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Old 11-16-2013, 11:00 AM   #15
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I have solar too and love the fact that I never ever run my generator except for air conditioning. It did me real good a few weeks ago when my igniter went out on my fridge. I had to run it off the inverter for five days while boondocking. The gene never started during the day but had to a few times at night to keep up with the power demand for the fridge. I am now looking at changing the fridge out for a Samsung. Just sucks because I put a Amish cooling unit on 2 years ago and a new igniter last week. Oh well, someone will buy it if I do it?

One thing that I will add is the size of the system needs to be matched to the battery bank size too and power amount used each day. No use having a lot of solar if you don't have the capacity to store the power or use it. I did increase my battery bank just for that.

And a lot depends on what time of year you camp too. I camp all the time and if I am staying at one place for more than 2 days during the fall or spring I will angle my panels. I never angle them during summer. And I always try to park East West when possible.

Cost, not too cheap but you can save when you do it yourself for sure.
Good luck, looks great!

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Old 11-16-2013, 12:45 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brobox View Post
BigMoney, thank you for sharing the cost of increasing the solar system on the Entegra. I would not be boondocking enough to justify the cost myself, but others might be right there. I really debated about the cost of factory solar until I saw how much buyers were asking about it on my coach I just sold. It will be fun to play with and I know it is a selling point on a used coach. I am learning a little about solar from your post. Thanks.

congrats on your 2014 Entegra on order
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Old 11-16-2013, 12:53 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by hes4all View Post
I have solar too and love the fact that I never ever run my generator except for air conditioning. It did me real good a few weeks ago when my igniter went out on my fridge. I had to run it off the inverter for five days while boondocking. The gene never started during the day but had to a few times at night to keep up with the power demand for the fridge. I am now looking at changing the fridge out for a Samsung. Just sucks because I put a Amish cooling unit on 2 years ago and a new igniter last week. Oh well, someone will buy it if I do it?

One thing that I will add is the size of the system needs to be matched to the battery bank size too and power amount used each day. No use having a lot of solar if you don't have the capacity to store the power or use it. I did increase my battery bank just for that.

And a lot depends on what time of year you camp too. I camp all the time and if I am staying at one place for more than 2 days during the fall or spring I will angle my panels. I never angle them during summer. And I always try to park East West when possible.

Cost, not too cheap but you can save when you do it yourself for sure.
Good luck, looks great!

WOW all I can say is great looking system. Got to have over 4K in the cost for that system. What ever the cost your payback or breakeven should be within 3 to 4 years. I would need to run addition cable from the battery and add another controller to increase my system. Love you system
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Old 11-16-2013, 01:10 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by hes4all View Post
I have solar too and love the fact that I never ever run my generator except for air conditioning. It did me real good a few weeks ago when my igniter went out on my fridge. I had to run it off the inverter for five days while boondocking. The gene never started during the day but had to a few times at night to keep up with the power demand for the fridge. I am now looking at changing the fridge out for a Samsung. Just sucks because I put a Amish cooling unit on 2 years ago and a new igniter last week. Oh well, someone will buy it if I do it?

One thing that I will add is the size of the system needs to be matched to the battery bank size too and power amount used each day. No use having a lot of solar if you don't have the capacity to store the power or use it. I did increase my battery bank just for that.

And a lot depends on what time of year you camp too. I camp all the time and if I am staying at one place for more than 2 days during the fall or spring I will angle my panels. I never angle them during summer. And I always try to park East West when possible.

Cost, not too cheap but you can save when you do it yourself for sure.
Good luck, looks great!


Whai is your battery capacity? What size wire did you run down to the controler?
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Old 11-16-2013, 04:22 PM   #19
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I 660 amps hours. 6 six volt Lifeline AGM's. This will be increased to 8 down the road. I ran #2 wiring, same as from my battery bank to the inverter.

Also installed a Morningstar TriStar TS-60 MPPT controller and a Magnum BMK with shunt! I also had to send my Magnum read out AGS to Magnum for a update. They did it for free with the purcahse on the BMK.

Some will say the 900 watts is over kill, but with conditions different all the time (weather) and loss with wiring I can honestly say that I have a true 700-750 watt system considering a 10 - 15% percent loss in efficiencies.

I have seen over 65 amps being charged many times on the controller. There have been time when the batteries are at float charge at two in the afternoon and sometimes at five.

One thing my wife likes to do is slow cook with the crock pot all day long. I can tell you that that thing pulls the power too.

This past year we camped about 50 days and of those fifty days we were plugged in to power for three days.

