Fitted your own panel

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by RogerD, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. RogerD

    RogerD Deleted User

    The difference in price between fitted systems and buying the bits and DIY is massive. Are these systems hard to fit? Am i right in thinking I just need the panel and a regulator, fit the wires from the panel to the regulator and from the regulator to the batteries. :Err: Do you need to drill the roof or do they just stick on.

    I want to have two 110ah batteries (got one at moment) what size panel should I buy
     
  2. fordy

    fordy Deleted User

    The bigger the better 150- 275 would be nice but the price wont be. you sound like you have the idea of how to wire it up, get a good regulator and as to fixing them i have seen them stuck on or the brackets stuck on or screwed on and sealed but i think it is a job that can be done DIY as long as you are handy ..:Smile:

    FORDY:Smile:
     
  3. Don Madge

    Don Madge Funster

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    Roger,

    With solar panels it's all according to what your needs are or will be in the near future.

    We have two 100AH Elecsol batteries connected to the engine battery by a van bitz battery master. We have a 60 watt roof mounted solar panel which is ten years old and on a good day will put out 3.3 amps at the most.

    This suits our needs as we don't have a TV, we use the cab radio which has been rewired to the leisure batteries. We have the laptop which we run via an adapter.

    We also have a 150 watt inverter which charges the camera/mobile phone/ shaver batteries.

    Solar panel out put is a bit like MPG, it tends to get a bit exaggerated at times.

    A friend who watches TV 16 hours a day while wintering in Spain/Portugal has three 100 watt solar panels and three/four 110AH elecsol batteries. He very rarely goes on site. He claims on a good day sunny day he's getting 7+ amps from one panel alone. He has many other goodies including a 1500 watt inverter.

    Now if you are not short of a bob or two you could get yourself a Efoy system:Confused::Confused: don't ask all I know that it uses methanol :Eek!:

    So before you part with your cash do your homework. :Smile:

    Regards

    Don
     
  4. johnsandywhite

    johnsandywhite Read Only Funster

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    :Smile: Hi RogerD. We had our very first 120 watt Solar Panel fitted in Poole at a cost of £679 including controller. It turned out to be not enough. I bought another 120 watt (same as previous) and a 50 watt from a Dutch friend in SPAIN and another controller which I then fitted myself. It cost me £100 less than the first one. We later took those 2 off and fitted them to our next RV which we then sold on to some lucky person. We had 2 x 125 watt Solar Panels and a Solar Boost 2000E controller fitted in Quarzsite, Arizona for $1750. Mainly because it was cheap and we had no tools with us at the time. Cheaper to buy and fit yourself. Easy to do. IMH&HO. :Wink:

    :Cool: As Fordy (Gary) has mentioned. You can use Sikaflex or brackets and sealer to fit them to the roof. Cables can be run down the Fridge/Freezer vent if the panels can be situated close enough. Otherwise? Drill an hole UNDER a panel and use plenty of sealer on the cable when pulling through the hole and around it. Or use a special cable clamp that seals it to the roof. Happy Solaring. :Wink:
     
  5. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    A decent sized solar array and controller is a big investment, if you intend to do a lot of off hook camping they are no doubt worth while, however, a cheaper alternative is a small suitcase genny , say a 1kw, and a decent 50 amp four stage charger... one or two hours running each day would be enough for most users and more reliable than the sun ..
    This is ONLY my opinion.. not a statement of fact .

    Regards

    Jim
     
  6. johnsandywhite

    johnsandywhite Read Only Funster

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    :Cool: Just as an add on to this. As most are aware? Our Newmar is currently (sic) sat on a camp site. While we have been on there. The Solar array has been saving us 50 Euros a month in electricity. Just a thought. :Wink:
     
  7. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    That's a great saving John , I assume your leccy was being metered ?

    Jim
     
  8. johnsandywhite

    johnsandywhite Read Only Funster

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    :Frown: Correctomundo
     
  9. GeorgeTelford

    GeorgeTelford Deleted User

    Might I suggest that you only use Sikaflex if you are absolutely certain that you will never want to remove the panel (in one pce/working order)

    Solar panels? the pro's and cons are endless, there is no single right answer, in many cases though people have unrealistic ideas about what solar can do.

