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Found 16 results

  1. I'm looking for someone who will install customer provided solar panels and provide other components for the 3 or 4 panels I have. My coach is a 2006 Monaco Diplomat with the standard 4 - 6V battery configuration and 2500 W Modified wave inverter/charger. The panels are 220W at 34V. I will need mounting hardware, controller and appropriate instrumentation and likely new batteries. Any advice welcomed.
  2. I recently installed two Battle Born lithium batteries and an Ames 2000 watt inverter charger into my travel trailer. Here is how it looks all finished up minus the parallel cables for the two batteries, Here is my real world usage for those batteries anybody else using these batteries, I am a big fan. I will no longer carry a generator 2-4 day boondocking trips.
  3. I installed a solar system a while back, but have only recently begun to demand much from it. Here's what I have: 4 panels of Sunmodule SW260 260W Poly V2.0 Module -- nominal 260 W and 30 Volt panels -- flat mounted on the roof of the trailer ---- The panels are wired with 2 sets of 2 panels in series, for an intended nominal 60V @ 7 to 8 Amp feed on 50 ft of 10 AWG wiring Morningstar TS-MPPT-60 charge controller 8 ea. Crown CR-23 6V deep cycle batteries in a series/parallel configuration = 4 @ 12 V and 235 Amp Hours Trimetric - T 2030 meter After two weeks of full-time boondocking, with several rainy days we were at about -385 amp hours. We got a good sunny day (at Grand Teton - so not too directly overhead) and only picked up about 80 Amp Hours of battery. All the lights were off, refrig on propane, etc. so there should have been minimal draw. I would have expected at least 3 or 4 times that amount on a bright sunny day. Am I crazy? What am I missing???
  4. Mornin gents, okay, over the winter I had several occasions to dry camp and test out the capacity of my 29 Ft Class C (relative low energy user, approx. say 125 to 200 Amp Hours per day) equipped with 470 Watts of flat rooftop solar and four Trojan T-105's (450 Amp Hours) which performed quite well. HOWEVER when the temperatures were 80+ I faced the dilemma to park in the shade where it was cooler,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, or out in the sun which harvested more solar energy HMMMMMMMMMMMMM. Soooooooooo not being one who likes to discharge my batteries over 30% and one who prefers to camp in the shade when its hot, I ADDED ANOTHER 245 WATT PANEL YESTERDAY (90 cents per Watt) TAKING ME UP TO 715 TOTAL WATTS yayyyyyyyyy QUESTION 1) We know you still harvest energy (albeit significant less) even in the shade, so if the sun was bright yet you're under total shade my best "guess" is I might harvest say 30% as much as if in the sun. WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE AND GUESS AS TO HOW MUCH IS HARVERTED IN SHADE (all else equal) VERSUS UNDER THE SUN ????? Even when I am parked in my pole barn covered lean to close under the roof I still harvest "some" energy so I'm hoping under a shade tree on a bright day I can keep up. My typical dry camping energy use is two powered roof vent fans (maybe 12 hrs per day),,,,,,,,, A small Haier dorm sized fridge 24/7 (maybe 50AH per day) ,,,,,,,,,,,,,Occasional water pump and kitchen vent fan and all LED lights. The onboard Generator is run maybe 30 mins or more per day for hair dryer and coffee and microwave (I prefer that method versus batteries and my 2 KW PSW Inverter) during which time my 80 Amp PD 9280 Smart Charger pumps a good amount of charge into my battery bank SO OVERALL IM IN GOOD SHAPE even if parked in shade is my best guess. If not so be it lol if 715 watts isn't enough I can run the genset (and 80 amp charger) a tad more morning and evening, I've spent and updated ENOUGH as it is. QUESTION 2) I normally, of course, have windows open and BOTH front and rear roof vent fans exhausting air OUT OF the RV top. However I read on some forum its best to have one roof fan blowing air in and the other exhausting air out ????????????? Does that make any sense to yall??????????? I had to upgrade to a 50 Amp MPPT Charge Controller so I'm selling my old 30 Amp TrakMax Smart 3 Stage MPPT temperature compensated. Be safe and best wishes John T Back home again in Indiana
  5. Anyone using Relion Lithium-ion Batteries?

    Anyone using Relion Lithium-ion Batteries on your RV? If so, how have they worked?
