2nd solar panel (1 Viewer)

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Apr 5, 2019
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I'm a newbie
Our Bailey Autograph MH has a single Truma 100w solar panel (&Truma pwm controller) and newly fitted Victron smart solar 75/15 and 110AH LiFEPo4.
Planning on fitting a 2nd solar panel, don't seem to be able to purchase Truma panels except as part of a kit, what would be a good make of 2nd panel to wire in parallel.
 

MisterB

LIFE MEMBER
Feb 25, 2018
6,280
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Essex
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Adria 670 SLT
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enough to know i shouldnt touch things i know nothing about ....
As far as I am aware it doesn't really matter about 'matching solar' panels, it's more about the correct size mppt/solar controller and fitting the panels correctly.
 
Oct 9, 2019
5,037
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Todmorden
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65,104
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Van conversion
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FUNSTER in a PVC
Take a look at Craig Solar or Bimble Solar.
I have just received a Craig Solar 300w panel which looks good I may try and fit it myself 🙀🙀🙀🙀
 
Dec 3, 2021
295
390
Surrey, UK
Funster No
85,713
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6m Campervan
The make of the solar panel is not as important in your case as the specs for volts and amps. These need to match the specs of your current Truma panel.
So say your Truma is specs at 18.5 volts and 5.5 amps, your new panel needs to be the same or very similar. More precisely if you want to connect the new panel in series then the amps need to match precisely for max performance. If you want to connect in parallel then the volts need to match precisely for max performance. Hope this helps
 

Pusscat

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Jun 16, 2019
295
751
Devon UK
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61,683
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Swift Rio 320
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Since 2015
Additionally, to be honest, I’d dump the PWM controller and get a mppt and get one that will cope with what your panels are producing and more. They are up to 30% more efficient,some will also trickle charge your starter battery when you have power over a certain limit generated / when the leisure is full. When I had a factory fitted 100w and Sargent pwm controller, my leisure did go flat a few times as did the starter..with me having to replace both batteries. Idk put too much faith in my old solar and it really wasn’t up to much. I really noticed the benefit of a mmpt with the same panel.

And also, getting as much solar as you can fit on helps too…just make sure the controller can cope with the amps / voltages that will be produced, (depending how you wire them up, parallel or series,), match your panels electrically or be aware of outputs if you don’t (on line solar calculators available), likewise, make sure the wiring from panel, to controller, to battery or however you are connecting, is up to spec and can easily take the power. There are solar wiring calculators online that you can put the panel outputs into and they will give you resulting total outputs and show you where drops may occur…also what gauge of wire to safely use and also to know what gauge of wire you need for what length of wiring as this will have an impact on the thickness you may need.

I replaced the old with a 245w HIT panel that had quite a high volt output, upto around 50, the mppt controller I had would only take 50v so I had to upgrade…under very bright and cooler conditions, your panel will be more efficient and likely produce more volts than specified to do so so allow a healthy margin!

i bypassed my electrical control unit in the van (which had quite thin wire from the PWM to the electric unit), replaced the wire from the panel to the mppt controller and directly wired that into the batteries…remember to add fuses.

finally, panels can really kick out a jolt…be careful!

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