Solar Conundrums In A Small Camper

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by Supertramp, Jul 6, 2015.

  1. Supertramp

    Supertramp

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    Hello everyone! I have a few questions about solar and whether it is even feasible on my little camper and if it will help attain what I'm trying to achieve or if something else is a better shout.
    I have this:
    [​IMG]

    A 1971 VW Camper. The roof elevates like this:
    [​IMG]

    And looks like this from above (without the bag on the luggage wrack):
    [​IMG]

    So I don't have much space.
    I have a 110ah leisure battery, Durite split charge and a Zig CF9. While travelling at the moment the only real draw is the Waeco CR50 compressor fridge at between 1.4-1.7ah. We have propex but don't use it (it's too hot) and a couple of LED lights but we only pop them on and off when getting into bed. We charge iPhones via the 12v socket once in a while.

    So mostly it's just the fridge and I'd like to help the battery with solar if possible. We mostly free camp (being small enough, but not quite inconspicuous enough to do so) making use of Aires and beaches. I'd like to increase the time we can do this without plugging in.

    I could something like this and use the luggage wrack:
    [​IMG]

    Or semi flexible panels on the elevating part? But then you'd have quite long cable runs I think?

    Any suggestions? Thoughts?
    Thank you!
     
  2. andy63

    andy63 Funster

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  3. Charlie - Minton

    Charlie - Minton Funster

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    I fixed a flexible 140w panel to my lift up roof works a treat.

    Have a look at in this section for my thread "solar panel on a lift up roof"

    Sorry I can't get a link up on my iPad
     
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  4. Supertramp

    Supertramp

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    Thanks Andy, I'll take a look.

    Hi Charlie, I actually read your thread at 3am this morning (it's very hot here in Morocco and couldn't sleep). And this might be the best solution, I'm just wondering how I'd run the cabling
     
  5. berni109

    berni109 Funster

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    The flex 100w panel I fitted came with a 5mt lead attached and works fine. Check on eBay for size to fit u‘r roof and a mttp controller.
    Search for previous threads on fixing -I used extra strong body mounting tape with the edges done with sikaflex and its not blown off yet.
    Then all u need to remember is to park facing the right direction - no seeking out the shade.
     
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  6. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    weve just put a flexible panel on to my sons t4 elevating roof we found a gap at the back where the roof is bolted down and run the wires in through that and re-siliconed it cliped the wires in place with stick down clips so the wires just fold down under the roof
     
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  7. Supertramp

    Supertramp

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    Aha! This sounds similar to how I'd have to approach mine. How's he getting on with it?
     
  8. bob2112

    bob2112

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    Oops double post
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2015
  9. bob2112

    bob2112

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    We have a T5 with the same fridge as you, a few led lights and a water pump and use a PV Logic STFP60w free standing fold up panel which keeps 110ah battery topped up indefinitely at this time of year but I haven't tried it in winter. Use a steel cable cycle lock to stop anyone borrowing it ! It usually sits at the back just below door height but the cable is long enough to give some flexibility if you need to park a particular way..It folds up to chunky briefcase size so it's either connected,in the back when traveling or stowed underneath for brief stops. Love it !
     
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  10. Supertramp

    Supertramp

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    Well we've done it. 100w rigid panel added and a phocos cmt regulator. Limited to what I could have installed in Morocco but the plan was that as long as it kept us going during this trip, I could sort something more permanent when I get home.
    Just sussing it all out at the moment and playing with my multimeter. What voltage should I be seeing from the panel say in midday sun with no shade in Morocco?
     

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  11. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Around 14v at the battery,
    .
    around 18v to 20v at the panel side of the controller.

    Dont worry about amps....once the battery is charged the charge amps will drop drastically
     
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  12. Supertramp

    Supertramp

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    Thanks John. Where am I taking the measurement from for the panel? When I put the multimeter into the positive terminal of the regulator coming from the panel and ground the negative I get the same reading as at the battery, about 14v.
     
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