  6. I would like to install a super simple solar system on my travel trailer -- one or two panels, battery, inverter. This would be for minimal use....like for lights in the evening. I would very much appreciate learning where to look for a good quality, affordable "starter package". Thank you
  7. I'd heard about something similar a while ago but this is really some interesting tech. Imagine if RVs could be equipped with these windows and add to or be the only solar system for boone docking. Now folks this is not a product just what the DOE labs are working on today. Excerpt: "Researchers in the Center for Advanced Solar Photophysics at Los Alamos National Laboratory are seeking to transform everyday windows into solar collectors by harnessing the unique properties of quantum dots. The advantages of solar power as a source of clean, renewable energy seem obvious. Sunlight is abundant, free and, for all practical purposes, eternal. While the price of solar photovoltaic cells recently has plummeted and their efficiency has gone up, challenges remain around siting vast arrays of solar-electric panels and finding ways to integrate them into buildings and other applications. These challenges prompted a joint research team from Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of Milano-Bicocca in Italy to try a fresh approach to solar power. Working with quantum dots, the team achieved a breakthrough in solar-concentrating technology that can turn windows into electric generators and revolutionize the way we think about where and how we generate energy. Think about it: If windows can generate electricity for use on site, the consumer would gain the advantages of free, non-polluting power and at least partial grid independence. The grid would reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, gain resilience and get relief from peak-use demands, which would slash greenhouse gas emissions. Solar windows would also be practically unnoticeable, meaning you could reap the benefits of solar power at home with a minimum of impact on you or the community around you. If this technology replaced all the glazing on the One World Trade Center building in New York City, the windows could power more than 350 apartments." More in the article here with pictures of the material: http://energy.gov/articles/turning-windows-solar-panels
  8. The Wheelinit.us blog is posting some great info about their recent upgrade to Lithium batteries and additional solar panels. Not only are they providing great info about the whats and whys of what they did, they provide a number of links, all in one spot, to a huge amount of technical detail about solar & batteries in RV's. Here are the first two entries. There are more entries to come in the near future. http://wheelingit.us/2016/02/24/the-big-beastly-solarbattery-upgrade-part-i-why/ http://wheelingit.us/2016/02/29/the-big-beastly-solarbattery-upgrade-part-ii-component-details/
  9. Since I've settled on the 2016 Arctic Fox 27-5L and a Chevy Silverado 3500HD to tow it, my next step is figuring out how to add the right solar setup for boondocking and off-grid living. This gentleman seems to have a very solid setup. I'd like to copy it, although I hope to avoid putting any new holes in my rig. My daytime usage is going to be one or two laptops, a 4G hot spot, and perhaps the television. At night I'll be using the aforementioned items plus the lights. I'd like to cook with propane instead of convection/microwave and keep the fridge on propane as well. I know that I'd like to put 400 watts of solar on the rig, with the remaining equipment copied from the above setup: charge controller, 2000W pure sine wave inverter, automatic transfer relay switch, etc, etc. I'm still going to get a generator to fall back on, if I need to run A/C for example. Questions: 1) Do you have other recommendations for solar setups aside from the above-linked one? I'm open to hearing more ideas. 2) Do you recommend solar panels that can tilt, or are flat panels sufficient? 3) Is there a way to put 400 watts of solar panels on my roof without any permanent modifications to the exterior or interior? I'd like to keep the rig unmodified to the greatest extent possible. 4) Do you recommend any installers who can perform the work? I'm willing to drive quite a ways to see the right person. Thanks for any advice.
  10. Hello all, I am hoping I can get some info./assistance/guidance from some of you kind and knowledgeable folks... I do realize this is an RV forum, but I know you can still give me good advice. THE SHORT: BALQON = NO USER MANUAL or USER GUIDE = NO COMMUNICATION = MY 27kwh LiFEPo4 Battery pack sitting outside for several months NOT hooked up = me freaking out about self discharge (which I didn't even know existed) and a possible 800lb. expensive brick!!! THE LONG: This past summer (2015) my wife and I refinanced our house, took out loans, and spent our life savings to pursue our mutual life-long dream of a full turnkey Solar scenario. The goal was to get all the components in and then hire a local professional to put it all together and guide us through it all, including the use and maintenance. After doing some comparisons of battery options I decided to go with LiFEPo4. I contacted Balqon, and Samra (CEO?) spent well over an hour on the phone with me and convinced me that was the route to go and that his company was the way to go. We went through a Solar company to get 24 panels, mounts, a Schneider/Midnight Classic all-in-one wall of electronics and a 27kwh battery bank in an external enclosure, from Balqon. Balqon took tons longer to ship than promised, after awful communication. Then, despite calls and emails DAILY from myself as well as from the company I bought it through, we still have yet to get a response. And all we were trying to do was get a User Manual or User Guide for the 27kwh battery pack. You know, "This is how you hook it up, Do this, Don't do this, This button does this, This is how to actually open it up, etc..." Well, then there had been ridiculous and extensive problems and delays in getting the mounting in. (FedEx Freight basically ran over everything with a fork lift, then I get sent the wrong stuff, then they won't send the right stuff, then they want me to pay for the right stuff cause it's not what they were told to send, etc...) So, as of today I now have all the components in. (Except any of the information I needed from Balqon, that is.) While online last week doing some research I ran across people talking about self-discharge (which, again, nobody ever told me was even a thing) and how it could brick your battery. (I am aware of the BMS and it's self cut-off to prevent it getting too low, etc.) Well now I am FREAKING OUT!!! Due to all the calamity of errors and delays, the battery has been sitting outside untouched for several months! I don't know how much charge it came with, how to hook it up, nor how to operate it (because I never got a manual, nor did I have everything in to begin an install) From the looks of things it will probably be this Spring until the panels are mounted and we are ready to actually hook up to it. So, please, tell me, what do I do??? Assuming I hit the "On" button and it isn't dead, how on earth can I put a charge into it without all the solar panels hooked up to get it to last till the spring without bricking? Can I hook jumper cables up to it from my car for countless hours? Is there a way to hook up a generator directly to it without the wall of electronics? Can I plug into it from my house? I mean, I don't need to fill it up and worry about an over charge, I just need to keep it from dying. Then, If I go to push the "On" button and nothing happens, or it is totally dead what options do I have? Quite Sincerely, Recent Newb
  11. I am an avid backpacker who intends to use my Bounder as a boondocking basecamp from which to do multi-day backpacking trips in the mountains and canyons of the western US. I am looking for a reliable and trustworthy supplier/installer who can help me develop an optimal configuration and complete the install. I have heard good things about AM Solar in Springfield, Oregon but will need o travel from Austin, Texas for the installation. Proper solar configuration and installation is crucial to my backpacking strategy. Can anyone weigh in on their own experiences with AM Solar and any other installers in the western US?
