Replacing 30w Solar Panel on a 2013 Bourton

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Post by Alan King on Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:27 pm

Hi All, I find the Solar Panel on our Bourton is next to useless and would like to up grade it.
What would be the maximum size i could use without changing all the electronics inside.Any help would be great. 

Alan
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Post by -mojo- on Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:39 pm

What make/model of power control system do you have? Most people here won't be able to infer that from your van model/year because A/S changed what they used very frequently.

Do you already have a separate solar controller installed and, if so, what make/model is it?

[Edit: Typically you will not have a separate solar controller, because in many cases there will already be one built into the power control system - most of the Sargent systems are like that, for example.]
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Post by ajrm on Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:34 am

We had a 30watt panel on our Broadway. The Sargent controller stated it could handle 120watts, so I fitted another 80watt panel and joined the 2 together. I also added 2 more leisure batteries.
We rarely use EHU and this setup enabled us to use the van all year round without worrying too much about running out of power.

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Post by Alan King on Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:37 pm

Hi, ajrm, 

Thanks for the info have just ordered a 120w replacement panel as not sure if my 30w one is working and don't have room for extra battery's.
Hopefully this will be ok to charge a new 115AH battery Alan
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Post by Dare-devil-dennis on Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:13 am

On my 2017 Stanton, there is room for an additional leisure battery next to the fitted one under the passenger seat. That's where I fitted mine.
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Post by Alan King on Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:36 am

Thanks Dennis,
Not enough room under seat in the Bourton .
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Post by Gromit on Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:43 am

Alan King wrote:Hi, ajrm, 

Thanks for the info have just ordered a 120w replacement panel as not sure if my 30w one is working and don't have room for extra battery's.
Hopefully this will be ok to charge a new 115AH battery Alan
We only have the 80 watt panel as the option supplied by A/S. We've spent 5 consecutive days off hook up (in summer) and it looked as if we could have carried on more or less indefinitely. In the dimmer weather with not much sun it wouldn't be so good, but until we get a problem I'm not about to fix it.

From our experience, your 120 watt panel should work perfectly well with only one battery. (If you haven't replaced all your lights with LEDs - that makes a significant difference to power consumption.)
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Post by Alan King on Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:05 am

Hi Gromit'

Thanks for info, Our Bounton has LED over cupboard lights witch we use most of the time. 
The upgrade to the solar panel is so we (like you have) can do more independent travelling this year.
Have spoken to A/S technical and the max size panel on their standard controller is 120w.
Hopefully this year will be trouble Free.lol4 lol4
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Post by Gromit on Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:35 am

Alan King wrote:Hi Gromit'
Thanks for info, Our Bounton has LED over cupboard lights witch we use most of the time. 
Beware of those Alan.

While it's obviously true that LEDs use far less power than other light units, there are a heck of a lot of them over the cupboards! I've forgotten the figures, but I did once count them and calculate how much power they used, and was quite surprised by how many there are and much they use.

Off hook up we tend to use our reading lights and swivel them round to face the wall if we don't want to be dazzled, or the ceiling lamps, which have also been converted to LED. There are plenty to choose from, so we use whichever seems best at the time - but not the over cupboard strips.
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Post by Peter Brown on Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:37 am

Gromit wrote:
Alan King wrote:Hi Gromit'
Thanks for info, Our Bounton has LED over cupboard lights witch we use most of the time. 
Beware of those Alan.

While it's obviously true that LEDs use far less power than other light units, there are a heck of a lot of them over the cupboards! I've forgotten the figures, but I did once count them and calculate how much power they used, and was quite surprised by how many there are and much they use.

Off hook up we tend to use our reading lights and swivel them round to face the wall if we don't want to be dazzled, or the ceiling lamps, which have also been converted to LED. There are plenty to choose from, so we use whichever seems best at the time - but not the over cupboard strips.

In our Malvern, most come on at once and take 6A!!!

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Post by Gromit on Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:40 am

Thanks Peter.

It's easy to assume that LEDs are frugal with the power, and so they are, but not when we have that many!

I think I counted nearly 300 individual LEDs!!
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Post by ajrm on Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:43 am

Where is your battery Alan? On mine, it was under one of the side sofas, I moved it’s position and fitted two more. Of course, I lost storage space there but had plenty more elsewhere.
On our latest van, the battery was under the drivers seat but I moved it to an outside locker and fitted another next to it.

Edit. To save power when using the batteries, which we nearly always do, we have a rechargeable coleman lantern which puts out a fair amount of light, certainly enough to read and play cards, while relaxing in the evenings.
It charges by usb, there’s always plenty of power to charge it up during the day
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Post by Gromit on Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:52 am

Do you need multiple batteries if you have a decent sized solar panel (say 120 watts as Alan has) and only go off hook up for a few days at a time in summer?

From our experience I would say not, but we don't often stay off hook up for more than three or four consecutive days, and rarely bother with the telly - so I'm quite prepared to be contradicted! smile!   scratch head
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Post by Dare-devil-dennis on Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:30 pm

Ahh gone are the days when our first caravan had gas lighting. what better way to save battery capacity?

Of course, we didn't have a battery either, or an electric pump, or electric hook-up, or heating and the hot water system was a kettle on the gas hob. What we did have was an open Elsan toilet, (essentially a bucket with a toilet seat and a lid). the windows were single glazed glass.

And we LOVED it!

It did have a spare wheel though, which my Stanton does not.
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Post by Alan King on Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:55 pm

Ah Dennis, What would we do without gizmos and mod cons to-day.
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Post by Dare-devil-dennis on Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:57 pm

Alan King wrote:Ah Dennis, What would we do without gizmos and mod cons to-day.

This forum would be short on posts! smile!
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