My New Solar System - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-09-2012, 05:56 PM   #1
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My New Solar System

UPS delivered my 90 watt portable solar system today, and I am just thrilled with it. The two hinged 45 watt panels came in a very nice padded aluminum case.

It is plug and play. The PMW charge controller is already connected to the back of the panels.

All I had to do was connect the little ring fittings to the battery posts, run the little plug out the vents in the battery box, plug in the solar panel... and it was good to go!

I didn't use the folding legs that are attached to the back of the panels because at my latitude an 11 degree tilt is optimum this time of year. So I just put a couple of boards under it to slightly slant it.

At 5:30 this evening, it was charging my battery at 13.80 volts. At 6:00 clouds had moved in and the sky was overcast, and I was still getting a 13.33 reading.

After agonizing for months about how to mount and install a permanent solar system, this was the perfect solution for me.

I got it from CEA Solar. The people there are wonderful to deal with, and will be happy to answer all the questions you can come up with!
Attached Thumbnails
solar panels.JPG   soar panel padded case.JPG  

charging at 530 pm.JPG  
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:18 PM   #2
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Very tidy setup. Just FYI, the amperage, as opposed to the voltage, is a good measure of the output of the system.
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:54 PM   #3
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Great system and company to work with.

Did they ship you the alarm lock with the system?
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:03 PM   #4
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Tom, I would love to know the amperage, but don't have a meter to measure it. The paperwork says it can produce 30-40 amps per day.

Rob, yes, they shipped me the lock with the alarm. I haven't tried it out yet, though.
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:10 PM   #5
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I'm glad you are enjoying them. Ease of use can be worth a little extra sometimes.
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:35 PM   #6
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Looks great!

I like being able to park in the shade and put the panels in the sun...
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:50 PM   #7
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I'm glad you are enjoying them. Ease of use can be worth a little extra sometimes.
Mike, the plug and play feature was the main reason I got them. Solar for electrical Dummies!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary F View Post
Looks great!

I like being able to park in the shade and put the panels in the sun...
I'm just hoping that I find a lot of places with shade to park under with a nice opening in the trees for the solar panels!
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:33 AM   #8
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Tom, more on the little battery monitor. When the battery is charging, it measures voltage. But when the battery is not charging, it measures the amps in the battery so I can keep an eye on usage.

Wish it also showed me how many amps were going in when it was charging!
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharon G View Post
Tom, more on the little battery monitor. When the battery is charging, it measures voltage. But when the battery is not charging, it measures the amps in the battery so I can keep an eye on usage.

Wish it also showed me how many amps were going in when it was charging!

Interesting. My guess is that it measures the voltage of the battery to estimate its charge state, which is the easiest way to do so. I like the carrying case for protecting the panels when not in use.
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Just as a FYI to others interested in solar kits, I was at Costco today and they have this 55 watt Coleman kit for $199. It includes a 200 watt AC inverter and a charge controller. The panels are amorphous.

Amazon.com: Coleman 55 Watt Solar Power Generator Kit: Patio, Lawn & Garden
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:37 PM   #10
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happy to answer all the questions you can come up with!
Sharon, I know you were referring to the seller about the questions. I'd like to know if you paid the $400+ for your system. Or did I get my #'s wrong. Their site gave me a hard time because I would not accept their cookies.
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Old 07-28-2012, 11:58 PM   #11
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Sharon,
Thanks for the post. I dove in and also bought the 90 watt panel from CEA Solar. Quick delivery and then easy set up. I like that it is easy to install and has all the necessary requirements. It is Solar for dummies. I can do a lot of things but electrical isn't one that makes sense to me. Don't know why but that is that.

I don't have a heavy battery need, a couple of lights and my CPAP. This seems to be a good system for that from what I can tell. I was able to start charging the battery right away. As time goes on and we do more travel in the Campster that may change but the system is expandable.

Sharon, I am curious about your battery monitor. Where did you find/get it? I could use something like that I think .

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Old 07-29-2012, 04:02 AM   #12
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Roy, sorry, I missed your question. I paid $425 with free shipping from Arizona to Georgia.

Teri, I got the little monitor from Amazon, but Little House Customs also sells one. I think mine was around $15.00.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:48 PM   #13
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Sharon and Teri,
Have either of you actually used the charger while out camping yet? I'm also thinking of getting one. I did some research and it certainly looks like its the overall best fit for my needs for the price, size, ease of use, etc.
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Old 09-01-2012, 12:31 AM   #14
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Linda, I haven't been camping anywhere without hookups, but I have hooked it up in my yard and tested it out. It charges at the same voltage that it does from shore power.

I am still thrilled with it. We plan to do some boondocking in the Deep South this winter. I can't see possibly needing more power that the solar panel provides. Of course, we will not be using an air conditioner or a microwave, but will be running lights, fan, water pump and charging cell phones and laptops.
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:17 PM   #15
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Thanks Sharon. I think it will work well for me too. They're out of stock right now, but I think I'll go ahead and get on their waiting list. Now I just have to decide if I should convert to golf cart batteries. So many decisions...so little time and money.
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:38 PM   #16
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Sharon, just to provide a little experience.

We've been dry camping with our 80 watts and have no trouble running pump, fans, lights, sat dish and TV.

The biggest load for us seems to be the two refrigerator fans that blow over the cooling coils. We keep the fans on through most of the day.

We use a 100 watt Inverter to run the TV and Sat Dish. Other than that we've found no need to use AC.

We used to run the AC to make coffee, 600 watts for 10 minutes but now just pour hot water thru the drip unit. Actually makes hotter coffee.

Of course we are in a particularly sunny part of the world.

We're about to dry camp in a deep mountain valley for four days and I'm wondering how we'll do it that situation.

Safe Travels
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:56 PM   #17
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.........so little time and money.
If you want to save money, you can put together an equivalent solar kit for a lot less money. Buy two panels off ebay, add hinges, a controller and a carrying case made for something similarly shaped.

New 50 watt Sun Solar Panel PV Poly-crystalline 25 Years Warranty | eBay

Solar Panel Charger Controller Regulator 10A 12V/24V | eBay

DELUXE ART PORTFOLIO CASE, BLACK CANVAS ~BIG 28"x 24" | eBay
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:49 AM   #18
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Linda,

We used the solar panels last weekend in Sequoia National Park. It worked well. The solar panel comes with a 16ft. cable and we decided that we need to get the 25ft extension.

The solar panel is great to have. We will be using it extensively when we go to Anza Boreggo in November.

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Old 09-03-2012, 11:08 PM   #19
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Thanks Teri, that is good to know.
And my husband thanks you Tom. He likes it when I save money. However, I was sold when this Solar System was described as Solar for Dummies. I'm just starting to buy things for my new-old Scamp, but Solar is one of my priorities since I primarily ike to camp at places without hookups, and having only one battery, I believe solar is the way to go to keep me charged while boondocking. This forum has sure helped me learn a lot about the scamp. Great bunch of contributors!
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:35 AM   #20
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.......However, I was sold when this Solar System was described as Solar for Dummies.......
It is your money, so enjoy. The way I look at it, if I save money on one trailer item it leaves me that much more to buy other fun trailer stuff.
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