SOLAR PANELS advice please

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by FULL TIMER, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. FULL TIMER

    FULL TIMER Read Only Funster

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    Hello there, I'm after fitting some solar panels to the truck and have seen these on a certain site, http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2pcs-100W...00822935294?pt=UK_Gadgets&hash=item2ec1facefe
    just wondering if those on here who know about these things think they are upto the job , reasonable value and if anyone has bought from this seller and resulting experience etc. I have a 24v battery bank consisting of 2 100amp batteries
     
  2. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    The MPPT charger linked does the job but is basic and not as good as a decent MPPT charger. I have one and it certainly puts a bit more power into the batteries than a PWM model would.

    I have had dealing with lensun and they are to this day the only company I have given a negative report to on ebay.

    80watt tends to be the most cost effect panels £/Watt. Around £70 per panel at the moment.

    I would be tempted to up my budget a little if I were you and go for 4 x 80 watt panels (320 Watts total) £280. and if you can manage it get a better MPPT charger. If you want to stay around the same budget get the same MPPT charger but still go with 4 x 80 if you have the roof space.
     
  3. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    PS: They operate under lots of different ebay usernames and they appear to dump them when they get too many bad reviews. That is how it appears to me anyway. I would avoid them I were you.
     
  4. FULL TIMER

    FULL TIMER Read Only Funster

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    Cheers for your reply Gromett, always weary of buying off the bay don't think I've got room on the roof for four panels at the moment as I have ten raised escape hatches where the cells used to be, however I will be getting rid of these when we get some dryer weather so might be possible then. didn't want to spend much more than £300 as I will probably only need them for the odd rally or weekend, most of the time I'm on hookup
     
  5. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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  6. manda3000gt

    manda3000gt Funster

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    I have been reading this guy's blog
    http://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/the-rv-battery-charging-puzzle-2/
    Seems to talk a lot of sense and as I have been disappointed with the performance of my 2 x 130w panels so far reading throu what he has to say and how my system has been installed I can see why I am getting very poor results. I have now ordered a Morningstar 45 charge controller and I am rewiring the whole system with 0 awg & 4 awg cable with as short runs as possible, this should give me a 1% or <1% voltage drop over the whole charging system and ensure I'm getting the volts I have paid for at the batteries.
     
  7. FULL TIMER

    FULL TIMER Read Only Funster

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    thanks for the replies, pappajohn I had just saved that seller with the panels they seem reasonable.
    manda3000gt I'll take a look at that before parting with my cash cheers.
     
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  8. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    The morning star 45 amp MPPT charger is excellent. I had one in my previous van which is how I know the one I have currently is not brilliant. They are expensive but well worth the money in my opinion...

    I used 6mm cable from this guy as he was the cheapest at the time. He gives excellent service and his prices are really keen.
     
  9. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Using thick enough wires is the most important thing. It won't matter how good your panels and controller are if you're losing it all in wiring.:thumb:
     
  10. manda3000gt

    manda3000gt Funster

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    Correct, Have a look at a voltage loss table on DC currents (loads of voltage loss calculators online) you can input cable size length of run etc and see what you are actually getting at your batteries, it does not matter how many volts your charge controller is putting out if you are losing it all to voltage loss at the batteries, they will never be fully charged and constant under charging drastically reducers their life.
     
  11. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    The panels in the earlier link from true shopping have 2.5mm cable on them the description is WRONG I just sent one back. I bought from Afresco bay instead, dearer but overall a better quality panel.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  13. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Set to be the centre of a threesome
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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  15. Taran_Las

    Taran_Las Funster

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    Andy, I bought a 100w panel from true shopping just before Christmas. I've just checked the cables and they're marked 4mm. How on earth did yours end up with 2.5mm?
     
  16. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Dunno they insisted the factory fits 4mm so I sent them pictures. Also the cells were not square to the frame. No problem with sending back full refund given. The Afrescobay one is overall a better built panel and it was only £9 more before trushopping just knocked another £10 off.
     
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  17. 1Oll

    1Oll Read Only Funster

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    I bought from this company two years ago. Same adverts same products but called HKLensun.

    I bought the same set up. Really pleased they as the contacted me to say there was a slight delay due to customs on delivery to their uk premises. Their communications were good from their main office. The panels work really well. Only been on EHU for frost heating over winter and for cooling fridge before leaving home, other than this I've never been on EHU since fitting. Have 2x100amp hr. batteries.
    Also fitted the little gizmo from CAK tanks that keeps main vehicle battery charged. I bought these panels because of price and they were the exact size (to the inch)to fit between the roof rails on my Amethyst.
    Bought expensive 4mmsqu multi strand cable and fitted fuses from a an Autoelectrics business. I was advised to chose multi strand due to the movement and flxing in a vehicle
    Regards Brian.


     
  18. aba

    aba

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    i think the key is to get the cables from the controller as short as possible as thats where most of the loss occurs as after the controller its 13. whatever volts but before it it is much higher around 17 to 20 volts. thats for a 12 volt panel of course.

    i have just looked at my display from the solar and it is giving 1.1A in overcast white cloud and that is from a single 80watt flat mounted panel running on a shaudt controller for the electroblock.

    and i have 6mm cable from the panel to the controller and will be adding another panel later this year when funds allow.
     
  19. FULL TIMER

    FULL TIMER Read Only Funster

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    Well thanks for all the replies people, it seems to get a lot more expensive when wanting to charge a 24v system double the panels etc, and for the amount of panels I can actually fit and the amount of amperage available along with the fact that I mostly use hook up and only really wanted the solar option for the odd rally or two, I think I would probably be better off using a small silent running generator and letting my 25 amp charger work on the batteries for an hour now and then when needed, it would also give us the option of a bit of 240v power whilst running and of course use it within my business.
     
  20. wizzer59

    wizzer59 Funster

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    Oh nooooooooo:Eeek::Eeek::Eeek::Eeek::Eeek::Eeek: :Wink:
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
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