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pinesman

virginia

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Posted: 04/09/19 12:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am considering starting into the solar age. I currently have 4 group 27 batteries and have no problem going for weekends dry camping with our current battery capacity. All of our lights have been replaced with LEDs, we take short showers, and do not use the furnace. The two fantastic fans are the biggest power users we have. For those of you with a similar setup, can I get by with one 100 watt panel to just keep the batteries up or is that just a dream? We do not normally dry camp when it is too hot and the small inverter we have is just to watch tv maybe an hour a day. Thanks.

BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 04/09/19 12:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What do you want to do more than now off-grid? You say no problem with how it is.


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2oldman

New Mexico

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Posted: 04/09/19 12:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

100w is about minimum.. bump that up to 300 and you could watch more tv and keep warm.

What are you recharging with now?

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 04/09/19 12:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes get the 100 as a minimum. You may still lose some ground but you will have less worry and your battery will stay in better shape if stored without power. You can always add more if you feel it is needed.
A larger single panel might be just as easy to install and will not be too much.


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FLY 4 FUN

Alberta

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Posted: 04/09/19 01:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If I was going to go to the trouble to mount a panel, run the wire to a charge controller and batteries...then best to get the largest single panel you can. I would suggest a single grid tie panel around 200W. Yes you will require a slightly more $ MPPT charge controller, but at least you will have a more robust system up there if you decide to do more dry camping.


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Airdaile

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Posted: 04/09/19 01:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The "rule of thumb" is 100 watts per 100 AH of battery.





Lwiddis

Near USFS Glass Creek CG, Inyo County, CA

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Posted: 04/09/19 01:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Why just "get by" hopefully? One solar watt per battery amp hour. Panels are cheap! I camp in some shady sites so I have 240 AH in my batteries and 300 solar watts on the roof.


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KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 04/09/19 03:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The larger the panel you buy the less it will cost on a dollar/watt basis. Above about a 150 watt panel you will need an MPPT charge controller to make it work with your 12v battery systems but those are becoming much more affordable too. I agree with FLY 4 FUN, after you go to all the trouble of running wire, mounting controller, mounting panel, etc. you might as well put in a bigger panel. The additional cost will be quite minimal.

Boon Docker

Mountain Foothills of Southern Alberta

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Posted: 04/09/19 04:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would go with 200 watts. I have 200 watts and a 230 AH battery bank with an EpSolar brand MPPT controller and my batteries are fully charged by early afternoon.

pinesman

virginia

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Posted: 04/09/19 06:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BFL13 wrote:

What do you want to do more than now off-grid? You say no problem with how it is.


With our current work life, weekends are about all we can do now. As retirement is quickly approaching and longer trips to our favorite dry campgrounds are in the future, I want to be able to stay longer before we go home or to a campground with electric to recharge. We have one generator and might get a smaller one just for running the converter but I think I could like the silence of solar. I am just basically asking what is the minimum to be worthwhile. I do not plan to mount them on the roof at this time but just sit them out on the ground.

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