portable solar panel, I think I need one??

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by themountaintiger, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. themountaintiger

    themountaintiger Read Only Funster

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    Hmm!

    Just finished 3 days of using motorhome on my 2 leisure batteries and didnt feel power was running out, but I do feel a bit mean with it, i.e. getting stressed if 2 lights are on at the same time :cry:(im not quite running outside, arms in the air screaming the end is nigh! the end is nigh! But the thought had crossed my mind.

    Control panel showed 12.8v after travelling and on leaving (after 3 days) showed 12.4v. To be honest im not sure how low this would go to give me no, or little power..I had seen one of those portable 12v solar panel charger thingies that plug into 12v and wonder if that would help trickle back some charge, or do I need a baptism of fire and live life to the full and use 3 lights on at the same time with telly and see how long that lasts. (in fact lets live dangerously and go for 4 lights being on at the same time and telly. Ohhh the thought is making me feel ill....:Eek!:

    I dont want to install solar panels as I want to leave options open to buy another motorhome, so thought a portable one would be a good compromise

    So I suppose question is what voltage is deemed as low point for a couple of leisure batteries 12.1v/12.2v etc so I know when to run out screaming. (If its late at night ill have to mime it..)

    And what would a portable solar panel put back would it make a 12.4v into a 12.5v after say 10 hrs of daylight...

    Ta for any advice

    Ps. Will I ever be able to post outside the beginners forum. Is this something that happens after asking so many stupid (sorry I meant learning) questions cos im getting there fast:thumb:
     
  2. Road Runner

    Road Runner Read Only Funster

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    I might have an 80 watt folding one for sale.
     
  3. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    that will keep you going quite happily.

    anything less than 50w isnt worth the trouble.

    bear in mind it will go walkies if it isnt VERY well secured.

    but whats puzzling me is where are you going to find 10 hours of sunshine per day ? :Cool::Rofl1:
    i have a 170w panel on the roof and in a 'no sun/cloudy' situation it produces maybe 1amp at most.


    battery 'state of charge' chart...never go below 50% max
     

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    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010
  4. Munchie

    Munchie Funster Life Member

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    How far down can you take the batteries safely John? Had mine down to 12.2 then started panicking and turned everything of. :Eeek:
     
  5. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    see post above Ken, just edited it....50% max but better to stick above this at maybe 60%
     
  6. themountaintiger

    themountaintiger Read Only Funster

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    Ahh!! Thanks for table, so i can go to 12.2v...or at least watch out for it reaching that. Is there a relationship between the time it takes to drop a 0.1v? Is it constant? so that if power consumption is the same does the battery take i.e. 6 hrs of use to drop from 12.7-12.6, 12.6-12.5=5hrs 12.5-12.4=4hrs etc etc

    10 hrs of sunshine...ok I was dreaming!!
     
  7. themountaintiger

    themountaintiger Read Only Funster

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    Ive only heard of 80w being installed? Its not of the portable variety is it?
     
  8. keith

    keith Funster

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    That chart is interesting John, I have never seen one before that differentiates between different types of battery. :Eek!:

    Can you explain why there is a difference, in simple terms if possible please. :thumb:
     
  9. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    the voltage will be in direct proportion to the load...if the load doesnt change then the voltage will drop at a steady rate.

    a battery under load will show a lower voltage than the same one off load.
    your STARTER battery may show 12.6v but crank the engine and it will drop to maybe 9v while cranking...stop cranking after a few seconds and it will recover to around 12.6v.
    same goes for a leisure battery...a heavier load (water pump etc) for a few seconds wont flatten it but a constant, lighter load (tv/lights etc) will.

    john's panel is a folding, portable one. :thumb:
     
  10. atakd

    atakd Read Only Funster

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    We use a standard 80W panel that's not fixed to the roof, carried behind drivers seat. We plug it in to a 12v socket and have about 6m of 2.5mm flex so it can be aimed at the sun . It is far more efficient than a panel that is flat on the roof - ampage goes from 2 to 5 when it's raised from the floor - but you have the hassle of setting it up & putting it away. We had no choice as we carry canoes on the roof.
    In summer 80W keeps us charged indefinitely but not much good for a UK winter.
     
