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Going Green

Ragman

Veteran Expediter
Retired Expediter
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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 ;)

Take a break..... Head up to Lexington for half a dozen Wimpy burgers.....
 
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RoadTime

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Take a break..... Head up to Lexington for half a dozen Wimpy burgers.....
LOL, I took a break and they multiplied ;)

010.JPG

Well that didn't take very long. Having the right screws sure helped :rolleyes:

Waiting for the caulking and adhesive to firm up some before I start connecting everything. Don't want to get any stuff on my new cords, also refreshing my memory with the manual. With the new connectors I got, it's suppose to be idiot proof. Will see ;)
 

ntimevan

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LOL, I took a break and they multiplied ;)

View attachment 17953

Well that didn't take very long. Having the right screws sure helped :rolleyes:

Waiting for the caulking and adhesive to firm up some before I start connecting everything. Don't want to get any stuff on my new cords, also refreshing my memory with the manual. With the new connectors I got, it's suppose to be idiot proof. Will see ;)
If you get a chance , can you PM me with Info on where you order you Solar stuff from .. i am on the fence now ... lol

U run the Miles
I run for the Money
 
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RoadTime

Veteran Expediter
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Update:

Coming up on a month after adding 2 more solar panels. So far it has exceeded my "sweet spot" expectations for power. Having a thicker gage charging cable has also helped immensely for recharging while driving.

Most days my battery bank is fully charged and running completely off the solar panels, with power to spare. Only once so far was my battery bank drawn down to 86% after extended sitting, a lot of use, and little sun, but was quickly replenished.

Definitely has the feel of unlimited power now

I used to sparingly use my microwave before, only when absolutely necessary, now it's not even a factor.

Winter time with the lack of sun, was problematic in the past to maintain my battery bank above 50% at times while sitting. It will be interesting to see how the new setup responds heading into the winter months.

But I have a good feeling, that it will respond well to the challenge



Sent from my P00I using EO Forums mobile app
 

RoadTime

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Winter time with the lack of sun, was problematic in the past to maintain my battery bank above 50% at times while sitting. It will be interesting to see how the new setup responds heading into the winter months.
I guess since it's spring I can reflect on how the setup handled winter.

Actually, I got so used to always having enough power, I forgot about monitoring it :rolleyes:

What I do recall is only once did I ever bring the battery bank down to 50%, and that took over a week of sitting around Christmas time, with a whole lot of TV binging and recharging of items, along with the cube fridge running. Other then that, the battery bank never got below 80%. Normally stayed in the 86-94% range.

With the gradual change from sunny days to mostly clowdy winter days, I really didn't notice much difference in performance.
However, now that the sun is making more regular appearances, I forgot how fast my battery bank can recharge and run off the sun all day long.

Even through going to 4 solar panels has made a huge difference and is plenty sufficient,
can't say I'm not thinking about going to 6 ;)
 

Treadmill

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I guess since it's spring I can reflect on how the setup handled winter.

Actually, I got so used to always having enough power, I forgot about monitoring it :rolleyes:

What I do recall is only once did I ever bring the battery bank down to 50%, and that took over a week of sitting around Christmas time, with a whole lot of TV binging and recharging of items, along with the cube fridge running. Other then that, the battery bank never got below 80%. Normally stayed in the 86-94% range.

With the gradual change from sunny days to mostly clowdy winter days, I really didn't notice much difference in performance.
However, now that the sun is making more regular appearances, I forgot how fast my battery bank can recharge and run off the sun all day long.

Even through going to 4 solar panels has made a huge difference and is plenty sufficient,
can't say I'm not thinking about going to 6 ;)
Is there enough room on the top to increase to 6 panels? Maybe smaller panels?
 

RoadTime

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Is there enough room on the top to increase to 6 panels? Maybe smaller panels?
5 for sure with current setup, maybe a tight 6. Most likely would need to go with a flat flexible panel.
Although, I doubt I will be adding more, I wish these flexible panels would have been out with I first started.
Super light weight, 4 of them weigh less then 1 of mine :rolleyes:
RNG-100DB-H3_white__79682.1522280168.1280.1280.png
 
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ntimevan

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5 for sure with current setup, maybe a tight 6. Most likely would need to go with a flat flexible panel.
Although, I doubt I will be adding more, I wish these flexible panels would have been out with I first started.
Super light weight, 4 of them weigh less then 1 of mine :rolleyes:
View attachment 18929
Hey ,Roadtime could you please PM the Source Info on those panels to me . Another project on my list ..Thanks

...$$$$
 
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