Solar Panels, Is It Worth Having Them Installed?

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Babyell, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. Babyell

    Babyell

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    Hi we are new to all this so please excuse my maybe obvious questions!

    We have just bought our first MH and don't want to have to rely on camp sites for power. We have the 2 gas tanks etc but we were wondering if it is worth getting solar panels fitted? we have a button for them on our control panel thingy to show power available. how easy and cost effective are they to install? thanks in advance
     
  2. mike mcglynn

    mike mcglynn Funster Life Member

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    I had a solar panel fitted at eddie vanbitz back in april works great also got a b2b charger at same time
    one of my better decisions all in all .:D
     
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  3. Babyell

    Babyell

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    Whats a B2B charger? :unsure:
     
  4. Linda and Steph

    Linda and Steph Funster

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    Yes, without a doubt yes.

    We had one fitted by Dave Newell last month and it's amazing how much more relaxing the recent Stratford meet was - no worries about power. Also the knowledge that if you don't use the MH for a few weeks the battery will still have power.
     
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  5. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Yes, yes and again yes. We had ours fitted by Dave Newell as well. We have no worries about battery power virtually all year.
     
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  6. mike mcglynn

    mike mcglynn Funster Life Member

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    Its a a small electronic device that basically puts the alternator to work when driving to charge up all the batteries engine and leisure its about the size of a matchbox mine is stuck to engine battery with a small led to show its working.
     
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  7. scotzsue

    scotzsue Funster

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    Solar panels are great, well worth the investment, if electric is extra and you dont need to use mains you can soon recoup the cost. Our van has just gone back to dealer as energy is coming in from solar, but not getting to the batteries, Rhino instals at chorley does a mobile service, have not used him myself, but know people who have and are well pleased with his work.
     
  8. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Definitely for summer use but less useful in the winter.

    Under £200 buys a full DIY kit.
     
  9. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    Yes. Definitely yes. Get as much capacity as you can fit on your roof. With ours we can be permanently off grid summer or winter.
     
  10. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    A B2B is quite a large unit, what you describe sounds like a battery master

    This is a B2B
    http://sterling-power.com/collectio...chargers/products/battery-to-battery-chargers
     
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  11. WillH

    WillH Funster

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    Dave Newell fitted a 100w panel on our van a year ago, best thing ever, give him a ring. Now.
     
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  12. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    You can't have too much BUT do consider the weight!
    [​IMG]
     
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  13. mike mcglynn

    mike mcglynn Funster Life Member

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  14. Babyell

    Babyell

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    how much does Dave Newell charge to fit them?
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2015
  15. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    Is it worth having solar panels?

    Yes.


    JJ :cool:
     
  16. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    The price will depend on the size of panel but Dave doesn't rip people off so his charge will be reasonable.
     
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  17. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    You'd better be aware then that there is no alternator trickery with what you have and it only moves 1.1 amps and not from the engine battery to the leisure battery but the opposite way.

    http://www.vanbitz.com/product/battery-master/
     
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  18. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

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    Solar panels are well worth it. Except in the depths of the UK winter you never need to worry about finding a hook up again. We have 2 x 100W. But to make most of them you will also need at least 2 decent leisure batteries.
     
  19. gus-lopez

    gus-lopez Funster

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    Yes.(y)
     
  20. mjltigger

    mjltigger Funster

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    Ok.. I will put an alternative view..

    If you use more electricity than you generate by driving then solar is something worth having.

    Let me explain.

    We use our van for exploring. We drive, stop and look around, drive, stop and eat, drive, sleep. It doesn't matter how long we go for, that is the habit we have.

    So in effect, we never use enough electricity that the batteries we have run low and the engine with a standard split charge relay is enough to meet our needs

    Our new van has a big inverter that runs a TV and also a diesel space heater so it may be different in the winter with this one however solar isn't all that useful in the winter anyway so we may need an alternative solution.

    So for lots of people, solar is essential for the way they use their vans. For us, it would just be more weight and more drag.
     
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