fair bit of use, and frequently charge camera, laptop, and cell phone batteries, 100 watts of roof-mounted solar is about right. Take away the small electronics charging and change the heater to Wave 3 a catalytic, direct vent heater that uses no battery power at all, and 30 watts of detached solar panels that can be placed in sun away from your trailer should do the job. Where you fit on that spectrum is up to you.
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Old 09-16-2013, 02:20 PM   #23
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I went with a really small set up. I bought a 300 amp jump pack and a 4.8 watt solar panel from walmart, cost $90. Since the jump pack has battery level display, a 120 volt charge cord and a DC outlet to plug the solar panel into I didn't need anything else. When I return home from camping my battery is still full. I use it to run 1 led outside light, 2 led inside lights, usb charging port and a computer fan in the vent.

Occasionally I will run the vacuum off of it.

I also use a solar powered light from Ikea for $19.

This has never been short on power for us, but is a very small system.
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