Fiat ducato rapido what solar panels

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Desp4sun, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. Desp4sun

    Desp4sun Read Only Funster

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    Hi new to motorhomes having only just purchased one.

    We would like to wild camp and need advice on what size etc solar panels for a vehicle this size.
     
  2. Phill D

    Phill D

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    hi and welcome.:thumb:

    loads of threads on this topic, use the search function above for solar and youl get loads, some in the last 48 hours:thumb:
     
  3. aba

    aba

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    hi it all depends on how much tv and lighting you are going to use.
    bigger is better but only fit what you need.

    I have a single 80 watt panel and 2 x 155 Amp batteries and can go for around 2 weeks without hookup or starting the van.
    obviously everyone's needs are different and manufacturers design vans mainly to be on sites with hookup so put the minimum size batteries they can on.

    if you are moving every day then a single 80 or 100 watt panel will probably do.

    best way to find out is live in it for a weekend on your driveway that way if something goes wrong you can always nip back into the house and see how much battery you have left after that.
    you may find that if you are only out for a couple of nights at a time you don't need anything extra or maybe just another battery.
     
  4. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    you need to work out your expected usage and size batteries solar panels to suit your needs
     
  5. callumwa

    callumwa Read Only Funster

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    The vehicle size is irrelevant really.

    It depends on your power needs and consumption. How long off hook up, summer or winter, where John O groats or Morocco.

    How many are you in the van, do you watch a lot of TV, have you got all LED lighting, are you running computers, chargers etc etc etc...

    You first need to calculate what you will consume.

    Some folk can mange on a single 80A/H battery for several days in the summer, just using a little lighting and the odd hour of TV.
     
  6. Trikeman

    Trikeman Read Only Funster

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    Hi, interesting question.:thumb:

    I have a few recent threads on this subject as I am currently fitting out my MoHo with solar and have started a diary.

    To start I sat down and did the maths as suggested above and then doubled it,,,,,,,, just in case I want to use more AND/OR our solar buddy (sun) was not full blown summer ie, winter or just not got it's hat on.

    For our usage I worked out that two 110ah batteries (which we have fitted) and a pair of 12v 100w solar panels wired in series to a MPPT charge controller should keep us in 'juice' for our requirements.

    There are some cracking lads on here that have done this 'solar' thing for a while and will offer some great advice - as suggested search in the solar section and all the advice and guidance you will ever need is contained within.

    Good luck.

    Regards,

    Trikeman. :Wink:
     
  7. UK Pete

    UK Pete Read Only Funster

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    Hi i am just toying with the idea of upgrading my system , i believe that you can never have enough power, the things that are to consider for me are extra weight, cost, and of course how much equipment relies on the 12v system, add up everything you have running off your van batteries then factor in all the other things you may want to add at a later date, as most people will tell you the summer months are totally different to the autumn and winter as regards to sunlight which really effects how much power goes back into your system from the solar panels, if you read up on batteries it appears that its not good to keep running them down then charging them up they only have limited number of charging cycles, so relacing power that is drawn from the system as soon as possible is wise, my understanding is that 300w of solar panels on as larger battery bank as you can manage say at least 330 ah will be good , this will be my set up if i go ahead with my upgrade
    4x110ah batteries
    sterling battery to battery charger
    1x 135w+2x80w = 295w solar panels
    PCM3012 25A MPPTsolar charge controller

    Things i will need to power below

    12v Waeco cr50 compressor fridge
    15 inch lcd tv
    8x LED spot lights
    circulation pump on diesel water/ interior heating
    Fan blower for occasional heating
    Shower/ sink pump
    usb powered sound system connected to tv
    Satelite system
    phone charging
    800W Microwave powered from a 1200 inverter

    Techno100 has a really good set up on his motorhome check out some of his posts, i might do my system in a similar way to his where he has a seperate bank of batteries for his inverter, which get charged from the solar panels with overflow power charging the habitation battery bank, the power is switchable between both banks changeover switch allows bank selection, combination or isolation.
    pete
     
  8. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    There really is no answer to this. In the winter you get little solar, in the summer a decent amount and both depend how far north you are.

    Just throw a 100/125 on and suck it and see.

    If that fails, throw another one on.

    You will fail in the winter though.
     
  9. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    been in spain since begining of november managed easily on solar. 6x 80wat panels 400amp of batteries . run inverter to run fridge freezer on 240v . use lots of tv and today the computer. first free wifi i have found easily . i say look on ebay and fill your roof its never been cheaper .
     
  10. seanoo

    seanoo Funster

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    if you can elevate your panels you will get far more from them if your intending to use your van in the uk in winter.
     
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  11. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    And rotate them as well and the increase is staggering, Snowbird quoted the figures to back his tilt and rotate machine, that one day may end up on the roof of his MH. From memory it was something like 10x the energy of a flat panel.
     
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