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Biggest Solar That Will Fit In Heki 2


mike5100
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I am not near the caravan but am trying to work out what's the highest power solar panel I could buy that will fit in the Heki for when we leave the caravan (it's on a seasonal). I'm pretty sure we have a Heki 2 rooflight fitted.

Anyone already worked this out?

Thanks

Mike

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Why would you want to have it fitted in the Heki? You will need that Heki to help with circulation of air on a hot summer's day. Have a look at your roof area and measure the "open" space and then look for a solar panel that will fit into the space. This is what we did and found a 120w solar panel kit with controller etc that fitted our needs.

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We have one of the folding panels sold by PV Logic and it just fits in the Heki. It's the 40w size, so not sure how effective it's going to be through the depths of winter! We've had to adapt some brackets and it sits on two slats of wood, held in place by the brackets. We're taking the van back to it's storage site in the next couple of days, so if I remember I'll take a photo and post it on here.

2019 Ford Kuga 2. 0 (150 bhp) AWD Manual and 2022 Coachman Acadia GTS 565.

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Thanks Glen and Les. I think my existing Maplins one is 20 watts and by the time the plastic of the heki has attenuated the light, it barely keeps the battery charged. Since I posted the question I think I have found one that might just squeeze in. It's 60 watts which should be good enough to keep the battery topped up when we aren't there, and when we are, it will give me 120 watts in total (with my other 60 watt folding unit).

http://www. amazon. co. uk/Photonic-Universe-controller-waterproof-connectors/dp/B00EDWT9T4/ref=sr_1_4?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=undefined&sr=1-4&keywords=60w+solar+panel

Mike

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I fitted a 4. 2watt Maplin for storage and found it to keep the battery topped up over winter

 

solarpanelmodtositinroo.jpg

Edited by kiaboy

2013(13) Sorento KX2 2. 2 Diesel Manual, (With smelling clutch) Glittering Metal (Metallic Grey) dragging a 2020 Coachman VIP 520 with a Powrtouch Evolution Motor Mover (Towing @ 80. 0%) :)

 

1288275170_2019VIP.jpg.775f2d8ce7b26db242e04a2e77903cd0.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi all. I too have a question regarding buying a solar panel to keep in my roof light for charging in storage (only to keep the battery charged up for the tracker and alarm). Can you just plug it into the cigarette lighter socket to charge the battery? (I have two in the van). where do you wire the controller into? Do I need a controller? Sorry for all the questions but I am a newbie to all of this solar technology stuff and I don't have a clue!!......Many thanks in advance for any replies and help. ...Fourdds.

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If the solar panel is les than 18w with a 110ah battery you shouldn't need a controller, I would wire it to the battery, the female sockets that look like cig lighter sockets usually only have very thin wires.

Paul B

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

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I measured my Heki quite carefully last weekend and think that a 50w Bosch panel will just squeeze in and miss all the bits of hardware on the rooflight. The panel is 700 * 510 and the free space is 720 by 510. So that's a little job for the winter - working out where to fit a controller and wires so that it alone can charge the battery when we leave the van but I can stand it outside along with my 60w folding panel and have them both charging the battery when we are on site.

Mike

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Sorry, I did say I would post a photo of our set up, which is a PV Logic 40w folding panel in case, complete with controller. The battery was reading 13. 7v when we were at the van this morning. Obviously it won't be so effective when the weather changes, or during the winter months, but we're hoping it will do the job! It's plugged into the external 12v (satellite socket) as we found that this was the only one "live" when the master 12v switch is turned off in the van. We've used a small extension lead set up to bring the socket inside the bed box.

 

post-40094-0-91140100-1412512973_thumb.jpg

Edited by Glen and Les

2019 Ford Kuga 2. 0 (150 bhp) AWD Manual and 2022 Coachman Acadia GTS 565.

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Sorry, I did say I would post a photo of our set up, which is a PV Logic 40w folding panel in case, complete with controller. The battery was reading 13. 7v when we were at the van this morning. Obviously it won't be so effective when the weather changes, or during the winter months, but we're hoping it will do the job! It's plugged into the external 12v (satellite socket) as we found that this was the only one "live" when the master 12v switch is turned off in the van. We've used a small extension lead set up to bring the socket inside the bed box.

 

attachicon.gifimage. jpg

This is exactly the set up that I'd like to do when ours is in storage. What do you need & how do you connect through to the battery?

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This is exactly the set up that I'd like to do when ours is in storage. What do you need & how do you connect through to the battery?

