Solar Panels, they do work in all conditions

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 16, 2005 at 22:08
ThreadID: 19448 Views:2300 Replies:5 FollowUps:5
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Well at least mine does.

I've been lambasted by some "experts" suggesting why would you take a solar panel on an overnight trip?

Well we left Sat Morning for an overnighter and it rained and was overcast until 3 pm Sat. I then pulled out he panel (Uni Solar amorphous/light energy style panel) and let it sit in the overcast shade until dark. It was putting in a little bit according to my multi meter.

In the morning battery still showing 12.3 volts. Put the panel out again Sunday Morning and showing 12.7 volts by 3 pm when we left (some reasonable sun in this time).

My point is why not use a panel to keep something going into the battery as opposed to draining it and reducing its life. My battery that cost me $350 will see an extended life if I keep a good charge up to it. Simply saying it would have lasted for that time and why would you use solar is a ridiculous statement. It would have been down to less than 12 volts without the solar and that would reduce its life expectancy.
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Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Sunday, Jan 16, 2005 at 22:28

Sunday, Jan 16, 2005 at 22:28
Jimbo, do you mean that the fridge was connected overnight or was the battery just sitting there?

When I fitted the dual battery setup I fitted an Redarc relay to connect the batt's. This relay has a red LED telling me its swiched on (batt's connected). I was worried that it wasnt switching off properly, its sposed to switch off at 12.5v. Anyhoo on morning a week or so later I had the bonnet up and the LED was on. I though that cant be...so I went and got my trusty multimeter and it read 11.8v.

Well I called the mob I bought it from and it was going to be a big hassle taking it off, taking it to them and then getting it back before we headed to Fraser. The guy said they'd never had a problem with a Redarc, "what did you measure it with?" I told him my trusty multimeter and he said get another and check it.

Long story short, the meter was wrong and the volts were 12.8v, hence the LED still on. Maybe the battery would hold the volts overnight unconnected.
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Reply By: greghud - Sunday, Jan 16, 2005 at 22:45

Sunday, Jan 16, 2005 at 22:45
on ya jimbo, the more i here of your experences with solar the more tempted i am to getting in to it. seems the stated performance may be a little understated? from what you discribe.
i would love to run the whole house permantly on solar and tell power and water to get stuffed!
but the van will do for now.
all the best mate
greg
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 18:02

Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 18:02
hey! that sort of talk can get you in trouble you know. The power companies love their customers, not sure about the water board tho seeing as I work for a power company.
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Reply By: sav - Sunday, Jan 16, 2005 at 23:20

Sunday, Jan 16, 2005 at 23:20
Jimbo,
I'm thinking of going down the solar route with my camper.
Just one question - how do you carry/mount the panel ?

With my soft-top camper, the logical place is mounted to the underside of the bed inside the trailer (I don't have a roof-rack for a permanent mount - nor do I want one).
Does anyone have any mounting suggestions that enables a secure mount - but at the same time making it fairly easy to remove/attach to the fitting ?

Sav.
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Follow Up By: Member - Glenn P (SA) - Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 02:03

Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 02:03
Hi Sav,

I used a solar panel for a couple of years but don't find the need any more with 3 batteries and duel fuel lights etc. One thing I did wrong was to mount the panel, where do you want your camper or rig during the day? In The shade, where is the best place for the panel, you guessed it out in the full sun. Having it mounted on my vehicle before, we would pull up to go fishing, in the top end, choice park in the shade which of course chocked the feed from the panel, or park in the sun to get full use of the panel, only problem with the last choice, the car inside temp when we returned from fishing 70deg C, fridge and batts struggeling due to heat around them.

Glenn
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Follow Up By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 08:01

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 08:01
Sav,

I just stick it the camper between the mattress and doonas for protection and set it up when I arrive. Cheers,

Jim.
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Reply By: Mainey... - Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 01:13

Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 01:13
Jimbo,
this and also other forums are full of "experts" who get their information from reading someone else's problem, very rarely are they in the affirmative as you have been, because you have tested your system on various occasions and all with similar results, being all positive and you have no pecuniary interest in them in any way.

The fact your battery did not go below 12v is a definite benefit to you because as you state it does not damage the battery as it would if the panel was not used.

I don’t believe I have read a post put up by a solar panel user that is negative as to their use or benefits in any way when installed and used as the manufacturers direct, and I am sure to be told now if I am wrong!
AnswerID: 93504

Reply By: David Au - Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 15:26

Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 15:26
Jimbo why not point out the actual posts who these "lambasted by some "experts" suggesting why would you take a solar panel on an overnight trip?"

Why wouldn't you take a panel and use it when you have it!

Next time do not listen to uneducated or unqualified so called 'experts'.
AnswerID: 93609

Follow Up By: Mainey... - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 01:56

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 01:56
0zi,
Jimbo fortunately did not listen to the uneducated and unqualified so called 'experts' with a pecuniary interest in selling him a massive 300 watts of solar panels just to power a 100 a/h DC battery and run a fridge and a few lights.
The reason his solar system works for him as he has tested and also stated on various occasions is because it is well matched to his battery and fridge running requirements.
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FollowupID: 352677

Follow Up By: David Au - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 08:01

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2005 at 08:01
Mainey nanny gregor let you out again. Mainey you have a fixation and paranoia darling little boy so how about you get your facts right and stop telling lies. Must be a bummer to be uneducated and so insanely jealous of achievers. You see your little baby Jimbo will not reply because nobody told him that. Mainey instead of mouthing off like you have to, how about you put some proof to your lies. Mainey little boy run back to nanny gregor and get your mouth nappy changed yet again.
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