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Old 11-26-2011, 12:15 PM   #1
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Solar PV system research

Hi all,

Stuck inside on a cold wet day I thought I would do some research.
I am looking to determine how much gets spent on vehicle mounted Solar PV systems. Then to break the total system cost down a bit further to determine the % cost of the individual system items. Not looking for brand names but simply system costs matched to system sizes. For example my 270 watt 60 amp MPPT system w/ proactive alarming and ethernet computer interface
Parts cost about $2.5K
Labor - all mine so I guess that would be "free"
$700 PV panels
$500 Charge controller
$450 Batteries
$450 Proactive alarm/warning, Monitoring and computer interface stuff
$300 Wire, Breakers, Connectors, Power terminals, Hardware, etc

How about it anyone willing to help me with my research?
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Old 11-27-2011, 12:36 PM   #2
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OK I guess this is the WRONG forum to post this sort of message
I have complied a great data base from several other forums
If there is any interest

Not looking to say one system is better than the other
Just looking to compile a data base with % cost of the components and total system costs

No need for specific manufacturers
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:54 PM   #3
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How about the cost of an inverter, or is that already installed. It looks like a workable budget.

Kevin
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Old 12-14-2011, 04:16 PM   #4
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Amonth ago I had a solar dealer install:
3 150 w panels (roof mount)
45 amp MPPT Controler
6 ga from panels to controller, 4/0 ga to Batts
Battery minder
labor and cash discount
approx $3600
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Old 12-14-2011, 05:32 PM   #5
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I posted a reply last week that has a picture and cost breakdown of the system I am going to install on our TT. 380 watts, non MPPT (don't need it when using low voltage panels and staying in the 40-50 amp range). Parts cost about $1100 or so. Installation will be me and a very knowledgeable third party.

Search on my name to find the diagram. The very knowledgeable third party thought I was over the top on it but it's accurate now.

Once I have it up and running I intend to post a long description of the installation and whatever operational experience I have to that point.

Basically I've learned already that this doesn't need to be that hard or that expensive.

Thanks,

Kelly
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:47 PM   #6
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No experience with rv's but in boats so my 2 cents.... First do a energy budget. Figure out exactly how much each electrical device you have will need in terms of amp hours. Get a good multimeter.
Once you know what you need in terms of amps, you can figure out what equipment you will need. Buy quality. Make sure the wire is sized correctly. I would use a mppt controller, but some would not. Will add more later.
Bob
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:40 PM   #7
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Put 4-120 watt panels with 1/0 welding cable to a Trace C40 DVM controler and a Tri-Metric 2020 monitor feeding 4-T105 batteries. Parts came to about $2000 labor on me so free. Put system in 6 yrs ago and have not had one problem and almost never run gen set now with lots of dry camping.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:48 AM   #8
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We have A panel, And a 7.5 Diesel gen.. .Thinking about adding more Solar panels.. Done a lot of pencil work .. Cost wise it is interesting. Solar set up $3500.00 Fuel To run gen. 1/2 hour in the morning 1/2 huor in the evening ; = about $4.00 bucks per day. That is near 900 days of Fuel cost. Most Would not use it that most;; Altho some might.. Over The time of our 8 motorhomes. We have used a small Panel that lays on the dash and plugs into the Lighter. I think it is 3/4 amps . Used it when Snowmibiling; Never had any problem. My word is. Use your pencil,and your head. Having more/bigger/better is not allways in the best interests; Life is good. Altho yours may be higher wattage then mine.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:48 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by bachler View Post
We have A panel, And a 7.5 Diesel gen.. .Thinking about adding more Solar panels.. Done a lot of pencil work .. Cost wise it is interesting. Solar set up $3500.00 Fuel To run gen. 1/2 hour in the morning 1/2 huor in the evening ; = about $4.00 bucks per day. That is near 900 days of Fuel cost. Most Would not use it that most;; Altho some might.. Over The time of our 8 motorhomes. We have used a small Panel that lays on the dash and plugs into the Lighter. I think it is 3/4 amps . Used it when Snowmibiling; Never had any problem. My word is. Use your pencil,and your head. Having more/bigger/better is not allways in the best interests; Life is good. Altho yours may be higher wattage then mine.

Interesting!

And how did your analysis come out when comparing Snowmibiling (your spelling), and taking a nice QUIET snowshoe walk in the woods?

Ed
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bachler View Post
We have A panel, And a 7.5 Diesel gen.. .Thinking about adding more Solar panels.. Done a lot of pencil work .. Cost wise it is interesting. Solar set up $3500.00 Fuel To run gen. 1/2 hour in the morning 1/2 huor in the evening ; = about $4.00 bucks per day. That is near 900 days of Fuel cost.
Good point. Being pragmatic about costs is always a good start. Now, if you want to lean towards green, that's a more emotional decision (but in no way bad).

Another reason that I have chosen to stick with the genny is that I can run it any time (assuming no "quiet time" restrictions), in a shady area, and any weather. The solar is useful for only a small percentage of the day, and of no use in cloudy weather.

Giving the solar its due, it doesn't create stinky exhaust and it makes no noise.



Ah, if only life would present us with easy answers................
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:46 PM   #11
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Ah, if only life would present us with easy answers................
It does but it is always in the context of the individual who ponders them in their own way.
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Old 12-15-2011, 03:47 PM   #12
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I have long given up on doing cost analysis when it come to RV'ing. There is no way to justify a 50 to 250+ thousand dollar coach if you try to break down cost per night etc., even full timing as you can get a much better home with much less maintenance for that kind of money (cost per sg foot anyway). You are buying the extras that only RVing gives (not even motels/hotels/resorts can give). Solar frees you from monitoring your generator and batt for proper charging, frees you from the noise (no way to make mine quiet - 7kw Onan diesel). A good solar system and batts allow you use most anything you have except especially AC units, but I then avoid heat and cold which is why I like being mobile. I wanted solar and I paid what I felt was a fair price. It was cheaper then the generator and whole lot of other extras you find on coaches. If you don't need it or want to spend the money then don't get it. I am too old to do without anymore, I did that for over 60 years, with any luck I will have $1.86 in the bank when I leave this world. Besides having a blast RVing I look at as my way to help the economy
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Old 12-15-2011, 04:23 PM   #13
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Diesel gen set-------good Solar syst.----------good together they are real good Retired and RVing great just don't try to dollar it out.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:58 AM   #14
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Agreed "just do not try to dollar it out"

Cost is always a consideration
BUT
when it comes to TOYS aka Motor Homes
I have found the older the boy the more expensive the toy

Enjoy what ever way works for you

Adding another two 135 watt panels this winter just for the fun of it another project to keep me busy
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