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Old 03-05-2014, 05:11 PM   #1
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Just Bought This Solar Setup

I am planning trip to Moab, UT this summer. I'm going to try to find a good BLM campground. They don't have electricity or water. Ive got a 2000 watt generator that I'll be running occasionally to run the AC and get the batteries charged. Between those time I thought that a 60 watt solar array would be enough for my needs.

I could have gone bigger, but size and weight was a big consideration. I didn't want to go smaller and I didn't feel like bigger would be worth the money given what I expect my needs will be.

I'll make sure to offer feedback as I learn about me setup.

X

http://www.ebay.com/itm/141199433020...84.m1497.l2649
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:43 PM   #2
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I guess I have a few questions that need to be answered first. What do you expect to accomplish with 60 watts of solar power? Just charge batteries? Run an inverter off your batteries? Run a TV off your batteries? Do you have LED lights? If you have regular light bulbs in the RV, they will drain your battery(s) fast (as each bulb is about 1 amp). What size batteries (Ah) will you be charging.

60Watts of solar power is not really going to do much of anything for you. It will not get most batteries to a full charge (90%) each day, and that depends on how much they were drained from the prior night.

I know that they say 60 watts output, but figure about 1/2 to 3/4 of that figure, as the panels will not stay angled toward the sun for the entire 5 hours of good sunlight. Yu need to take into consideration the cloudy days (if any out there).

I guess we need a little more information

Welcome to SOLAR!!!
Don
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EnGenius WI-FI extender, D-Link wireless (n) modem
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:44 PM   #3
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I will be using the panel just to supplement my charging between the times when I use the generator. At night I'm hoping to use a small fan to to run off of the Interstate group 24 battery. I'll watch maybe 1 hour of tv before bed (small under cabinet LCD 12 inch TV), run the antenna for that hour, charge phones and iPads, possibly run the furnace for 5-10 minutes out of every hour. I do have all LED lighting so that should help.

My plan is to run the generator in the morning (not too early but it is a 53db model) for an hour or so. Let the solar panel take over for a while until sometime in the afternoon, then run the generator for another hour while while I escape into the AC for a mid day break. Then once again let the solar panel take over.

During the day I don't imagine that I'd be draining too much, if any, from the battery. At roughly 80 amp hours, I estimate that almost half are usable. So from a 60 watt panel I figure that I could be getting roughly 2.4 amps per hour returned. At 2.4 amps per hour that 16.6 hours for a total recharge. Which I would agree that is not optimum, but used in conjunction with a generator that would be used roughly 2-3 hours a day I figured that a 60 watt panel would be sufficient.

That us how I came up with the idea of the 60 watt panel. This is my first attempt at a solar array. By all means, if my reasoning is flawed please educate me. The 100 watt was a good price too, but space and weight are at a premium in my camper.

X
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:23 AM   #4
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Sorry, my post was intercepted my SYSTEM MAINTENANCE (9:51PM) so here it is again.

The solar panels will only be the equivalent of a FLOAT state at their 1 or 2 amp output. Throw in a iPhone charging, a few iPads, your CO alarm, Fridge electronics, radio's internal drain (while off) you are pretty much over the output of the panels. I just do not see enough output. You will need to keep the generator running for 2-3 hours minimum, to get a charge back into the battery. Another thing to remember is that motors (vent fans, heating system fans, any fans) and batteries are not good friends. They can drain your battery in no time at all.
I would recommend a second battery, but that would be 2 batteries needing a daily charge, and I do not see that happening. I would recommend that you use your TT's internal battery controller for charging your batteries, is should give you more output than the generator's 12VDC output, and it is a Smart system.

If you have the TT by your house, or near, set it up now and do a couple dry runs to work out any bugs you may encounter (this will give you an idea as to what it can or can not do). That is what I did. When I installed the SOLAR, did everything I would do while camping, and kept an eye on the battery voltage. Try it.
Just keep checking the battery voltage through out the night.
Good Luck, and keep us posted with how things are going.
Don
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EnGenius WI-FI extender, D-Link wireless (n) modem
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:24 PM   #5
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Wow that's a neat set-up you got Mustang! I've been reading and reading and a bit like xKuzMee i'm also trying for the first time at a solar array. Since i don't want to start another thread, i'll excuse myself in advance for "jumping into this one".

What we usually do:
- Boondock 3 days / 2 nights for a family of 4.

