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Old 05-17-2018, 10:26 AM   #1
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Solar update

We are 3 months into our cross country wander and I want to update our success with our DYI solar system in our small truck camper. I installed a single residential type 300 watt panel ( 36 volt ) with a Midnight MMP controller to power a Engels 42 frig/freezer. The incredible efficiency of the Engels unit ( always on freezer mode ) means that the house battery (100 AGM) never got low even on cloudy days or under extreme temperatures ( camper temp reached 120F during desert heat spell ). The controller works beautifully. The setup recharges very rapidly and is usually on Float before lunch. In hind sight, I could have installed a smaller panel and still had plenty of reserve to handle freezer, lights, fan, etc. Note: I did not install an inverter as these units use power and Iíve been more than satisfied with going everything 12 Volt.
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Old 05-17-2018, 02:00 PM   #2
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Always nice to hear that an install works as desired! Congrats!!

Travel safe, and enjoy,
Smitty
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Old 05-20-2018, 02:07 PM   #3
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Sounds like you did a great job. And thanks for the update. You sound like the guy I need, I'm looking to add to my 4 100 watt panels. My MPPT C/C is only rated for 500 watts, So I'm going to have to change it also. I'm thinking of adding at least another 300 watts, for a total of 700 watts. I'll probably have to hire it out, do to a worn out body. Good luck with the rest of your trip.
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Old 05-20-2018, 02:28 PM   #4
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I also love hearing about success stories on these forums. So many posts are about problems.

We're on week two of a five month trip to Alaska with our new DIY solar system. On our 5th I installed three 350 watt panels (1050 total), a Morningstar MPPT 60 controller and have 460Ahr if usable battery. We do not have an inverter, don't need or want it.

So far all is working well, reach 100% charge by 10am even on cloudy raining mornings. So I don't really know what it can do at noon. I spent months studding and designing this system based on our power audits and anticipated weather issues. Its over designed to allow for the flat panels and low sun angles and clouds. By the time I get back I should have a very realistic performance history.

Who else have good working solar systems?
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