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spacedoutbob

SF Bay Area

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Posted: 02/05/12 07:35am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have been looking to install a Solar Panel myself, Thanks for posting the photos. I can't wait to see your finished project.

Bob in Calif.


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dbrojr

upstate ny

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Posted: 02/05/12 08:32am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

looks good....looking forward to yur future postings.


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Reddog1

El Dorado, CA

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Posted: 02/05/12 10:17am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

sabconsulting wrote:

Jeff & kelli: Yes, I am already thinking about fabricating a strip of aluminum drilled at various points with a thumbscrew to allow me screw it into the panel to hold it at various angles, including its fully open position for maintenance, and that will allow me to angle it towards the sun if staying in one place for any time.
I too made my panels to tilt. I find I only tilt them when I wash the roof of the TC, or testing them. To raise them, I simply open the escape hatch, stand on the bed, reach out and raise the panels. In over six years, I have never had the need to raise them, but I can.

When I purchased my solar panels, the sales person advised me not to install a tilt mount. He said it was very common for them to sale replacement panels to people with tilted panels. He went on to say that even though there was a gain, they typically were too much trouble to raise and lower, and more likely to be damaged. After over six years of use, I believe him to be correct.



sabconsulting wrote:

... However, I do have a habit of forgetting stuff like that, so will probably need to get some of those "Remove before flight" flags to remind me so I don't drive off with the panels upright . ...
Years ago I lost an antenna on one trip, and a vent on another. They were no match Tree limbs.


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sabconsulting

High Wycombe, UK

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Posted: 02/11/12 10:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Another Saturday and more freezing weather. Luckily it is sunny today and not a drop of wind, which helps (see the wind sock at the air strip just across the way from us):



The camper roof was just as frozen as last weekend, but thankfully I cleared the snow off it last night before it all froze. Clearing the snow from the solar panels was achieved by undoing the sliding bolts and just tilting them up 90 degrees so the snow slid off in a very satisfying way:



I fitted the last of the bolts - the rear bolt on the front panel:





With the panels in place I can think about the terminal box that will accept the cables and feed them through into the space behind the fridge - I had already purchased a nice aluminum box that would be suitable:



I then drilled holes for the glands that would seal the cables going into it:



And a big hole in the bottom for the cables to go through into the fridge vent space:





Here is the box on the roof with all the glands fitted - here I am just placing it to check where it will go - notice that although the solar panel only requires 4 cables going into the box, I have fitted 10 glands - this is so I can add further cables for other stuff later. I need to drill the holes now, since the box will be sealed to the roof and I won't be able to drill them after that:



And with its lid on:



Of course, all those unused glands need to be sealed, so I cut some short sections of aluminum rod to insert into the glands, then tightened them up to seal against the rod:



I'll leave installing the box today, since it is still below freezing point and I will need to use sealant to seal the box to the aluminum roof, and I suspect that will all go horribly wrong if I try to apply it in such temperatures.

Pianotuna asked about the charge controller. Here is the box - I love the colourful boxes cheap electronics from China come in:



And here is the cheapo controller:



This was thrown in with the panels, so I will see how it goes and upgrade it if I feel I need to later.

Here is the specification:



And the instructions:



I can see they have marked where the power from the panels comes in, and where the battery is connected, but there are also a couple of terminals marked as being for a lamp - does anyone know what that lamp is for?

It also says "Press button 2 or 3 to verify the system connecting" - but I can only see one button on the unit, marked with a power symbol, and I'm not entirely sure what that is for.

Here are some more instructions - don't you just love those "translated from Chinese" instructions:



At least, even though I don't have the solar connected up yet, the panels are now fully secured to the roof so If I needed to use the camper I could.

Steve.


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sleepy

Oak Ridge,Tennessee

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Posted: 02/11/12 10:46am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The lamp may be just that... I recently installed some electronics that had as an option a a LED light to use as a work light when checking (reading) the face plate...

As it is some things Like meters require a flashlight to see what we are doing. There must be a need that you'll find in the future...

Your project is looking good... and COLD.

Sleepy


2003 Lance 1161,/slideout/AGM batteries/255W Solar/propane generator/Sat dish/2 Fantastic Fans/AC/winter pkg
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Mello Mike

Mesa, AZ

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Posted: 02/05/12 10:40am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice work. I love the hinged panels.


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Kidoo

Chicoutimi, Qu├ębec, Canada

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Posted: 02/11/12 10:54am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I like your hinge setup. Maybe that is what I should have done. I did not install mine on hinge. My solar is not charging right now, do not know what is wrong, I just started a post on it. I just wonder if it is because it is not facing sun 90 degree, maybe it is the controler, don'T know.


Bigfoot 2008, 10.4, F350, 2006, Diesel 6.0, Black, 4x4, long box, Air lift, Rancho 9000, Rear sway bar.

henrylouis57

SEATTLE

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Posted: 02/12/12 03:57am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Congratulation for installing solar panels. I will suggest you to keep tight on cleaning mirror and checking on solar charger particularly.


solar panels NJ

AhNuts

East Coast

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Posted: 02/12/12 08:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On my controller there is a connection for the load, that may what the lamp connection is for on yours.

John

sabconsulting

High Wycombe, UK

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Posted: 02/12/12 09:01am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

AhNuts wrote:

On my controller there is a connection for the load, that may what the lamp connection is for on yours.

John


Hi John,

When you say "the load" do you mean the rest of the camper 12v electrics - i.e. have that coming from that connection rather than directly from the battery?

Steve.

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