Solar Panel Install - Swift 630G

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Wollow007, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. Wollow007

    Wollow007 Read Only Funster

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    Hi guys and girls,

    I'm embarking on a bit of a project, I have a Swift Sundance 630G (2003). I'm looking to install 2no 80w solar panels connecting to a controller/regulator to feed the leisure/engine battery, which in the past have gone flat while in storage etc.

    I am a keen Mountain biker and have booked some races this year, which are over a number of days or full day events. All of the events have fields to camp in but no electric hook up so the solar panels will help keep the battery's topped up while I'm out riding.

    I've spent a bit on the Motorhome, reversing camera, new radio, bike rack, getting the engine WOW'd on Thursday, safari room for the awning etc, and I feel the solar panels will be the icing on the cake.

    I've had a good read on similar solar posts and believe I have bright what's required, got 2x80w panels for £210, regulator and panel, mounting rails, cable entry gland panel for £200 and a set of 5mtr cables and couplers for £25. I'm aware I will need some cable to connect the batteries and sealant etc so the installation should come in under £500, which I believe is a good price.

    My only question, may be more once the project starts is does anyone know if the roof of my Motorhome will support me clambering around the roof fitting the panels? I'm aware I will need to clean the roof prior to panel install and need to stick the rails down with the special sealant etc, which would be a little easier if the roof would support my weight (17st). I'm aware that the outside roof skin in aluminium, which is floating, is there a ply lined roof underneath or rafters etc?

    Has anyone had experience of installing solar into a 2003 Swift Sundance?

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    Looking forward to the WOW tuning tomorrow :thumb:

    :thumb:
     
  2. MikeandCarolyn

    MikeandCarolyn Read Only Funster

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    Well,the roof is going to have to support whoever fits the panels :BigGrin:
    I think 2 x80 should be fine (that's what we have) but have you thought about a second leisure battery to store all this free leccy? We started with just one 110 Ah battery but very quickly added a 2nd and a small invertor (150W.)

    Mike.
     
  3. Wollow007

    Wollow007 Read Only Funster

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    Yep I think a second battery will be the next purchase, I have a battery master to fit at the same time as the solar panels, just need a nice dry day!

    At the moment we only have one 80 watt battery, i know we need to upgrade the battery to capture all the free power, problem is the battery is stored under the drivers seat, not sure if a bigger bat will fit. The plan is to install a second under the passenger seat.

    How do your panels perform, do they keep your battery's at full power? Do you do a lot of wild camping?

    Cheers for the reply :thumb:
     
  4. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    no problem climbing on the roof.
    I walked on the swift kontiki roof with confidence and I too weigh around 17st.

    under the outer skin will be a ply substructure, wood battens, a couple of inch's of polystyrene foam and an inner ply skin with decorative trim.

    DONT attempt to stand on the ABS/fibreglass overcab area and dont get too close to any openings, roof lights/vents etc...the weakest part of any roof are the edges of openings
     
  5. MikeandCarolyn

    MikeandCarolyn Read Only Funster

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    We spend a lot of time on Aires etc without EHU-last week the weather in France was pretty much same as here,and if we went to bed with the Battery Monitor reading 80% we would be fully charged by midday,and if the sun came out,it was quicker.
    Getting to 80% for us would be after watching a couple of DVD's,having 2 lights on and maybe using laptop via an inverter for an hour or so.

    Mike.
     
  6. Wollow007

    Wollow007 Read Only Funster

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    Thanks guys for the replays, looking coward to starting the install.

    I guess if you use a bit of water, flush the loo and watch a bit of TV the batteries will drain pretty quick. I have swapped all the internal lights for LEDs to keep the drain for lighting as low as possible.

    Would you guys wire both battery's independently from the regulator and still install the battery master, or would you wire the leasure bat and rely on the battery master to trickle charge from the leasure bat?
     
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