TO SOLAR OR NOT TO SOLAR

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 03, 2004 at 11:00
ThreadID: 10234 Views:1832 Replies:4 FollowUps:1
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Morning groovers,
The mineister of War & Finance has relented with the cash again (god ive managed to talk her out of about 3500 so far ). those of oyu who read my last post know that im looking at getting a fridge.
Now a bit of background, i was talking to a few different people about this and they said that instead of running a deep cucle and a normal start battery just run 2 normal (semi deep cycle) batteries and get a solar apannel or 2 mounted to the roof behind my basket rack (its only a small basket)
Now i FINALLY get to the question. firstly,as i understand it, if i get solar pannels they will trickle charge my batteries so that if i stop for a few days with the fridge running they will keep the batteries charging, so i dont have to worry to much about rinning the car to try and charge the fridge battery, should i mount the solar pannels permantley or take on take off, how big should the pannels be and i think this is the important part ARE THEY WORTH IT ???? finanlly how do i know if im getting a good deal and im not about to take one from behind ( and in the face from the War & Finance minister for getting ripped off )

thanks in advance guys

rexy
93t/d surfmobeel
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Reply By: Boeing - Tuesday, Feb 03, 2004 at 13:38

Tuesday, Feb 03, 2004 at 13:38
Hello Rexy, I will answer the position question for you or at least give you MHO. I have a 75watt panel on the roof of the cruiser which is fitted to rola racks-the sports model and it does not sit any higher than the rack top. The benefit is that if you are parked out in the sun with the fridge running you get a top up. I am looking at another panel which is free standing so that on trips I can put the car in the shade (if any) and the panel in the sun. This is the only drawback with roof mounted -the vehicle has to be in the sun. The 75watt panel will put in about 20-25 amps per day to the battery which is roughly what our Autofridge takes out.

Cheers

Mark
AnswerID: 45288

Reply By: Trol - Tuesday, Feb 03, 2004 at 15:45

Tuesday, Feb 03, 2004 at 15:45
Hi Rexy,

I have just come back from Kinkuna National Park, just South of Bundaberg. I have a 40 L Engel Fridge/Freezer that I purchased 4 months ago. I have dual batteries and have hooked the fridge into the accessories battery. Some friends that we were camping with had an Engel as well, same capacity, but purchased it some 4 years ago. Still going strong but was draining batteries really fast. The other 4WD had dual batteries as well and was setup identically.

I always take a Volt/Amp Meter with me and we measured the draw from both fridges. Our fridge drew 1.7 amps and the other fridge drew around 4.8 amps, quite a difference. The other fellow had 2 solar panels charging the battery but the best he could get out of the panels was around 6 volts.

We've since found out that Engel have improved the design of the fridges and that the insulation properties are different along with the compressor.

Drawing 1.7amps, I could leave the car without starting it for about 2 1/2 days. Ultimately, the perfect setup would be to have a glind shower that necessitates startup every night for heating water for showers etc. Even with the solar panels and power management system, the batteries in the other car were down to 7 volts within 24 hours. Plus you have the cost of solar panels at approx. $600 a pop. My thought would be to get an economical fridge that _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx low amps that cools/freezes economically...

Trol
AnswerID: 45311

Reply By: brianm - Tuesday, Feb 03, 2004 at 20:14

Tuesday, Feb 03, 2004 at 20:14
Hi Rexy
I had anew gen set used it once and changed to solar panels. I now run two 75watt
panels into two 6volt deep cycle batteries I take two 40lt engels.one as freezer other a fridge and lights at night. I just have my panels laying flat on my roof.
I turn the freezer back to 1 when i start loosing a charge. And so far it has worked for me. We only go bush in the winter months. hope this helps.
AnswerID: 45332

Reply By: Member - Nigel (QLD) - Wednesday, Feb 04, 2004 at 09:19

Wednesday, Feb 04, 2004 at 09:19
remember that your fridge will draw more current to stay cool if you park you car in the sun to use the solar panel.

Most panels will produce very little or no output if the have even a small area shaded. There are some exceptions (Unisolar and some BP and Kyocera panels will only reduce output in proportion to the amount of shade on them).

If you fridge _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx an average of 2 amps then you need 48 amps a day. Because of the way batteries work you need to put about 10% more back into a battery than you take out - so you'd need 53 amps of charge a day.

A 75 watt panel will give you 4-5 amps during the peak sun hours. If there are an average of 6 peak sun hours a day then you will get 24-30 amps from the panel. So really you need 2 x 75 watt panels to be able to run your fridge for an extended period. One panel will entend the runtime of your fridge, but your battery will still get flat in less than 4 or 5 days.
AnswerID: 45388

Follow Up By: REXY - Thursday, Feb 05, 2004 at 11:31

Thursday, Feb 05, 2004 at 11:31
HI GUYS:)

Tanks alot for all the help, im thinking now to definalty get a panel or 2 really apreciate it

regards

rexy
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FollowupID: 307607

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