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Which Solar Panel

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Which Solar Panel Empty Which Solar Panel

Post by carlwild on Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:48 pm

Hi I am thinking of fitting a solar panel to my 1998 Autosleeper Ravenna so that we can do some Wild Camping.  Can anyone recommend a decent solar panel kit?

Thanks

Carl
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Which Solar Panel Empty Re: Which Solar Panel

Post by Greyhound on Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:22 am

There are plenty of good makes out at the minute, but after a fair bit of research I've just gone with a Photonic Universe panel myself.
They do complete kits such as this - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

They get good reviews and seem ok.

I went for a 100W panel with Bosch cells as this uses larger cells and is a bit more efficient at collecting light than a smaller equivalent wattage panel.  You can buy kits, but it's simple enough to put together one yourself too.

On top of the kit you will need:

Possibly more cable to wire to the battery(s)
Battery clamp connectors
Plenty of Sikaflex to glue/seal everything in place (I've got 2 tubes to be on the safe side).

I got most of my stuff from Amazon.  Plenty to choose from though and I'm sure others will have good recommendations too and other complete kits to make the above easier to order.

Here's a very good installation video I found that walks you through the whole process (it's in 3 parts):
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


Not sure if this is anyone on here, thanks if it is as I found this very useful in researching how I was going to do it.
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Which Solar Panel Empty Re: Which Solar Panel

Post by CC on Tue Apr 05, 2016 5:13 pm

I fitted this 100w panel one on our Broadway...  [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Same as Noggin I found Photonic universe a good supplier.

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Which Solar Panel Empty Re: Which Solar Panel

Post by carlwild on Tue Apr 05, 2016 10:23 pm

Thank you for the response, I will have a look on the site.  Is 100watt enough, only looking touse fridge, lights, pump and charge the phone

Thanks

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Which Solar Panel Empty Re: Which Solar Panel

Post by meanchris on Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:50 am

Do you have LED lighting, it will make a big saving on amp/hours compared with fluorescents, and reasonably easy to convert if you haven't done it yet?

I would suspect that the 12V fridge will draw at least 5A, if it will run on 12V. I'm pretty sure that it will only work on 12V with the engine running unless someone has modified it. Plan to use the fridge on gas in other words.

The pump will presumably be intermittent use, so should average out at reasonable Ah.

Phone chargers draw very little, as the phone battery is usually only between 2-3Ah and the phone should then last all day on a single charge.

A big battery killer could be things like a car radio or TV plus satellite receiver, which could be drawing 2A each and be running for several hours at a time.

We have a Kogan TV that draws approx 1.5A, the sat receiver draws similar and we have the TV sending its otherwise tinny sound to bluetooth speakers which draw 2A at reasonable sound levels.

In sunny weather you should be fine just for LED lighting and intermittent pump use.
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Which Solar Panel Empty Re: Which Solar Panel

Post by carlwild on Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:49 pm

Thanks for all the information, really useful
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Which Solar Panel Empty Re: Which Solar Panel

Post by Greyhound on Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:15 am

I wont be wild camping so am only using it for the odd weekend where EHU isn't available and to keep the battery topped up when not in use.  The 'research' I did made me think 100W is enough for that, but if wild camping will be your thing, or you have a lot of high energy items, the recommendation is to go for biggest you can afford / fit on the roof.

Also the better panels are more efficient at converting sunlight which helps if your roof space is restricted for size.
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