The folding panel comes with an assortment of connectors, including the 12v socket plug and croc clips to fit direct to the battery terminals. As we already had a 12v sat socket under the EHU socket in the battery box, we decided to use this, but didn't want the lead running outside the van. Les drilled a very small hole in the battery box, we bought a coiled 12v adapter lead, took the plug off the one end, thread it through the hole, replaced the plug and left it loose under the EHU socket (it's attached to the side of the box with Velcro strips). The other end now sits in the bed box and we just plug the panel into this. As mentioned above, we were hoping to use the 12v socket by the TV sockets, but that wasn't "live" when the master switch was off.

 

Getting the panel up in the Heki needed a bit more ingenuity! It's a tight fit. We bought four plastic coated metal plate stands, similar to these

post-40094-0-02527200-1412525622_thumb.jpg

Les then straightened them out to lengthen them, leaving the hook at the end, which he bent right over. These fit very carefully over the plastic lip of the open HEKI. The Heki will close over them. One slatted piece of wood is then inserted through, then the solar panel put in place, then the second slat is slotted in place! All very complicated, but it works!

Edited by Glen and Les

2019 Ford Kuga 2. 0 (150 bhp) AWD Manual and 2022 Coachman Acadia GTS 565.

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Loving the install. Do you need an inverter or does the kit contain that. Seeing the unit at Go Outdoors at a sensible price currently:

http://www. gooutdoors. co. uk/pv-logic-fold-up-solar-panel-40w-p293622

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Loving the install. Do you need an inverter or does the kit contain that. Seeing the unit at Go Outdoors at a sensible price currently:

http://www. gooutdoors. co. uk/pv-logic-fold-up-solar-panel-40w-p293622

That's the panel - everything is included, the controller is screwed to the back of the panel. The beauty of it being portable is that we can also use it when we go away "off mains". Comes with a lovely padded bag too.

2019 Ford Kuga 2. 0 (150 bhp) AWD Manual and 2022 Coachman Acadia GTS 565.

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If a Heiky 2 is the size fitted to my Mk1 Valencia then the 40W panel (650x525 mm) I have will fit as if it were made for it!
It stays in place with the aid of the opening handle but I half close the two binds for more security. On two occasions I've forgotten to remove it before setting-off but it has stayed in place, unbelievably LOL.

 

This set-up has served me well all year round (past 3 1/2 years), whist in storage, but it can get too hot for max. efficiency in very sunny weather so I then lay it on the bed. It's totally fine for winter use though. It should be bourne in mind that the Heiky will reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the panel but as battery topp-up it is more than adequate. .

3L auto Nissan Terrano, 2004 & Swift Elegance 530, 2018. As Leonardo da Vinci once said: 'If you find from your own experience that something is a fact & it contradicts what some authority has written down, then you must abandon the authority & base your reasoning on your own findings' ie: use your common sense!

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That's the panel - everything is included, the controller is screwed to the back of the panel. The beauty of it being portable is that we can also use it when we go away "off mains". Comes with a lovely padded bag too.

What length of cable do you get from the panel to the end of the clips? Assume its decent enough.

If I get one of these, then as you say its just the cable through the battery box, two battery clips and a couple of wires.

Only really need it in storage, but wanted to see if I could get away from having to go down there every few weeks to either swap battery over or the complete removal of the battery from the van, as not sure if the whale heating/water system completely lost its settings if the power was removed for a number of months

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I have a 10W panel underneath the heki and that keeps the battery at a steady 12. 5-12. 7 volts.

The battery is a 100ah with auxiliary terminals. Two 3mmsq wires, with crimped eyes, are fitted to the auxiliary terminals. The wires are fed through a small, sealed hole, in the battery box, to a plug which the panel connects to.

No controller required as internal battery resistance keeps the system balanced.

The only thing to watch is if it is a very hot sunny day then the panels can give up quite a bit of heat. The heki above the panel can get slightly warmer than other areas of the heki. How hot would the heki get with large panels?

Edited by SuperJock
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What length of cable do you get from the panel to the end of the clips? Assume its decent enough.

If I get one of these, then as you say its just the cable through the battery box, two battery clips and a couple of wires.

Only really need it in storage, but wanted to see if I could get away from having to go down there every few weeks to either swap battery over or the complete removal of the battery from the van, as not sure if the whale heating/water system completely lost its settings if the power was removed for a number of months

You get plenty of cable, probably about 5m, but I haven't measured it. There's a connector at the end of the cable into which you slot the end that you need - either the croc clips, cigar lighter plug and there's another type as well, but didn't use that.

 

It may be that a smaller panel will do the job on a different van, but our Coachman swallows up the volts when in storage and we got fed up of having to swap batteries, so opted for this panel. Just hope it's strong enough to do the job in the short, dark days of winter.

2019 Ford Kuga 2. 0 (150 bhp) AWD Manual and 2022 Coachman Acadia GTS 565.

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