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Old 10-06-2018, 11:08 AM   #1
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800W solar install

I just bought 10 102W First Solar series4 thin film panels ($550) but only have room for 8 (maybe 9) along drivers side of my roof. They are 80V and 1.5A so I’m planning on a 60A MorningStar controller. Making my own tilting mounts fastened to the top of the raised rail on my 08 Navigator. Should have less than $1000 when finished but welcome to comments as I have not bought the controller yet. Should I install blocking diodes in this series installation that is 32+’ long?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-06-2018, 11:23 AM   #2
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Check the technical data sheet for your panels, I would expect they already have bypass diodes, which is what you need in series.
You will be at 600 plus volts 8 in series, can the Morningstar take that?

Post up part numbers for more precise responses. Good luck with the install!
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Old 10-06-2018, 06:04 PM   #3
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Sorry, in parallel.
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Old 10-09-2018, 06:02 AM   #4
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Do I need a MorningStar TriStar TS-60 or will a 45 do?
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Old 10-09-2018, 10:44 AM   #5
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Even the 60 will be maxed out around 800 watts. 800w/13.5v = 59a.
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Old 10-09-2018, 11:26 AM   #6
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A 45 will work but there is a slight potential of leaving some energy behind.

If your in the south, angling the panels towards the sun, at high noon, in the summer, you will probably produce more then 45 amps, otherwise probably not.

This is from Morningstar.
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Old 10-10-2018, 04:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finance View Post
Even the 60 will be maxed out around 800 watts. 800w/13.5v = 59a.
I wish a 100W panel would put out 100W.
After measuring around items I’m down to 7 panels.
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:55 PM   #8
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If you are installing them flat, you are expecting 50-70% output of nominal watts per season and location. You can put all 8 (10 if room allows) on the roof and your 60A is more than adequate.

Ask me how I know.
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Old 10-10-2018, 05:08 PM   #9
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I'm very interested in your mounts?
What type of layout are you using?
Are you just laying the panels end to end down the drivers side?
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vito.a View Post
I'm very interested in your mounts?
What type of layout are you using?
Are you just laying the panels end to end down the drivers side?
Yes, sort of but I have the alum raised rails along each side making it easy to attach a pivot on the inside near the top of it...a 2” piece of 1.5” alum channel. The panels are frameless so I’ll clip each to two PT wooden battens that fit/pivot in the 1.5” alum channels. When traveling they will be angled down towards the middle of the roof...have not decided if I need to hold them down while traveling. Angled down is also the best position when we snowbird each winter. Will probably use 2’ long wooden poles to tilt them up when advantageous.

Today I ordered a 60A Outback Flex Max mppt controller and various MC4 connectors/cables. Once I get those items hooked up I can start mounting the 7 panels along the drivers side. Not sure if I’ll be able to mount the other 3 on the passenger side and still be able to get around easily on the roof...no hurry on that.
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Old 10-17-2018, 02:47 PM   #11
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Working on my tilting mounts for 7, 100W frameless panels that are 2' X 4' so they will fit besides my AC units and hopefully will not be shaded by them. Going to silicone and clip the panels to the PT battens.



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Old 10-21-2018, 11:16 AM   #12
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Getting the panels up on the roof was a challenge but fortunately I had a canvas bag with straps that they would fit in. Used a rope to pull the bag up the back of the MH.

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Old 10-21-2018, 01:41 PM   #13
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Very nice
Make sure the mechanism keeps panels down firmly when coach is on the move.
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Old 10-21-2018, 02:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryFit View Post
Very nice
Make sure the mechanism keeps panels down firmly when coach is on the move.
Having hauled a spare tire for many miles around a roof vent in the middle of the roof without fastening it down, I'm going to try it without holding them down. I have added a 2"X 8" triangle in front of the first panel to keep air out although that far forward it's probably in a low pressure area...no lift and protected from the 70 mph winds.

There is also a 1" opening at the top and bottom of the panels so doubt there is enough pressure under the panels to lift them up. I may mount my GoPro up there and get it up to speed+ and record what happens.

I may run a cord from the 2x8 triangle up front through the grey tank vent and over the rear panel to keep them from raising up too much. Put some small pieces of paper under the bottom of the supports and if they do not blow out from under...no problem and no cord needed.
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