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Old 10-02-2011, 08:47 PM   #1
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Solar panels

I've been looking into putting a solar panel on my travel trailer. I've done some research on the Internet and am no closer to sizing the system. The trouble is I am an idiot when it comes to electricity. I have looked at several systems and really don't know if 120 watt or 370 watt system is what I need. how do you size the controller, the inverter, and the disaster fuse and how do you check for cross polarity? Any help will be appreciated.

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Old 10-02-2011, 09:00 PM   #2
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First, decide what and for how long you want to power. Then go looking at where and how many batteries you can install. For an occasional weekend boon docking trip two batteries and a 2000 watt Honda or Yamaha generator might be a better choice. IF you want to be off grid for extended time periods, and plan on full sun on the panels for 8 to 12 hours a day then 4 or more deep cycle batteries and at least two 120 watt panels are in your future. For us, we have two120 watt panels, and a 2800 watt generator charging 4 6VDC golf cart batteries as necessary. I am careful about what I use inverter power for and even with partial sun I can survive running the generator for 3-4 hours a week.

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Old 10-02-2011, 09:02 PM   #3
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Sizing Solar Panels

DIY Solar Panel help - tutorials, calculators and design tools for solar power


sizing a smal solar system - Google Search
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Old 11-02-2011, 05:19 PM   #4
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i purchased a 100 watt system from amazon,it came with 2-50 watt panels(monocrystalline),10 amp charge controller,worthless 200 watt inverter,i have it set up as 12 volt system,when i add more panels,i plan to make it a 24 volt system wich is more efficient,stii looking at tying it into class c rv inverter,so i have charge controller close to aux batt,100 watts isnt enough, i would buy the best panels you can afford or system,i have panels mounted flat on roof and as far as power,i can fish all day saturday and sunday,while girlfriend watches 26 inch flat screen on econo mode all day and night,i also have purchased 2 deep cycle batteries,i also charge batteries in bass boat overnight,and run lights,the only time we had an issue was the night the temp dropped and the furnace blower ran both batteries dead
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Old 11-02-2011, 05:27 PM   #5
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also 100 watt solar system is about $400,and the morning that both batteries were dead,i used a jump box to start rv and recharged both batteries with the rv
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Old 11-09-2011, 06:40 PM   #6
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Google handybob. By reading his manifestos you will know more than you ever want to know. Grains of salt are required but he definitely knows his stuff. Start with the RV solar quick answer.

I'm in the process of designing a solution for my TT. I think I have a very good system design that will provide more than 60 amp hours per day which I believe will be plenty. Estimated cost of $1100 with me doing the installation. I'll post my diagram here tomorrow.


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Old 11-11-2011, 04:42 AM   #7
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Check the solar that really works thread in the boondocking section. Part of the equation is use. We have a large teardrop (I know sort of an oxymoron) that is outfitted with all LED lights and things like an Eberspacher heater and WACO refrigerator which are very low power draw.
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:17 AM   #8
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Mostly just subscribing to the thread. I purchased my 5er used with 2x80 watt Sharp panels and NO information but the panel IB. It works, but danged if I understand why/how --- yet
Dave W along with my DW, Susan and our poodlepups, Callie & Molly,2011 Ford F250 6.7 CCLB, 5er Hitch Option w/B&W Hitch,,Ride Rite air bags, 2014 Montana High Country 343RL (38')w/disc brakes
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:37 PM   #9
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As has been said before, it depends on what your needs are. We have a 45w panel that I bought used. I set it up beside the TT so its in the sun and attatch it to the batteries with aligator clips. We us the gen for an hr in the morning for coffee & microwave and the panel does the rest. We use a small invertor to run TV & satilite, and computor. It worked for us. We have 2 6V golf cart batteries.


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