Solar Panels

Oct 20, 2019
3
0
Funster No
65,894
MH
C class
Exp
0
Good evening all

I’m new to having a motor home. I’m wanting to buy a portable solar panel to top up my battery when on site. Please can anyone give some recommendations on good ones and what power I should go for. I’ve look at a 100w one.
regards
Alex
 
Jun 24, 2019
283
358
Funster No
61,896
MH
Dethleffs Globebus
Exp
2000
Even though I fit solar panels for people on boats, motorhomes, vans and caravans { including My own Dethleffs Globebus I recommend having one fitted on your roof.
Less clutter in your leisure vehicle, less hassle on site, battery continually charges etc etc
 
OP
Alexandra
Oct 20, 2019
3
0
Funster No
65,894
MH
C class
Exp
0
Hi thank you for the response. How much is it to have one fitted ?
alex

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Apr 27, 2016
1,257
754
Manchester
Funster No
42,762
MH
A class Hymer
Exp
Since the 80s
If the single leisure battery normally lasts you a couple of days, then a 100 watt panel will probably be enough, in the summer months. But the bigger the better. You may find it's not much more expensive to fit 160 watts.

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Feb 9, 2008
5,691
7,543
Corby, Northants
Funster No
1,455
MH
Coach Built
Exp
Since 2007
Here you go. I've used these myself and there top of the range., i carried mine behind the drivers seat when not in use. However, agree permanently mounted S.P. on the roof is the way to go and if you choose this route make sure you have a shed load of S.P. up there.

 
Oct 31, 2018
8
12
Redruth, Cornwall
Funster No
57,003
MH
A Class Burstner
Exp
7 years
Totally agree with the comments regarding roof mounting, however if you really want a portable system I have one on Ebay at the minute. Item number 184001430654. If you like it message me on here and I will reduce it.
 
Aug 5, 2018
1,292
3,015
Cheltenham
Funster No
55,394
MH
Burstner T-625
roof mount every time...
My portable one is a pain in the ass TBH, wind seems to find a way of blowing over no nmatter what I do with it and then when I go out I'm always worrying if someone is going to walk off with it..

Small Victron charge controller - £140
A good (but expensive) 125w Solar panel £440
(you can get much cheaper tat on Amazon though :D) £128
A roof gland for the cables £13
Some cable to connect it all up.. £31
A circuit breaker / fuse £10
That's about it really.
+ fitting (someone above maybe able to give you a rough idea for labour)..

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Sep 23, 2014
4,370
10,001
Ayrshire Scotland
Funster No
33,478
MH
Swift Kon-Tiki 640
Exp
Since 1964 Gosh that makes me feel old.
:hi2:hellowelcome Good luck with your solar panel quest, we're looking for solar too, so we'll watch this thread with interest.
 
Jun 10, 2013
176
86
Sussex
Funster No
26,431
MH
van conversion
Exp
Festivals
Can I also ask for folding panel recommendations. There's so many and I've no idea of brand, quality of if I'm comparing like with like. My plan is put some miles on the van then upgrade to one that already has roof mounted panels so for now I'd just like something folding. I'm thinking of 100w or a little less.
 
Mar 30, 2019
140
89
East Sussex
Funster No
59,486
MH
Trigano Tribute
Exp
Since 2017
Have a look at Photonic universe they do the fold up kits

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Aug 5, 2018
1,292
3,015
Cheltenham
Funster No
55,394
MH
Burstner T-625
I have two from GGX energy on Amazon. they fold up to about the size of your average shopping bag. 100w each and they come with a cheap little PWM controller.
I use both of them on the roof of a couple of my cars I don't use regularly.

one of them on the windscreen of my disco whilst I was away camping with a 12v compressor fridge and an iPhone charger. it kept that tip top without issue.
When I went back to the same supplier for the second one, they did say they had a better model available at half the size (same wattage) but I opted to keep the one I had as I knew it performed pretty well for a "flexible" type.