    Working out what you need solar panel wise is not easy (there are so many variables, real panel rating, sun hours, actual requirement for power) for ease of use and reliability, for years I have reccomended a similar system to what Jim posted above.

    Its advantages are that it it not tied to weather, no van positioning problems (ie like mad dogs and Englishmen) much lower initial cost (and it will take an awful lot of fuel usage to catch up)

    George
     
  10. Munchie

    Munchie Funster Life Member

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    Agree Jim, we use a 1kw Kippor and have found that approx 2hrs running each day allows use of a Remoska and lights and tele (ran off batteries in the evening) and batteries topped up ready for next day. :BigGrin:

    PS we never run the gennie before 9am (having checked people around us are up) and never after 6pm.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2007
  11. johnsandywhite

    johnsandywhite Read Only Funster

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    :Cool: I must admit. When we are Wild Camping? We have often used the generator when the Solar has not given us enough power for our needs (BIG users). We also bought 4 years ago a 900 watt genny as it was more economical. The use of generators can start a thread and thousands of posts all by itself. :Laughing::Laughing::Laughing:
     
  12. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Only beaten by a thread on A frame towing :Rofl1:

    Sorry for going off topic, I'll start one on gennies .. :Wink:
     
  13. johnsandywhite

    johnsandywhite Read Only Funster

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    :Eek!: Whatever you do? Do NOT start another thread on that other well known subject. :RollEyes:
     
  14. G2EWS

    G2EWS Funster

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    Hi Rogerd,

    In answer to your question wiring is simple. Most regulators have panel in, battery out and load out. Like all these things it seems a black art until you have done it. See datasheet on common Solsum regulator we supply below.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Regards

    Chris
     
  15. johnsandywhite

    johnsandywhite Read Only Funster

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    :Cool: This might help too:-
     

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  16. justme AKA Grath

    justme AKA Grath BANNED

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    Generators are quite ok so long as the user shows consideration to neighbouring vans.
    No problem with the genny but it is sometimes the people that use them.
    I also have a genny (Honda 2kw inverter type.
     
  17. oldun

    oldun Read Only Funster

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    So at €50 per month a £600 (about €800) system will pay for itself in 16 months. I have not made any allowance for the battery upgrade that will be necessary.

    For many people that will be about 10 years and two or more vans. Only for the serious users will this really be economical.

    However for all of us the freedom to travel more widely will be very welcome and many will pay the extra for this alone.
     
  18. 656

    656 Read Only Funster

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    We have a 60 watt and a 90 watt fitted to our van, along with 2 x 110 ah batteries. We hardly ever use hook up and have never yet run out of power. Detriot Solar fitted both of them at 2 different shows. Now thinking of having another 60 watt one fitted at Newbury if I can get it for the right price, but only because I belive in having more than I need :Rofl1:.
     
  19. olley

    olley Funster

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    Hi funny this should come up, as 30 minutes ago I finished fitting mine. :BigGrin:

    Bought 2x130watt kyocera plus a TS45 Morningstar controller s/h of Grommet on facts, he's selling his van and the extras after only a year.

    As for mounting I glued and screwed, and wired it all in 16mm battery cable, used almost exactly 10metres of red and black. Then I went through the roof behind the pull-out-larder, drilled through the floor and into the battery box. And it works :BigGrin:

    You can see the silly little one Winnebago fitted in the third pic. I think its about 16watt.

    Olley
     

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    Last edited: Mar 24, 2008
  20. ruffingitsmoothly

    ruffingitsmoothly Read Only Funster

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    If you have a Monaco and want to fit solar panels I think you will find that they are prewired mine was all I had to do was fix the panels to the roof and couple up to a chocolate block under the fridge vent on the roof then put two fuses in the battery control box! Also wire up the controller the wires were behind the tv in the bedroom.

    Regards Pat
     
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