What i'd like to do:use a 200w solar array to:
- Charge the TT battery when weather permits (we typically are ok without anything for a week-end (i.e we don't use the generator)
- Charge 2nd Deep cycle battery when i come back from our typical a,m. fishing "promenade" with the kids (we have an electric Minn Kota maxxum)
- Use an Inverter once in a while to power up the Ipod, Ipad, Iphone,, Ipaid stuffs... maybe TV + Nintendo Wii for an hour or so when weather's really nasty.

What i currently have:
- Single Trojan t-1275 150amp/h battery (darn Jayco x213 2013 battery rack, can't put 2x6v)
- Tracer MPPT 2210rn 20A controller
- 1000w continous true sine wave inverter
- Yamaha EF2000is that i'd like not to use (it's only for emergency)
- Kill a Watt measuring tool to see how much the AC stuff use
- a boat load of 10 awg gauge copper wire left from my shed project
- Most lights in RV are Led

what i plan to add/purchase:
- 2x100w 12v flexible panels = 200w (installed on the rear bunk slide out.)
- 2x10 feet of 1 gauge welding cable
- Trojan 27tmx to be bought for the minn kota trolling motor

The plan:
- install the 2 panels in parallel on the rear slide out (they are light and will be inside when the TT is stored, i don't want to drill anything on the roof)
- link the panels to the MPPT controller about 8 feet away (using the MC4 or whatever connectors to the MPPT)
- link the MPPT Controller to the Trojan t-1275 battery which is at the complete other end of the trailer on the tongue (25 feets or so) using the 10 AWG copper wire (grey outside wire)
- Link the Trojan t-1275 battery to the Inverter which I think will be about 6-8 feets away in the storage compartment using the #1 gauge battery wire
- Add one or two power outlets near the TV which is 10-15 feets away from the inverter outputs using the 10awg copper wire.
- add a bunch of inline fuse all along the way (30 amps + a 200 or 300 amps near the battery going to the inverter).

Questions:
Did I get this all wrong??

Comments:
It's a great idea to extend the inverter plug to the shore plug (much easier) but oupps we might just use the Micro wave or TV too long and gone goes the battery... kids..
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:47 PM   #6
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Just got my solar set up today. I have to admit, I was pretty happy with it. When I plugged it in, my volts on the battery was reading 12.3. Had a nice sunny day. 5 hours later it was at 13.4.

X
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Old 03-13-2014, 11:13 PM   #7
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Thanks for the update!!! can't wait for the darn snow to disappear....

May I ask how big is your battery?
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joyeux View Post
What we usually do:
- Boondock 3 days / 2 nights for a family of 4.
Not sure as to how much you will get out of your battery, since it is going to be used to power your boat.... 1/2 of your solar charging day is gone by noon.

What i'd like to do:use a 200w solar array to:
- Charge the TT battery when weather permits (we typically are ok without anything for a week-end (i.e we don't use the generator)
- Charge 2nd Deep cycle battery when i come back from our typical a,m. fishing "promenade" with the kids (we have an electric Minn Kota maxxum)
Are you going to hook the two batteries up in parallel. Not a good idea, as both batteries will not have an equal charge on them. You need to keep solar batteries as solar batteries and not used for anything else. You may want install a battery selector switch (Batt1 - Batt2 - off).

- Use an Inverter once in a while to power up the Ipod, Ipad, Iphone,, Ipaid stuffs... maybe TV + Nintendo Wii for an hour or so when weather's really nasty.

You will still get output from your panels on cloudy/rainy days, but not as much. On a dark night with a full moon, the panel has output.

I would get a 12vdc/usb charging cord and charge the Ipod,Iphone...from your 12vdc outlet. It takes more power to use the inverter and then convert back to 12vdc.

What i currently have:
- Single Trojan t-1275 150amp/h battery (darn Jayco x213 2013 battery rack, can't put 2x6v)
Get the welder out :-)
- Tracer MPPT 2210rn 20A controller

- 1000w continous true sine wave inverter
- Yamaha EF2000is that i'd like not to use (it's only for emergency)
- Kill a Watt measuring tool to see how much the AC stuff use
- a boat load of 10 awg gauge copper wire left from my shed project
- Most lights in RV are Led

what i plan to add/purchase:
- 2x100w 12v flexible panels = 200w (installed on the rear bunk slide out.)
How are you going to secure the panels in the UNEXPECTED event of a GUST of wind wippppps across your TT?
- 2x10 feet of 1 gauge welding cable
You may want to install welding cable sockets on the TT and Welding cable plugs on the SOLAR panel cable to just plug them in each time you set up?
- Trojan 27tmx to be bought for the minn kota trolling motor

