Will a solar panel charge through alsynite or similar roof sheeting

Submitted: Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 13:16
ThreadID: 130519 Views:4879 Replies:10 FollowUps:3
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Solar panels on top of vehicle. I would like to shed it but would prefer if the batteries could be kept charged by the solar panels. If I have translucent sheeting on the roof of the shed will the panels still produce power.
If possible I would like to leave the fridge running so the system is working a bit. At the moment when the vehicle is outside this is no problem. Batteries stay fully charged or at least are fully charged by about 10 am.?
If all else fails would a trickle charger be ok to run for up to a month a.t a time
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Reply By: HKB Electronics - Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 13:27

Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 13:27
Solar panels work on light, therefore they will still provide some power, how
much depends on the amout of "shading" the shed and the roof sheeting provides.

Another consideration also would be inclement weather a few overcast days in a row
with the fridge running could have a disasterous affect on you batteries if your not there
to supplement the charging.

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AnswerID: 591249

Reply By: Ross M - Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 13:33

Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 13:33
It won't hurt to turn the fridge off and it won't be working a bit, it would be working, full stop and as mentioned above, may not get the required amp input to maintain things.
If near a shed and you MUST use the fridge, then supplement the charge with a self regulating charger of some type.
A suitable charger can can be left on all the time if required. It keeps the battery charges as it would if the system was in full light or being charged by the alternator.
AnswerID: 591250

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 00:23

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 00:23
I suggest the best way of doing that would be to install a send set of panels, the same size or near to the same size on the roof of your shed. Then make up a lead and connectors to feed the existing regulator in your van.


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Reply By: Kelvin R - Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 20:55

Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 20:55
HI
Your best bet would be to purchase a smart charger IE= CTEK or similar and leave it hooked up when the battery is fully charged it goes into pulse mode and recondition the batery as well.
AnswerID: 591272

Reply By: Ron N - Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 23:23

Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 23:23
Terry, you need to check on the type, brand, and light rating of the translucent sheeting.
There are several different types of translucent sheeting, numerous colours and shadings, along with wide variations in the amount of light transmitted.
The Ampelite brand has 7 different colours all with large variations in the amount of light transmitted.
I think you'll find that even the best clear translucent sheeting only allows around 80% of the available light through.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 591286

Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 00:34

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 00:34
Terry, you need direct sunlight to power your panels. If you are going to have solar cells under glass you need glass that will pass the UV rays as well, half the radiation that powers panels comes from the UV spectrum. Most glass is unsuitable for solar panels, there are very few glass manufacturers that can make glass for solar panels. Alsynite is even worse than window glass in passing the necessary radiation needed to drive panels. Even if you can find some clear roofing you will need to re-roof sufficient area to get sun on your panels for most of the day.

Then you are going to run into trouble with the roofing supports. Any shading from then will close down sufficient cells to prevent the panels from charging.

Are you starting to get a message? I think you are trying to push the proverbial up a hill with a pointed stick.


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AnswerID: 591287

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 00:41

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 00:41
We leave the OKA in a shed with 3 sheets of polycarbonate roofing over the panels for 6 months at a time over winter.
We connect the house batteries, the crank battery and the battery from Margaret's Mazda all hooked to the solar on the roof of the OKA. I re programme the solar controller to conservative settings.
I turn everything off, but there is plenty of charge available to keep everything fully charged.

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome
AnswerID: 591288

Reply By: terryt - Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 05:48

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 05:48
Thank you all for your replies. Peter, what size panels on the OKA. If I do go down this road it appears I would need to turn the fridge off.
For some reason I thought it was better for the batteries if they were charged from the solar rather than a smart charger. The controller is a dingo 20 20.
Does a charger do an equally good job?
AnswerID: 591293

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 08:56

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 08:56
I take it you are now not thinking of running the fridge. If you still intend to run the fridge you will need a second set of panels on the outside of the building. P&M just uses the same panels that he runs his house batteries. and disconnected all loads. If you disconnect all loads then your existing panels will cope with the maintenance regime under the reduced amount of solar radiation they will receive.


Just position a few clear sheets between your panels and the mid day sun.
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Thursday, Oct 15, 2015 at 16:17

Thursday, Oct 15, 2015 at 16:17
There is 600W of PV on the roof.
The charge available through the polycarbonate roofing is several amps which is many times that required for maintenance and probably plenty to run the fridge, but I don't.
Fully charged and disconnected AGMs should be fine for at least 6 months without any attention.

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
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FollowupID: 859666

Reply By: swampy - Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 09:05

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 09:05
hi
5 amp ctek for a maintenance charger or remove batteries and charge on bench . Depending on situation the charging thru clear plastic would be inconsistent at best .

swampy
AnswerID: 591296

Reply By: Dean K3 - Sunday, Oct 11, 2015 at 20:32

Sunday, Oct 11, 2015 at 20:32
In short no a solar panel needs clear sunlight not diffused light.

I noticed with folks camper Redarc BMS fitted that solar input voltage is 12v panels rated at 19v + but BMS doesn't work below 14 v so still need to plug into mains for proper charging.
AnswerID: 591469

Reply By: Batt's - Thursday, Oct 15, 2015 at 11:04

Thursday, Oct 15, 2015 at 11:04
If you're not actually using the fridge why would you need to leave it on and what advantage would you get by keeping the system running by constantly topping up the batteries when it's not necessary your batteries will only lose a very small amount of power over time not enough to worry about. Yes It's good to run your fridge every now and then but it dosn't need to be constantly runnig I would just turn it on the day before you go away and it will charge up while you're driving don't over complicate things by worrying that your battery may drop a little power they sit in the shop before you buy them without constantly being on a charger.
AnswerID: 591621

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