Solar panel help please

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Coolbeanz, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. Coolbeanz

    Coolbeanz Funster

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    We are off on very long tour next year and want to get a solar panel to help minimise the number of nights we need to pay for a campsite with EHU. We have 2 brand new 110 ah leisure batteries fitted thanks to the kind help of Jaws. We have looked on Bimble.co.uk following a link on this site and googled what MPPT & PWM means so our question is how much better is it to have the MPPT charge controller? There is not much difference in cost for a 12v 290w solar package with an MPPT charge controller and a 12v 480w LDK with a 60A PMW charge controller. Is it better to go for a lower watt panel with a superior controller or is there going to be no noticeable benefit? We will be using our 12v TV 2 or 3 evenings a week and playing an IPod, charging an IPhone, and using a halogen ring to cook on. The bulbs are mostly LED so not much drain there. Any advice would be great and if there is anyone with the skills to fit a panel for a fee and who would like to spend a weekend in East Bergholt (home of John Constable and adjacent to the beautiful Flatford Mill) whilst being plied with home made curry (or paella) and red wine (or beer) let me know!! :BigGrin::BigGrin:
     
  2. Larby

    Larby Funster

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    Had I not been off to France then the following would have tempted me to help! Not too far either to that lovely cake shop in Manningtree High St.



    12/4/2013
    Coolbeanz8
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    My homemade triple choc brownies or my double cream filled profiteroles topped with cadburys chocolate (technically miniature eclairs!) also I just experimented with my ice cream machine and made a Tia Maria ice cream that was so good I had to share it with my work colleagues to stop me eating the whole litre! :BigGrin::BigGrin:
    Janine likes this.

    http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/newreply.php?do=newreply&noquote=1&p=811966
     
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  3. Coolbeanz

    Coolbeanz Funster

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    Did you not hear that all routes to France are closed until Christmas and I have upped the stakes to include triple chocolate brownies with Tia Maria ice cream!! :Rofl1:
     
  4. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    if you use the halogen hob on an inverter then go for the biggest panel you can afford/fit on the roof as you'll need to put a lot of amps back in the battery.

    a regular halogen cooker may use 1200watts of power...thats 100amps out of your battery per hour.

    far better to use your gas oven and hob.

    MPPT is far superior to PWM

    a bit like AM and FM radio.....both do the job but FM is far better.
     
  5. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    You may only get 10% more out of an MPPT controller but considering the price difference it would be silly not to use one.

    I've just fitted a 100W panel for £175 inc MPPT controller. All off ebay.


    PS.....

    Just noticed PJ remarking on halogen. No chance on batteries. Doomed to dismal failure.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
  6. cmcardle75

    cmcardle75 Read Only Funster

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    It isn't normal to use a solar powered halogen hob. Do you not have a gas hob? Everything will revolve around providing enough power to it. You'll need a huge inverter, lots of panels and probably bigger batteries. Or you could just use gas. The LEDs and TV will probably use less than 5% of your total usage on the hob.
     
  7. Coolbeanz

    Coolbeanz Funster

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    We have a gas cooker so based on the comments so far I clearly need to restrict the halogen hob to EHU only. :BigGrin:
     
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  8. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    have you got a gas cooker with an oven . thats the way forward then with solar you may never need ehu again , i havent used it for 13yrs . cook with gas heat water with gas only 12v pump to pump the water . gas lights use far less leccy than led . heating with gas . have lots of leccy then for fridge .washing machine, spinner . tv .computers etc . bit like a space film from the 50,s and 60,s .
     
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  9. Larby

    Larby Funster

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    You are so cruel !:Angry::cry:

    But then I've got one of these :Rofl1:
     

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  10. Coolbeanz

    Coolbeanz Funster

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    If you think that's cruel just wait until I introduce the thumb screws!!
     
  11. bernardfeay

    bernardfeay Read Only Funster

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    Don't spend another penny on solar panels, dump the halogen hob and spend your money on a gas cooker/hob. We have only one leisure battery and we always watch TV if it is cold outside.
     
  12. steevie

    steevie Funster

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    I cant believe everyone doesnt have a solar panel on their motorhome. My group of RV nuts have followed my set up by having a 250 watt house type panel, and a 30w controller.....£230 from ebay. I then added a volts display and an ammeter display, so I know what is going on. They cost less than a tenner for the pair. We never have hook up and often do a week away. It also charges my scooter batteries at night, and puts back the power in the daytime. The panel ind. light comes on even before it is properly daylight
     
  13. Coolbeanz

    Coolbeanz Funster

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    We already have a gas cooker and hob. We need a solar panel to maximise the time we can spend off hook up as we will be away for months at a time :Smile:
     
  14. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Electricity is a minor problem, you can always run the engine.

    But poo - have you got a cunning plan for the toilet cassette ?
     
  15. Coolbeanz

    Coolbeanz Funster

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    No cunning plan, just going to mix France Passion, Aires, wild camping and the odd campsite so I'll make sure hubby can do his toilet emptying duty! We have several Aires books and Apps so it will be easy to find a service point hopefully :BigGrin:
     
  16. PhilandMena

    PhilandMena Funster

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    I would agree with the general consensus of removing the halogen oven and getting the biggest solar panel you can carry.
    I too have 2x110 Amp L. batteries and a 120 W Solar panel and it more then meets our needs. Like you we have led lighting and run our fridge and cooking of gas (2 x 6Kg Gaslow bottles).

    Happy trails.
     
  17. Coolbeanz

    Coolbeanz Funster

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    We don't have a halogen oven, just a single portable halogen ring that I use when on EHU. We have a gas cooker with 3 gas rings. :Smile:
     
  18. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    theres sewage covers all over europe no probs getting rid of sewage . i go for 6 months at a time no campsites .usually no aires just free camping .
     
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