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: 17
Images: 15
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: 17
Images: 15
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
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Gazillion Trailer Parts
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Solar Panels
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stupido
Teardrop Inspector
 
Posts: 17
Images: 15
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: 17
Images: 15
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 31, 2019 1:32 pm

Well as my spouse said yesterday, "How many things are you juggling?" Lots. So Its been a bit but I have made metal shavings and started assembly. I made the notches for the bolts with a bench grinder and a dremel. Got all the new holes drilled. Put the hubs and wheels on to see how high it would be. Need to repack the bearings. What is the blue grease anyway? Got a close match for the paint at Home Depot.

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stupido
Teardrop Inspector
 
Posts: 17
Images: 15
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2010 7:03 pm
Location: Kentucky
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