solar panels

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by pappajohn, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    I decided to cancel my order with maplins for the 60w solar panel due to it not being fully weather proof and not roof mountable and invest in a proper, grownup one.

    looking at about £400 but no idea where to buy.

    are there any dealers at the shows that folks have used and what size could i expect for that price?

    cheers

    john.
     
  2. TonyP

    TonyP Read Only Funster

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    Hi John,
    I have used Detroit Solar for the past 10 years, give me a good deal when I trade in to upgrade, they are at most of the shows & fit on site.
    Tony & Sue:thumb:
     
  3. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    cheers tony.....thats one to look at :thumb::thumb:at malvern.
     
  4. Don Madge

    Don Madge Funster

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    Hi John,

    I can recommend Dave Newell Dave Newell Leisure Vehicle Services Dave is better known for his "Diamond Dave" column in Practical Motorhome

    One thing I would not recommend is having a solar panel fitted at a show. If there is a problem they have no workshop back up.:Eeek:

    Some things can be fitted at shows but I don't think solar panels are one of them.

    Just my opinion of course.:RollEyes:

    Don
     
  5. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    thanks Don, and i agree about the fitting. wouldnt pay someone to fit it anyway.
     
  6. johnsandywhite

    johnsandywhite Read Only Funster

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    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008
  7. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    cheers john.

    i had a look at the 120w panel which seems good value (as usual postage is high:Angry:) and your instructions/diagrams which are very helpful:thumb::thumb:

    tell me.....whats the reason for keeping the panel away from the edge of the roof ?
    i'm a bit restricted for space and it would need to be a couple of inches from the edge. :Doh:
     
  8. johnsandywhite

    johnsandywhite Read Only Funster

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    :Cool: To restrict the possibility of snagging. It's always good to have a gap. :Wink:

    BTW. On my Newmar they are only 5 inches from the roof edge.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008
  9. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    i'm restricted by the aircon unit near the front, the overcab pod at the front, the heki rooflight at the rear ,both central, the sat dish in the middle and the roof rails at the sides.

    i'v removed the status saucer to make more room but i'm still struggling.:Sad::cry:
     
  10. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Have you considered a free-standing panel John? Lack of roof space doesn't matter then :Smile:

    We bought one at the NEC Show in 2006 from Solar Solutions - 50w rather than the 55w they have now (I think). Obviously it all depends how much power you use but it keeps us going at the various events we attend where we have no hook-up.

    One advantage of the free standing models is that you can turn them from time to time as the sun moves round.

    Graham
     
  11. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    i thought about that Graham but we tend to leave the van for hours on end and it would be pointless putting it out for an hour here and an hour there and i wouldnt leave it out if we wernt there. :Sad:
    it would be ok at the shows but on sites and pub carparks ect the risk is too great.

    john.
     
  12. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    I know what you mean John.

    Our panel came with a security cable (similar to bike lock cable) and padlock. I discarded the padlock in favour of a bike security cable with combination lock and fasten the panel to either forward towing eye or doorstep frame depending which end of the van the panel is set up at. As well as being more secure than the padlock it also gives more ablity to move the panel because of longer cable.

    Our usage is mainly at ECWS events (with lesser usage at rallies/shows) so we have opportunity to turn it reasonably frequently most of the time. Not usually away from the van for more than about 3 or 4 hours max. I've never worried about leaving it out whilst we are away from the van but I suppose our circumstances mean that there is a relatively low chance of someone with wrongful intent being able to hang about the van.

    Graham
     
  13. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    thats why i think it would be OK at the shows as theres always someone about on the MHFun pitch to watch things.

    i had a measure up and the best i can do is 60cm x 140cm unless i raise it 10cm to get above the roof rail :Eek!:and the nearest size to this is an 80w panel....i wanted a 120w. :Sad:


    i cant think of any reason not to raise it providing the mounts are strong enough. just have to see how it goes. any views ?
     
  14. Don Madge

    Don Madge Funster

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    Hi John

    We had a 60 watt solar panel free standing for many years. When we had the Auto Sleeper Legend and the Liaka A Class. It fitted in the wardrobe taking up very little space. I was paranoid about havng holes made in the roof of the van.:Eeek::Eeek:

    When we left the van we often put the panel in the windscreen.:thumb:

    When we downsized to the Timberland we had it mounted on the roof because of the lack of space.

    This shot was taken in Meknes, Morocco in 1999.

    [​IMG]

    Don
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2008
  15. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    cheers Don.:thumb:....never thought of the windscreen option....:Doh:
     
  16. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    One tip John - don't park with the van nose pointing north :Rofl1:

    Graham
     
  17. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    but...but...but...i like moss. :Rofl1:totally green :BigGrin::BigGrin:
     
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