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Going Green

Discussion in 'The Tech Shop' started by RoadTime, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. RoadTime
    Paranoid

    RoadTime Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

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    I'm no tree hugger, but I do like having enough power to run all my comfort gadgets in my Sprinter without having to use the generator and running down my auxiliary batteries. I was already into using anything solar. Previously utilizing solar rechargeable lights, glow in the dark pads, large jump box for charging things. But eventual, power is depleted.

    So with my progression, I decided it was time to make a bigger jump to a solar panel to help keep my two auxiliary batteries charged.

    The box unveiling...

    [​IMG]

    And the final install...

    [​IMG]

    Already planning on adding a 2nd panel if needed

    Special thanks to Turtle for all his help and guidance, as I am very electrically challenged


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  2. Treadmill
    Caffeine Fix

    Treadmill Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

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    How much for the solar panel and how much for the install?
     
    • OntarioVanMan
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      OntarioVanMan Retired Expediter Owner/Operator

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      or you could have just run more loads to keep charging....LOL

      what do you have that uses that much power? I have 2 full sized AGM batteries and have sufficient for days
       
      Last edited: Feb 24, 2017
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    • Turtle
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      Turtle Administrator Staff Member Owner/Operator

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      You should post the pictures of the battery and charge controller setup. :)
       
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    • RoadTime
      Paranoid

      RoadTime Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

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      I went with this starter kit. I did the install myself.

      Amazon.com : Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit : Patio, Lawn & Garden

      Depending on how involved you want to get with the hook up, some extra cost for accessories. I needed to get my battery bank in better order anyways, so I did more then was necessary with the basic kit.

      [​IMG]

      Just got off the phone with tech support. I was a little concerned that since last night my bank is already fully charged on a cloudy rainy day at 14.5 volts. They said this was normal and will settle back down to 13.8 volts.

      [​IMG]

      Picture of the included solar control...

      [​IMG]


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    • Turtle
      Busy

      Turtle Administrator Staff Member Owner/Operator

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      Wait. What? Your solar panel came with a tennis shoe?
       
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    • RoadTime
      Paranoid

      RoadTime Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

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      LOL! I did that so my sister could get perspective on the size :D

      P.S.- Size 14 wide ;)
       
    • Turtle
      Busy

      Turtle Administrator Staff Member Owner/Operator

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      You should have used a toddler's shoe. Freak her out. :D
       
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    • OntarioVanMan
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      OntarioVanMan Retired Expediter Owner/Operator

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      but just 1....he is waiting for Scotty to beam it over....:p
       
    • Turtle
      Busy

      Turtle Administrator Staff Member Owner/Operator

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      The phrase "Beam me up, Scotty" has never been said in any of the Star Trek television shows or movies.

      Just thought you all would like to know that.
       
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    • OntarioVanMan
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      OntarioVanMan Retired Expediter Owner/Operator

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      being a trekkie.....I knew that...:p
       
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    • RoadTime
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      RoadTime Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

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      Final control panel adjustments completed. Now, a little sun would be nice

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]


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    • Moot
      Confused

      Moot Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

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      When I was doing LTL P&D I would pick up at one of the Bemis plants in Minneapolis. After picking up I would call into dispatch and say: Bemis aboard. I believe you have picked up at the Bemis plant in Centerville, IA. Bemis aboard!
       
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    • john618

      john618 Rookie Expediter Driver

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      nice setup. give it some sunshine to run it
       
    • RoadTime
      Paranoid

      RoadTime Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

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      No, your not seeing double. As I pretty much planned from the beginning, installed my 2nd solar panel today.

      [​IMG]

      It was so easy to install and hook up the 2nd panel this time around. Maybe 30 mins from box to completion.

      I've been pretty happy with the 1st solar panel, just wanted some more power

      [​IMG]


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    • RoadTime
      Paranoid

      RoadTime Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

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      Updated final completion of control panel.
      Removed 400 watt inverter, added Xantrex battery monitor (which I highly recommend).
      Replaced 1500 watt modified inverter (not shown) for 1500 watt pure wave inverter (major difference).

      [​IMG]

      Two new batteries added.

      [​IMG]

      Also, added a cube fridge which I love, good bye ice cooler


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    • brokcanadian
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      brokcanadian Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

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      Why does no one like the Dometic 12v? Lasts for days on a battery...
       
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    • RoadTime
      Paranoid

      RoadTime Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

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      I looked into those. For the size I would need at around $700 compared to $128, falls into the same category as why I never had a Yeti cooler ;)
       
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    • brokcanadian
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      brokcanadian Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

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      Pricey but worth it. I remember my walmart fridge going clank clank while driving, and running out of juice so my food went all slimy

      I've only got 2 105 amp marines tho
       
    • RoadTime
      Paranoid

      RoadTime Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

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      Transfer, Add-on, and Epic Fail?

      I started my transfer of my solar panels to my new van yesterday.

      I'm adding 2 more solar panels for a total of 4 this time. Several months back, I added 2 more 12 volt batteries to my battery bank for a total of 4 also.

      The 2 solar panel /4 battery bank set up was adequate, but still lacking at times. I figured going to 4 panels should be the sweet spot to meet my needs.

      The new 4 panel placement configuration needed to be set up different to avoid a lot of wire splicing (which I didn't want to get into).

      Drilling and prepping 34 holes felt like it took forever. Several times, I wished I would of went with some of the other installation options I was exploring. But I was in too deep to back out now. I was using a little different securement method this time, the process was more labor intensive then I planned. Once I got this done, it was time to start securing the panels to the roof.

      Then a horrifying moment occurred on my first panel, I could not get the screws to engage with the locking securement I was using.
      OMG, I was looking in panic at a Epic Fail :eek:

      Gathering my thoughts, I tried to figure out why this wasn't working. I found another screw that seemed to work but was too short.

      Came to the conclusion, that the nice older man at Home Depot may have recommended the wrong screw. It seemed to work at the time, but obviously something was not working now. Quickly packed up and headed to Menards.

      Found the correct sized screw that seemed to be engaging with the locking device like it should, and headed back home to try again.

      To my great relief, the screw engaged this time securing the panel to the roof.

      After 7 hours, with day light all but gone, and sore as hell :rolleyes: I got two panels in place and had to call it a day.

      Today should go much smoother, as most of the hard work has been done.

      Two down, two to go ;)

      008.JPG
       
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