solar power

Submitted: Monday, Jan 28, 2002 at 01:00
ThreadID: 686 Views:3065 Replies:4 FollowUps:2
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Hi, we are intending to travel for a long period in a camping trailer using battery power for lights and appliances - TV - video, etc. Could anybody explain how to hook up solar and what type of solar panel to use, size ETC, and watts. Thanks.
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Reply By: Darrin - Monday, Jan 28, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Jan 28, 2002 at 01:00

I am looking at a similar situation myself. You will need to add up your total wattage use from your appliances so you can workout how long your battery will last. Then most likely you will find that to fully recharge the battery purely by solar will cost you an arm and a leg for big enough solar panels and a trailer to carry them in. The most economical way is to get smaller panels which will add charge to the battery during the day and extend it's use before it needs a good recharge. Example, if the battery lasted 1 day running your appliances by hooking up say two 64 watt panels you may get 3 or 4 days use before it runs flat. The panels will only slow down the rate the battery goes flat, sooner or later it will need a good recharge.

If your in Sydney try Australia Wide Solar if not there should be someone in your state.

Good luck
AnswerID: 1856

Follow Up By: Darren Carr - Tuesday, Jan 29, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2002 at 01:00
Thanks Darrin,Your info was very helpful we will now have to change our plans a little bit.We will now run our fridges on gas and use lanterns not lights.But what about the tele and video? -We need them for the kids school work.Thanks again, Darren
FollowupID: 628

Reply By: Mark Wilson - Thursday, Jan 31, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Jan 31, 2002 at 01:00
Darren, We've got an 87 watt solar panel that we hook up to our dual battery system. As well we have another battery, deep cycle, in our camper trailer. This seems to give us plenty of capacity. Just recently I purchased a 300 watt pure sine wave inverter for about $500. This gives us the added advantage of powering small appliances, computers, tv etc by converting 12 volt DC to 240 volt AC. Its really quite useful.

Our solar panel is housed in a lightweight ply box lined with high density underlay to protect it from the bumps associated with travelling.
It all works well and has never given us a moments trouble. Its a pretty expensive set up in total. But hey what the heck, we're at a time of our lives when we want to spent a little to ensure we're comfortable. At the end of the day you can't take it with you and the value of a icy cold wine or beer at the end of the day is inestimable.

Hope this helps Mark
AnswerID: 1890

Follow Up By: Alison - Thursday, Jan 31, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Jan 31, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Mark, thanks for your reply. How long would you estimate your setup would last, powering a TV and interior lights, with the occasional use of a video, microwave or computer, etc. We intend to be on the road for several years, and want to spent as little time in van parks as possible. Thanks again, Alison Carr.
FollowupID: 639

Reply By: Ray Charlton - Thursday, Jan 31, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Jan 31, 2002 at 01:00
Hi I use a uni-solar 32W flexible solar panel. Much easier to store and keeps the battery up for three days running an engel and a versa light. Gave up on gas fridges up north and gas light years ago. The fridges did not work above 35c and the versa light is much easier thana gas lamp
AnswerID: 1899

Reply By: Nigel - Sunday, Feb 03, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Feb 03, 2002 at 01:00
I've been looking into the same question and this is what I have come up with. The Uni-solar are best when the temperature starts rising. Other types of panels lose more capacity with extra degree of temperature of the rated temp. Uni-solar panels also don't use glass so are safer for travelling with.
AnswerID: 1942

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