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Post by Wearsider on Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:59 pm

My vehicle is a Marquis Lancashire ES effectively a Auto-sleeper Nuevo ES with one or two enhancements especially externally a habitation air conditioning unit on the roof positioned immediately behind the large Seitz roof light.

This only leaves space at the rear of the van roof to fit a solar panel and that area contains two roof lights one above the shower area and the other above the area in the vicinity of the habitation door.

Has anyone found a solution to the problem of fitting a high-powered solar panel (90w/100w) in this restricted area. A compact L-shaped unit (if one is manufactured) would be a solution or perhaps two panels wired together.

Any thoughts/solutions would be greatly appreciated.
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Post by Peter Brown on Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:11 pm

I can't find it now, but somewhere on this forum I've seen a photograph of 2 smaller panels fitted either side of a roof light, I guess they are wired in parallel.

If you can live without seeing through your kithchen window when driving you could engineer a hinged panel to attach across the back of the roof on which to fix a large panel. Lift up so that its an extension of the roof when pitched and lock down across the back for driving.

It would need a proper engineer (not my field) to design suitable fixings for the hinges to the roof and a securing catch on the back wall of the van.

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Post by Guest on Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:23 pm

If you look here
http://www.autosleeper-ownersforum.com/t4633p36-solar-panels?highlight=solar

you will see Modelman's very neat solution using two smaller panels

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Post by Wearsider on Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:48 pm

Thank you pcb7ty and Hoopman for your suggestions.

Unfortunately Modelmans roof light is smaller than mine and I do not have nearly the space down the two sides to fit in other than quite tiny long slim solar panels. My roof is somewhat similar to Southdowners pictured in the same string of postings except where he has fitted his large solar panel I have a similar sized air-conditioning unit.

I really only have space at the rear of the van although my two roof lights in this area are more offset than Southdowners the one on the left near the habitation door being forward and the one on the right above the shower being towards the rear. Quite a sizeable area available for solar panel (s) but not your standard square or oblong space. This is the problem!

Ideally my hope is that somebody with a 2010 Marquis Lancashire has encountered the same problem and found a solution.
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Post by -mojo- on Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:42 pm

The style of panel that's most interesting to me at the moment is this type:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

It's only 2.5mm thick, and can be bonded directly to the roof, so no need for a frame sticking up and no need to drill holes in your roof (other than one for the cable, of course) and for a 100W panel it's relatively narrow at 550mm - though smaller sizes are available.

And £150 for a 100W panel seems good value too, though you would need to factor in fitting costs if you don't DIY.

I should add that I have used neither that make nor supplier, so can't say whether it performs to claimed spec.
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Post by roli on Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:12 pm

Bulldog01 has a 90w panel on their Nuevo Classic. Will ask him to put a photo up if you want but he doesnt have the AC problem you have, nor does our resident "Lancashire Conversion Specialist" (Murph)

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Post by Wearsider on Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:02 am

Thank you Mojo and Roli for your posts.

The SAFM 100W Solar Panel that Mojo flagged up is too large for any of the available spaces. However smaller sizes (30W & 50W) of this type wired together might be a solution. However I cannot find a UK supplier for these only an Australian website.

ThE Nuevo Classic and the Marquis Lancashire without habitation air conditioning units that Roli mentioned really have far more available space than on my roof.
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Post by Nuevo II EK on Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:22 am

No idea of the cost but I have seen tracking solar panels just like a satelite panels that are wound up when required and only have a small footprint fixing to the roof.
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Post by murph on Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:24 am

Hi Wearsider,
Try Sunstore on the internet they seem to do a reasonably priced selection of monocrystaline, panels which are apparently the best type for use in dull weather such as we usually have in Britain.

Brian2


Last edited by murph on Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by -mojo- on Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:01 pm

Nuevo II EK wrote:No idea of the cost but I have seen tracking solar panels just like a satelite panels that are wound up when required and only have a small footprint fixing to the roof.

An example there is the Alden Sunpower Phenix - a 100W tracking panel at £2,249. Don't know if that includes fitting and TBH I'm not in the slightest bit interested whether it does or not. I know it depends how far from the equator you are, but I suspect that you would get pretty much the same output by buying two 100W non-tracking panels and mounting them horizontally, and you'd save nearly £2000 and a whole load of complex electrical control gear.

BTW, tracking panels won't solve the roof space issue - they still have to lie down flat against the roof when the vehicle is moving!

If the SAFM-100W mono flexible panel is interesting but too big, might be worth contacting the importer (via their ebay shop) to see if they would bring in any of the smaller sizes. If you look at the manufacturer's website at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] you will see they make a comprehensive range of smaller sizes.


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Post by murph on Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:12 pm

Hi All,
Has anyone ever tried a clock mechanism to turn a solar panel to follow the sun, the hour hand turns at the right speed. Should be right up Modelmans or Whisky's street.

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Post by modelman on Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:20 pm

murph wrote: Hi All,
Has anyone ever tried a clock mechanism to turn a solar panel to follow the sun, the hour hand turns at the right speed. Should be right up Modelmans or Whisky's street.

Brian2

Ha Ha, no need Brian, I get more than enough charge already with them laying flat on the roof smile!

HOWEVER, I WOULD like to be able to 'follow the sun' with the 4KW array I have on the bungalow roof, but at around 30ft x 15ft,

its a bit beyond me hugegrins

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Post by murph on Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:45 pm

Hi Lawrie,
You would need to borrow BIG bens clock mechanism for that.

