Solar Panels

Submitted: Friday, Jan 10, 2003 at 20:42
ThreadID: 2902 Views:2156 Replies:4 FollowUps:4
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We are travelling around Australia and have a dual battery system fitted (rotronics). We are only getting around 30hours of power from our battery at present and believe we need a solar panel to allow us to spend longer at each location. We have a 2001 hilux and thus not much room. Can anyone recommend what the better solar panels are (I have read in the searches about BP panels) or suggest any other solutions to our problem (although not a generator as we like to camp in national parks). Your help would be much appreciated. We are currently in Perth.
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Reply By: OziExplorer - Friday, Jan 10, 2003 at 21:00

Friday, Jan 10, 2003 at 21:00
Michelle what are you running from your battery system?

What make and type/model of battery do you have as the auxiliary battery?

Suggest you look at this thread and ask any further questions here:
(You may have to copy and paste if the link does not work)
AnswerID: 11023

Reply By: max_rockatansky - Friday, Jan 10, 2003 at 21:48

Friday, Jan 10, 2003 at 21:48
30 hours?

what are you powering? look at the problem from the root cause

AnswerID: 11030

Follow Up By: Allyn - Friday, Jan 10, 2003 at 22:39

Friday, Jan 10, 2003 at 22:39
Rotronics system is much more efficient and will cut out at about 11.5 volts whereas Engel cutout is only designed to protect the compressor and cuts out when battery is much lower than that causing damage to battery in the process.
FollowupID: 6020

Reply By: bruce.h - Saturday, Jan 11, 2003 at 00:00

Saturday, Jan 11, 2003 at 00:00
michelle if you currently in perth contact a company called solarsales pty ltd they willset you up no problems they are located at 97 kew street welshpool ph 9362 21118 managers name john hall not much these guys dont know about solar power supplie all panels for emergency ph ones along streets ect also look at
AnswerID: 11043

Follow Up By: Bruce.H - Wednesday, Jan 15, 2003 at 21:22

Wednesday, Jan 15, 2003 at 21:22
michelle was just wondering how you got on with your sloar problem be interesred toi know what you decided on
Regards Bruce
FollowupID: 6274

Reply By: Member - Nigel - Sunday, Jan 12, 2003 at 11:16

Sunday, Jan 12, 2003 at 11:16
What model of rotronics system do you use? A couple of the cheaper models don't support external charge sources, but most do. Maybe best to check (and upgrade if necessary) beforehand.

I have a Rotonics RFC12 and it works wonderfully. We get 50+ hours from our 95 Ah running an EvaKool Fridge without dropping below 11.5 volts, but I do fully recharge the battery with a 3 stage switchmode charger before any trips.

Because most of our trips are only 2 or 3 days at present we don't really need solar, but it is something I will be getting before we do any extended trips - still undecided on brand. I'd probably go for 2 x 64 watt panels incase one had a prob I'd still have one usable. Although a single 80 watt would come close to keeping up with the fridge.
AnswerID: 11106

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Monday, Jan 13, 2003 at 18:30

Monday, Jan 13, 2003 at 18:30
Nigal an 80w panel to run an evaKool fridge over 24 hours under all conditions - not very close, or better to say, not close enough for my liking. At what charge rate have you taken the 80w panel at?

Rotronics (any model) like most of the other dual battery setups don't excite me at all, especially when you see the prices they want for them.
FollowupID: 6154

Follow Up By: Member - Nigel - Monday, Jan 13, 2003 at 20:15

Monday, Jan 13, 2003 at 20:15
Not under all conditions - only under perfect conditions (ie Queensland).

And you've gotta pay for convenience. I prefer independant charge, it's not essential, but it allows for faster recharging and using dissimilar batteries without long term effects.
FollowupID: 6164

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