Solar Install

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by The Wild Ones, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. The Wild Ones

    The Wild Ones Read Only Funster

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    Hi all

    I am currently dabbling with a couple of 43W Solar Panels I bought recently. The panels come with 4A regulators. Presently I am just hooking them up each time by the supplied croc clips direct to the battery.

    I am now looking to install them on a permanent basis and was wondering if any one here, could offer me some tips in this dept. I was also wondering if there was any benefit to be had from interfacing the panels with the spare switch on the shauldt panel? if possile that is?

    As usual any thoughts much appreciated.

    Ta in advance

    Howard
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    connected my 120w panel and controller direct to the 12v output side of the onboard charger.
    convenient for me as the charger is in the wardrobe, directly below the roof mounted panel .
    keeps the wiring short. Only 1.5 mtrs:thumb:

    panel output is around 7amps on a good day and the chargers designed for around 15amps, i think, so the existing wiring is up to the job too.

    doing it this way i can charge either engine or leisure batteries from the solar panel via the control panel rocker switch.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2009
  3. The Wild Ones

    The Wild Ones Read Only Funster

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    Thanks pj sounds just what I was hoping, not particularly au fait with mh control panels mind you, so will need to source one for mine and study. Also not quite with you with the output side connection? any chance of a diagram please?
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2009
  4. C.L.S

    C.L.S Trader - Service & Repairs

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    Keep it simple , wire the two panels together using (minimum 2.5mm2 multi strand cable ) connect to a stand alone regulator then feed to battery / batteries with inline fuse protection.

    Mark
     
  5. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    diagram not so easy howard as fiat diagrams are like the proverbial rocking horse s**t and chargers can/will be different.

    ours only has two 12v wires (the others being 230v flex) coming from it, + and -....and they go to the main fuse block and onward to the control panel, 12v sockets, heater fan, boiler,cooker and fridge ignition and 12v lighting control panel.......3 gang switch plate to thee and me.

    as the two wires from the charger/power supply feed everything (including the batteries via the control panel) on the van so connecting to them was an obvious choice and it ensured everything was fused.

     
  6. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    certainly the simpleist way mark but running the wires all over the van and keeping them hidden is a nightmare as you know.

    some knowledge of panel/furniture removal does make it easier though.

    i had to remove a lot of the bathroom, the thetford door and frame and the lounge corner trims complete with speakers to route my rev camera wiring.

    extra sockets were easier....through the floor, 'P' clips underneath, back up through the floor to the new positions and re-seal the floor holes.
     
  7. Frankia

    Frankia Read Only Funster

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    The Schaudt charger has a socket for a solar array input. Depending on the model / age you may be able to connect to it. The older ones I believe would only handle up to 1 X 75w panel and you had to put a regulator in before the connection. The current handbook for the newer models still say you need to put in a (shaudt) regulator.

    The advantage of connecting via the Schaudt is that you will charge the leisure battery/ies then when they are full the schaudt will charge the engine battery with the spare capacity.

    We change our 'vans regularly and I fit the solar panels and wiring in such a way as to be easily removed and placed on the next 'van without leaving a lot of unsightly holes. I always prefer to go straight to the battery bypassing the onboard charger (saves any warranty problems should the on board charger go wrong). I also prefer to use just one regulator so I connect both of our 120w panels to one 20amp reg then via a fuse placed near the battery. I also have a 60w panel which I have wired with a length of cable to a non reversible plug. This is plugged in to a matching socket in one of the o/s lockers. The socket is wired to the input side of the reg.

    The reason for the extra panel is that we spend the winter in Portugal and just like the UK the sun is low - the extra panel can be pointed straight at the sun.
     
  8. The Wild Ones

    The Wild Ones Read Only Funster

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    Sorry pj, I meant a fag packet type diagram of the install you did, so I can see where abouts you inserted the incoming cables from the panel?

    This is exactly what I would like, to integrate it in such a way that the existing fuseboard offers the fuse protection. The mh is 10 yrs old and does not appear to have a solar input but i I could use it in any way, rather than it never to used? t does offer a spare aux rocker switch?
     
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