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Old 08-22-2016, 02:02 AM   #41
OldWest
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Default Re: Going Solar

1. Look for OneManVan postings on his solar setup. He used polycarbonate backing panels which provide support and air circulation.

2. I like those plastic corner mounting pads if there's space. Work better on a flat surface.

Otherwise, especially if on curved portion of roof above windshield, 3M Dual Lock (mushroom velcro) is a good option as can remove/separate components easily. OneManVan used mechanical fasteners.
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Old 08-22-2016, 02:21 AM   #42
OldWest
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Default Re: Going Solar

http://ecopia.com.au/solar-panel-corner-mounting-pads

Need ones for slimmer profile panels, but just the general idea.

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...-rig-8336.html

http://www.bruceschwab.com/uploads/g...ew-radius1.pdf
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Old 06-08-2017, 11:41 PM   #43
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Default Re: Going Solar

Updates.
Apologize for abandoning this thread for almost a year. Too much traveling :-)

Here is what we have done:

Installed 2x100W NaturePower solar panels on the roof directly behind the skylight. Connected those in parallel.

The setup is following:

2x100W solar panels -> MorningStar SS-MPPT-15L -> 3 Lifeline house batteries.
Everything worked great for almost 7 month under hot winter Florida sun.
Then the solar panels went dead.
Good thing those were on 2-year warranty. We contacted NaturePower directly, provided proof of purchase (we bought those through Home Depot), and stopped for exchange in their Atlanta office/warehouse on our way back from winter vacation.
NaturePower took our dead panels and promised to figure out what went wrong and let us know... hopefully they will.

New replacement panels are installed. We'll have to see for how long those will survive.

Question to the audience - for those who have solar panels installed (not the portable ones :-) ) how long do you have them for? any performance degradation? what brand do you have installed?

thanks!
T.
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Old 12-05-2017, 07:11 PM   #44
themanys
 
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Question Re: Going Solar

Hello,

I am hoping to get a solar setup installed on our Westy in the next couple of weeks. I have purchased a 150 watt Renogy panel which I plan on putting on the mount that previously held a trackvision satellite dish which sits above half of the air conditioner and the bathroom vent fan. I am now deciding between the BlueSolar MPPT charge controller, vs the renogy viewstar PWM controller. I keep bouncing between the two, I want to get the maximum output out of the 150 watts, and I live in the northeast so temperature range is extreme and it is overcast frequently which makes me lean towards the bluesolar. But I am not sure on the charge settings on the unit and if I would need to make some manual changes (via a bluetooth dongle which I would have to purchase) to accomodate the deep cycle gel batteries. I currently have the 2 chargers in my possession and need to decide which to use and which to return, any suggestions? Also I had originally purchased 12AWG wire to run from the panel to the charger and from the charger to the battery, however I am now thinking I should return and get 10AWG. Any assistance or words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated!!!

Thanks,
BJ

https://www.amazon.com/Victron-BlueS...ontroller&th=1

https://www.amazon.com/ViewStar-Nega...ogy+controller
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Old 12-05-2017, 07:50 PM   #45
sprint2freedom
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Default Re: Going Solar

Quote:
Originally Posted by themanys View Post
Hello,

I am hoping to get a solar setup installed on our Westy in the next couple of weeks. I have purchased a 150 watt Renogy panel which I plan on putting on the mount that previously held a trackvision satellite dish which sits above half of the air conditioner and the bathroom vent fan. I am now deciding between the BlueSolar MPPT charge controller, vs the renogy viewstar PWM controller. I keep bouncing between the two, I want to get the maximum output out of the 150 watts, and I live in the northeast so temperature range is extreme and it is overcast frequently which makes me lean towards the bluesolar. But I am not sure on the charge settings on the unit and if I would need to make some manual changes (via a bluetooth dongle which I would have to purchase) to accomodate the deep cycle gel batteries. I currently have the 2 chargers in my possession and need to decide which to use and which to return, any suggestions? Also I had originally purchased 12AWG wire to run from the panel to the charger and from the charger to the battery, however I am now thinking I should return and get 10AWG. Any assistance or words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated!!!
My recommendations:

Go with the Victron. MPPT is worth the extra $ when you have a limited roof space (and sun). You can get free help on this forum selecting the proper settings for your batteries.

12AWG is probably fine.. how many feet is the wire run between your controller and the panel?

What's the model number and quantity of your batteries?
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Old 12-05-2017, 07:59 PM   #46
OldWest
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Default Re: Going Solar

1. MPPT versus PWM

A. White Papers

Believe that the MPPT self-uses some energy which is more than offset by larger solar systems. But for smaller systems, PVM may yield better output as more efficient. Also, other pros/cons depending on temperature/climate, wiring, voltage of panels, etc.

http://forum.solar-electric.com/disc...wm-controllers

https://www.victronenergy.com/blog/2...r-pwm-or-mppt/

http://forum.solar-electric.com/disc...-small-systems

B. Cost

Not much cost differential for the smaller controllers. For larger controllers, bigger difference so need to make sure get bang for bucks.

Should consider whether controller can handle expansion. Definitely think about adding capability for a portable panel to add to your fixed 150 watt panel.

C..Brand Names

Which brand name, reliability, size, and adjustability (match controller settings to type of battery).

Check HandyBobSolar.com.

I have the 15 amp Morningstar MPPT one. Can be adjusted for different voltages, etc. Can hook up a remote meter. Installed under the kitchen sink (convenient location close to batteries BUT not a great location if water leaks).

2. Voltage Drop

Definitely use heavier gauge wires.

I have 200 watts with connection for a portable panel. 12 is probably too thin. I believe I have 10 from panels to controller under kitchen sink, and from controller to batteries. 8 from controller to batteries would probably be even better.

Note: Best is to calculate the voltage drop based on length of run, wattage, and gauge. For your 150 watt system and short run, 12 might be sufficient but for the same amount of work, go for 10 for future expansion.


Don't forget to post whatever you do. Thanks.

Last edited by OldWest; 12-05-2017 at 08:04 PM. Reason: Add detail re voltage drop.
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Old 12-09-2017, 01:08 PM   #47
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Default Re: Going Solar

Thanks Old West. I decided to return the BlueSolar controller and to use the Renogy Viewfinder as it has built in settings for gel batteries and seems to have more reviews and better installation instructions and customer service. I am still researching the wiring (thickness), leaning towards taking your advice but want to do some more research. I was able to get the 150watt Renogy panel mounted yesterday and it looks great if I do say so myself. Again, we mounted this to an existing bracket that a tracvision satelite was previously mounted to. I tried to attach a picture, but it was too big (dimensions and size). Let me know if anyone has an easy way to convert the pictures on a mac or I can email a picture to anyone interested. I will update again once I get the wiring done and the controller all hooked up.

Thanks,
BJ
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Old 12-09-2017, 05:36 PM   #48
OldWest
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Default Re: Going Solar

Is this your Westy from an old advertisement with the satellite receiver mount above air conditioner:

https://www.smartrvguide.com/L48516985

A clever mounting setup.. Hopefully, you can figure out how to post photographs so we can see close-ups of the mounting system.
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Old 12-10-2017, 11:25 PM   #49
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Default Re: Going Solar

Yes that is the one. I will figure out how to post pictures when I have more time, it's frustrating that I just can't upload the pictures my phone takes. I am going to purchase 10 Gauge wiring for the panel to the controller, and 8 from the controller this week and get the wiring done hopefully this weekend. Thanks for all of your help.
-BJ
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