solar panel

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 14:51
ThreadID: 33379 Views:2232 Replies:9 FollowUps:7
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Afternoon everybody,

I have a Waeco cf50 fridge and would like some advice on what wattage solar panel i should use, to charge a deep cycle battery when camping. The only appliance is the fridge and only used as a refrigerator. Using mostly in Victoria.

Thanks Chris
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Reply By: Mike Harding - Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 14:57

Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 14:57
I think you should buy a Land Cruiser.
AnswerID: 169833

Reply By: rooster1070 - Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 15:04

Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 15:04
thanks for the tip, but I wasnt after a new car.
AnswerID: 169835

Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 15:18

Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 15:18
I think it may have been a hint to try a forum search on the subject, it, along with several other perennial favourites has been done to death here.
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Reply By: Notso - Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 15:17

Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 15:17
I think they use around an average 2 amps per hour, so to run it continuously you'd need to put about that much back into your battery. So say 48 amp hours over 24hours, with say average 7 hrs per day sunlight in a perfect world you'd need something that will output about 7 or 8 amps. Now volts times amps =watts, so watts divided by volts=amps.

From all that an 80 watt panel will deliver around about 6 or 7 amps depending on sunlight, shade and whether you move the panel to watch the sun.

This is all layman talk and if you search the forum here you'll probably find some much more intelligent discussion on the issue.
AnswerID: 169837

Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 17:09

Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 17:09
Nope, an 80 watt Solar Panel will deliver a MAXIMUM of 4.6 amps on a bright sunny day when the panels are clean and the sun is at reasonable close to perpendicular to the panel.

I think using amphours would be a lot better for doing availability calculations than watthours.

Mike
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Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 17:12

Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 17:12
The simple answer -

if you are an optimist, buy one 80 watt panel.

If you are a pessimist (and can afford it) buy two 80 watt panels

If you are a realist, buy one 80 watt panel and a Kipor 1kVA generator and 15 amp charger.

Mike
AnswerID: 169852

Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 17:17

Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 17:17
Any philosophical debates should be carried out in a new thread ;-)

Mike
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Follow Up By: hl - Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 17:18

Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 17:18
Well said....
However, if you're not in the one place for more than 3 days and plan to camp mainly in sunny NSW and QLD, then you may get away with just one 80 watter
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 17:50

Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 17:50
. . . so we agree, if you live in NSW or QLD you are an optimist.

Mike
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Follow Up By: Member - Andy Q (VIC) - Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 19:11

Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 19:11
G'day, yeah! optimist or pessimist, buy what you can afford(you can always add and connect them in parallel to give yourself more wattage). I have only ever used a 60 watt panel for the past 15 years. Just make sure your second battery is topped up before you leave on your trip, make sure your fridge is on freeze when you arrive then turn it down to about #2, our meat was still frozen four days later.
We have just spent 4days camping in Cape Liptrap, facing Bass Straight, beautiful weather, 12-12.5 volts in the battery at all times, plenty of sunshine.
This was running lights, water pump, charging phones and camera batteries.
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Reply By: Alloy c/t - Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 17:30

Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 17:30
The simple answer is to buy the biggest wattage panel you can afford and a regulator of at least double the minimum required for said panel,, solar power becomes addictive ,, try starting with a 120 Kyocera and a 20/20 Steca regulator and the addiction is well on its way to being satisfied.
AnswerID: 169856

Follow Up By: porl - Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 18:51

Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 18:51
luv my steca, totally reliable, extremely cheap, World Bank approved, dunno why it don't get much rap here, but then again i aint no sparky.
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Reply By: Member - shad D (NSW) - Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 19:17

Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 19:17
hi chris,
i have a 80 watt panel and this seems to keep up with my fridge ( 40l engel) and 2 fluro camp lights. my batteries are 2x 75 amp hour deep cycle these are in my c.t. maximum stay in one spot was 5 days in summer time and had plenty of power,just remember panels are not as efficient incloudy or rainy condition .

shad..!MPG:4!
AnswerID: 169881

Reply By: Pajman Pete (SA) - Monday, May 01, 2006 at 08:20

Monday, May 01, 2006 at 08:20
My setup:
Waeco CF50
Solarex 50W Panel
2 x 38Ah gel cells just on fridge with panel plugged in through steca regulator.
2 x 35Ah gel cells for all the other junk that needs amps.
Scorpion 1KvA Generator and 3 stage charger.

Waeco on freeze prior to departure then drop to 2 lights in camp. Chuck fridge in Paj on 4 lights when driving around looking at things.

We went 6 days in the Flinders over Easter without running the gennie. We were driving most days and just left batteries in camp with the panel plugged in and pointing north. If we were in camp all day I moved it around to follow the sun.

If we are planning on just staying put somewhere for a week or so, I leave the Waeco, gennie and fridge batteries behind and take the Chescold 3 way and a gas cylinder.

Works for me. (the Gel cells are all ex-gopher items at $25 a pop from a scooter servicing place)

Pete
Any mug can be uncomfortable out bush

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AnswerID: 169963

Reply By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Monday, May 01, 2006 at 16:04

Monday, May 01, 2006 at 16:04
Hi Chris

In your situation I normally supply my 100w bi-fold unit and would also recommend 2x 90a/h AGM's this will give you power for when it is overcast.

I also install a charge cable from the vehicle to 'Top Up' when needed.

The generator option is a good one but then I would only use the generator and a 20 amp smart charger and not solar. The fridge is your cheapest outlay in this situation.

Regards Derek.
AnswerID: 170043

Reply By: MartyB - Monday, May 01, 2006 at 17:29

Monday, May 01, 2006 at 17:29
Hi Chris,
80 w is ample to run one fridge.
Just have a lead to connect the vehicle to the battery, this lead is just in case you need to give the battery a boost charge.
I have run my engel for about 2 months on an 80w panel without any problems, your waeco should be about the same.

from Marty.
AnswerID: 170056

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