Solar Boler - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-08-2009, 03:30 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
kevin61's Avatar
 
Trailer: Two 13 ft Bolers and one 17 ft Boler
Posts: 325
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/
__________________

kevin61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2009, 03:57 PM   #2
Moderator
 
Frederick L. Simson's Avatar
 
Name: Frederick
Trailer: Fiber Stream
California
Posts: 8,174
Registry
Send a message via AIM to Frederick L. Simson
Thumbs up

They look pretty slick. How many watts? Do they stay flat all of the time?
__________________

__________________
Frederick - The Scaleman
1978 Fiber Stream 16 named "Eggstasy" & 1971 Compact Jr. named "Boomerang"
Frederick L. Simson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2009, 07:47 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
kevin61's Avatar
 
Trailer: Two 13 ft Bolers and one 17 ft Boler
Posts: 325
Quote:
They look pretty slick. How many watts? Do they stay flat all of the time?

Two 80 watt panels,approximately 42"X42" (together), wired in series. Should give me a Vmp of 33.4 volts, current of 4.8 amps.


The panels can stay flat, tilt towards door side, tilt towards drivers' side or be remotely mounted up to 35 feet away with the addition of a 12 AWG extension cord. I am thinking of adding a set of mounts to the cap of my truck. The trailer can then be parked in the shade and the panels can be secured to the truck which can be parked in the sun.

Also looking into a method to secure (lock) the panels to their mounts to help deter theft.

I'm pretty new to solar so it is taking me a while to get my head around the terminology and different wiring techniques.

A Morningstar MPPT charge controller should arrive for an install next weekend. Once I hook it up and run it through its' paces I will report back with the results.
kevin61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2009, 04:52 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Name: Gerry
Trailer: 1979 Boler 1300 / 1991 Casita Freedom Deluxe
Maine
Posts: 1,688
I have a much smaller panel I used last summer while full timeing as camp host and it kept my battery charged for what I needed.
A few questions about your set up because I just moved mine around on its 15 foot lead to capture the max sun. Although it would work in ambiant sun I felt better when I saw ths sun right on it.
Do you plan to keep this panel on top of camper at all times even traveling down the road?
If so, did you build a cover to protect it? Does it need protection?
If not do you bring along a step-ladder so you can set it up?( do not think I would like this idea)
Even to get a cover off you would need to get up there.
Gerry
Gerry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2009, 10:39 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
kevin61's Avatar
 
Trailer: Two 13 ft Bolers and one 17 ft Boler
Posts: 325
Quote:
I have a much smaller panel I used last summer while full timeing as camp host and it kept my battery charged for what I needed.
A few questions about your set up because I just moved mine around on its 15 foot lead to capture the max sun. Although it would work in ambiant sun I felt better when I saw ths sun right on it.
Do you plan to keep this panel on top of camper at all times even traveling down the road?
If so, did you build a cover to protect it? Does it need protection?
If not do you bring along a step-ladder so you can set it up?( do not think I would like this idea)
Even to get a cover off you would need to get up there.
Gerry

I will have mounts on my truck cap and have made a 50 ft extension from #10 AWG wire. (The length of the extension can vary for your installation depending how you have your panel or panels wired (series or parallel) and your particular charge controller.)

I will have the option of leaving the panels on the trailer or transferring them to the tow vehicle. It has been suggested by PeterH that the fibreglass roof may not be able to withstand the forces of the wind on the panels. I will not be doing a road test until April so won't be able to report back until I take it for a few runs. Chances are I will get better gas mileage with the panels mounted on the cap of my truck so the wind can travel over/under and around the panels. You will notice that the aluminum support brackets are broadside to the oncoming wind when the panels are on top of the trailer. The brackets on my truck cap will be turned 90 degrees to allow for better air flow.

Either way the panels will be plugged into the charging circuit so that the batteries are being charged while I am travelling.

The panels weight is only 35 lbs so it is just a matter of stepping up on a small stool to slide them on or off the trailer or truck. An easy one man operation.

There is no need to cover the panels. They are designed to withstand some punishment from the elements such as hail. As well if covered they will not be charging your batteries.

Once the project is complete and warmer weather comes back to Calgary then I will complete a video showing the setup in actual use.



kevin61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2009, 10:46 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Chester Taje's Avatar
 
Name: Ches
Trailer: 1992 Kustom Koach 17 FT
British Columbia
Posts: 4,897
Very good job.You should be proud.
__________________
Retired Underground Coal Miner.
Served in Canadian Army (1PPCLI)
Chester Taje is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2009, 06:49 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Ed Harris's Avatar
 
Name: Ed
Trailer: 1982 Fiber Stream and 2002 Casita Freedom Deluxe,The driveway is a Dark & Lonely Place now!
Missouri
Posts: 1,959
One thing I have found to be helpful is to put a parallel connector from the panel and connect a Voltmeter there.

I have been able to use this to aim the panel for maximum output at any time.

I am always surprised that the angle I think is so different from the angle the meter will peak at.

I just have a cheap dedicated meter just for doing this.

On mine I use Anderson Power pole connectors to make it quick and simple to connect it all.

