Solar panel

Installing solar panel

 
 
 
 
 
 
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Solar panel

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Posted: 30.01.2021  ·  #1
Hi all,
New to solar panels, just a few queries?
We have a Rimor motorhome and himself wants to install a solar panel before the summer staycation.
The original leisure battery is in a small rear compartment and is connected to the cab battery for charging and mains as per norm. Thinking of installing 2 solar panels on the roof and running 2 cables to new leisure battery under passenger seat and also position control panel and an inverter nearby. My question is, can we run 2 normal plus and minus cables from the new leisure battery back to the original leisure battery? Or would this cause issue when we are hooked up to mains?
Thanks in advance for any advice.
👍


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Solar panel

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Posted: 30.01.2021  ·  #2
Quote by campingkitty

Hi all,
New to solar panels, just a few queries?
We have a Rimor motorhome and himself wants to install a solar panel before the summer staycation.
The original leisure battery is in a small rear compartment and is connected to the cab battery for charging and mains as per norm. Thinking of installing 2 solar panels on the roof and running 2 cables to new leisure battery under passenger seat and also position control panel and an inverter nearby. My question is, can we run 2 normal plus and minus cables from the new leisure battery back to the original leisure battery? Or would this cause issue when we are hooked up to mains?
Thanks in advance for any advice.
👍


Do your research for solar info under the search function. above there is lots of info to be found.
common wisdom would be, never connect old and new batteries together ( the old one will drag the new one down ) fit two new batteries close together also the inverter as close to the batteries as you can fit it.


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Re: Solar panel

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Posted: 30.01.2021  ·  #3
Quote by campingkitty

Hi all,
New to solar panels, just a few queries?
We have a Rimor motorhome and himself wants to install a solar panel before the summer staycation.
The original leisure battery is in a small rear compartment and is connected to the cab battery for charging and mains as per norm. Thinking of installing 2 solar panels on the roof and running 2 cables to new leisure battery under passenger seat and also position control panel and an inverter nearby. My question is, can we run 2 normal plus and minus cables from the new leisure battery back to the original leisure battery? Or would this cause issue when we are hooked up to mains?
Thanks in advance for any advice.
👍


Have a read OF THIS it tells you all you need to know about wiring in a second leisure battery


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Re: Solar panel

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Posted: 30.01.2021  ·  #4
Thanks Sprinter, I did read up on a bit re solar panels and I will purchase 2 new identical batteries, Unfortunately the existing leisure battery is in a small compartment (access from outside) with no room for a second battery. My plan was to fit a second leisure battery under the passenger seat with the invertor nearby but this would be approx 9 ft away from the other battery. Would you have any concerns with this?

Thanks baquette, have that info saved to desktop too.


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Re: Solar panel

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Posted: 30.01.2021  ·  #5
Can I ask what you intend to use the inverter for, is there an alternative that uses a 12v DC supply?

Second, what is the capacity of the current leisure battery, is there room to put a larger/higher capacity battery into the existing mount?


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Re: Solar panel

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Posted: 30.01.2021  ·  #6
Don’t know what space there is in the Ford but 2 x 100Ah batteries can go below the swivel seat of a Fiat Ducato. Need to remove the seat so you have sufficient room to work

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Re: Solar panel

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Posted: 30.01.2021  ·  #7
I had two 110ah batteries under the drivers seat in a Hobby/Transit.


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Re: Solar panel

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Posted: 02.02.2021  ·  #8
Thanks all for the replies.
The invertor is for extra sockets to charge phones, iPads, hairdryer for herself etc while not hooked up to electric.
The outside locker is the battery compartment with the main power unit, it also has the fuseless switching power/charging unit.
The battery in it is a 110ah battery, there is only room for 1 in there and unfortunately only room for 1 under the passenger seat.
If I leave the original battery where it is, is it ok to connect a new leisure battery to the old one or will that interfere when the alternator is charging the original one.
Both of these batteries will be brand new and the same make and amp.
Thanks again.
John


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Re: Solar panel

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Posted: 02.02.2021  ·  #9
200w solar and a 110AH battery will see you good on a summer staycation in Ireland if you keep the power consumption in check. You don't need an inverter to charge phones/ipads if you can figure out a way to lose the hairdrier, you can lose the inverter and you'll be sorted.


