Solar panels

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by SteveG, Dec 26, 2014.

  1. SteveG

    SteveG Read Only Funster

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    I have panels on my house but would like advice on using them on the van? How do they connect to the electrical supply of the van, are they a DIY or dealer fit? Any advice would be gratefully accepted :)
    Hope everyone's enjoying their festivities!
     
  2. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Your domestic panels are a higher voltage than those suitable for your van, they are connected to a grid tied inverter that converts your solar array into a voltage suitable to feed back into the mains system

    For your van you need panels that can be used with a 12 volt regulator that will then charge your leisure batteries. They will not feed your mains sockets.
     
  3. SteveG

    SteveG Read Only Funster

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    I know 12v panels are needed not the ones on my house! ;-) are they a DIY job do you think?
     
  4. SteveG

    SteveG Read Only Funster

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    Looks a neat job from the photo :)
     
  5. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Yes any competent DIY'r can do this
     
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  6. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Yes any competent DIY'r can do this
     
  7. gillnphil

    gillnphil Funster

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    I have done it twice. Easy job for competent DIYer. Hardest bit for me was hiding the wires leading to the controllers.
    Phil
     
  8. vin0114

    vin0114 Funster

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    fitted an additional panel to mine so that the panel lifts on and off. wired to controller then to leisure batteries. The directions were in good English and very clear. If I'd realised sooner on this recently acquired van I could have possibly wired it directly to the MH EC500 PSU same as the permanently fixed one. Its only a 42w panel but when angled southwards I reckon it matches the output from the 100w fixed panel.
     
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  9. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Only real strong advice I would offer is to get the very best controller you can buy
    Skimping on the controller is false economy as a lot of the power generated by the panels will end up being wasted
     
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  10. Munchie

    Munchie Funster Life Member

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    My controller is a sunsaver 20.

    My intention is to wire em in series! I.E. pos to neg on next panel and so on so should not have to join wires or make any holes.
     
  11. SomeoneElse

    SomeoneElse Funster

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    RTFM
    If its a Morning Star corporation SunSaver controller then its uses PWM technology and can only take a input of 25 Volts, so you must connect the panels in parallel.
    To enable you to connect panels in series you need the more efficient MPPT techology.
     
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  12. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

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    I dont "think" you can do that
    In series will step voltage up
    So if you linked all 3 in series you would have 36 volt
    Would that not decrees Amps to about 8 or would controller take care of that
    I was not told not to do it but I may be wrong elecctricery is not my thing
    It may be my controller that can't handle it
     
  13. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    It can be done & can usefully extend the time of year panels produce something meaningful, especially if you will be anywhere in Northern Europe.

    But - you must have a MPPT controller & it must be capable of handling the SUM of the voltages produced by each panel. That leaves you with a fairly short short-list of fairly expensive controllers, but it's the way to go if you want to wild camp out of season. It can't work miracles though.

    Something like this.
     
  14. Munchie

    Munchie Funster Life Member

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    Have decided to wire in parallel and our 20 amp controller will be ok at this time of year.
    Will just link the pos together from panel to panel then the negs and to the controller
    Will buy a 30 amp mppt when we get home.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
  15. Taran_Las

    Taran_Las Funster

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    Something like this can be used to connect up to an existing installation.
     
  16. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    excellent
    Connection should be to the battery first and solar panel last

    an autosensing 12/24v controller would handle them connected in series.
     
  17. SomeoneElse

    SomeoneElse Funster

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    Err NO!
    The autosensing bit is on the battery side, so with a 12V battery you need a maximum of 36 cells in series, panels with 36 cells are usually refer to as 12V panels.
    A MPPT controller handle higher voltage panels or panels in series. The controller manual will specify the maximum wattage of the panels that can be connected.
     
  18. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    Oops, thats what goes of replying with a thick head in the morning unless of course your batteries are connected in series but the outputs are taken across one battery only.
     
  19. Munchie

    Munchie Funster Life Member

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    All the info i have is batteries LAST
     
  20. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
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