mounting solar panels

Submitted: Friday, Feb 17, 2012 at 17:59
ThreadID: 91925 Views:1735 Replies:2 FollowUps:6
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I'm thinking of mounting solar panels on the roof of our caravan but would like to raise them when we are stopped for the best performance,would also like to be able to follow the sun.
One idea I had was to use the type of TV antenna that you wind up and turn to be able to follow the sun.
Has any body tried this or is there a better solution

Cheers
Glyn
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Reply By: mikehzz - Friday, Feb 17, 2012 at 18:25

Friday, Feb 17, 2012 at 18:25
It means you always have to park your van in the sun. Also, you have to make sure you have the right type of cell because if shade hits any part of one of the types (mono or poly...I forget) then all the charging stops. Cheers.
AnswerID: 478027

Follow Up By: Member Andys Adventures - Friday, Feb 17, 2012 at 19:44

Friday, Feb 17, 2012 at 19:44
Hi mikehzz,
Only if you like sitting there turning the handle every 6 min to follow the sun. I lay mine flat and have no problem. If you need to chase the sun you should get another panel to give you the extra power you need.
Andy
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Follow Up By: Member Andys Adventures - Friday, Feb 17, 2012 at 19:46

Friday, Feb 17, 2012 at 19:46
Sorry that should have read wallabyjack not mikehzz.
Andy
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Follow Up By: wallabyjack5 - Friday, Feb 17, 2012 at 22:55

Friday, Feb 17, 2012 at 22:55
Thanks Andy you are prob right maybe cheaper too.
Cheers
Glyn
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FollowupID: 753476

Reply By: 4X4Treker - Friday, Feb 17, 2012 at 20:16

Friday, Feb 17, 2012 at 20:16
wallabyjack5 its all about amp hours out against amp hours back into your batteries, I am currently using two 110watt panels fixed flat to the roof of my new caravan but I also reduced the overall load by having it fitted with all LED lighting and only use the inverter when needed. Only done one trip away for two weeks with it and it was mixed with overcast days and full sun days but never looked like having any low power problems and that was all bush camping in the one spot with no mains power.
Rule of thumb for me has always fit as many panels as you can and as big as you can with the right solar regulator batteries will never be overcharged but more importantly your batteries will last longer as they will be topped back up to max each day regardless of sun conditions.
I have room for one more panel on the roof but at this stage my daily discharge is no where near draining the batteries to harmful levels.

Cheers
Treker
AnswerID: 478032

Follow Up By: wallabyjack5 - Friday, Feb 17, 2012 at 22:50

Friday, Feb 17, 2012 at 22:50
Thanks Treker for that info,could you please tell me what LED you use for the main inside lights and what batteries you have.
Cheers
Glyn
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FollowupID: 753474

Follow Up By: 4X4Treker - Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 21:50

Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 21:50
These are the same as the ones on the outside of the van http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Interior-Caravan-RV-Boat-48-LED-Waterproof-Light-/180818061590?pt=Caravan_Parts_Accessories&hash=item2a1998a916
and the interior ones are similar to these
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/12V-ULTRA-BRIGHT-124-SMD-LED-18-WATT-CABIN-DOME-LIGHT-Interior-Boat-Caravan-Lamp-/170780319430?pt=AU_Boat_Parts_Accessories&hash=item27c34cdec6

I have two 100 amp hour deep cycle batteries, I have two of the outside LED's either side of the door but are on separate switches and there are are four of the round type lights inside the van all on seperate switches, the reading lights are all LED and the lights in the Shower and toilet are also LED.
Hope this helps

Regards
Treker
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FollowupID: 753550

Follow Up By: wallabyjack5 - Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 23:35

Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 at 23:35
Thanks for that Treker great lot of info
Cheers
Glyn
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FollowupID: 753558

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