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Re: Solar panel

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Posted: 02.02.2021  ·  #10
The invertor is needed to charge these as the sockets only work when we are connected to mains.
We plan on a bit of wild camping this year as opposed to just campsites.


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Re: Solar panel

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Posted: 02.02.2021  ·  #11
We did two weeks without hookup last summer. There are any number of car charging devices that can be used for phones/ipads connected to a 12v source, you don't need an inverter. 200W solar would be more than enough to keep your 110AH leisure battery fully charged every day and you wont run it down to any great degree as long as you lose the inverter and the only device you have that would need an inverter is the hair drier. If you lose that, you really don't need a second battery.


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Posted: 02.02.2021  ·  #12
I get where your coming from BM, but we are a family of 6 and 2 are teens so that’s iPads, phones, Nintendo’s and the hairdryer was a big ask from herself this year so I’m thinking an invertor would be the best choice for us.
I suppose what I really want to know is If I leave the original battery where it is, is it ok to connect a new leisure battery to the old one or will that interfere when the alternator is charging the original one.
Both of these batteries will be brand new and the same make and amp.
Thanks again for all your replies.


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Re: Solar panel

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Posted: 03.02.2021  ·  #13
We've 3 boys. We come with phones, tablets, Nintendo Switch and DS, have a TV and separate DVD player with its own screen, none of them none of them run or are charged from an inverter, on sunny days I ran the fridge on 12v for periods of time to see how much solar I could actually draw in a day. You really need to get as much as possible running off 12v.

Worst case scenario, you need the inverter for the hairdrier, you'll be drawing more than 100A from whatever battery(ies) you hook the inverter / hairdrier up to and unless you use a big motherfucker of a cable between the two leisure batteries you won't be able to use them effectively as a pair for the inverter at that kind of separation, best option might be to run the engine for 5 minutes while the hairdrier is in use and run the inverter across the two van batteries which will have a feed from the alternator while the engine is running, I think it's an 80 amp fuse on the alternator feed so it'll be doing most of the work.


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Re: Solar panel

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Posted: 03.02.2021  ·  #14
Many solar charge controllers will have a couple of USB charging ports too if for the devices, if you don't already have them in the van


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Posted: 03.02.2021  ·  #15
On a previous van I had a 2000watt inverter which was located under the passenger seat. It was connected to the van battery which in a Fiat is located just in front of the passenger seat. It was used to power a hairdryer and I ran the engine for the five minutes or so SWMBO needed the dryer. I did some tests on it which are in a different thread here, I’ll have a look for it.

topic.php?t=12736


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Re: Solar panel

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Posted: 03.02.2021  ·  #16
Good tests by Kabundi above, take note.

Also there is a right and wrong way to wire batteries in parallel. It comes down to the current path in how exactly you wired them in parallel.

 


See this link https://caravanchronicles.com/…-parallel/

Ideally you want the cable bridges between batteries as short as possible. In your case where the batteries are far apart, does that pose a problem? Well you would need to wire in the same manner as illustrated in that guide. One possible problem is the two batteries could be operating under very different temperature environments. Apart from that, I don’t know. I think it would probably be ok. Others might say differently.


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Posted: 03.02.2021  ·  #17
What are the watts marked in the hairdryer. You need an inverter with at least the same number of watts output. For a hairdryer you should have a pure sine wave inverter, cheap Quasi sine units will cause the fan to run slow but the heating element to work as normal resulting in the hairdryer overheating.
Divide the number watts by 12 to get the amps load on the battery, if the figure is, say 90 amps, the battery(s) should be double that.

All the rest of your stuff could be charged via something like this if you have/get chargers designed to work off car 12v sockets (we used to call them cigarette lighter sockets in the old days)


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