  11. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    can any one tell me what sun is?

    Sitting here in the rain yet again in Tunbridge Wells in Kent can anyone tell me what sun is? I really wonder why you want a solar panel in the UK.. a nice generator does it better ..even noisy ones:Smile: Just think you will be hopping up and down moving the solar panel about trying to track the sun if you can find it.

    Or you could buy a self seeking one on the roof like you see on some American RV's or how about buying bigger batteries that last longer.

    Bob:Blush:
     
  12. keith

    keith Funster

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    Peace & quiet is one very good reason.
     
  13. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi themountaintiger, you are falling into the trap of wanting rather than needing :Rofl1:
    terry
     
  14. themountaintiger

    themountaintiger Read Only Funster

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    hmm interesting!! But did I really want a motorhome or need one??? want, want want.

    Ebay listing time for my motorhome?? NO WAY!!:Blush::cry::Angry:

    Ok thats a tad unfair by me, but my original post was really trying to work out if I should be buying one of those cheaper portable solar panels to help top up. It seems that they would work now and again but not for winter time and the topping up would be minimal. Ive already decided to go for LED lighting throughout so that should give me more functional usage of motorhome for the 3 days at most Id envisage being without hook up.

    Ill keep thinking on this one
     
  15. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Best advise I can give is to try before you buy :thumb: If you run out of power what is the worst that can happen ? you have no tv for one night :Rofl1: Then you can up your power, but until then you may not need it .Lot's of people fall into the want trap rather than need :Rofl1: :shout: It gives them bragging rights :Rofl1: I have 4x 100 w solar panels and we go for 2 nights without hook up :Rofl1::Rofl1:
    Our van only has 1 x 135 amp hr l/battery and we do 3 nights with blow air heating, lights and tv-dvd,free-view box without problem,admittedly we tend to drive to shops or pub etc which puts a bit back into the battery :thumb: but as yet we have never ran out :Wink:If we ran out then I would look into extra power :thumb: and my first stop would be to fit an extra battery :thumb: I actually have a big battery sat in the garage doing nothing with plenty of room in the van to fit it in :thumb: but since I do not need it I have not bothered to fit it :Doh:
    terry
     
  16. DESCO

    DESCO Read Only Funster

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    Must admit I'm with terry on this one never buy anything in the way of extras till I know I need them.


    Dave :thumb::thumb:
     
  17. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    :Rofl1::Rofl1: I have a garage full of crap I wanted but do not need :Doh::Rofl1: or no longer need :Rofl1: and what is in there that I need I cannot find :Rofl1: so end up buying more stuff that I need :Rofl1::Wink:
    terry
     
  18. DESCO

    DESCO Read Only Funster

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    Must admit that is why I don't do shows any more, it's too easy to see something you must have only to find you never use it, and did not need it anyway.

    Sooner keep my cash till something I really need comes along.

    After all you can make do for one trip.


    Dave :thumb::thumb:
     
  19. Road Runner

    Road Runner Read Only Funster

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    Last couple of show I have been skint.

    Kept enough to enjoy the evening in the bar which cheer me up no end:Smile:

    Lincoln I bought a LED torch £5.99 which is a great asset:thumb:
     
  20. themountaintiger

    themountaintiger Read Only Funster

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    Its a good point you make of course. I need to use more power when needed to see how far I take the battery usage.I didnt use the blown air for the heating this last weekend as I was concerned it may run flat..albeit I wasnt actually sure what 'flat' was. I know more now thanks to table provided so I wont be as fearful next time out..

    wow 4 x 100 watt solar panels.....:Rofl1:
     
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