Solar Panel on Nuevo ES

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Post by jht sheffield on Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:52 pm

After cleaning the roof of my Nuevo for the first time, I found out that it has a solar panel fitted. I am sure this is brilliant, but, I cant find much out about it. Am I right in thinking its main purpose is to give the leisure battery a regular charge and if so, does it need activating or does it take care of itself ? confused3 Happy New Year all.
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Post by roli on Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:03 pm

It really depends on how its fitted. You could do with contacting the previous owner and find out how its wired and what size it is.

Our panel is wired to a regulator and then a Battery Master. The initial charge from the panel is to the Leisure Battery, then to the Ford (fitted) Auxiliary Battery then, when all is well if the Vehicle Battery is in need of top it does that.

IMO Solar Panels are a boon apart from your use of the Leisure Battery there is stuff like Alarm Systems, Radio Memory, Tracker Systems all demanding their bit of power when you are not using the van which the panels take care of.

There are quite a few posts on the forum relating to Solar Panels/Power have a read and you may pick up a bit more info

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Post by jht sheffield on Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:07 pm

Thanks for that. It is a factory fitted panel on a new vehicle.

John
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Post by Peter Brown on Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:08 pm

Normally the solar panel would be wired to charge the leisure battery. It should be connected via a voltage regulator which is probably about 3 or 4 in square. The regulator may be fixed to a wall where it is visible, in the wardrobe or adjacent to the leisure battery. Most regualators will have coloured lights that indicated the charge status and some have voltage and current displays.

If you can't find the regulator or understand its indications then, on a sunny day, with all 12v appliances switched off measure the voltage at the terminals of the leisure battery. Then cover the solar panel with a curtain or rug. The voltage should drop noticeably. When the cover is removed it will rise again if the panel is working.

If nothing seems to be happening you will need to get someone who is familiar with solar panel installation to check it over.

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Post by Peter Brown on Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:12 pm

If it is a recent factory fit it could well be a small 30w unit connected via the van power supply unit (acting as regulator) and is only designed to keep the vehicle battery alive and not to replenish the charge in the leisure battery.

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Post by jht sheffield on Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:21 pm

Thanks for your reply, I guess its about 2ft square, so it is small. At least now I know what it does ! agree3
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Post by Paulmold on Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:24 pm

Yes, I agree it's probably a 30w panel which is part of the Premium upgrade spec as listed on the AS website.
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Post by Guest on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:15 pm

Hi

I noticed the comment by Peter about the solar panel not charging the leisure battery. This puzzled me as I thought this was it's main purpose. I checked the AS 2012 handbook for the Nuevo which reads as below.

It seems it charges both batteries. Hope this helps.

Regards, Silver

3.5 Solar Panel Converter
The EC325PSU incorporates a built-in dual channel Solar Regulator that allows the direct connection of a 20 to 100W solar panel without the need for additional components. The dual regulator charges both the vehicle and leisure batteries simultaneously and connects to the PSU via a dedicated connector on the base of the unit (see section 6.2 for details).
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Post by Peter Brown on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:21 pm

I actually said it would not replenish the Leisure battery.

The operation is as you describe and if both batteries are reasonably charged and the van is outside, it will keep them that way. But if living in the van without hookup, the small panel will not go far towards replacing energy used by lights, pump, tv etc. on a day by day basis.

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Post by Guest on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:27 pm

Thanks Peter

I understand what you mean, and of course you are correct. I was think more about the situation when the van is parked outside the house for a few days or weeks and the solar panel keeping both batteries alive as I believe things like the alarm system and radio can discharge batteries not used for a while.

Regards, John
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Post by Guest on Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:43 pm

jht

You should find details in your handbook.
I've just had a look at the A/S on line handbook for your van and it's all covered in there. http://www.auto-sleepers.co.uk/customer-service/handbooks

Regards
John
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Post by jht sheffield on Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:48 pm

Thanks for that John.
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