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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes

 > Solar for RV's and home Solar systems.

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gdhillard

Virginia

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Posted: 04/08/12 04:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Another fan of RV Solar Electric. Good prices, and great systems and support. I haven't plugged in the camper in 2 years.

RVGRINGO

Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico

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Posted: 04/08/12 05:18pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We cook and dry clothes with propane. Our 610L Water Heater is solar. All lighting is CFL and we don't need furnaces or AC. If we were to install solar electric, it would cost a minimum of $10,000 but twice that would be better. It would be tied to the grid and the meter would run in reverse, sending excess daytime generation back to the federal electric system. However, our electric bills are now so low that, at age 74, the payback is much too long.
Others, who have pools and many electric toys, get bumped into a higher cost bracket (Mexico has billing that encourages conservation with a tier system) and they may find the payback time to be much shorter. Anyway, the north shore of Lake Chapala now has the highest use of solar systems in all of Mexico, with several companies supplying such systems. Hardware stores are now carrying the smaller solar water heaters and proudly displaying them out front. We love ours, and have never had such a good supply of steady hot water. Of course, we have few cloudy days but can handle 3 or 4 in a row.

hershey

Albuquerque,(fulltime) NM, USA

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Posted: 04/08/12 09:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Someone correct me but I thought that home solar systems produces a large amount of current which the excess is sold to the power company. Its not really stored on premise like an RV with batteries. Then bought back when needed, dark and cloudy days.


hershey - albuquerque, nm
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Posted: 04/08/12 09:26pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

hershey wrote:

Someone correct me but I thought that home solar systems produces a large amount of current which the excess is sold to the power company. Its not really stored on premise like an RV with batteries. Then bought back when needed, dark and cloudy days.
In my area (AZ) solar on grid tied homes is very popular. The power is used to reduce your bill and it does not carry over to next months bill. Use it or lose it.

But solar on non grid tied homes use batteries and wind.


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Bob


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Posted: 04/08/12 05:54pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Goombay wrote:

I live in Northeast Florida. Any Solar companies closer to me?
Sun Electronics is also in Miami.

Goombay

Jacksonville, Fl

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Posted: 04/08/12 05:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I live in Northeast Florida. Any Solar companies closer to me?


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Golden_HVAC

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Posted: 04/08/12 11:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

hershey wrote:

Someone correct me but I thought that home solar systems produces a large amount of current which the excess is sold to the power company. Its not really stored on premise like an RV with batteries. Then bought back when needed, dark and cloudy days.


Hi,
Yes there are two types of photovoltaic systems, non-battery grid tied systems, or battery systems like described in Home Power Magazine, where they publish their magazine 7 miles from the nearest paved road or grid power. It is printed someplace else - of course!

The system to be constructed here would be battery type system, desirable to have perhaps 2 - 4 golf cart batteries, and a 200 watt solar panel with a 25- 40 amp controller, so expansion is easy. Then more 200 watt panels can be installed if needs arise. With only a few LED light, (DIY has a excellent source of LED light panels on a current forum post) then 200 watt solar panel should be more than adaquate. You can even run a bunch of lights out in the garden 24/7 if desired, they only draw about 10 AH per day, 5 if you shut them off in the daytime, and the 200W solar panel should make 50 - 75 AH daily, depending on if it is cloudy or not.

You can even start having a water system, by using a pump to a nearby lake or stream, or have a well dug about 40' down and lined with 4" PVC pipe, then you can run a tap into that, and hook it up to a 12 volt pump. You should get about 25' of water into the pipe (check out the local conditions, I know the water level is pretty high in many parts of Florida, but recent droughts, Y M M V.

Fred.

MrWizard

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Posted: 04/09/12 11:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

two questions

does she want to have power ( be off grid capable ) when the utility power is off ( emergency power )

or does she want to be 'grid tie' and reduce her utility bill by feeding power to the grid

off grid usage means batteries a stand alone inverter and some wiring changes (sub panel)

grid tie, means using an inverter that syncs to and feeds the utility line power
it also means this type of inverter "shuts down" when the utility power goes off line
this is to prevent back feeding to the utility power and injuring power line workers who would be working on the power outage

grid tie inverters do NOT require batteries because they shut down, utility power must be available for them to function, this might require a diversion load for the DC output of the panels, to protect them from heat overload in case power outage
i DON'T know all the particulars of a grid tie system just that any solar panel is NOT supposed to be exposed to the sun for long periods of NO attached load for the power to goto

RV systems and "grid tie" systems are different

off grid systems and rv systems are the same Except for size


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pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 04/10/12 06:26am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

Since the OP has clarified that this is an off grid installation, the usual rules apply except that weight is not an issue. Therefore I'd go with six two volt cells, probably AGM chemistry so it can be a "set it and forget it" system.

1. energy audit
2. battery bank size 4 to 10 times daily needs (since there is no alternative method of charging I would lean to larger)
3. solar wattage based on 60 watts per 100 amp-hours, more if the bank is smaller up to 150 watts per 100 amp-hours.

The rest is just deciding where to buy the materials to do the job. The voltage of the panels will determine what type of charge controller needs to be used.


Regards, Don
Full Time in a Kustom Koach Class C 28'5", 256 watts Unisolar, 875 amp hours in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, Magnum 3000 watt PSW inverter.

tahiti16

Camarillo, CA

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Posted: 04/09/12 10:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here is a company big on education first then buy what fits the needs.
Amsolar

Big difference between home and RV systems, on grid homes, is conversion to ac power. On a RV or off grid systenm the power stays at 12 volt and uses batteries to store the power.




Ray, Cheryl & of course Miss Molly the four-legged child

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