120 w solar panel explanation pls

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Collyer911, Jun 29, 2013.

  1. Collyer911

    Collyer911 Read Only Funster

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    hi all

    i have a 120w solar panel fitted to my van mainly for me, to keep the main and leisure battery at full charge when its left on my drive for a couple of weeks,

    when not using an ehu though what can i reasonably expect the leisure battery and additional solar to power to last for?

    i hope this makes sense
    thanks
     
  2. Phill D

    Phill D

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    you need to know amper hour capacity of liesure battery and what you intend to be drawing / using. also if its sunny or not.
     
  3. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    unless youve had it wired specially i suspect the panel only powers the leisure battery and not both
     
  4. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

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    I don't think ours could be compered to your set up as unsure of battery's and how much you use
    We went down Dordogne last year mainly of hookup
    And only flattened leisure battery once on 4 th day morning with out hook up
    And I think that was due to 2 previous days being a bit overcast
    We have fitted
    120 watt solar panel
    2 80 amp battery's

    We olso did Newark show no hookup
    Arrived Thursday night and flattened battery's on early hours Sunday morning
    But it was well below freezing and heating on constantly

    I have just repalaced battery's to 120 amp so we will see what happens now
     
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  5. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    how long is a bit of string, output of the panel at midday/midsummer in full sunshine will be about 7amp/hr all other conditions/times will be considerably less. How long the battery will last you depends on the amp/hr rating and age of the battery and mainly how much you take out of it at night (when there is no sun replacing any that's used).
    So amount of sun - amount of use + number of hours in the battery / 2 and you have an impossible equation that has no fixed reference points.
    We have 4 x 110 amp/hr batteries and 2 x80W solars (3rd ready to be added) and never need a hookup.
    Power I want more power Igor:Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
  6. ShiftZZ

    ShiftZZ Funster Life Member

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    We have 2 x 80w solar and 2 x 110A batteries, we have so far never had to resort to swithing stuff off.

    We have also replaced all the lights that we use with LED, that reduces the consumption by up to 90%. We have 21inch TV, Auto Sat, and we run up to 2 PC's off 12v and the normal Kindle etc. 2 phones.

    When we arrive on site the batteries are usually fully charged, any sun 'appears' to keep them topped up.

    We also have a floating charge and that maintains the main and leisure batteries during winter and we were getting some charge from the solar even though they were covered in snow.

    We dont go on hookup very often, and if we do we have an electric kettle and heater to save using our gas.

    Hope this helps..
     
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  7. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

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    Hi ya shify
    Has your beloved got bugs out of her eyes yet :thumb::Rofl1:
    Where are you bound for next
    We have a quite time for next few weeks may get a couple of days in next weekend then that's it for awhile
     
  8. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    We have an 85W monocrystalline panel and a 110Ah battery.

    Our lights are all LED, we have a TV, satellite box, and water pump, and recharge the laptop and sundry other gadgets off the 12v. We don't use an inverter for anything.

    We haven't used an EHU for years. Even when the 12v wasn't charging off the alternator for a year we never drained the leisure battery. In southern climes the leisure battery is back up to full charge by mid-morning on a reasonably sunny day.

    I would add that we tend to use the van between spring and autumn - winter would be a different prospect.
     
  9. ShiftZZ

    ShiftZZ Funster Life Member

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    Hello me old Rhubarb Hells Angel and nice Trike owner.

    We will be in Shrewsbury on the weekend, causing havoc and me and Rangi (Benny from Crossroads) will be in the pub watching rugby, fighting with the locals (only pretending) and serviing bottle conditioned beer less than 3.8% proof to GKH, besides that not a lot planned...

    Yes her eyes are fine, she had the biggest smile ever... Never heard the end of it....
     
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  10. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

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    Looks like coast for us with our granddaughter for weekend then that's it no plans
    But Elaine's been looking at Malvern fancies the country and western theme for a change so we are trying to work out days off only draw back is we will have to bring little one but ha ho she's good fun to be around so not too bad just early nights and not too drunk
     
  11. ShiftZZ

    ShiftZZ Funster Life Member

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    Not planned to go to Malvern.

