Solar Panels

Submitted: Friday, Apr 04, 2014 at 21:49
ThreadID: 107091 Views:1436 Replies:6 FollowUps:4
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Hi everyone
I have an Arkpack with a 138ah AGM deep cycle battery. I am looking for a 120watt monocrystalline setup so that I can run my fridge etc. I'm told that besides good panels the control box is very important to realise the full potential of the panels. does anyone here have any recommendations? There are a mile of 'em on ebay but I'm sure that there are a minefield of traps for newbies. Thanks in advance for any assistance.
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Bill

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Reply By: AlbyNSW - Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 06:22

Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 06:22
There was a seller on EBay under the name of Ozplaza living that got a good wrap from members here previously so I bought my panel from them about 18 months ago No complaints so far
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Reply By: Member - Billmoore1 - Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 08:30

Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 08:30
Hey thanks a lot for your reply Alby, I'll check that out today. Have agood weekend mate
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Bill

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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 09:08

Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 09:08
Bit Deals are another well recommended seller, Bill.

Bob.

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Reply By: Member - Billmoore1 - Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 09:17

Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 09:17
Thanks Bob, I'll check them out as well. BTW Love that truck Bob
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Bill

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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 10:41

Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 10:41
Bill,

Best to use an MPPT controller, to get about 10-15% more efficient use of the panel. Important (essential !) that the panel be suitable for 12V battery charging, and NOT one intended for domestic/mains solar installations. (The peak power voltage should be about 17V or open circuit voltage about 23V).

Depending on your likely consumption, you may find 120W a bit on the small size. Suggest have a look at our Electricity for Camping where a lot of considerations are discussed.

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John

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Follow Up By: Member - Billmoore1 - Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 12:54

Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 12:54
Hi John
Thanks for all that helpful info, at least I know which way to head now. The panels I'm looking at are definitely 12volt, I am also checking out a 200w panel, may be a bit big to be portable as it measures 1500x800x30. Still I thought of putting it on slides and put it under the roof rack maybe. Just had a quick look at Electricity for Camping, that will be my prescribed reading for tonight. Thanks for that. Hope to catch you bot on the track somewhere.
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Bill

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Reply By: The Bantam - Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 12:36

Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 12:36
The other thing to consider is upgrading the cables and making sure the controller is closer to the battery than the pannel.

A poster on another forum, baught a folding pannel system....ran a number of measurements and tests as delivered....found the performance pedestrian to say the least.
Then changed only the cables.....going for heavier cables and relocating the regulator provided next to the battery rather than on the pannel.

Result was a near doubling of output.

cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Billmoore1 - Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 12:56

Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 12:56
That's interesting Bantam, it makes sense when you think about it. With any electrical issue, the shorter the lead , the better
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Reply By: Michaeljp - Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 14:34

Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 14:34
Just remember that if you put the panels on the roof, when your looking for shade on a hot day they won't work very well, or you'll have to leave the car in the sun. The folding panels are good but for me they were to big to carry in the wagon, so i bought a set of folding panels Projecta 120w. the only problem with them is that they cost twice the price of the bifold type. But at least they fit in the pocket behind the drivers seat. I also have an Arkpak and 120ah gam battery and the set up works very well just for a 40l engel fridge.
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Follow Up By: Member - Billmoore1 - Sunday, Apr 06, 2014 at 22:08

Sunday, Apr 06, 2014 at 22:08
Thanks for sharing Michael

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