Largest solar panel on a Broadway ?

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Post by CC on Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:02 am

Been just wondering how much space there is on the AutoSleeper Broadway roof to accommodate a good size panel ie 100w 120w 140w or is anything this size unlikely? If it were possible, is it really beneficial to go up to a 120w or 140w panel say compared to 100w for the small difference in panel price?

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Post by -mojo- on Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:18 am

The solar controller built into the EC328 (which I assume you've got) is only rated to 120W so you would have a more complex installation if you go higher than that.

If you have the space for a 120W panel for not a lot more cost than a 100W then why not?
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Post by DuxDeluxe on Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:00 am

From memory, there was loads of room for a single panel. Mine was 80w but if I remember correctly then there is about a foot both length and width wise. It sat immediately aft of the Heki.. I was advised to use a separate controller from the EC328

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Post by artheytrate on Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:03 am

As mojo says above the Sargeant system will take up to 120 watt no problem and very straight forward to fit. my Broadway came with 30 watt fitted and I had a new 60 watt folding panel which I stripped down. Bought some brackets and sikafex of ebay and fitted these to my roof aside the original 30 watt and just wired this in parallel with the 30 watt panel junction box, on a good day this is pushing 4.5 amps into my 2 - 105 amp leisure batteries and it's working a treat.

 I didn't use a separate controller and this made it very simple to do.

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Post by -mojo- on Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:11 pm

DuxDeluxe wrote:I was advised to use a separate controller from the EC328

That's a hard choice to make - obviously if you want to go over the 120W limit it would be necessary, but below that it's a fair bit of seemingly unnecessary work to replicate the built-in controller that automatically splits the solar input between vehicle and leisure batteries.

I can see why a fitter of generic panels would not want to use it - the EC328 has a specific 4-way connector (by Tyco, I think) which they would have to get in specially - but otherwise I don't think there's anything inferior about the built-in one. Some people point out that it's a PCM type and not MPPT, but on such a simple system the consensus seems to be that MPPT probably won't make a big difference anyway...
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Post by CC on Thu Oct 02, 2014 5:14 pm

Thanks all for the feedback up! 

Not having to use a controller is a bit of a bonus, especially as I didnt realise it could be directed straight into the onboard Sargeant system. Was hoping to fit it myself as im so finicky about things not being done correctly, I'm the worlds worst customer in terms of QC hugegrins I'll probably settle on a 120w panel anyway as they cost little more that the 100w jobs.

Has anyone got any pointers as to the best entry point to bring the cable through the roof into the wardrobe, obviously I will use a double gland but just want to get the install as watertight and neat as possible when I come to doing it.

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Post by -mojo- on Thu Oct 02, 2014 5:48 pm

If you don't plan to get your own JST/Tyco plug and terminate the cable yourself, you'll need one of these and access to the lower edge of the EC328 unit:

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I was surprised to see that they state a max solar panel power of 100W in that product page, which doesn't match up with the EC328 user manual!

[Edit: sorry don't know about entry points on the Broadway. The fitting on mine (non A-S van) was a horrible job as it meant drilling up through the roof in a very confined space. I destroyed one drill right-angle drive in the process!]
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Post by moggyminor1966 on Thu Oct 02, 2014 5:57 pm

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Hi CC here is a link to the solar panel I fitted last year linked into the sargent panel which works very well.
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Post by Peter Brown on Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:01 pm

In theory there should be more space available on the Broadway EL Duo and FB models as they have larger roofs but it depends on location of roof vents etc. Which Broadway are we talking about?

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