Im looking for advice on solar power

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by davethespark, Jul 28, 2016.

  1. davethespark


    Apr 6, 2016
    Hello. Im looking for advice on solar power. We have ordered our new van and specified a 140w solar panel with 2x 110AH leisure batteries . Now I need advice on which invertor to match it with and where to source it We intend to be more or less full time so will want to run the usual gadgets TV, Laptop, toaster, slow cooker, various phone chargers, Kettle?,Hair tongs, maybe a small heater for a quick warm up, I know there are 12v versions of a lot of this but I wondered if I could get an Invertor which was up to the job

    TIA Dave C
  2. canopus

    canopus Funster Life Member

    Nov 27, 2010
    rural Lincolnshire
    If you are in fact a 'Spark' as your name may allude to, then Im sure that you will realise that any appliances which get hot i.e. toaster, slow cooker, kettle, tongs, heaters etc are power hungry. I would suggest that 2 x 110Ah batteries are barley adequate for the number of appliances you're alluding to. I would also suggest another battery and another solar panel plus the biggest inverter you can afford. Then don't forget that all this extra kit will eat into your payload. The harsh reality of a DC to AC system is that you can only get out what you put in.
    • Like it Like it x 1
  3. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

    Jul 5, 2013
    Tunbridge Wells
    Forget the heater and kettle unless you are on an EHU - that is what your gas is for. Same probably applies to the toaster. For electronics like TV, laptops, phones etc 12V or 12V adaptor is the way to go because of the energy losses you will have first converting 12V DC to 230V AC then converting it back again to anything between 5V and 18V DC.

    Other things can run on an inverter. You will got lots of conflicting advice on here about which one. But choose one big enough for the power you are going to put through it is the obvious advice. If you want to use it for a microwave or charging toothbrushes then go for pure sine wave, otherwise modified sine wave will do, and is much cheaper.

    But beware. 140W of solar will not power much on your list, especially the higher powered stuff, for very long, especially on a grey English day.
    • Like it Like it x 1
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. JJ

    JJ Funster

    May 1, 2008
    Quinta Majay, Pinheiro Bordalo, Portugal
    Welcome to Fun. I hope you enjoy it.

    Are you planning on spending most of your time on sites with EHU? If so, no problem.

    But if you want to off-site motorhome a lot, you might find it less trouble to do away with many of the things that you take for granted in a house.

    As a long, long time fulltimer, I chose to avoid all of the "usual gadgets" mentioned above except the toaster (750 watts) and laptop which I use on the rare times I am hooked up or if I choose to run my genny.

    I would think running an electric heater via an inverter will empty your batteries pretty quickly.

    I believe it is very difficult to fulltime in a motorhome without changing certain aspects of your lifestyle...

    ...but then I live in my van on my own ;)

    JJ :cool:
  5. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

    Jul 2, 2008
    Cannock, Staffs or Benidorm, spain

    Sounds like your would be better on a campsite hooked up like a caravanner.

    Seriously,,, TV, chargers... Get 12v
    As for all the heating stuff use just over 1kw for an hour and your batteries will be flat...
    To recharge them with that solar panel could take 2 days of good weather... !!!

    It's not the inverter being up to the job it's the amount of power stored in the batteries and how fast you can recharge them..

    Good luck..
  6. DBK

    DBK Funster

    Jan 9, 2013
    Plympton, Devon
    Welcome! If you plan on full timing in the UK in the winter don't expect a lot from a 140W panel. If its not too late and assuming there is room on the roof I suggest two 100W panels would be better, 300 better still!

    As mentioned by others, run as much as possible on 12v and forget heating, for that you need a gas or diesel system, the latter will probably be more convenient (no need to regularly change bottles) but will use more electrical power than a gas system and this could be a problem in winter - just when you need the heater.

    Pure sine wave is best but much more expensive. A system of about 1500W will be enough to run a travel hairdryer. Modified sine wave will run most things but electric toothbrushes seem like the exception and can be burnt out unless on pure sine wave.

Share This Page