Solar installation - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-03-2011, 09:43 PM   #1
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Solar installation

I have refurbished at least 9 Eggs since I retired in 2005.
One of the easiest projects I have ever done is installing a solar system.
I'm not an engineer or electrician.
I didn't figure the amps, volts and other things.
The most difficult part is mounting the panel in a manner that looks good inside and routing the wire.
Usually you can route the wire through a closet or cabinet.
I installed a 50W Ramsond panel and controller purchased on Ebay
I bought a 4' peice of 2" aluminum at Ace hardware and used it for mounting brackets
The first 2 Ramsond systems I installed were bolted through the roof.
This installation I have used 3M HB tape
Small trailer solar sysems are one of the easiest and benificial mods you can do.
I finished the system on my Lil Bigfoot 3 days ago.
I turned the New Fantastic Fan on low, 3 LED interior lights and set the furnace thermostat at 55.
It has been getting down to about 40 degrees at night and the about 65 during the day.
My group 27 deep cycle battery was at full charge when I checked it about 11:30 this morning. I prefer the Ramsond controller for 2 reasons, it's inexpensive and it can be surface mounted with the wires in the back
Total cost of the system is less than $200.00 not including the battery.
John
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Bigfoot fin 010 (640x479).jpg   Bigfoot fin 009 (640x479).jpg  

solar 1 002 (479x640).jpg   solar 1 001 (640x479).jpg  

solar 002.jpg  
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:43 PM   #2
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What is "3M HB tape" - I've not been able to find it online.

Thanks,
Noel
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red-Dwarf View Post
What is "3M HB tape" - I've not been able to find it online.

Thanks,
Noel
I forgot the V.
It's 3M Very High Bond tape.

John
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Old 11-04-2011, 04:51 AM   #4
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Nice job Perry. It looks like you sealed around the bottom mounting pieces. What did you use and why did you bother to seal it?

Ron
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:26 AM   #5
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nice job, where did you buy the VHB tape- Ebay? and what size was it? thanx
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:16 AM   #6
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Nice job Perry. It looks like you sealed around the bottom mounting pieces. What did you use and why did you bother to seal it?

Ron
I beleive in eliminating all problems when possible.
I know the tape is waterproof but it's also made on a foam base.
I was concerened what would happen if it absorbed some moisture and then froze. Better safe than sorry.
I use Dicor sealent as it adheres well and remains flexible.

John
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
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nice job, where did you buy the VHB tape- Ebay? and what size was it? thanx

It was item # 230654024842 on ebay.
The size is 5 yards by 2.125 inches and cost $19.49 including shipping.

John
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Old 11-04-2011, 10:49 AM   #8
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FYI... Many airplanes have VHB holding parts together. Some auto manufactures are using it to hold trim on. The biggest problem, at least from I've experienced, is you have to have the surfaces very clean. Isopropyl Alcohol, followed by distilled water wash.
Also it's not adhesive on foam, the whole things is adhesive and waterproof.
Once it's one and really stuck it will take piano wire or dental floss to cut through the tape to remove the item.
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Old 11-05-2011, 12:46 AM   #9
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Thanks for the info Byron.
I thought it was on foam.
John
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Old 11-05-2011, 09:42 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info Byron.
I thought it was on foam.
John
Based on the description on Modern Marvels, it is foam. To quote them " the secret behind VHB tape is acrylic foam". The quote is at 2:50 in the YouTube link.

