Solar Question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-03-2011, 09:33 AM   #1
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Solar Question

Sure haven't been here in quite awhile! Haven't been using my Casita either . Going out next month tho
Here is my question. I was just given 3 solar panels!!!! But I have no idea of their wattage. The guy that I got them from has no idea either, he got them from somebody that took them off a sailboat. They are 1 ft x 4 ft and have 36 cells, silicone based. I want to hook them into my trailer, free standing, but don't I need to determine what they are first?
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:04 AM   #2
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Do they have a markings on them at all? My quess is if he took them off and gave them away it would be a good bet that they are probable no more than 15 watts and would not be suprised if they were less - unless he is one of those people with money to burn ;-) Just a few years ago IMHO it was hard to find a panel of that size with more than 15 watts that did not cost a fortune - if they actually made them - today though you will find a number of them with more watts in that size. Thats not a bad thing though as I get by with 15 watts when running my fridge on propane and using just LED lights as needed in the trailer. Assuming there some sun of course!

I cant answer your question about having to determine first what the watts are but I would think if they are an older model and you put a controller on them you should be safe to give them a go.
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:47 AM   #3
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Sounds like one of those 60 Watt portable kits, 15 watts per panel.
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Old 06-03-2011, 03:29 PM   #4
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3 X 15 = 45
LOL

Bill K


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Sounds like one of those 60 Watt portable kits, 15 watts per panel.
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Old 06-03-2011, 03:54 PM   #5
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Yeah, it's really hot here "Brain Fart" I've got a 60 Watt set and one broke and I only have 3 panels left, I never liked math anyway.
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:20 PM   #6
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3 X 15 = 45
LOL

Bill K
Yup,
Sounds like a Harbor Freight Special 45 Watt set.
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Old 06-03-2011, 06:37 PM   #7
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Cool Not Harbor Freight

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They are 1 ft x 4 ft and have 36 cells, silicone based. I want to hook them into my trailer, free standing, but don't I need to determine what they are first?
Bob
My Harbor Freight panels are 1 ft x 3 ft each, together make a 3 ft x 3 ft square, and put out 15 watts each for a total of 45 watts. I don't think the individual cells can be determined easily by the casual viewer. I doubt yours are the Harbor Freight panels.
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I have 9 sq ft of panel surface, while you have 12 sq ft.
I would hazard a guess that you have 20 watt individual panels, totalling 60 watts.
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Old 06-03-2011, 06:43 PM   #8
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I got mine at Tractor Supply, 4 panels at 15 W each in a PVC stand up frame, it came with a bunch of adapters a 7amp charge controller and a small inverter. The panels are 1'X4'.
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:30 AM   #9
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Have had a busy weekend, so I did not have a lot of time to devote to this yesterday. But thanks to Brian B-P, who emailed me some info and I think I figured some things out. Unfortunately, the only multi meter I currently have seems to need to be calibrated. Reads 135V when plugged into house current!!! Anyway, figured the relationship between amps and volts would be close to the same. So, with those numbers I came up with 40W on one panel. Right now I think that I am only going to use two panels for my system as I only have one battery in my Casita. I am figuring a 6amp controller will be enough, right?
Going to free stand the two panels and do something like Gina did on her old Boler for a hookup. She is such a whiz when it comes to electronics!
Bob
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:06 PM   #10
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Bob I just used a lock tight kitchen box painted with plastic paint and attached it to the battery box to hold my controller which is always attached to the battery. I leave the the bottom clip open when the panel is connected so the actual connection for the panel can get out of the box and the controller is vented. Built a stand out of PVC last week to move it around (use to just put it up on the front window rock guard). This week-end it worked well as I was camped close to trees so I could move the panel to get more sun.

I want to add a battery panel inside the trailer - can anyone recommend a small one that can be turned on and off when your not needing to know the battery reading? Where is a good/easy place to mount one in a 16' Scamp side bath?
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