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 > Solar Sanity check (SSC?)

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prepilot_3ck

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Posted: 02/22/19 03:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

I there is enough solar, then running the fridge during the day is better as the it may draw the bank down for 20 minutes, and then the solar can recharge for 40 minutes. If 600 watts is used, then there may be little or no discharging of the bank for the shoulder hours from 2.5 hours before and after 'solar noon'.

WAFlowers wrote:

As azrving noted it might be better to leave the inverter on and run the fridge all night. With the cooler overnight temperatures the fridge shouldn't cycle as often or as long as during the day.


Interesting thought. We did that once on a stop over in a rest stop after a good long day of driving. Batteries were dead by 4am I think. I don't remember if we had run the generator or not, but we had been driving (probably with the inverter on) for about 6 hours.

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prepilot_3ck

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Posted: 02/22/19 04:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ivylog wrote:

First thing I'd do is measure your power usage. You probably have 1 amp DC of parasitic loads (I have 3 24/7) and your 1-3 amps AC for a residential is hopefully only 1 and then only 40% of the time. The 21 CuFt Whirlpool I installed draws 8 amps DC (96W) measured before the inverter and 1.2KW/day or 16 cents. I agree you can turn the inverter off for 8 hours at night (temp will not rise to much in the refer) but I would run the generator for 30 minutes to make coffee and power the refer while it gets back up to temp. If you use your generator in the evening and morning, 100W of solar panel/battery is all you need... 400W of panels for 4 batteries. If you are a purest (solar only, no generator) then you need to double the number of panels.

I recently installed 900W (9 100W panels) into a 60 amp mppt controller. Cost was $550 for the panels and $450 for the controller. Made my own tilting mounts so $250 in misc parts and cables...$1.40/watt. I have 9 batteries although the 9 panels was more what would fit on my roof and leave room to walk on one side.

[image]


Nice! Yeah, I need to pick up a battery monitor to see what parasitic draw might be there from stuff. I wouldn't say I'm a purest, I just don't like the noise of the generator. Part of that might be a little paranoia too. I don't like people sneaking up on me, and with the generator I could be surprised pretty easily. I also like the idea of not using my gas. Although, if I need to run the generator, I'll let er' rip. I just try not too.

Heck of a setup you got there. I think that would be my ultimate goal. 900 - 1000 or more if I have the space.

Thanks!

Acampingwewillgo

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Posted: 02/22/19 06:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ivylog wrote:

First thing I'd do is measure your power usage. You probably have 1 amp DC of parasitic loads (I have 3 24/7) and your 1-3 amps AC for a residential is hopefully only 1 and then only 40% of the time. The 21 CuFt Whirlpool I installed draws 8 amps DC (96W) measured before the inverter and 1.2KW/day or 16 cents. I agree you can turn the inverter off for 8 hours at night (temp will not rise to much in the refer) but I would run the generator for 30 minutes to make coffee and power the refer while it gets back up to temp. If you use your generator in the evening and morning, 100W of solar panel/battery is all you need... 400W of panels for 4 batteries. If you are a purest (solar only, no generator) then you need to double the number of panels.

I recently installed 900W (9 100W panels) into a 60 amp mppt controller. Cost was $550 for the panels and $450 for the controller. Made my own tilting mounts so $250 in misc parts and cables...$1.40/watt. I have 9 batteries although the 9 panels was more what would fit on my roof and leave room to walk on one side.

[image]


I love this set up too. For the last several years I've said this is the year I'm going to do it(Solar) but just have never pulled the trigger. The 12 Volt Panels would fit the profile (size wise) of my roof and running the panel similar to the above would work best. My place of choice for all Solar is Solar Blvd since I live close enough to go pick them up and on occasion the have 180 watt 12 volt panels that would fit well....maybe this year.

PS.... Wow, so much for Solar Blvd... it appears they are NO LONGER in Business. Guess I waited too Long!!!

* This post was edited 02/22/19 06:34pm by Acampingwewillgo *


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Chainwright

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Posted: 02/23/19 07:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm sure you have your mind made up regarding what solar panels to use. But I was watching HGTV a few months ago and this guy from NYC built a totally of the grid home in Hawaii. He used Solar panels on his roof, except they looked like "Mats." He said they were customizable. So since he had a Metal roof, he'd run these Solar Panel Mats in between the Metal roof Panels. No need for Roof penetration or mounting hardware. You can order them with a special adhesive on the back. they range from 270 W to 315 W each mat. I think they're 18 ft by 19 inches. Here's the name (and there may be similar products out there):
GLOBAL SOLAR 270W-315W POWERFLEX+ BAPV FLEXIBLE CIGS SOLAR PANEL

www.continuousresources.com/

pianotuna

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Posted: 02/23/19 09:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The best flexible panels were Uni-Solar but they have been out of business for about ten years now.

