Solar panels

Discussion in 'Power - Site Power/Batteries/Generators/Solar' started by erdvm1, May 20, 2013.

  1. erdvm1

    erdvm1 New Member

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    Who's got them?
    What's the upside
    What's the downside
    Are they worth the money?
    Mounted or in mounted?
     
  2. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    We are on our second season with Goal Zero panels, which have been great for us. We've gotten good deals at Costco, REI, etc., so assembled it over a year or so. They pack compactly in one of our dinette spaces, and we put them out as we set up camp.

    You'll find some have chosen generators instead of solar, for reasons that work for them.
     
  3. Twisty

    Twisty New Member

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    I got one
    Quiet and clean
    Cost - Suggested retail on the one I bought was $650.
    Yes - it is plug and play with a 3 stage charger
    ? It is 2 panels that fold
    http://www.zampsolar.com/index.php?m=87&s=581&c=&id=1213
     
  4. HiFiDave

    HiFiDave Singin round the campfire

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    I have two 65 watt panels that are about 10 years old. Still however, they crank out the juice. We typically only take one of them though. The panel is loose and on a cable so that I can move it around to find the sun. Upside, quiet battery charging. Downside, many days of overcast clouds, not good. To me, well worth the investment and if you look around, you can find good panels for great prices.
     
  5. visaliafamily

    visaliafamily New Member

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    I have yet to try them, but someone told me about this site that might be helpful to you.....www.solarblvd.com.....they have panels for less than $100 and seem pretty knowledgable. I plan on getting some to help charge our battery, free, quiet, and clean energy to recharge batteries...sounds pretty good.
     
  6. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    I am considering a solar panel system. It would definitely not be mounted on the trailer. I want to be able to orient it directly toward the sun at various times during the day or not put it up at all if it is cloudy or if I'm in deep forest. I figure that the rig I'm considering would be able to replace all my power usage some days but not everyday. (I like to go on mulit-week trips.) So, I will still bring my 3-stage charger and generator so I'm covered no matter what.

    Upside = quiet power replacement.
    Downside = extra cost and another thing to haul around.
    Worth the money = depends how much you pay and how often you use them.
    Mounted = No, for reasons mentioned earlier, because it would be awkward on my TrailManor and because they would be exposed to damage from flying rocks and hail.
     
  7. cschibler

    cschibler New Member

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    I have a plug a play kit that I use and also build and sell 65W-130W. Worth every penny to not have to worry about power conservation. I keep mine mobile in an A-frame style set up so I can camp in the shade and put the panel in the sun. Downside...I have yet to really see one. PM me if your interested for more info. Since you are in Colorado, it would be easy to get you a kit!
     
  8. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    From piantuna @ rv.net
    I've had a 15 watt panel to maintain my single group 24 for 7 years. The charge controller is less than desirable. This gave me some comfort when I was not able to tend to my battery for long periods of time. I took it camping once and was able to extend my stay.
     
  9. rsttoole

    rsttoole Hello from Boise Idaho

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    Just ordered two 40 watt panels from Solar Blvd. Plan on putting a piano hinge between the two and building collapsable A frame for them
     
  10. inthedirt

    inthedirt Active Member

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    I have two panels from SolarBlvd, a 35w and a 45w that I intend to mount on the roof of the Pup this week. Southern Idaho is well-loved for its sunshine, and I plan to use every bit of it. Even when we head to the high country and have occasional clouds or shadows from trees, my electrical demands are fairly low. I don't want to have to return back to camp just to reposition a panel for maximum charging. My kids and I love to go exploring on our dirtbikes and quads, so having panels that need constant adjustments aren't worth it to me.
     
  11. rsttoole

    rsttoole Hello from Boise Idaho

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    Anyone have photos of the stands that they have made for their portable solar panels? My panels arrive tomorrow. Anxious to get a adjustable/collapsable stand build for them. Two 40 watt Solar Cynergy Panels. About 22" * 28" each. I plan on attaching a piano hinge between them to make a folding set.
     
  12. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    They don't need constant adjustment. I considered mounting mine on my camper but when I go camping in the heat of the summer I look for shady sites especially if I don't have shore power to run the A/C. If i parked my camper in the shade then my solar panels would not get much sun, so I can park my camper in the shade and put my panels in the sun since they are not mounted on the camper.
     
  13. CamL48

    CamL48 New Member

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    I'll make one additional comment on sizing your array.

    P=VI. So, to figure out how many Amp-Hours your panel generates, divide the rated power by the charging voltage. The biggest error I see is that people divide the rated power by the PUP's voltage.

    Check the panel's specs. You'll find that the charging voltage is usually 17-18 V. Thus, a 50W panel gives 50/17.5V = 2.86 A. It does not give 50/12 = 4.17 A. It's the 2.86A that remains constant ... If your charging voltage does dip down to, say, 14 V, your 50 W max panel operates effectively as a 40 W panel.

    Just be aware of this as you're trying to figure out how large (in W) a panel you need to replenish a given amount of A-Hr back into your battery.

    Good luck.
     
  14. inthedirt

    inthedirt Active Member

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    I brought my Pup out and setup in the driveway today. It has not been used since September. The battery was disconnected, but left on the tongue and tested at 12.2 volts. I connect my 2 panels (80w total) and brought the charge up to 12.62 volts in about 2hrs. I still haven't mounted the panels on the top, but this is encouraging.
     
  15. dpatnode

    dpatnode New Member

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    I have 170 watts that I put on the roof of my pup. I don't chase the sun and on cloudy days I have enough capacity to still charge my 2 six volt batteries, most days they are fully charged by noon. Quiet and convenient, easy to maintain. [2C]
     
  16. hakrjak

    hakrjak Member

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    Just got a 10W panel for my PUP this week so I can play with it and understand how it works. May add another down the road, although I don't use much juice so want to test this one out first.
     
  17. hakrjak

    hakrjak Member

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    Got back from a 3 night trip using the water pump and furnace every day plus some lights. The 10W panel worked great and kept the battery fully topped off each day. Was surprised such a small panel worked so well.
     
  18. colorado_camper

    colorado_camper Member

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    I have a 75w panel that I place on the roof before I raise it. It has a piece of 2" aluminum flat bar attached to one of the long sides which tucks under the edge of the MaxAir vent cover on my roof and rubber feet to protect the finish. These keep it from blowing around. I drop the wires over the back side and connect to a charge controller. When camping, my 2 G27 batteries are often fully charged up by the time I wake up in the morning.

    Most solar panels do not need direct sun to put out voltage. They work at their fullest with direct sun but they still work without. I have a 600w array at my house and it begins working with the first light of dawn, long before the sun gets high enough in the sky to hit them directly. I also have a 1.5w one on the dash of my TV and it works exactly the same when I put the sunshade up to protect the interior.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. 94-D2

    94-D2 Happy Campin'

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    I have a panel that looks very much like the one above. I don't know the size of it but it tops off my battery daily from what is used the night before. I set it up to be portable so I can chase the sun. Ran heater, pump and light every night for four nights, radio etc, and recharged from 12.4 to 13.0/13.4: I set it up direct, no controller since I like to constantly monitor it. If I'm out all day, il just leave it, it gets shaded in the afternoon so over charge is not a concern. On a no load, I have about 19v. On a standing battery wth draw from detectors, with solar plugged in, I read 12.4v with increases .1 etc.


    [​IMG]
     
  20. flagstaff 03

    flagstaff 03 New Member

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    hey folks great site question for you people what do I need besides a solar panel do I have to store the power& what size... its just the 2 of us a small Falstaff thank you [PU]
     

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