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Old 11-05-2011, 11:06 PM   #11
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My mistake was thinking the bonding agent was on foam which is absorbant.
The tape IS VHB acrylic foam tape and not absorbant.
John
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:34 PM   #12
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Nice job on the mounting brackets Perry! I have been thinking about using aluminum angle as well. That 3M tape seems like just the ticket. I would like to see a few pics of your wiring path from panel to controller and battery. It may help those of us contemplating similar projects to envision a suitable wire layout for our own trailers. I have two 75 watt panels that I am going to get a 10 amp controller for. I am looking for a cost effective voltage monitor. Your system is very reasonable in cost. Here is an inexpensive ($31 including shipping)voltmeter that I am considering for my system. This will tell you how much power you have left in the battery. Digital Voltmeter | VoltMinder.com[IMG]file:///C:/Users/R/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot.png[/IMG]
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:59 PM   #13
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Watt/Volt/Amp meter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rene View Post
Nice job on the mounting brackets Perry! I have been thinking about using aluminum angle as well. That 3M tape seems like just the ticket. I would like to see a few pics of your wiring path from panel to controller and battery. It may help those of us contemplating similar projects to envision a suitable wire layout for our own trailers. I have two 75 watt panels that I am going to get a 10 amp controller for. I am looking for a cost effective voltage monitor. Your system is very reasonable in cost. Here is an inexpensive ($31 including shipping)voltmeter that I am considering for my system. This will tell you how much power you have left in the battery. Digital Voltmeter | VoltMinder.com[IMG]file:///C:/Users/R/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot.png[/IMG]
Norm mention on another thread this meter, I think it is a better choice.
Watt Meter tester test tool Measures Amps Watts voltage | eBay
See post #100 http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...l-48167-8.html
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:18 PM   #14
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My first installation was on my 16' SD Scamp.
The panel was installed on forward section of the roof so I had the closet to run the wiring down to the controller and then the battery which was on the closet floor.
I had a $60.00 controller with a digital voltage read out. I never had any problems even camping with the grand kids, all their DVDs and the furnace running all night to keep them warm so I don't worry about amps, volts or watts any more.
I have moved my battery inside on my 13' Big Foot and put it under the front seat next to the galley.
I had the advantage of running the wire before I had the walls recovered with Rat Fur.
I've found the easiest wiring to work with is plain old 13 amp rated LAMP Cord.
It's flat and very flexible so when you have to run it under wall covering it does not show as much. It also costs less than any of the other wire choices.
I've attached a pic that show where the wiring has penetrated the roof.
I used a marine fitting used on fiberglass boats.
I couldn't position the panel over where the wire entered the trailer so I hot glued the wire down and sealed it to the trailer with Dicor lap cement designed for sealing rubber roofs. It stays very flexible and has great adhesion.
I use a group 27 deep cycle battery and it's usually completely recharged by 11 am the next day.
John
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I know the tape is waterproof but it's also made on a foam base.
John

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
Also it's not adhesive on foam, the whole things is adhesive and waterproof.

Thanks to Brian B-P for the link below. There seems to be some confusion about the VHB tape construction. Some quotes from the manufacturer about several types of VHB tape are shown below from page 2 of the link. All the tapes except the clear are adhesive on a foam base. The foam is closed cell so it is waterproof.


4941 This family utilizes multi-purpose acrylic adhesive on both sides of conformable foam

5952 This family matches the modified acrylic adhesive on both sides of very conformable foam

4950 This family has general purpose adhesive on both sides of firm type foam

4945 This family has multi-purpose adhesive on both sides of firm foam

http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/mediawe...6EVs6E666666--
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:58 PM   #16
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VHB shelf life.

Be aware of 2Y shelf life of VHB tape and related price variability. The same tape on e-Bay or Amazon can vary by tenfold. I used Gray 4941F 0.045 in my solar install. Before buying you could verify manufacturing date before the actual purchase.
George.
I copied the following text from 3M site:
Shelf Life
All 3M VHB Tapes have a shelf life of 24 months from date of manufacture when stored at 40F to 100F (4C to 38C) and 0-95% relative humidity. The optimum storage conditions are 72F (22C) and 50% relative humidity. Performance of tapes is not projected to change even after shelf life expires; however, 3M does suggest that 3M VHB Tapes are used prior to the shelf life date whenever possible. The manufacturing date is available on all 3M VHB Tape cores as the lot number. The lot number, typically a 4 digit code, is a Julian date (Y D D D). The first digit refers to the year of manufacture, the last 3 digits refer to the days after January 1. Example: A lot number of 9266 would translate to a date of manufacture of Sept. 22 (266th day of year) in 2009. On most products this is found as the 4 digits after the 9 following the product number. For tapes printed continuously around the core (e.g. 3M VHB Tape 5952 family) the lot number typically will be the string of 4 digits preceding the product number.
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