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Post by Wearsider on Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:15 pm

I am grateful for all members who have contributed to this topic. However I continue to wait in hope for a Marquis Lancashire owner with a vehicle with a similar roof configurations to come forward with a ready-made solution.
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Post by -mojo- on Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:16 am

If by a ready-made solution you mean an L-shaped panel, I think it's unlikely at reasonable cost, because bulk manufacture relies on a rectangular grid layout. As soon as you leave the grid format you are likely to be going into "custom build" territory and that is never going to be cheap.

But who knows? I continue to view the solar panel options with interest. My next van has a compressor fridge with no gas option, so I'm starting to worry how long I can keep that powered when parked up away from an EHU.

One thing seems apparent at the moment. The Chinese seem (if you believe the Americans) to be flooding the market with (relatively) cheap PV panels in an attempt to dominate and drive other makers out of business. If you want to play their game, it could be a good time to buy from there - but you need to accept the risk of buying with very little in the way of consumer rights!

I still can't decide whether the risk is worth the (significantly) lower cost...
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Post by Peter Brown on Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:42 am

The Stratford has a compressor fridge. I've not yet met an onwner that has managed 48hr without hook up before flat battery in standard fit. The East Nuek Fifer has a compressor fridge and comes, as standard, with THREE leisure batteries and a 100w solar panel - its still no good for much more than a weekend without hookup or a daily drive. They also HUM in the night.

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Post by murph on Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:40 am

Hi Wearsider,
It would seem that no one on the forum has fitted a solar panel To a Lancashire but has anyone done it on a Neuvo it is possible that some members do not know that a Lancashire is a Marquis special Neuvo also you do not say whether yours is a series 1 (up to 20006) or a series 2 as the body shell on the series 2 is slightly larger. I would suggest that you get the step ladder out and measure the space between the rear roof vents as this would seem to be the area to concentrate on. If you know the space available then you can trawl the internet to find what you need, the firm I mentioned Sunstore do complete kits at under £300 including a 100watt one.

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Post by -mojo- on Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:12 pm

pcb7ty wrote:The Stratford has a compressor fridge. I've not yet met an onwner that has managed 48hr without hook up before flat battery in standard fit. The East Nuek Fifer has a compressor fridge and comes, as standard, with THREE leisure batteries and a 100w solar panel - its still no good for much more than a weekend without hookup or a daily drive. They also HUM in the night.

Peter

Wow - I'd heard not so great things about them, but not that bad!

I can understand the attraction: they are I think more effective and efficient than absorption, and they ~should~ be cheaper without the gas part. But I suspect that it may also have been forced on converters such as Bilbos as part of their VW approved converter status, because it removes the need to punch holes in the side and floor of the van.

Some models seem to suffer noise from the thermostat clicking on and off more than humming from the compressor - I'll find out soon...

If you look at the ~theoretical~ power consumption, you shouldn't need 3 leisure batteries and a solar panel to run a fridge! But I guess it depends a lot on what other electrical gear there is in that van. From a couple of holidays in narrowboats I know that running a shower pump for ten minutes or more can take a huge amount of power out of a leisure battery, for example.
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Post by Wearsider on Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:05 am

I am grateful for the latest set of postings on my problem. At the end of the day if I do not hear from an owner of a 2007 to 2011 Marquis Lancashire ES (effectively an Auto-Sleeper Nuevo ES -Series 2 with a habitation air conditioning unit behind the large roof light) who has managed to fit an 80W to 100W solar panel in the limited rearward space available I will have to devise my own solution.

Given that it appears that none of the know manufacturers produce L-shaped solar panels or the like then the only way forward appears to be to fit a number of smaller panels (say 2x50W or 3x30W or 1x50W & 1X30W) wired together. However with fitting costs this will be quite expensive and cheaper far east imported units that might fail over time could involve the job having to be repeated at a later date.

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Post by peugeotboxer on Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:49 am

Wearsider wrote:I am grateful for the latest set of postings on my problem. At the end of the day if I do not hear from an owner of a 2007 to 2011 Marquis Lancashire ES (effectively an Auto-Sleeper Nuevo ES -Series 2 with a habitation air conditioning unit behind the large roof light) who has managed to fit an 80W to 100W solar panel in the limited rearward space available I will have to devise my own solution.

Given that it appears that none of the know manufacturers produce L-shaped solar panels or the like then the only way forward appears to be to fit a number of smaller panels (say 2x50W or 3x30W or 1x50W & 1X30W) wired together. However with fitting costs this will be quite expensive and cheaper far east imported units that might fail over time could involve the job having to be repeated at a later date.



Hi Wearsider

Would it be possible for you to post a picture of your roof?
There are a number of folk on here that could make suggestions if they knew the layout.
It's quite possible that a solution would be forthcoming.

PB
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Post by -mojo- on Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:11 pm

Wearsider wrote:cheaper far east imported units that might fail over time could involve the job having to be repeated at a later date.

This is indeed something to worry about - particularly if the panel is bonded onto the roof! Having said that, the last report I've seen about a PV panel failing after only a year was one that was made in the UK!

I agree with PB - get a photo taken and post it here and that may generate a few more ideas.
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Post by Wearsider on Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:36 pm

In response to the last 2 posts I will try and supply a photograph of my van roof in the near future to see if this produces any suggested solutions.
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