    Just seen the list of those going.

    Phew, what a rabble, one or two you wish to avoid... GJH, avoid whhen he has had two drinks or more, he tends to take all his clothes off and pretend to be Elvis, Jill his wife is far far worse, speed ironing on top of the van. I could go on, but at least you have been warned.

    The rest of the list looks like a list of Wanted from Crimewatch.


    Jim & Sian (Marshals)
    Brisey & Pamelaaar (Marshals)
    JJ & Frankie (Marshals)
    Mr Motorhome
    Toledo
    Martin 1485
    Ludo
    Janine
    Mad Floss
    GJH
    Mike McGlynn
    The Mogs
    Jamwitt
    Sunrise Explorer
    Kermit
    John 745
    Mike D
    Carol
    Stitch Up
    ourcampersbeentrashed
    Old Doug
    jaahooboy
    knighthauler
    Enery8
    middle east driver
    catspyjamas
    Wizbangs
    capinpugwash
    Ifor
    audlin
    Makems
    Mavis
    Silkcut 1105
    Mike & Carolyn
    Jaws
    Sundowners
    Robley 7636
    Peter H
    gozomike
    Jack Russel
    drago35uk
    Lindyloot
    Smudger
    Tattytony
    G2EWS
    Armytwowheels
    Movan
    Kimmy62
    YogiBear
    Champers
    UKBill
    Pat 1951
    Penelope Pitstop
    Knuckledragger
    PhilD
    Champers
    Kbsserv
    WelshCowboy
    Robert Griffiths
    Gwen
    D Bailey2
    Ladylea
    Nemo



    Good god, stay away man,
     
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  12. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

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    Do I really want to expose a fairly well adjusted 3 year old to this ?
     
  13. Collyer911

    Collyer911 Read Only Funster

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    it does thanks!!
     
  14. oldun

    oldun Read Only Funster

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    An 80W panel will give 4 amps or less most of the time in the UK as the figure 80W (7 A) is only achievable under ideal conditions, bright sun, clear sky, dead overhead etc.

    So in 4 or 5 hours you will be lucky to get 10 to 20 Ahr recharge.

    Having said that they are well worth having and do make a significant difference.

    The problem I found with my panel van conversion was finding the space to fit one.
     
  15. PhilandMena

    PhilandMena Funster

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    Sorry about this! I wanted to warn people about the problems associated with discharging their leisure batteries below the recommended level of 80% and attach a technical sheet from the Camping and Caravan Club which gives more details on looking after your batteries.
    Unfortunately, this web site is still in the dark ages and will not let me attach the document due to it's size.

    Therefore, I have copied and pasted below for your information.