Thanks
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Old 11-16-2013, 04:44 PM   #20
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When your designing your system use this wire sizing tool to keep your voltage drop between 3-5%

Wire sizing calculator for Solar Panel Arrays
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Old 11-16-2013, 08:59 PM   #21
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Not just voltage drop because of wiring but solar panels are rated in perfect conditions and we will never ever see that unless the ozone is gone.

In talking to AM solar to buy me panels, I was told that a 100 watt panel will produce 85-90 watts on the average in great conditions.
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:38 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hes4all View Post
I 660 amps hours. 6 six volt Lifeline AGM's. This will be increased to 8 down the road. I ran #2 wiring, same as from my battery bank to the inverter.

Also installed a Morningstar TriStar TS-60 MPPT controller and a Magnum BMK with shunt! I also had to send my Magnum read out AGS to Magnum for a update. They did it for free with the purcahse on the BMK.

Some will say the 900 watts is over kill, but with conditions different all the time (weather) and loss with wiring I can honestly say that I have a true 700-750 watt system considering a 10 - 15% percent loss in efficiencies.

I have seen over 65 amps being charged many times on the controller. There have been time when the batteries are at float charge at two in the afternoon and sometimes at five.

One thing my wife likes to do is slow cook with the crock pot all day long. I can tell you that that thing pulls the power too.

This past year we camped about 50 days and of those fifty days we were plugged in to power for three days.

Thanks
That's great. I hope my two 20 amp Renogy MPPT controller's gives me 30-36 amps plus with my 400 watts of solar panels. Just installed 4 Lifeline AGM to increase my off the road camping to 600 amp/hrs
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Old 11-17-2013, 09:01 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by hes4all View Post
I 660 amps hours. 6 six volt Lifeline AGM's. This will be increased to 8 down the road. I ran #2 wiring, same as from my battery bank to the inverter.

Also installed a Morningstar TriStar TS-60 MPPT controller and a Magnum BMK with shunt! I also had to send my Magnum read out AGS to Magnum for a update. They did it for free with the purcahse on the BMK.

Some will say the 900 watts is over kill, but with conditions different all the time (weather) and loss with wiring I can honestly say that I have a true 700-750 watt system considering a 10 - 15% percent loss in efficiencies.

I have seen over 65 amps being charged many times on the controller. There have been time when the batteries are at float charge at two in the afternoon and sometimes at five.

One thing my wife likes to do is slow cook with the crock pot all day long. I can tell you that that thing pulls the power too.

This past year we camped about 50 days and of those fifty days we were plugged in to power for three days.

Thanks
Thank you!
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:33 AM   #24
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Doug,

I know there are 4-5 hours a day when a solar system produces the maximum. But, there are 2-3 hours a day when it will still produce. I do not understand spending over a $1000 and designing a system to produce less than the maximum. Especially when moving a panel 8 inches would produce the maximum.
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Old 11-18-2013, 07:58 PM   #25
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Doug,

I know there are 4-5 hours a day when a solar system produces the maximum. But, there are 2-3 hours a day when it will still produce. I do not understand spending over a $1000 and designing a system to produce less than the maximum. Especially when moving a panel 8 inches would produce the maximum.
If parked headed east the shade would creep into the back panel. This pictures were taken at 10:30am facing north/north east. The sun moved from left to right from 10:30 - 6pm with absolutely no shaded spots from the AC unit on any panel. I'll take this set-up any day of the week with 7 hours of sun hitting the panels.

To your point I'm dead if I park headed east, I'll lose some of my rear panel. All I need to do is to park from north/north west to north/northeast and I"m go to go.
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:34 PM   #26
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When your designing your system use this wire sizing tool to keep your voltage drop between 3-5%

Wire sizing calculator for Solar Panel Arrays
That wire size calculator is not very good. Solar panel arrays do not produce 12, 24 or 48 volts. That is nominal system voltage. Certain "12 volt" panels can produce as much as 21 volts or more, and some "24 volt" panels can produce almost 40 volts. This is a better calculator where one can enter actual volts and calculate wire size for lower voltage losses. Voltage Drop Calculator
I'd strive for 2% or less voltage loss from the combiner box to the solar controller.

hes4all, is that AM Solar's shop?

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Old 01-25-2014, 10:57 PM   #27
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Locations of four 100 watt solar panels on our new 2014 44U Aspire
How many watts is the small panel?
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:40 AM   #28
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How many watts is the small panel?
Times 2 = RenogyⓇ Premium Solar Kit 200W Off-Grid: 2pc 100W solar panels+ MPPT 20Amp charge controller+ 20' Adapter Kit

each panel is 100 watt. On a sunny day both panels send 18 to 20 amps to my 4 lifeline 600 amp/hr batteries. The voltage connection and system is for 12 volts
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