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Topsolar 170 watt Solar Panel Kit

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Post by Pieface Sat Aug 12, 2023 8:36 am

Having just fitted a solar panel to our Nuevo we thought we would add one to our camping trailer that we Offton tow behind our Motorhome with various toys in. It is quite a large box trailer with a large flat roof which hinges open.

We found a complete 170 watt solar panel kit for £118 delivered from Amazon which had good reviews so I bought 2 :). One for the workshop roof and one for the trailer. This will enable us to have a nice big source of power outside the van that can be used on an inverter to run the fridge in the van via the normal hook up cable. The fridge is about 50 watts but of course cycles on and off  I am sure this 170 watt panel and the new 130 amp hour battery (approx 1500 watt hour) will cope with this. Just remember not to plug in any high usage items into the vans 230 volt system.

This power source can of course also be used when we are just tent camping with the trailer.

Seems like a good panel kit for £118. Here is my short review and fitting it to the trailer. Hopefully this post and video will benefit others  up!

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Post by Dbvwt Sat Aug 12, 2023 9:11 am

As I mentioned in your other thread, please update in both how you actually get on with the new installations with regards to the fridge. Things that sound great in theory don’t always work out in practice. I genuinely am interested in the outcome and hope it works for you..
I seem to recall a thread/post last year when you said you couldn’t see the point in solar, I guess you have changed your mind! Apologies if I’ve got that wrong.
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Post by Pieface Sat Aug 12, 2023 10:24 am

Dbvwt wrote:As I mentioned in your other thread, please update in both how you actually get on with the new installations with regards to the fridge. Things that sound great in theory don’t always work out in practice. I genuinely am interested in the outcome and hope it works for you..
I seem to recall a thread/post last year when you said you couldn’t see the point in solar, I guess you have changed your mind! Apologies if I’ve got that wrong.
 Many thanks for your helpful reply.
.
It is true that I could not see the point in solar in the way we use our van as we don't do a lot of off grid stuff and we usually drive quite a way between stops so the battery tends to charge well from the Alternator.

I am semi retired and love messing with stuff like this and very frequently buy stuff just to try it and share information with others. My small youtube chanel has many videos in this regard. I will update as you mention but  it might be a while before this is used in real life.

To be honest I feel that many of the people on here are somewhat cultish and cant seem to accept people who have ago and try strange things. They seem to think this forum is theirs and not for all loving to quote rules and regs and bang on about health and safety  etc. I simply try to share my ideas and things I do. If it helps others good. If it doesn't then no issue.

I tend not to return to threads where some of the main clique have waded in. Hence this thread, as it is a different subject.
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Post by Caraman Sun Aug 13, 2023 4:29 pm

Pieface wrote:.....The fridge is about 50 watts but of course cycles on and off  I am sure this 170 watt panel and the new 130 amp hour battery (approx 1500 watt hour) will cope with this. ...
Pieface/Bigplums.  You may know this but just in case you or others don't, a 130Ah lead acid LB only has a usable capacity of half this - 65Ah - and only when it is new.  65Ah at a nominal voltage of 12V equates to 780W for an hour (not 1500).  You can discharge the LB below 50% state of charge which initially will generate more power but this will reduce the LB's maximum capacity prematurely and shorten it's life.  If you allow this to happen, any saving in gas will soon be offset by the cost of a new LB.
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Post by Pieface Sun Aug 13, 2023 6:04 pm

Caraman wrote:
Pieface/Bigplums.  You may know this but just in case you or others don't, a 130Ah lead acid LB only has a usable capacity of half this - 65Ah - and only when it is new.  65Ah at a nominal voltage of 12V equates to 780W for an hour (not 1500).  You can discharge the LB below 50% state of charge which initially will generate more power but this will reduce the LB's maximum capacity prematurely and shorten it's life.  If you allow this to happen, any saving in gas will soon be offset by the cost of a new LB.

I am aware of this and the whole running the 230 volt from an inverter was more a test to see if it it can be done and on occasion to run some items we have that only seem to operate on 230 volts . Also things are not always about money and what you do or don't save. Heck I offton spend several Hundred on something that I only use once. To me it is about the doing it etc.

The 130 amp hour batteries I bought were £83 each delivered next day so not that expensive. At the moment I am not going anywhere near these other batteries. Too expensive for what they are and have several issues in my book
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Post by bikeralw Sun Aug 13, 2023 9:03 pm

Pieface wrote: The fridge is about 50 watts but of course cycles on and off 
Is the Electrolux fridge in your van the original one? The reason I ask is that the fridge fitted to our era of Nuevo is rated at 125w and consumes 2.5KWH over 24 hours. 
Al.
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Post by Pieface Sun Aug 13, 2023 9:21 pm

bikeralw wrote:
Is the Electrolux fridge in your van the original one? The reason I ask is that the fridge fitted to our era of Nuevo is rated at 125w and consumes 2.5KWH over 24 hours. 
Al.

It is the Original one as fitted it is a 2004 Nuevo
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Post by Snowwolf Sun Aug 13, 2023 10:02 pm

Mmmmmm what a brilliant idea to put on the trailer and be able to angle to the sun, which is much needed in winter months, great idea, thanks for sharing
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Post by Pieface Mon Aug 14, 2023 6:24 am

Snowwolf wrote:Mmmmmm what a brilliant idea to put on the trailer and be able to angle to the sun, which is much needed in winter months, great idea, thanks for sharing
Thanks hopefully it will improve performance
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