Ed
Ed Harris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2009, 11:03 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
kevin61's Avatar
 
Trailer: Two 13 ft Bolers and one 17 ft Boler
Posts: 325
I am placing all the links to the videos of the solar installation here in my original posting to make it easier for those doing a search. (thank you peterh)

Mounting two solar panels together and wiring in series


NEW TODAY

Solar panel mounting system on top of a 1976 Boler trailer


Installing wiring through roof of Boler trailer


Installation of a Morningstar MPPT charge controller in a 1976 Boler trailer



Initial testing of the solar installation


Still images

http://flickr.com/photos/76boler/326445047...57613488933155/
kevin61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2009, 11:50 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Joseph Domingos's Avatar
 
Name: Joe
Trailer: Hunter Industries
California
Posts: 285
Send a message via AIM to Joseph Domingos Send a message via Yahoo to Joseph Domingos
Kevin,
Your videos have been very educational, thanks for all your work in sharing them with all of us. You are one careful and meticulous guy! If/when I'm working on projects of my own down the road, you're one that I might bounce a few ideas off of, K? hehe

Happy Modding and keep up the good sharing!

Joe
Joseph Domingos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2009, 08:03 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
kevin61's Avatar
 
Trailer: Two 13 ft Bolers and one 17 ft Boler
Posts: 325
Quote:
I am placing all the links to the videos of the solar installation here in my original posting to make it easier for those doing a search. (thank you peterh)

Mounting two solar panels together and wiring in series

[b]
NEW TODAY

Solar panel mounting system on top of a 1976 Boler trailer


Installing wiring through roof of Boler trailer


Installation of a Morningstar MPPT charge controller in a 1976 Boler trailer



Initial testing of the solar installation


Still images

http://flickr.com/photos/76boler/326445047...57613488933155/
Todays' project was to design a prototype for a rotating solar panel mount for the cap of my truck.

This short video clip demonstrates the time and effort involved to transfer the panels from truck to trailer.



kevin61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2009, 09:14 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
kevin61's Avatar
 
Trailer: Two 13 ft Bolers and one 17 ft Boler
Posts: 325
This is just an update of the solar installation with all the links located in one location.
The newest video is at the bottom.

Mounting two solar panels together

Solar panel mounting system

Installing wiring through the roof

Installing solar charge controller

Initial testing of the solar installation

Transferring panels from tow vehicle to trailer

Still Photos
http://flickr.com/photos/76boler/326445047...57613488933155/

NEW TODAY
Tilting and locking system for solar panels



kevin61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2009, 04:01 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
kevin61's Avatar
 
Trailer: Two 13 ft Bolers and one 17 ft Boler
Posts: 325
VERY IMPORTANT CHANGE TO SOLAR INSTALLATION

In my videos I show a MALE plug coming from my solar panels. This is incorrect and poses a serious SHOCK/SHORT HAZARD. With the panels in full sun the red and black prongs are HOT.

Click image for larger version

Name:	connector_warning.jpg
Views:	20
Size:	116.2 KB
ID:	18338



Mounting two solar panels together

Solar panel mounting system

Installing wiring through the roof

Installing solar charge controller

Initial testing of the solar installation

Transferring panels from tow vehicle to trailer

Still Photos
http://flickr.com/photos/76boler/326...7613488933155/
Tilting and locking system for solar panels

[ATTACH][/ATTACH]
kevin61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2009, 08:33 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
kevin61's Avatar
 
Trailer: Two 13 ft Bolers and one 17 ft Boler
Posts: 325
I am heading to Langley on Thursday and this will be the "shake down" trip for the solar panel installation on the roof of the Boler.

I decided to follow through on a suggestion by Peterh and have installed a wind deflector in front of my panels to help direct air over the panels. The mounting brackets are broadside to the wind
and the concern was raised that this may cause excessive stress on the panel/roof connection.

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!

Not sure if it will get painted in time for the journey but the trip should also expose any cracks that may occur in the fibreglass/bondo that may occur from the flexing of the roof.


Click image for larger version

Name:	wind_deflector.jpg
Views:	116
Size:	161.4 KB
ID:	19938
kevin61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2009, 09:48 AM   #14
Moderator
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Name: Jim
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Alberta
Posts: 5,744
Registry
Kevin, looking forward to seeing your setup on Friday.
__________________
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” — Abraham Lincoln
Jim Bennett is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2009, 10:33 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
kevin61's Avatar
 
Trailer: Two 13 ft Bolers and one 17 ft Boler
Posts: 325
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.


kevin61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2009, 11:27 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
peterh's Avatar
 
Name: Peter
Trailer: 2005 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Oregon
Posts: 1,555
Registry
Quote:
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?
peterh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2009, 12:36 PM   #17
Moderator
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Name: Jim
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Alberta
Posts: 5,744
Registry
Quote:
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.
__________________
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” — Abraham Lincoln
Jim Bennett is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2009, 03:18 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
kevin61's Avatar
 
Trailer: Two 13 ft Bolers and one 17 ft Boler
Posts: 325
Quote:
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.



Name:   Saturn_Spoiler.jpg
Views: 136
Size:  18.2 KB


Probably won't get the video completed for a few weeks also.
kevin61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2009, 11:41 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
kevin61's Avatar
 
Trailer: Two 13 ft Bolers and one 17 ft Boler
Posts: 325
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.
kevin61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2009, 08:30 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
kevin61's Avatar
 
Trailer: Two 13 ft Bolers and one 17 ft Boler
Posts: 325
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.
__________________

kevin61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
boler, solar


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
solar controller mounting for Boler Rick G Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 15 06-16-2010 10:38 AM
solar help Don Howde Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 2 07-15-2009 10:40 PM
Initial testing of solar panels on the boler kevin61 Modifications, Alterations and Updates 11 02-24-2009 02:34 PM
SOLAR D Tharp Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 2 06-25-2007 05:10 PM
Why go Solar Bigfoot Mike General Chat 10 04-18-2006 12:11 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:42 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
×