FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby bdosborn » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:21 pm

absolutsnwbrdr wrote: Because gadgets are cool. :SG


Yup, exactly why I bought my MPPT ontroller. That and the meter with the cool blinky lights. 8)

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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby rkanz » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:09 pm

[album][/album]This is my simple solar/electrical system. I bought a 50w Grape Solar panel and controller on sale for $80 from Home Depot. Zamp solar sidewall plug runs to the controller, Blue Sea fuse panel, and a switch to a 35 ah battery. Simple and runs LED lights, Maxxair fan, Bluetooth stereo, and phone chargers.

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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby absolutsnwbrdr » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:15 am

bdosborn wrote:
absolutsnwbrdr wrote: Because gadgets are cool. :SG


Yup, exactly why I bought my MPPT ontroller. That and the meter with the cool blinky lights. 8)

Bruce


Where can one get the blinky lights?? I must have all the blinky lights!! :? :R :lol:
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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby justlisawv » Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:23 am

I want solar. I like the original post on this thread that just kind of kept it simple so...
Being that it was posted in 2006, what basics would you buy today for a simple setup?
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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby absolutsnwbrdr » Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:56 am

justlisawv wrote:I want solar. I like the original post on this thread that just kind of kept it simple so...
Being that it was posted in 2006, what basics would you buy today for a simple setup?


11 years later, Bruce's post is still very relevant for a basic setup. :thumbsup:
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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby Socal Tom » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:02 am

justlisawv wrote:I want solar. I like the original post on this thread that just kind of kept it simple so...
Being that it was posted in 2006, what basics would you buy today for a simple setup?


The only thing I would change from the original post is that I would go with 100w panel instead of 65w. Prices have come down dramatically since then. There are cheaper controllers, but the one he recommends has a good reputation and is simple to set up.
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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby justlisawv » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:57 am

Thanks so much. :wine:
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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby Dan242 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:16 pm

I made mine in an old cigar box , that way I can take it out of the Trailer when I need it somewhere else, just easier to construct that way also
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Got a 100 Watt solar panel on roof running into box, 20.00 solar controller off Ebay, been in use for a few months, seems to work well . Wired in a 12 volt adapter for air pumps and otyher 12 volt car accessories and a few USB chargers. it also has leads going out to inside and Kitchenette lights
These pics are first mockup, has fuse inline now
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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby justlisawv » Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:53 pm

I think I will buy all the stuff then bring everything with me to one of these meetups :R
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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby absolutsnwbrdr » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:25 am

justlisawv wrote:I think I will buy all the stuff then bring everything with me to one of these meetups :R


If you make it to a PA or MD TearJerkers gathering, there are plenty of people willing to help! Dave took over the WV chapter last year and I think he has one or two gatherings on the calendar. He'd probably be willing to give you a hand too. Depending on where you are in WV, I'm just up the road, near Gettysburg PA.
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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby absolutsnwbrdr » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:28 am

Socal Tom wrote:
justlisawv wrote:I want solar. I like the original post on this thread that just kind of kept it simple so...
Being that it was posted in 2006, what basics would you buy today for a simple setup?


The only thing I would change from the original post is that I would go with 100w panel instead of 65w. Prices have come down dramatically since then. There are cheaper controllers, but the one he recommends has a good reputation and is simple to set up.
Tom


Yup I second that. Prices have come down quite a bit, and quality of panels has improved as well. The only panel that is too big is one that won't fit in/on your camper/tow vehicle.
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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby KTM_Guy » Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:17 pm

Have the panels got better with less that full sun and shadows? I would like to put one on my first build I'll be starting soon. I was first thinking two deep cycle batteries, but it seems like solar and one battery would be cheaper and less weight. I would want to mount it to the roof but I will be putting a rack on the roof. I am thinking 4"-6" tall sides with cross bars made out of 1/2'-3/4' tube. I'm thinking for most trips the rack would be empty or our camp chairs, but on bigger trips could see things like extra water, extra fuel, fire wood.

Would just the rack cause enough shadows to make the panel useless, 75%, 50%? I really don't think I'll have much power use, some LED lights when needed, phone, iPad, camera charging. The biggest draw would be the fan running probably all night.

Going by our tent camping we hardly ever camp in the same place more than two nights, then move to another area, might be a hour drive or 6 hours. That would give time to catch more sun. Would I be better of just charging with the TV? I was planning on putting in a 7 pin connector.

So many questions. :thinking:
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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby Socal Tom » Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:52 pm

Shade can have a dramatic effect on the panels. If your plan is to put the panels under the rack, then that is a bad idea, you probably won't get anything out of them.
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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby daveesl77 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:41 am

I built an aluminum rack for my two panels on the top of Conch Fritter. This is primarily for transport as I designed it so with the removal of a couple of hold-down clips, the panels slide out of the rack and are self-supporting (using pvc legs). However, if I want and the conditions warrant, then they can just stay on the roof and I can plug them in from there. My hook-up wire plugs into both the camper and the panels, so it is carried separately from the panels. Oh and I have a 100w and 50w that I can run in parallel, with an MPPT controller.

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Re: FAQ:Solar Panel without the Technical Stuff

Postby absolutsnwbrdr » Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:42 am

For anyone interested in some fairly inexpensive panels, I just picked up two 120W flexible panels from ebay for my Scotty project. They've come down in price, to $119 with free shipping. Mine got here yesterday, and while the packaging wasnt the greatest, the panels look to be fairly good quality. I've bought the Solar Cynergy panels from SolarBLVD before, and have been happy with them. $1/watt for smaller panels is hard to beat!

https://www.ebay.com/itm/120-Watt-120W- ... 1754059260

The panels are shipped with a thin plastic protective film on the surface, which is the discoloration you see in the pictures. It peels right off and leaves a super smooth surface. These are monocrystalline cells.

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