Solar? (1 Viewer)

Jul 11, 2020
543
1,440
Southampton
Funster No
72,887
MH
Benimar Tessoro T486
Exp
Since August 2020
Getting new van soon - as soon as DVLA register it......
It has solar factory fitted 100Kw. Not had solar before and so is there a dummies guide to solar anywhere? Does it work in place of EHU -ie operate sockets?
Ta
 
Jan 30, 2020
3,028
15,021
Mid Bedfordshire
Funster No
68,408
MH
RS Endeavour
Exp
Just a tad..
It will be 100w.

The solar charges your habitation battery, you use this for lights, pumps etc.

100w is not really enough to be fully self sufficient except in late spring through to early autumn, but very dependent on your use.
 
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Jul 11, 2020
543
1,440
Southampton
Funster No
72,887
MH
Benimar Tessoro T486
Exp
Since August 2020
Thanks all - suspected same. Presume solar will be ok all year round to keep fridge, tracker and router working without resorting to EHU at home?

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Silver-Fox

LIFE MEMBER
Sep 5, 2014
9,287
29,333
Cheltenham Spa
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33,201
MH
Rapido
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im a not so newbie
Thanks all - suspected same. Presume solar will be ok all year round to keep fridge, tracker and router working without resorting to EHU at home?

Depends on how long between trips re keeping fridge going but that would be on ehu or gas.

Tracker I’m guessing is off the cab battery.
Various ways to keep that topped up.
 
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Feb 22, 2011
9,984
20,639
Newcastle under Lyme
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15,397
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Hymer B544 A Class
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Since 2015
It may do in summer, but probably not in winter, although the fridge is the big question mark ???
Is it a compressor fridge ? I don't think a 100 watt solar panel will keep that going even in summer,
 
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May 21, 2008
4,289
7,386
Oxford
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2,767
MH
WildAx Constellation
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Since 2008
I would imagine whoever is selling you a new (not yet registered) van will go through all these things with you. Make the most of the intro and ask whatever you need to know there as well.
 
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Apr 27, 2016
6,950
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Manchester
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42,762
MH
A class Hymer
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Since the 80s
There's two kinds of fridge fitted in a motorhome, compressor and 3-way. A compressor fridge works from electricity only, 12V or 240V, not gas. A 3-way fridge works from gas, 12V or 240V.

A 3-way fridge uses a small amount of power for the 12V control circuit. If it's the Automatic Energy Selection (AES) type, it will automatically switch to gas when the MH is parked without EHU, 12V while the engine is running, and 240V when the EHU is plugged in. For some fridges the selection is manual, not automatic. When running on gas, the fridge takes very little 12V power, and 100W of solar will be OK for that.

A compressor fridge runs from the battery all the time. It is much less power-hungry than a 3-way powered by 12V, but it still takes quite a lot of power. You need at least 200W, preferably 300W of solar to keep a compressor fridge going.

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Jul 11, 2020
543
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Southampton
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72,887
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Benimar Tessoro T486
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Since August 2020
It is AES - so is there a way of calculating whether EHU or gas will be the more expensive. In the past, I've tended to switch off gas when upping sticks while parked/camped and then sticking the EHU on when arriving home. I'm guessing though that the cost of gas to power a fridge would be minimal
 
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InvictaMoto

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Apr 26, 2022
711
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Kent, UK
Funster No
88,320
MH
Majestic 115
Our Majestic has two 100w panels on the roof. The leisure battery powers the lights inside and the water pump and that's it.

You will need EHU for the sockets. We also have two Gaslow LPG bottles we use for cooking and heating.
 
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Dec 19, 2020
3,533
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Carthago Compactline
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Since 2017
A 100W panel is just going to keep your lights and water pump going. If you want serious EHU free, off-grid vanning using things like microwaves, then you need to be looking at 3-400W of solar, 200AH of lithium, a 1500-2000W Inverter and if a new van then almost certainly a B2B. Not cheap but cost effective over the longer term.
 
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Jul 11, 2020
543
1,440
Southampton
Funster No
72,887
MH
Benimar Tessoro T486
Exp
Since August 2020
A 100W panel is just going to keep your lights and water pump going. If you want serious EHU free, off-grid vanning using things like microwaves, then you need to be looking at 3-400W of solar, 200AH of lithium, a 1500-2000W Inverter and if a new van then almost certainly a B2B. Not cheap but cost effective over the longer term.
Happy using someone else's electric on EHU and not planning on wild camping off grid other than day trips. Main query is whether the solar would be enough to power fridge, tracker and router without EHU at home

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Feb 14, 2021
3,755
8,111
Milton Keynes, UK
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79,219
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Burstner Lyseo 727G
Exp
19 month year 18000 miles UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Germany, Italy. Campsites and off Grid.
Happy using someone else's electric on EHU and not planning on wild camping off grid other than day trips. Main query is whether the solar would be enough to power fridge, tracker and router without EHU at home

Solar will not power the fridge. The fridge will work off 240v if plugged into the EHU or gas if not. It only uses the 12v battery when the engine is running so solar panel doesn't really come into it....other than it recharges the battery.

In response to your earlier comment, fridges do use quite a bit if gas. We used 11kg gas bottle every 2 weeks when completely off grid. That was essentially fridge, hot water and cooking. The fridge uses gas pretty much 80% of the time.
 
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Andy Spain

Free Member
Nov 29, 2022
1
1
Almería, Spain
Funster No
92,670
MH
Hymercamp 55
Maybe a silly question, but why do you need to power the fridge at when van is at home? We only hookup at home if doing some work in the van or getting ready for a trip in next day or two and that's when we switch fridge on plus check out everything else
 
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