Here is a clicky of the link:

www.continuousresources.com/

* This post was edited 02/23/19 09:46am by pianotuna *


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

Ivylog

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Posted: 02/23/19 11:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Several people who are using Renogy flexible panels are happy with them and they are 27x60 but 160W for $270 delivered.
Renogy


This post is my opinion (free advice). It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.

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time2roll

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Posted: 02/23/19 12:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

prepilot_3ck wrote:

time2roll wrote:

I would be aiming at 800+ watts. Clear space without shadows can get to be an issue when going big.
Thanks. 800W+ is definitely a long term target. As much as possible, is really my goal, but I need to phase this in.
That is the hard part of these larger systems. Can save money by getting the design correct from the start with everything matched and working together.

To phase this in with 12v panels you are paying more per watt. Possibly ending up with multiple controllers as your system grows.

325w 24v panel is maybe $225 so $900 for a set of four. Then a matching controller at maybe $600 and you are all in with 1,300 watts. Could start with two panels and add more if needed but you might end up with a bigger controller than needed. Or by the time you want to add panels the production specifications have changed.

Add this up with 12v panels over time and you will spend way more $$$. Yes it is a lot to think about. Placement of the actual panels is probably the hard part. Need to get up on the roof with some cardboard templates.


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WAFlowers

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Posted: 02/23/19 05:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am about to install two 12V 200W panels on my RV next weekend. It looks like I could easily put 6 of them up there and, if I'm careful, I could have 8 on the roof. That is 1600W of solar panels! I would have to use an MPPT controller at those levels, of course. I'm starting with just 400W for now and will watch the Victron 712 battery monitor I'm installing this weekend to judge what I need.


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Smitty77

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Posted: 02/24/19 11:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just a few more bits of input for you:

-Design what you think your end goal will be upfront (Or at least, get close to it.)
-Source components that support that end goal. (Even if you start with smaller panels, battery size now - source charging and controller and cabling, etc. - that will support your end goal. Will keep you from possibly needing to replace a component later - buy it once.)
-Instead of turning off your fridge, consider placing a smaller inverter to power the fridge, into your design. (This way you can turn off the large inverter when not needed, and keep the smaller inverter with less overhead AH's usage running, to power the fridge. It also provides some redundancies for you, in case an inverter goes out - you can swap things around on the CB to feed power to the fridge from either inverter source.)

Best of luck to you, and have fun along the way,
Smitty

prepilot_3ck

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Posted: 02/25/19 03:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Acampingwewillgo wrote:

Ivylog wrote:

First thing I'd do is measure your power usage. You probably have 1 amp DC of parasitic loads (I have 3 24/7) and your 1-3 amps AC for a residential is hopefully only 1 and then only 40% of the time. The 21 CuFt Whirlpool I installed draws 8 amps DC (96W) measured before the inverter and 1.2KW/day or 16 cents. I agree you can turn the inverter off for 8 hours at night (temp will not rise to much in the refer) but I would run the generator for 30 minutes to make coffee and power the refer while it gets back up to temp. If you use your generator in the evening and morning, 100W of solar panel/battery is all you need... 400W of panels for 4 batteries. If you are a purest (solar only, no generator) then you need to double the number of panels.

I recently installed 900W (9 100W panels) into a 60 amp mppt controller. Cost was $550 for the panels and $450 for the controller. Made my own tilting mounts so $250 in misc parts and cables...$1.40/watt. I have 9 batteries although the 9 panels was more what would fit on my roof and leave room to walk on one side.

[image]


I love this set up too. For the last several years I've said this is the year I'm going to do it(Solar) but just have never pulled the trigger. The 12 Volt Panels would fit the profile (size wise) of my roof and running the panel similar to the above would work best. My place of choice for all Solar is Solar Blvd since I live close enough to go pick them up and on occasion the have 180 watt 12 volt panels that would fit well....maybe this year.

PS.... Wow, so much for Solar Blvd... it appears they are NO LONGER in Business. Guess I waited too Long!!!


Awww man.. yeah. That sucks. I had heard really good things about them as well. Renogy has been SUPER good to me on the phone and email. I'm probably going to be giving them my business.

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