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Old 07-14-2016, 11:43 AM   #1
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Solar

Thinking about a 100 watt solar panel ! What ones are easy to hookup and has a monitor to tell it's production . Won't mount on the roof ! Also best price ! Thanks .
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Old 07-14-2016, 12:41 PM   #2
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You won't mount on the roof? Where would you mount it?

I'm looking at solar myself. I found this unit: RV Solar Panel Kit - 100W 12V Charging System Flat


However, I don't think 100W will do it for me. Especially once you start to consider solar panel efficiency and how much sun you get during the day. I might go with the 145W system.
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Old 07-14-2016, 01:53 PM   #3
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There are several portable solar units check out Zamp portable units they have several different sizes.
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Old 07-14-2016, 02:25 PM   #4
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One can readily create their own portable system. A solar panel and some PVC pipe to create a folding stand. A good but basic solar controller from Morningstar - they even have one that mounts at the panel. Some wire to the batteries. Done - and cheaper / better than a commercially packaged portable setup, IMHO.
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Old 07-14-2016, 03:59 PM   #5
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I am very satisfied with the 100 watt panels and controller I purchased from Renogy.
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Old 07-14-2016, 04:33 PM   #6
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Ditto on Renogy. I got the 200 watt package with cables and PWM controller. I did roof mount, but had considered just building a suitcase with plywood and hinges and sticking it into a bay. Easy enough to set it out in the sun when needed.


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Old 07-14-2016, 05:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easy money View Post
Thinking about a 100 watt solar panel ! What ones are easy to hookup and has a monitor to tell it's production . Won't mount on the roof ! Also best price ! Thanks .
I think you first need to think about what it is that you want to accomplish. A single 100 watt panel is not going to do a whole bunch of charging so you need to understand what kind of power you are going to be using from your batteries so you can know what you need to put power back into them. There is a lot of valuable information out there to read and learn from before you spend money on something that is not going to do what you hope for. Things like wire size, panel size, battery size, controller types, etc.
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Old 07-14-2016, 06:35 PM   #8
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Ditto on Renogy. I got the 200 watt package with cables and PWM controller. I did roof mount, but had considered just building a suitcase with plywood and hinges and sticking it into a bay. Easy enough to set it out in the sun when needed.


Tom
How do you like this package, I am looking at purchasing one myself. Thanks
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:44 PM   #9
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I have the Renogy 100 watt portable unit --its great -keeps my 4 6V batteries well powered. Totally recommend it. I take it to rough camp areas -its pretty hardy.
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:54 PM   #10
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Terry,


I like the 200 Watt Renogy system very well. The storage yard we use does not have electric service, so I need something to keep the batteries up during the off season. I installed the two panels on the roof and dropped the wires down through the refrigerator vent. (We have a residential refrigerator, so there is no problem with heat in the vent area.)


The controller is mounted near the batteries, but not in the same bay. The PWM controller keeps the batteries, (coach and house) at a pretty constant 13.3V unless there is a load, then it responds accordingly. There are some solar experts who say that a different controller could be better, sending the voltage up to about 14.4V from time to time to equalize the cells. I don't really know about that, but so far this system works fine for me.


We used the system last year with no problems, including the springtime before we left. We mostly stay at FHU parks, so the solar input usually isn't needed most of the time. Just having it there keeping the system topped up is worth the cost.


I think that's about all I know............


Tom
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Old 07-14-2016, 11:06 PM   #11
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If you use a lot of battery power, a 100 watt panel isn't going to recharge the batteries fast enough. If you just use 12 volt lights and water pump and such, it will likely keep your batteries charged well enough. A solar panel can also help you if you're using an inverter and need to get some extra time out of the batteries. I have a ten year old 90 watt panel that probably is putting out 75-80 watts now. I spend about ten hours a day on battery power, running the refrigerator, my wi-fi network, and a computer. I start out with fully charged batteries and with the solar panel have AC power the whole time. If I park in the shade, the lack of solar power lets the batteries dip a little under 11 volts and the inverter shuts off. I know that running the batteries a little low like that is hard on them, but the boost from the panel allows me to continue to work all day.
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Old 07-16-2016, 06:28 PM   #12
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I bought a 100 watt "NewPowa" brand solar panel with their house brand charge controller off ebay about 4 months ago to provide power to operate a wifi relay and security camera in my shed, the price was about $140 delivered and for that price I was very impressed with the overall quality. (I have bought various other 20-60 watt panels over the years for boats, remote charging, etc.).
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Old 07-16-2016, 06:55 PM   #13
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Basically 100 watts is really only good to keep your batteries charged when in storage.

If you want enough to power your coach while dry camping with minimal generator usage you'll need a 1,000 watts or more.

My personal opinion is to have a 50 to 100 watt panel just to keep your chassis batteries charged and a larger array for your house batteries. Why? Because each has its own charging requirements that are better served with their own arrays especially if your using different battery chemistries for each.
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Old 07-20-2016, 11:36 AM   #14
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