Jump to content

Solar Panels


Adi
 Share

Recommended Posts

I would appreciate any advice on solar panels in relation to rallying etc. ..

 

We generally always have power on sites when on holiday but if we start to join rallies etc. where there is no power what would everyone recommend ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a 65 watt solar panel (ex power array sold as broken - on ebay (£35) . . cost 65p for a new diode to fix) which is great . .. will easily shove 3-4 amp/hour into a battery for 14 hours a day (summer) or 8 hours a day (winter) . . and enables me to go on long rallies without any worries. I can't say how long as I've never actually run out of power !! Solar panel is working well before I wake, and all I do is move it 3 times a day so it points at the sun-ish. The only thing I've added is a small controller . . £25

 

There are many expensive ones out there . . but a little time and research can get you a functional item at much less than the pretty things with their fancy bags . . :)

Edited by Entwood
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would appreciate any advice on solar panels in relation to rallying etc. ..

 

We generally always have power on sites when on holiday but if we start to join rallies etc. where there is no power what would everyone recommend ?

 

If your need is summertime rallying then a solar cell can be very useful. My advise is not to go less than a 40 watt one for typical use. Whilst rallying you and the children are likely to be socialising so the dependence on a TV would be modest and this greatly reduces your power consumption.

It all gets much more demanding for winter use, the clouds have a big influence on a cells yield as does the shorter daylight hours but at the same time you need lights on the heater and inevitably tend to use the TV more.

 

I now have an 85 watt cell and this eats sustained summertime demands but only "extends" winter use, even that size cant support sustained use with the much larger winter demands.

 

For realistic guidence on expected yield;

It should be noted that solar cells are rated at their on cell voltage, typically 17 volts not the 12 so often assumed.

So my Kyocera 85 watt pushes out 85/17=5 amps at best and one rated at 40 watts will yield about 2. 3 Amps.

Typically in summer you ought to achieve this for the equivalent of about 6 hours, thus the 40 Watt rated panel can be assumed to be giving of the order of 13 to 14 amphours. Clearly we know there are far more than 6 hours of sun during the day but many days are not without clouds and at low sun angles the yield is also much reduced; the figures given are for realistically achievable outputs.

Cheers John

Edited by JTQ
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We do 20 - 30 rallies per year and if they last over a weekend then we take our solar panel which is rated at 55 W. I have never run out of power and have enough on my return to use the motor mover.

 

I am completely non techy but it was explained to me that there are good and bad solar panels. Mine is German manufacture but I understand that some of the cheaper Chinese built units need more sunlight so are not so effective on dull days.

 

Obviously a cheaper alternative that we used for many years on rallies was a spare 110 amph battery in a battery box and plugged in to the caravan with the switch set to 'car' rather than 'caravan'.

 

 

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We also use solar panels,

if you do a search on the forum you will see quite a few posts about solar. ... similar to this one

Paul B

. .......Mondeo Estate & Elddis Avanté 505 (Tobago)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a good supplier in Warrington where we got ours from. Can't recall the name but it's in a small industrial estate not far from the centre. Bags of advice and they mail order.

Nissan X-Trail Tekna + Coachman Festival 450

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although a useful addition they cannot "guarantee" delivering required top-up mainly due to our "British Weather"!!

Keep "expections" in check - with a 60-80W Monocrystaline (the best & most expensive type) you may get around 2Amps Hour on an average UK day lets say for 8 hours = 16 Amps total.

One halogen light will consume 1. 5amps an hour and a colour TV around 4. 5 amps hour.

 

An excellent, and pragmatic, review can be found at this site http://www. caravanfacts. com/modules. php?name=SolarCalc.

 

A new super thin technology has been invented and is on trial in California where the solar panel is flexible and can be "rolled up" like a plastic mat and produces much more useable power.

 

The cheapest & probably most reliable solution would be as one post above says carry an additional battery in the boot and wait for the newer type techologies to bring the price down and improve efficiency of solar panels.

Alan J

Bailey Pageant S6 Bordeaux Tow Car BMW X5 3. 0D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In combination with the larger battery size (110 Ah) our 55W solar panel has kept us going whilst rallying on long weekends away very comfortably

 

We did add some internal battery powered LED spotlamps (stick ups) rather than use the fitted lamps and we are very conscious that our awning light and bathroom light are very 'thirsty' so we avoid using them whilst off hookup.

 

To avoid embarassment I shall now be fitting the panel to the roof - where it cannot be forgotten ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have a 20 watt panel which has kept us going for well over a week, we have a 110 amp battery but no controller as the radio is always on for our cat and parrot even when we leave the van. We only have a B/W tv and are sparing with lights, we just use the flourecents, and the only water we pump is for washing etc, not drinking. It has been in use for a few years now and so far, touch wood, no problems. We exhibit at Steam Fairs etc so hook ups are few and far between.

I am guessing that more modern vans than ours would have more electric gadgets so consumption would be higher.

 

Pete.

PeterB, 1991 Volvo 940, 1994 LDV 400 and 1997 Swift Fairway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...