El Sol - Solar Powered Battery Trailer

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El Sol - Solar Powered Battery Trailer

Postby stupido » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:35 pm

Been a lurker on this site for a long time and always wanted to build a Teardrop but going to start small. A while back I came up with an idea of a portable amateur radio station with battery and solar power.

The ARRL Field day gives a bonus to natural radio stations. I have done this in the past years with a low power station (<5 watts) and small solar panels. I thought why not go big? So I bought two 100 watt panels and decided to mount them on a trailer.

The general idea is to have 200 watts of solar energy and battery backup in a small trailer. 200 watts is chosen as than is the approximate energy draw of a 100 watt transceiver while transmitting. The standby draw is way less. I figured on a 48"x40" Harbor Freight trailer with two 140 AH batteries and the previously mentioned panels. Without doing much calculation, I figured this setup would last the entire Field Day weekend.

So been waiting on Harbor Freight to have the small trailer for sale given the recent tire recall. Instead I ended up with the 96"x48" folding trailer for $200 after coupon and discount for destroyed packing. I will build it as a 48"x48". I bought two mono-crystalline panels (Renology) and a charge controller. I have two used AGM batteries.

Decisions are whether to build the Field Desk into the trailer or make it a separate unit. Trailer needs to be light enough for me to man-handle and tow with my yard tractor (to put it into the back yard). Batteries are about 200 and trailer a touch more. So almost 500 pounds to start. Highway tow vehicle has no issue as it is a Chevrolet Colorado with 5500 towing capacity.

I may want to make the battery box removable, so I can use the trailer for other things.

As far as electrical, I am trying to decide on two separate systems and a A/B switch or connect both batteries with a Schottky Diodes.
stupido
Teardrop Inspector
 
Posts: 13
Images: 8
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2010 7:03 pm
Location: Kentucky

Re: El Sol - Solar Powered Battery Trailer

Postby stupido » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:42 pm

Of course the name has to be El Sol. Good beer too. I will add pictures soon.
stupido
Teardrop Inspector
 
Posts: 13
Images: 8
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2010 7:03 pm
Location: Kentucky

Re: El Sol - Solar Powered Battery Trailer

Postby stupido » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:58 pm

Highway Tow Vehicle
96325

Gazillion Trailer Parts
157395

Solar Panels
157396
stupido
Teardrop Inspector
 
Posts: 13
Images: 8
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2010 7:03 pm
Location: Kentucky
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Re: El Sol - Solar Powered Battery Trailer

Postby stupido » Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:40 pm

Since the side rails have the trailer a-frame tongue brackets welded in place, I am limit in my axle placement. But the center cross member mount places a convenient hole such that I can bolt the spring hanger in place to mark the rest of the new mounting holes. Basically bolt 39 will go through the center cross member hole.

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I end up with a 65/35% split instead of the preferred 60/40% split.

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In addition to drilling holes in the hanger and the rails, I need to notch the hanger ever so slightly to clear the center cross member horizonal bolt

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stupido
Teardrop Inspector
 
Posts: 13
Images: 8
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2010 7:03 pm
Location: Kentucky
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