This is not the exact model i bought but the same cocept from same company.
Amazon product
 
Jun 17, 2019
49
25
East Yorkshire
Funster No
61,697
MH
Just looking
Exp
One a newbie
Still looking myself, can’t decide wether I should buy high voltage/low amps or lower voltage/high amps!
The Victron panels look good value also as I have a black roof the cigs ones.
 
Jan 19, 2014
3,191
7,885
Derbyshire
Funster No
29,757
MH
Elddis Accordo 105
Exp
since 2014
The good thing about free standing is you can stand them facing the sun so they will still produce near maximum power when the sun is low in the sky. I used to lock mine to the van with a mini padlock and security wire, just stops the opportunist.

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funflair

LIFE MEMBER
Dec 11, 2013
12,058
11,753
Guisborough
Funster No
29,351
MH
N&B Flair 8000 IVECO
Exp
since 2012
Still looking myself, can’t decide wether I should buy high voltage/low amps or lower voltage/high amps!
The Victron panels look good value also as I have a black roof the cigs ones.
The volts/amps thing will sort itself out to watts at the end of the day as that is the actual power of the panel, no real point in having more than a nominal 20v panel and I would go mppt controller.

Martin
 
Apr 27, 2016
1,257
754
Manchester
Funster No
42,762
MH
A class Hymer
Exp
Since the 80s
Still looking myself, can’t decide wether I should buy high voltage/low amps or lower voltage/high amps!
Depends on the type of controller. With an MPPT type, it doesn't make any difference, the controller has an intelligent algorithm that will cope with any voltage and current, as long as they are within the specification limits.

With a PWM type, the voltage has to be within an optimum range. Too low, and the battery doesn't charge much, too high and you are getting bursts of high voltage to the battery, which it doesn't like much. The voltage of panels intended for vehicles is usually OK - 20 to 36 volts is fine.
 
Jun 17, 2019
49
25
East Yorkshire
Funster No
61,697
MH
Just looking
Exp
One a newbie
Getting Victron mppt , thanks think I know what I’m doing now😂

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Jun 10, 2013
176
86
Sussex
Funster No
26,431
MH
van conversion
Exp
Festivals
Thanks for those thoughts and suggestions. I was looking at a 100w folding on the photonic website and see the controller can connect to a usb on a laptop, does that enable one to lower the output from the controller?
 
Aug 5, 2018
1,292
3,015
Cheltenham
Funster No
55,394
MH
Burstner T-625
lower the output from what?
The USB's on the controller are used as "power sources" for charging small devices like phones and powering 5v LED lights etc. not for comms with the controller..
 
Feb 18, 2018
1,117
1,607
Funster No
52,460
Depends where you’re staying ... on a campsite folding may be good as you have more space. On an aire you may not have room to have them out. Also on roof charge all the time rather than just when you feel safe leaving them out. And higher up not shaded by other vehicles, hedges etc. Lots to think about.

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Feb 25, 2013
1,574
1,658
yorkshire
Funster No
24,843
MH
a class
Exp
a long time,
Not a lot to think about really ,on the roof is the sensible way to go .no packing and unpacking ,out of the way and far more efficient.
 
Jun 8, 2019
729
1,410
Bexley Kent
Funster No
61,505
MH
Autocruise starlet 2
Exp
Newbie
Let’s have a poll
Answer roof or portable? One word answers

Roof
 
Oct 1, 2019
53
74
Wales
Funster No
64,882
MH
IH
Exp
Owning my own a newbie
roof

looking to get it fitted after Christmas as the warrantee will them kick in when the sun is shining

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irnbru

LIFE MEMBER
Jun 27, 2013
9,699
17,600
Glasgow
Funster No
26,684
MH
Coachbuilt
Exp
4 yrs
We have 100W solar on the roof but at this time of year it’s not generating enough power. We just bought a used panel which is only 53watt but moving it around and pointing it directly at the sun it’s giving as much as the larger one in the roof.
 
Aug 6, 2013
8,127
7,085
Kendal, Cumbria
Funster No
27,352
MH
A Class
Exp
since 1999
One of my dogs says 'Roof' and the other two say 'Woof'. With mine I think that's four votes for roof. :D

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