Autotrail and solar.

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by tonka, Feb 23, 2015.

  1. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    The more recent charger units in Autotrails come with embedded solar chargers and smart systems that will do both Vehicle and leisure batteries. On my 2012 apache the EC500 is rated at 120w.
    For the past 3 years I have run with just one 80w panel connected in via the EC500...
    Now looking for upgrade options.

    So question is... Has anyone with with an Autotrail fitted above the max on board regulator and if so how how have you wired it ?? A seperate regulator and straight to the leisure battery partly solves the issue but then I would loose the smart charge facility unless I get a B2B charger...

    Or leave current 80w set to just do the vehicle battery and any new panels go direct to the leisure. But that just seems a waste of available power if the vehicle battery is full.... UNLESS I used some sort of switch to manually swop the current 80w panel to either go through the current EC500 or be diverted to join in parallel with new additional panels feeding the LB.. Does that make sense.. :)
     

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  2. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    51 views and not 1 comment.. !!!! :whistle:

    Look's like I will sort this one on my own..
     
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  3. MikeD

    MikeD Funster

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    And not even a bump - sorry :D;)
     
  4. Taran_Las

    Taran_Las Funster

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    Steve,
    This is a cheap solution for battery to battery balancing if you decide to go the discrete controller route. Here.

    Got mine from here.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
  5. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    First question is do you really need more solar? Have you run out of 12V power in the recent past? If not then you're just finding ways to spend money. If you have run low on power then yes more solar may help but how much more do you really need? Could you do better by just replacing your 80Watt with a 120Watt panel and keeping it connected through the Sargent system?

    D.
     
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  6. Abacist

    Abacist Funster

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    I have an AT Savannah with the optional solar panel. I have 2 leisure batteries. I don't have the capacity to stay off grid so am debating on adding more solar and/or a sterling battery to battery charger as finance permits.

    Never had a problem with the vehicle battery - its also the leisure batteries that fall short of our needs!

    Would have replied if I had the experience to answer to your question.
     
  7. Phil J.

    Phil J. Funster

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    Just a thought, have you tried calling Sargent. You may remember I fitted a 100W panel to my EC325 on the Cheyenne and many Funsters, including your good self, were very helpful. One of the things I picked up was how helpful Sargent are. I called them about a connection and the patch lead and was put through to a dedicated technical help department.
    Might be worth having a chat with them.
    Phil
     
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  8. Neckender

    Neckender Funster

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    Why don't you just fit a 40 watt panel and connect the wiring from this to your 80 watt in parallel so no holes through roof and using existing wiring. I've done this with my Auto Sleeper Broadway upped it from 30 watt to 90 watt same Sargeant system.

    John.



    John.
     
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  9. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    Cheers on feedback..
    Dave... You should know me, i dont spend money easy.. :) I would just feel a bit more comfortable with a little more back up power from the solar..

    Phil J .. Ref Sargent, Yes I have had email contact with them and the guy who designed the pcb gave some info that will assist.. Just I have never heard of anyone trying to incorporate the exisisting and separate system.. Maybe my work around is a bit weird...

    Harley john,,, I did think of that option but I got to tempted with the 120w panel on ebay and pressed the buy button..

    Anyway, panel arriving tomorrow.. :) Give me something to do once the weather breaks..
     
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  10. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    "Dave... You should know me, i dont spend money easy.. :) I would just feel a bit more comfortable with a little more back up power from the solar.."

    Yes Steve I do know you but you didn't answer the question, have you run out of power or not?

    D.
     
  11. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    Not actually run out but at a point where it was getting to close for comfort.......
     
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  12. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    So upping your solar capacity from 80 Watts to 120 Watts (a 50% increase) will probably sort it then? And you could sell the 80 Watt panel to offset the cost of increasing your solar real estate.

    Or you could spend a lot more money and time rigging up a second panel with a complex management regime that requires you to remember to flick a switch at the right time..........................:)

    D.
     
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  13. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    Yea... I Know !!! Madness...
    Knowing me I will fit the 120 via the built in system and leave the 80w there until I can decide to take it off..... :doh:
     
  14. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    Oh Steve, if you really just want to spend some money give me a call, I'm sure I can help you;);)

    D.
     
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  15. Theonlysue

    Theonlysue Funster Life Member

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    Mate, just buy a new van, you know you want to. lol
     
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  16. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    Dave..
    You know I am a poor retired guy with a dicky ticker... :cry::cry:

    Now saving up for some Sikaflex. :rofl:
     
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  17. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    80+120 is nice, so just what do you lose if you wire conventionally to leisure ? It certainly gets you out of the clutches of Sargent.
     
  18. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    No point...... !!! The wife already has her eye on a new car when I "pop my clogs". Her words, said today !!!!!!!!!!!!
    So may as well leave it in the bank for her...
     
  19. Theonlysue

    Theonlysue Funster Life Member

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    She can always sell the van on!
     
  20. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    That's it kick a man when he's down... next you will have her selling my West Brom flag and throwing away my slippers.. :(
     
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