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Old 06-02-2016, 05:11 PM   #1
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Solar - can you check my logic?

I have been studying solar and had all kind of great plans for an awesome solar system on my rig after I brought it home in February.

Here I am in June - kids got busy, work got busy, started camping = I got busy = solar plans haven't moved and we leave for 2 weeks in Glacier with no hookups 3 weeks from tomorrow.

All is not lost though. We have done Yellowstone, Rockies and Smokies without hookups in our old trailer with 2 marine batteries and a Yamaha 2400 and conservation, quite comfortably too.

I am planning to get 2 golf cart batteries tomorrow or Saturday to drop in our 29.5 BHDS HT. Was starting to think that we'd forgo solar this time around and just conserve and use our quiet genny during the allotted hours to keep the batteries in decent charge.

But then I got to thinking......

Its really a pain to worry about being at the rig during the limited generator hours. So I went to the Renogy website and Amazon.

I saw that I can get a Renogy 200w starter kit (negative ground) for $340 and free shipping. It comes with 2 100w Mono panels (or I can get with Poly a little cheaper), a 30 amp PWM controller that says it charges at 14.8 v in boost (which Handy Bob recommends if you believe in him), 20' cables, the combiner MC4 connectors, a tray cable and foot brackets. Only thing missing is a battery temperature sensor.

Here is what I am now thinking:
I am thinking that I can buy this starter kit, mount the controller right behind the battery compartment and use it as a portable kit (maybe hinge the panels to each other). Running numbers, I expect that this will keep our batteries pretty well topped off the whole time with some conservation.

I can add panels down the road, or likely sell the system if I go a different direction (voltage), or I can add panels, or maybe upgrade the controller. But either way, it seems too cheap and easy not to do it at this point as a leap into solar and a benefit for my upcoming trip.

Any reason why I shouldn't just go ahead and do it?
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Old 06-02-2016, 05:49 PM   #2
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I'm doing it.
Waiting for parts to arrive and to go pick up the panel.
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Old 06-02-2016, 07:15 PM   #3
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Absolutely go for it... Renogy rocks... 100 Watt Solar Panels by Renogy - Camping And Fishing California
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Old 06-02-2016, 07:26 PM   #4
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No reason you can't do it... Also, you don't need to mount anything permanent right now if you don't want to. You can make a simple portable mount for your panel(s) and just run the cables to your charge controller, charge controller to batteries and you're set! Any power you get into the batteries from solar saves on fuel and noise. Sounds like a win/win to me!
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Old 06-04-2016, 09:50 AM   #5
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IF your going with a portable system MAKE SURE you can cable lock them to something so they don't disappear.. or the wind take them away...
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Old 06-04-2016, 03:08 PM   #6
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Well, I ordered it. I figured that for $340, I'll give it a go! I'll update when it gets here and I start setting it up.
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Old 06-04-2016, 03:49 PM   #7
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Ahhhh, you're gonna be loving life...(-;
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Old 06-17-2016, 07:43 PM   #8
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Here is what I ended up with. I didn't fuse my mc4 wires. I figure with using them as portable panels, I really don't need to. I am using the factory 30amp breaker that the roof solar connects to, in lieu of adding another one.

I got it wired up this evening and hooked up one panel. 8pm, Sun behind trees and I was making 0.4 amps. Will hook up both tomorrow and see how it does with high sun.
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20160617_193953.jpg   20160617_194003.jpg  
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Old 06-17-2016, 07:58 PM   #9
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Did you measure that .4a by flipping your voltage moniter switch?
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Old 06-17-2016, 08:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klassic View Post
Did you measure that .4a by flipping your voltage moniter switch?
No. By a regular meter. Mosquitos were starting to come after me.

I'll test that out tomorrow.
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