The plan:
- install the 2 panels in parallel on the rear slide out (they are light and will be inside when the TT is stored, i don't want to drill anything on the roof)
Wire your 2 panels in series and you only have to deal with only one set of wires running from the panels to the MPPT controller. The benefit of that is that there is less voltage drop on the higher voltage from the panels. They sell connectors to accomplish that.
- link the panels to the MPPT controller about 8 feet away (using the MC4 or whatever connectors to the MPPT)
Mount your MPPT controller as close to the batteries as possible and run the longer length of wire from the higher voltage panel output. Less voltage drop.
Mount your Inverter as close to the batteries as possible.
The closer the less voltage drop and you will have more power.
- link the MPPT Controller to the Trojan t-1275 battery which is at the complete other end of the trailer on the tongue (25 feets or so) using the 10 AWG copper wire (grey outside wire)
- Link the Trojan t-1275 battery to the Inverter which I think will be about 6-8 feets away in the storage compartment using the #1 gauge battery wire

Most mfr. Recommend a few feet, but if that is as close as you can get it will have to do. The inverter mfr will recommend the size fuse to use, I used 300Amp ANL Fuses/holder
- Add one or two power outlets near the TV which is 10-15 feets away from the inverter outputs using the 10awg copper wire.
Sounds good
- add a bunch of inline fuse all along the way (30 amps + a 200 or 300 amps near the battery going to the inverter).
Install a 30 amp fuse between the Solar panel and the charge controller (30Amp), and a fuse between the charge controller and the battery. I also installed a disconnect switch between the panels and the charge controller.
Questions:
Did I get this all wrong??

Comments:
It's a great idea to extend the inverter plug to the shore plug (much easier) but oupps we might just use the Micro wave or TV too long and gone goes the battery... kids..
I rewired the AC breakers so that I have any thing I do not want to have on when dry-camping on separate breakers.

Enjoy!!!! Have a GREAT TIME

Don
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2013 Jayco Eagle 284BHS
250Watt Grape Solar Panel, MorningStar MPPT 60 Charge Controller
1500 Watt Ramsond PSI, 2 Trojan T145 Batteries (260Ah)
2 - AirSight Wireless IP Cameras (used as rear view cameras)
EnGenius WI-FI extender, D-Link wireless (n) modem
MagicJack Internet Phone
2012 Ford F150XLT, EcoBoost w/3.73
157" Wheel base, HD Towing Package

Our Solar Album https://www.jaycoowners.com/album.php?albumid=329
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:43 PM   #9
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Watching A DVD movie for 2 hours ( ~200 watts ) will consume close to 30amps from your battery. That's approaching the half way mark of your battery capacity. And will require quite a bit of recharge time on generator
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Old 03-15-2014, 10:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xkuzme1 View Post
Just got my solar set up today. I have to admit, I was pretty happy with it. When I plugged it in, my volts on the battery was reading 12.3. Had a nice sunny day. 5 hours later it was at 13.4.

X
If you get a chance take a voltage reading at the peak sun time. The 13.4 is a float voltage (maintain a charged battery), so you would want to know how much the panels produce (voltage wise) in full sun. Did you by chance take a voltage reading prior to plugging the panel in? If you are really interested in knowing how much the system is producing you can accomplish this using a good multimeter with a 10Amp ckt. I know, now I have your curiosity going. I would recommend getting a volt display meter and plug it into your 12VDC outlet in the TT, so you can keep an eye on the batteries condition. If you are not afraid of doing a little wiring, get an AMP gauge also. There are a few posts with suggestions, do a search.
Don
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2013 Jayco Eagle 284BHS
250Watt Grape Solar Panel, MorningStar MPPT 60 Charge Controller
1500 Watt Ramsond PSI, 2 Trojan T145 Batteries (260Ah)
2 - AirSight Wireless IP Cameras (used as rear view cameras)
EnGenius WI-FI extender, D-Link wireless (n) modem
MagicJack Internet Phone
2012 Ford F150XLT, EcoBoost w/3.73
157" Wheel base, HD Towing Package

Our Solar Album https://www.jaycoowners.com/album.php?albumid=329
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