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Far too much choice

Discussion in 'MOTORHOME CHAT' started by DavidG58, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    I am looking to add a solar panel and a satellite system, ideally at the same time, I am possibly naiive and think the solar panel bit is the easy bit, I have found Detroit Solar, local to me and seem good value, with no negative comment to be found. I am looking at a 140W solar panel, and a Zen Rad automatic satellite, I have not heard of this make and keep seeing Oyster everywhere, should I pay the extra for an Oyster or AN Other? David
     
  2. atlantisbird

    atlantisbird Funster

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    Hi David,
    Detroit Solar fitted our Zen Rad at a meet in South Wales and we have been satisfied with it so far.
    We were advised by them as we wanted to make sure we could get signal in southern Europe and we got a larger one for the small difference in price.
    Very professional company the staff knew what they were doing and we were delighted with the care the used on our new van.
    I would also ask them if the 140W is necessary it may be too much.
    Atlantisbird
    Ann & Harry
     
  3. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    Many thanks, I have opted for the larger panel as we have 2 x 80A batteries fitted and with the larger panel there is an option to put a small charge to the engine battery at same time, seems like a good benefit for fairly small extra £'s (less than £100 more). I plan to 'do europe' with my MH so have also opted for the larger dish. I have been told you can't run 2 x TV's at the same time which seems a shame, but we have to be led by those that know?? then hope they do!! David
     
  4. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    Have a chat to member on here.[​IMG]

    Peter
     
  5. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    Sorry, excuse my ignorance, how do I contact him, I thought I could just click on the link. David
     
  6. Xabia

    Xabia Funster

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    http://www.davenewell.co.uk/

    He is doing an offer on solar installation at the Newark show, £360 for I think an 80 watt panel fully fitted. No doubt do a deal on bigger panels if that is what you need.

    Mike
     
  7. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    Thanks for that, I have found a way to send him a message on here, will have a look at his web site now. David
     
  8. Wildman

    Wildman Funster

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    You can never have too much solar on dull days and wet days you will struggle.
     
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  9. canopus

    canopus Funster

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  10. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    I agree! Whilst not everyone needs solar panels, nor is it the universal panacea that is some traders Mantra they can be useful. If you fall into that category than the more the better

    I have had 3 x 130 watt solar panels fitted to keep my 6 x 135 Ah batteries topped up

    I would advise Oyster every time for performance and ease of use to be honest.

    Eddie
     
  11. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Your S800 will almost certainly be fitted with a Schaudt Electrobloc charging system. To get the best integration of your solar panel you might want to use the Schaudt LRS1218 regulator. This will provide charging information via the existing installed display unit, and will supply charge to the starter battery as well as the leisure batteries. More detail in the link below (I had my system installed by this company and can recommend them). I took a trip to the C&CC site at Bellingham where Steve of Aire & Sun fitted a 135W Kyocera panel for me.

    http://www.aireandsun.co.uk/buy/45-electroblock-systems
     
  12. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    That looks like one helll of a battery package, is there not an issue with one battery potentially dragging the others down? and have you any experience of an invertor, the first solar panel fitter I spoke to does not recommend anything other than a pliug in option for single use, I would have hoped for an option to run all sockets (with considered use) when not hooked up. David
     
  13. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    It sounds like it might be a good idea to do both jobs separately, thnaks for the interest / input. David
     
  14. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    That is just inexperience by the sounds of it. We needed the battery bank to support a large inverter with a 100Ah four stage charger. The inverter charger supplies 220VAC pure sine wave to all of the 13 amp sockets in the motorhome, but none of the appliances such as Air Conditioning, Microwave Fridge freezer etc.

    The inverter we used on my van has a "power assist" function. This means that if the mains hook up can provide say 10 amps and due to appliances loading 14 amps the inverter kicks in and makes up the 4amps to avoid tripping the site. Once the load drops back down below the available 10 amps as it is an "inverter/charger" the charger kicks back in to replace any power used from the batteries to make up the shortfall.

    Most larger capacity inverters have mains switching to allow for the sockets in the motorhome to be used at you convenience

    With my particular set up, I have it configured that the inverter kicks in to all intents and purposes instantaneously that "hook up" either fails or is unavailable. I know that I am then relying on my battery bank and my solar capacity but if needs be I can turn it off.

    I rarely need to do this as I have a battery computer that tells me the State of charge of my batteries, the amperage rate that I am charging or discharging, how long I can maintain my current (excuse the pun) consumption in hours, and tells me how much power I have used over all since the last time the batteries where charged.

    To be honest I normally only look at the "time to go" screen as that is all I am interested in. I rarely will stay anywhere more than a couple of days unless there is water and hook up or I can use my generator (with a 100 amp charger a couple of hours during the day when no one is round soon tops the batteries back up if it is too cloudy or dull for the panels to make any real gain)

    I know that you can have one socket hooked up to an inverter, I know that some will eke out an existence for a couple of weeks without moving by being frugal with power, and I know that some never ever use hook up. I know :Wink:

    However, I do like to sit with an ice cold beer at the end of a day and play cards or watch a film, my wife does insist on washing her hair everyday and expects a hair dryer where ever we are, I don't like warm wine, when it is cold I do want the heating blasting away, and when it is hot I expect to use the air conditioning, despite being outside BBQ'ing This is just the way that we like to use our van, so if there is no mains available I want to get as close as I can to replicate it.

    Most of the places that I stay that don't have the infrastructure or foresight to provide mains hook up, normally lack decent sanitation and a plentiful supply of fresh clean water, hence my statement that if there is no hook up available 2 or 3 days is normally our limit.

    For example, I am at work still now getting ready to go to Westpoint Arena as we are exhibiting there. I will take the motorhome down with us tomorrow and we as some traders do will stay on site. We will park our selves out of the way, on a level bit of ground and be happy as larry until Sunday afternoon. We wouldn't dream of staying there if we didn't have to, but a combination of a decent battery bank, three large solar panels and a built in generator will mean that we can use the van, almost as if we had a decent hook up supply.

    This weekend in particular is important as we have Sky+ in the motorhome and will be watching the Six Nations rugby on our stand if we can, if not recorded once we get back to our motorhome. Warm beer and flat batteries wouldn't go down well at all:Laughing:

    Hope that helps a bit
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
  15. jhorsf

    jhorsf Funster

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    The people you choose to do the job are just as important as what you choose so use someone like Dave or Eddie who take a pride in what they do
     
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  16. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    Dave has some very good offers on for mobile fitting at shows for solar panels, and is a very genuine trader (tight with the hot chocolate though :Rofl1:)

    Eddie
     
  17. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    Excellent information, many thanks for your interest and time taken to reply, I am going to call Dave soon to discuss options. David
     
  18. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    (tight with the hot chocolate though )

    That's how we can do such a good deal on solar Eddie:Wink:

    D.
     
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