Another solar panel question

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Bitterneparker, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. Bitterneparker

    Bitterneparker Funster

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    I want to fit a 100w panel to the roof of my Holdsworth motorhome.no problem there but what I'm not sure of is do I have to run cable direct to the leisure battery from the controller or can I connect to or near to the Zig unit which is located in the main cupboard at the back.The leisure battery is next to the vehicle battery in the engine bay (Vw T 4).
    Any advice gratefully received.
    Also recommendations of an online supplier who can supply the whole kit needed at a fair price.
     
  2. jockaneezer

    jockaneezer Funster

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    You'll need to fit a solar controller into the system too. With it being a Holdsworth, you shouldn't be too far away from the battery or Zig to worry too much about voltage drop, just run the cable down the easiest route.
     
  3. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Providing you use at least 4mm sq cables won't matter where you mount the regulator. Also bear in mind you get the greatest losses over the cables when you are getting the biggest output from the panels when your requirements are lower in the summer and the least loss when output is lower in the winter. Cable size is not quite as important as some would have you believe just don't go too small.
     
  4. Stealaway

    Stealaway Funster

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  5. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    Provided the cables that connect the Zig unit to the leisure battery are adequate, I don't see why you shouldn't do as you suggest. I don't know anything about Holdsworth, but some converters were notoriously mean with their cable sizes! :(

    If you wanted to extract the maximum efficiency from the panel, then it would be better to mount the controller as near the battery as possible. Because of the higher voltage, there is less loss per metre run of same size cable between the panel & controller than between the controller & the battery. If space and/or ease of cable run dictate putting the controller near the Zig, then connecting to the battery connections of the Zig sounds sensible.

    The Zig is a very basic unit. You might consider getting a CTEK D250S Dual which will both act as a solar panel controller & take the alternator feed (moved from the Zig), combine them both & intelligently charge both your leisure & starter batteries. You don't need to switch between the batteries & there is never any danger of the starter battery being flattened by being left in parallel with the leisure battery, which is a common failing on many Zig unit installations. Got that particular T-shirt when I had a T4 & a Zig & failed to realise just how basic the setup was. :( The D250S Dual isn't cheap, but it will make much more efficient use of your alternator than a standard Zig.
     
  6. Brakers

    Brakers Funster Life Member

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    Hi There I was talking to Eddie from Vanbitz at the Newbury show, he certainly seemed to know what he was talking about, and for solar panels they fit a
    VICTRON Blue Solar MPPT 75/15 uses Ultra fast Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) is ideal for use in the UK as it is designed to work well in our climate, especially in case of a clouded sky, when light intensity is changing continuously, an ultra fast MPPT controller will improve energy harvest by up to 30% compared to PWM charge controllers and by up to 10% compared to slower MPPT controllers. (more information about the Victron regulator? Visit Blue Solar
    He stated that they had checked the efficiency of a lot of these types and this one was more efficient than all the ones they had tested and that is what you need an efficient controller to get the most out of your solar panels.
    Hope this helps.
    Best Wishes Tony
     
  7. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    generally the kits are more expensive to buy than getting it seperate you need the panel ,mountings a roof gland a controller/regulator, cable and some suitable adhesive
    search on here and youll find lots of info
    i think you have to join to search but it will be the best £15 youll ever spend on your van
     
  8. Bitterneparker

    Bitterneparker Funster

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    Thanks for all of the replies,certainly given me food for thought and seems I'm going to have to do some more research before l buy & fit a panel.
     
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