    A guide to using leisure batteries from
    The Camping and Caravanning Club
    Most modern caravans have
    three sources of power –
    gas, mains electricity and a
    twelve volt battery.
    If you run out of gas and you’ve left
    your mains cable at home you’ll still
    be able to power your caravan lights,
    water pump and other twelve volt
    appliances provided that your battery
    is in good condition.
    There are two sources of twelve volt
    power – one from your car and the
    other from your caravan.
    Although you can use either battery
    to power your caravan’s twelve volt
    system, batteries used in caravans
    and cars are constructed differently
    and should not be interchanged.
    Your caravan battery has been
    designed to give you power over a
    long period whereas a car’s battery
    has been designed to produce a
    higher power over a shorter time
    scale.
    The most suitable type of caravan
    battery is a leisure battery. It has been
    designed to meet the demands
    required by twelve volt appliances.
    Both types of batteries need
    maintaining properly to ensure that
    they continue to operate satisfactorily.
    This data sheet will tell you how to
    look after and get the best out of your
    leisure battery so that you can
    continue using your unit’s equipment
    if no other power source is available.
    Looking after your leisure
    battery
    There are two
    types of twelve
    volt batteries –
    the vehicle battery
    used to start a car and
    the leisure battery
    used in caravans and
    other camping units.
    Vehicle batteries
    supply a high current
    of around 200 amps
    over a short period of
    time to start the
    engine.
    This heavily drains
    the battery but this
    loss is soon replaced
    by the vehicle’s
    alternator and the
    battery never
    becomes fully
    discharged.
    It has a shallow
    cycle of discharge and
    charge and is
    designed for that
    purpose.
    The leisure battery
    is designed to supply
    a much lower current
    over a longer period of
    time to enable caravan
    lights, water pumps
    and even televisions
    to operate.
    Recharging is
    carried out by hooking
    up to an electric mains
    supply, recharging
    from the towing
    vehicle or from a
    leisure battery charger
    when at home.
    The battery has the
    ability to constantly
    discharge and
    recharge to a greater
    degree compared to
    the vehicle battery
    during its normal life.
    This is known as deep
    cycling.
    Although similar in
    shape they should not
    be interchanged on a
    permanent basis.
    Battery
    construction
    Both types of batteries
    are similar in
    construction. They
    normally have six cells
    containing sulphuric
    acid topped with
    distilled water and are
    housed in a
    polypropylene casing.
    Each cell has a set of
    lead plates.
    During recharging
    and discharging each
    plate expands and
    contracts. In doing so
    the plates lose some
    of their active material.
    A separator
    between the plates
    helps to stop this. In a
    car battery the
    separator is not
    sufficient to prevent
    deterioration if
    constant deep cycling
    takes place.
    A leisure battery has
    a second glass wool
    separator which helps
    contain the active
    materials and
    prolongs battery life.
    Sulphuric acid fills
    This Data Sheet is
    one of a series
    produced by The
    Camping and
    Caravanning Club
    on key camping and
    caravanning topics.
    These are
    available as
    downloadable
    Acrobat files, free
    to all campers and
    caravanners.
    This Data Sheet
    originally appeared
    in Camping and
    Caravaning, the
    Club’s monthly
    magazine.
    It is just one of
    the many benefits
    of membership.
    Club members also
    benefit from access
    to over 90 UK Club
    Sites, Carefree, the
    Club’s international
    travel service, and a
    wide range of other,
    exclusive Member
    Services.
    You can join the
    Club on-line, or by
    calling 024 7685
    6797, or at any of
    our UK Club Sites.
    the voids in the cells
    and is used as a
    conductor between
    the plates.
    As the cell
    discharges the density
    of the acid decreases,
    reducing the ability of
    the plates to release
    the electric current.
    Charging reverses the
    process.
    Battery choice
    There are a number of
    important things to
    consider when
    choosing a leisure
    battery.
    Most modern
    caravans have an
    integral locker. The
    size of this locker may
    restrict the size of
    battery you can use.
    Older caravans
    carried an exposed
    battery in the gas or
    bed locker. This is not
    now recommended.
    For caravans
    without a built-in
    compartment, a
    special sealed box can
    be fitted under the bed
    locker or in the
    wardrobe.
    Weight is a further
    consideration. At 18-
    22kgs it takes up part
    of the caravan payload
    and can be difficult to
