Solar panel size

Can anyone help us with information re size of solar panel required to run 2 fridges, 40lt and 60lt Engels.
we will be bush camping for 10-12 days in Arnhem Land in july and we are looking into solar power, also the brand names of reputable panels and regulators.
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Reply By: ABR - SIDEWINDER - Tuesday, Apr 28, 2009 at 21:57

Tuesday, Apr 28, 2009 at 21:57
You would need 2x GP100W Bi-Folds and 200 to 300 Ah of battery capacity. - You also need sun ;-)


Derek from ABR
AnswerID: 362149

Follow Up By: Margaret & Roy - Tuesday, Apr 28, 2009 at 22:09

Tuesday, Apr 28, 2009 at 22:09
Thanks Sidewinder, I don't think sun will be a problem in NT in July, we will have a look at your website M&R
FollowupID: 629908

Reply By: Mandrake - Tuesday, Apr 28, 2009 at 22:13

Tuesday, Apr 28, 2009 at 22:13
This might help its a solar power calculator - Just fill it in and click -

Site Link

Hope it works - the link that is --


AnswerID: 362152

Follow Up By: tonbon - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 06:21

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 06:21
Mandrake, fantastic link, exactly what i have been looking for (like to try and find out info before posting forums and bothering people on stuff thats already been discussed).


“Venimus, vidimus, vicimus”
FollowupID: 629939

Reply By: Wahroonga Farm - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 08:45

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 08:45
.... But don't be cheap with the solar regulator. You'll be investing considerable sums on the batteries (and panels).

Look into a smart regulator such as the Plasmatronic PL 20, 40, 60 series to ensure that YOU know exactly what's happening with your system.
AnswerID: 362192

Follow Up By: Wahroonga Farm - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 09:33

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 09:33
And you will have already read Collyn Rivers article.
FollowupID: 629963

Reply By: Member - bungarra (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 11:35

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 11:35
we run an Engel 60l as a fridge and Engel 39L as a freezer

2 x 100 ah AGM deep cycle batteries (alternator also charges them)

4 x 75w BP panels ..... slight over kill but we have them hinged in pairs and place one pair facing the morning sun and one pair to pick up the afternoon sun. This way we dont need to manage them as we spend a lot of time away from the camp during the day walking etc and we can maximise the available sun

Be aware that your panels do need to be managed as the sun direction needs to be constantly monitored and panels shifted to maintain is not as simple as reading off a chart for sun hours X panel capacity......that is the theory assuming the panels are always facing the sun (ie tracking) ....not reality in a camping wont get that sun hours on your panel face left stationary all day.

as Derek stated the panels size he quoted will suit fine but manage them or they may dissapoint.......regardless of where you are there a cloudy days and it is those days that you need the battery capacity for..we can run about 4 days with no charge in ambients low 30's starting with full batteries but our fridges are well insulated and the canopy is also insulated

As others posted use a very good solar controller..we use a PL20 and the alternator charge runs through a shunt

you are going to spend some serious money..spend it wisely on good gear and make certain whoever advises you on the ultimate purchase and whoever does the wiring does know their subject...
Life is a journey, it is not how we fall down, it is how we get up.
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