Solar panels

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Tombo, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. Tombo

    Tombo

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +172
    Hi Folks, I am thinking of having solar panels and would appreciate advice.
    I don't want to do it myself so if anyone has had panels fitted could you recommend a fitter I am in the Chester area.
    Is one large panel, ie 200w better than a couple of smaller?
    I shall be driving through Germany later in the year and have heard good reports of their sytstems.

    Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,058
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Ratings:
    +2,420
    Dave Newell is not that far from you in Telford. Highly recommended by many Funsters and he gives a member's discount.
    Dave Newell Leisure Vehicle Services

    p.s. if your Hymer is from around mid-90's onwards and has a Schaudt Elektroblok charging system you could benefit from fitting their dedicated solar regulator. Dave understands this.
     
    • Like it Like it x 3
  3. Tombo

    Tombo

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +172
    Thanks, They not too far away.
     
  4. davidbaldam

    davidbaldam Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    Messages:
    3,717
    Location:
    Market Harborough
    Ratings:
    +12,029
    Another vote for Dave Newell, does great work, there is a good site 5 mins walk from his workshop and he gives you free tickets to nearby attractions. :xThumb:
     
  5. PaulyP

    PaulyP Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,845
    Location:
    Manchester
    Ratings:
    +3,762
    Dave fitted mine earlier this year, dual charger so it keeps engine batt topped as well.
    Used to have trouble with emgine batt letting me down if it stood for a couple of weeks, not any more.
    Lots to do and see around that area.
     
  6. Tombo

    Tombo

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +172
    Thanks for the advice.
    I know it is horses for courses can you tell what you had fitted and a rough guide to the price.
     
  7. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Messages:
    4,128
    Location:
    Roobarb land
    Ratings:
    +7,367
    I can't recomend a installer but I can recomend solar panels best thing we ever got not a great deal of use at this time of year but still just about keeping batterys topped up even now when van is parked up and not in use
    I would get a minimum of 300 watt that should give you over 20 amp on a bright sunny day and a good quality controller
    We never use hook up 9 months of year unless it's in with site price
     
    • Like it Like it x 1
  8. PaulyP

    PaulyP Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,845
    Location:
    Manchester
    Ratings:
    +3,762
    Mine is an 80w cost was around £500
    If you email Dave he will give you a price
     
    • Like it Like it x 1
  9. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,058
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Ratings:
    +2,420
    If you have room for 300 watts of panels that's great, but it will take a lot of roof! I 'get by' with a 135W panel connected to an LR1218 regulator. That is a double battery reg and connects directly to the Elektroblok so keeps both leisure and starter batteries charged. From around April to end October it provides most of our 12V needs.
    Mine was fitted a few years ago before the price of solar panels fell significantly. Also, it is a Kyocera panel and they are never cheap. I think I paid something over £500 for the 'supply and fit' package but have to admit that it was not Dave Newell who did that particular job for me.
     
  10. Tombo

    Tombo

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +172
    Thanks, Just as as a matter of interest is it of any benefit to have a second leisure battery or is just keeping the single one topped up sufficient?
     
  11. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Messages:
    4,128
    Location:
    Roobarb land
    Ratings:
    +7,367
    I would have 2 batterys you need extra capacity for the not so sunny days if I had space I would have a 3rd one
     
    • Like it Like it x 1
  12. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,058
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Ratings:
    +2,420
    I have 2 batteries (currently 2 x 110 Ah Elecsol but they will be due for replacement soon - I am planning to fit 2 x 90 Ah Varta). An additional battery is usually recommended first step in extending your 12V capacity, before fitting any ancillary charging equipment. Make sure both batteries are the same age, type/brand and Ah rating, otherwise the older one will limit the ability of the new one to operate effectively.
     
    • Like it Like it x 1
  13. Theonlysue

    Theonlysue Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3,622
    Location:
    Essex
    Ratings:
    +4,296
    I also have the dedicated regulator. Worth doing properly.
    Jeanluc, any reason your new batteries are lower amp?
    Also, it shows the input on the hymer display panel.
     
  14. gibbon

    gibbon

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Messages:
    308
    Location:
    Shatterford
    Ratings:
    +326
    Dave Newell supplied & fitted our 130w panel, Ctek dc to dc charger which also acts as a mppt controller.
    Not cheap but there was a lot of cable from one end of the van to the other(leisure battery is at the back) & I didn't want to take any chances.
    Been using the van a lot this year, a lot of time off grid & the lights haven't gone out yet. Probably shouldn't have said that:xThumb:
     
    • Like it Like it x 1
  15. Cal54

    Cal54 Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2014
    Messages:
    1,806
    Location:
    Lancaster uk
    Ratings:
    +18,470
    Dave fit mine at the Lincoln show in September. 100w and fully fitted for just over £500
     
    • Like it Like it x 1
  16. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,058
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Ratings:
    +2,420
    Elecsol are no longer available and there was a lot of doubt cast on their claimed AH rating anyway. I have decided to go for a known brand and after quite a bit of research, I have decided on Varta. They make a lead-acid 'dual purpose' battery that fits the available space and it's a 90 AH model - probably the same capacity as the present Elecsols anyway in practical use. Because the batteries are in a tray sunk into the floor below the settee, I am limited to around 200mm height (allowing little tolerance). The original Exide gels (80 Ah) that Hymer fitted to many of their motorhomes in the 2000's were 353mm L x 175mm W x 190mm H. The same size as the Varta LFD90. I do not want AGM batteries as the Schaudt EBL99 does not have a suitable charging program (neither do most of the charging units that are fitted to any motorhome) and I want a sealed model, not open cells since the installation is internal (but they will be vented to the outside).
    http://www.varta-automotive.com/en-gb/products/leisure/professional-dual-purpose/930-090-080
     
    • Like it Like it x 2
Loading...

Share This Page