Getting solar panels fitted - advice please

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Mags52, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. Mags52

    Mags52 Funster

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    We're planning to get solar panels fitted next spring. It's beyond our DIY skills so we're looking for advice about the best place to get them done in terms of both quality and cost. Obviously I mean good quality work for as reasonable a price as possible. :Smile:
    We live in Scotland but would travel if it was worth the diesel to do so.
    We're thinking we need a minimum of 140w so that we can use the inverter occasionally.
    Having spent 6 weeks in France we realised very quickly what an advantage solar power would have been to us.
     
  2. MikeandCarolyn

    MikeandCarolyn Read Only Funster

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    OK,the electrical side of fitting solar panels is no big deal-the bit I never fancied doing was running the cables through the van,so I went to our local Baileys caravan place-and have now built up a relationship with them so that they do all my servicing-habitation and mechanical.I'm sure that if you look around there will be someone local to you.
    We have 160w and find that adequate.We use the inverter (150w) for charging things like phones and camera batteries whilst we are driving.

    Mike.
     
  3. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    Dave Newell, member on here, he has an advert top right of screen.

    Peter
     
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  4. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    We had our panel fitted by Dave Newell. A bit distant from Scotland in Telford but there is a caravan site 400 yards away where we stayed. Dave did an excellent job.
     
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  5. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    I can also recommend Dave...

    But dont be put off "semi DIY" you can obtain all the items you need via ebay etc and then find a local caravan centre or even an auto electrician that will charge for a few hours work for installation... Ask about... Lots of info available.
    Recently seen some 80w panels for £80 !!! they are getting cheaper all the time..:thumb:
     
  6. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    What he said. It's such an easy job surely you can find a fitter if you supply the panels. It's basically: glue down a couple of panels, route the 2 or 4 wires through the roof ( usually into a cupboard ), screw these to a controller, route 2 wires to the battery. Rocket science it is not.

    Someone on here posted an excellent guide you could show a garage or electrician.
     
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  7. Mags52

    Mags52 Funster

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    Thanks for the advice. We'll ask around locally in the first instance. Our local caravan service place is asking nearly £700 for one 80w panel fitted. We thought that was quite expensive. Getting the kit ourselves and paying someone to fit it sounds more economical.
    Thanks all.
     
  8. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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  9. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    whoever you get make sure they understand the importance of using the correct gauge of cable.. this is vital, not for the current carrying capacity but for keeping voltage loss to a minimum .. don't skimp on cable size.. that's a fool's economy ..

    this calculator makes it easy .. book mark for future reference http://www.solar-wind.co.uk/cable-sizing-DC-cables.html

    For example

    an 80watt panel with a 6mt cable run would require 4mm.sq, increase the cable run to 8mt and you require 6mm.sq

    a 140watt setup, same cable run lengths , requires 10mm.sq and 16mm.sq respectively

    from these examples you can see how important it is to keep cable run lengths to an absolute minimum and sizing correctly .
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
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