    lift into the storage
    locker.
    In general the bigger
    the battery the more
    powerful it is.
    Batteries are rated
    according to their
    current output over an
    hour. This is
    designated as
    ampere-hours (AH).
    A 60/65AH battery is
    suitable for weekend
    use, 75AH is an
    adequate size for the
    regular caravanner and
    a 90/100AH battery
    has plenty of power for
    those extra twelve-volt
    gadgets or for those
    who use sites without
    an electrical hook-up.
    Battery life
    The life of the battery
    depends on its use.
    The more appliances
    you use in a given
    period the more
    current you will use
    and the quicker the
    battery will discharge.
    Determine the rating
    of each appliance and
    the period of time, you
    are likely to use them
    each day.
    For example if you
    have two eight watt
    lamps being used over
    five hours and a 40
    watt water pump used
    for one hour, this
    equates to 120 watt
    hours (2x8x5+1x40).
    Dividing this by twelve
    results in ten ampere
    hours per day.
    For a 75AH battery a
    fully charged battery
    will last seven and a
    half days (75/10) and
    then will be fully
    discharged.
    Never totally
    discharge a battery. It
    is unlikely that you will
    be able to recharge it
    again.
    In practice it is
    better to never let your
    battery discharge to
    less than 80 per cent
    of its capacity.
    If you allow the
    battery to discharge
    beyond half its
    capacity it is unlikely
    that you will fully
    recharge it again.
    Safety
    check
    ■ Always use
    clamping clips on
    the battery
    terminals.
    ■ Ensure the
    battery venting
    pipe is in the
    correct position.
    ■ Avoid naked
    lights or electric
    sparks when
    inspecting or
    topping up
    electrolyte levels.
    ■ Remove the
    negative terminal
    first. Replace
    positive terminal
    first.
    ■ Use a leisure
    battery charger
    rather than a car
    type battery
    charger.
    ■ Turn off the
    battery charger
    and disconnect
    mains electricity
    before removing
    the battery.
    ■ Ensure the
    battery is
    securely fixed.
    ■ Use gloves,
    protective
    clothing and
    goggles when
    topping up cells.
    ■ Never smoke
    near a charging
    battery or when
    maintaining it.
    Battery care
    The more care you
    take with your battery
    the longer its life will
    be.
    Regularly inspect
    the battery for
    cleanliness, electrolyte
    levels and state of
    charge.
    Always wear
    protective clothing.
    Batteries contain acid
    and any spillage will
    damage your clothes
    and burn your skin.
    Wipe the battery top
    dry with a cloth or
    kitchen paper.
    Clean any white
    deposits from the
    terminals with warm
    water. Coat the
    terminals with
    petroleum jelly.
    Unless the battery is
    of the maintenance
    free type, occasionally
    top up the electrolyte
    with distilled water
    obtainable from motor
    accessory shops.
    Check the state of
    charge using a direct
    current voltmeter –
    12.7 volts indicates a
    fully charged battery,
    12.3 volts it’s half
    discharged and
    anything less than
    11.8 volts the battery
    has fully discharged.
    Another method is
    to test the strength of
    the electrolyte in the
    cells using a
    hydrometer.
    A reading of less
    than 1.1 indicates a
    discharged battery. At
    1.28 the battery’s fully
    charged.
    Battery charging
    If you keep your
    battery in the caravan
    charge it from the car
    when towing.
    If you are on a site
    and use a mains
    electric hook-up it
    will be charged
    through the caravan’s
    own on-board
    charger.
    Solar and wind
    chargers are
    becoming popular
    but will only provide
    a trickle charge to the
    battery.
    During a long
    lay-up period store
    the battery in a dry
    place and use a leisure
    battery charger every
    month or so to keep it
    fully charged. If you
    use non- electrics
    sites, and your car is
    appropriately wired,
    charge the battery in
    the boot of the car
    during trips out.
    Calculating battery power
    Equipment Current (Amps) Hours Amp.hour (AH)
    One fluorescent light 0.75 x 5.00 3.75
    Two reading lamps 1.50 x 2.00 3.00
    Colour TV 3.00 x 2.50 7.50
    Water pump 7.00 x 0.25 1.75
    Total ampere hours = 16.00
    Add 20 per cent safety margin 3.20
    19.20
    If this is the amount used per day, a 75Ah battery will last around four
    days and be fully discharged. Never allow a battery to discharge
    beyond 50 percent of its capacity. Recharge the battery after two days.
    During a long lay-off period bench charge the
    battery using an appropriate leisure charger.
    Using a volt meter, a reading of 12.7 volts will
    indicate that the battery is fully charged.
    Datasheet ref no: 9027
     
  16. callumwa

    callumwa Read Only Funster

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