solar panels

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by paulj, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. paulj

    paulj Funster

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    about how long will an 85 amp leisure battery last if it is runnung an LCD tv and lighting and how big a solar panel will i need to recharge the leisure battery
     
  2. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    Depends on how much current these items are drawing, Brian and John will no doubt come along with their advice.

    Peter
     
  3. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Hi Paul,

    at a rough guess id say around 10 to 12 hrs, with nothing else running, before the battery needs charging but a lot of variables are to be taken into account. ie: quality of battery, state of charge and power usage of tv etc.
    you should never run down a battery below 50% (and preferably not less than 60%) of its full charge....40% to 50% used.

    if your tv is 2.5amps/hour then you need to put 2.5amps/hour (minimum)back into the battery.

    2.5amps should equate to a panel around 50w to 60w, on a bright, sunny day.
    but you'll be using other things as well...lights, water pump, possibly blown air heating fan etc.

    personally i'd say a 100/120 watt panel would be ok.

    a cheaper starting point would be to replace the 85a battery with a couple of 110ah ones...that will give you 2.5 times longer battery life before you NEED to recharge.
     
  4. wireman

    wireman Read Only Funster

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    an even cheaper one is to add another 85 amp hour battery and get double the time you have now. We have done this last year and the batteries lasted 5 days without hookup and not running the engine without much problem It needs to be pointed out at this juncture the fridge was on gas and we only used the television for about 2 hours in total and lights maybe 2 hours a day and we are pretty frugal with them even then. Hence the solar panel (80watt) sitting in the hallway ready to be fitted when the weather improves...(France in the summer is a good place to be)
     
  5. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

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    Please tell me the make and model of this LCD TV.

    Doug...
     
  6. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    There are quite few good Solar Power Calculators On-Line

    This one looks quite good and has a lot of other useful info .. with a FAQs page where you can also submit a question.

    http://midsummerenergy.co.uk/solar-panel-information/Guides/CaravansAndMotorhomes
     
  7. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    We manage 3 days on that battery with heating/TV/lighting. Just did that over New Year and the battery still had more left in it. Truma was on continuously. TV only about an hour a night. We do have all LED lighting.

    People keep saying MORE BATTERIES, beats me. Yes we would manage 7 days on two but then it takes twice as long to charge. The vital thing is, like your finances, if what is coming in does not match or exceed what is going out you are stuffed sooner or later. A million batteries will only delay the inevitable.

    Solar is so very variable that only experience will show what you need. 100W is a big panel for a starter. Add another if you need to.
     
  8. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    I agree with you Brian, for years we managed on one 85ah battery with no solar or genny and in the early days we never even had a leisure battery, the engine battery was adequate .. and in our tugging days we never had any 12v in the van .. gas was king, fridge, lighting and heating were all gas, water pump was a foot pedal by the sink.

    However, things have moved on apace, people want and expect to run all manner of electronic goodies, vans have become power hungry, accessory shops are stuffed full of goodies that need more power..

    Solar is an excellent way to provide more but my first step would be to add another battery , a cheap way of effectively doubling your time off ehu .. adding a solar panel without beefing up the storage first is like turning on a water tap full to get a better wash without increasing the basin size fist .. no point in producing power without somewhere to store it.
     
  9. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Hit nail on head !

    KISS
     
  10. robnchris

    robnchris Funster

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    solar

    Solar is an excellent way to provide more but my first step would be to add another battery , a cheap way of effectively doubling your time off ehu .. adding a solar panel without beefing up the storage first is like turning on a water tap full to get a better wash without increasing the basin size fist .. no point in producing power without somewhere to store it.[/QUOTE]

    An excellent quote and I agree 100%, never thought of it that way before, though like most of us we new the answer just didn`t put it into the thought process.
    A friend of ours has his boat next to ours in Greece, he fitted 2 x 80 watt solar panels from 11am until about 4pm he has to cover them up as they produce far too much power than he needs, his batteries are full.

    I know the genny is noisy and you have to carry petrol, (unless you convert to gas) but you only use it when you want the power.
     
  11. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    If you are an all season camper and don't want to be tethered to an EHU a genny is a must, unless you are moving on every other day.

    I hate to see arguments about solar versus generators, in fact, I would argue that if you want to stay off ehu then they go hand in glove. When the sun don't shine the genny is king.

    As a newbie to motorhoming, power can be all very confusing, there is a lot of conflicting advice, Brian says KISS .. and I agree, but modern motorhomes are anything but simple .. in the 'olden' days we thought it was the hight of sophistication to have a 12v lead with one light hung on the end fed from the car battery .. ohhhhhh happy days :Laughing:
     
  12. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Happy days indeed
    The whole ethos was at one time to get away from the Tv,radio,and phone they called it feedom:RollEyes:
    Now your roughing it if you havent got Tinternet, films on demand and on line banking in yer tent:Doh:
    My how priorities change:RollEyes:
    Geo
     
  13. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Exactly Geo ... when we were away for a year or more people couldn't fathom why I wasn't on forums.. never answered email , but I had no inclination, there was so much other things to do and enjoy, stuff you can't do from an armchair.

    My idea is to GET AWAY .. to cast off and see more than just a 15" LCD screen and to at least try to magine you are a pioneer on an adventure .. even if only for a while. Others are different and want a home-form-home ..

    There is no right or wrong.. but my roots are in tenting, and even today I still yearn to get away and do it again.. If I can only drag myself away from tinternet :Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
  14. imprint

    imprint Read Only Funster

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    One small point, wireman suggests adding another 85 ah battery to the existing one.

    I believe it is considered bad practice simply to add a second battery and retain the existing one ; batteries should be fitted or replaced as a pair.

    That said, follow PJ's advice, and fit two 110s rather than two 85s. The difference in cost should not be a lot, and anyway, in general, you never want to get much beow half capacity, if that. And don't try to compromise by fitting one 110ah now, and another when you realise the original 85 is dead!
     
  15. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    just an example figure doug. :thumb:
     
  16. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

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    No, not an example. just wrong!!!

    Doug...
     
  17. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    You on the right forum? :RollEyes:
     
  18. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    Hi Doug... still at it eh?

    Have you got a copy of Dale Carnegie's "How To Win Friends and Influence People"?

    I'll treat you if you like... :Wink:

    JJ
     
  19. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    In all my life and all the forums I am on I have never once felt the need to blank someone.. Jeez I am finding it hard not to at the moment...

    What a prize &&&&!!!!***
     
  20. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    as i said once before doug...if you have a problem with any of my posts then send me a pm.....dont try to belittle me on open forum.

    IT WONT WORK!

    i still cant see what iv done to get you upset.
    you dont HAVE to read my posts.

     
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