  12. True cost of solar installation?

    We just posted a blog asking anyone for help to learn the true cost of RV installation. We're not technically savvy enough to install panels ourselves, yet we don't want to pay someone as much for installation as we paid for our entire solar system. We have a decent amount of money budgeted for this process, but we want as much of it as possible to go into our solar needs—and not an installer's pocket. Does anyone have any firsthand knowledge of how much this might cost us? Thanks for your help, boondockers. We hope to join you starting Feb. 29.
  13. Geeeeeeeeee, just as were having fun informative discussions below concerning alternate energy and battery safety, now I come across an article about Rooftop Solar Panel hazards lol Of course, they are talking about residential roof installation, but heat is heat I guess. For now I'm keeping my RV's rooftop solar however. https://www.zurichna.com/en/kh/risksrevealed/solar-panels-what-arent-you-considering A still cautious type, John T
  14. Ok, I've read everything that I could get my hands on regarding house batteries and 12v systems. I'm currently living full time (as of October 27) in a 1992 Mallard Sprinter that I bought used off of Craigslist. I have attended the Escapees Bootcamp, and thought that I had gotten my answer, but now I'm confused again. Should I be able to charge my phone in one of the 110 outlets from the house batteries? Or will they only run the 12v lights? I have no RV experience, and I'm not super handy when it comes to home/auto maintenance. I'm trying to learn, and forums have been super helpful. My basic question is: what can I expect to run off my house batteries? The reason I'm asking is because I've had quite the adventure trying to make sure that all of my systems were working properly, and some have influenced others, as you can imagine. When we first purchased the coach, the owner walked me through the systems, and I figured that it was mostly all common sense. I may have been a little starry eyed at the idea of finally finding a rig in my price range, available in the timeframe in which I required it. So everything *appeared* to be working. Once we hit the road, we spent the first weekend at a state park with electrical and water hookups -- learning how all that worked the first time was easy. Even had no issue dumping black and gray water the first time. Then we finally hit the open road, and had to spend one night in a Walmart parking lot. Much to my surprise, nothing seemed to be able to run off the house batteries. No lights, no water, nothing. To further complicate matters, I couldn't get the generator to start. So I thought there was an issue with the genny, and made an appointment to get it looked at. We continued our trip, confining our stays to places that had hookups. Over the course of time, and online research, I read that the engine alternator should be charging the house batteries, as well as shore power. Since we've been driving for a week, and hooking up to shore, I thought that the battery MUST be charged, and tried it again. No luck, but on a whim I tried to start the generator again. Chugging for a bit adn then VROOM it starts! Scratching my head and shrugging my shoulders, I cancel the appointment to have the genny looked at. It has not been a problem since, but I still don't understand the battery situation. It appears to be new, but I haven't gotten it tested yet. I'm far from home, and not even sure where or how to get it tested. An RV tech checking out my furnace touched it with a 12v tester and it lit up, so I'm guessing there is power in there. I should mention that the panel of lights that shows the charge level of the battery, as well as the fill level of our tanks is also on the fritz. When plugged into shore power, it shows the battery at full charge, but the moment we unplug it shows "L" which I'm guessing means Low = discharged. Sorry this post got so long, I'm hoping someone out there will take the time to read it and answer my question. Will the plugs in the rig work off the batteries? or only while plugged into shore power or off the generator?
  15. I am about to retire and doing the research to select a class A motor coach and upgrade it for boondocking throughout the western US and Canada, I have been following Jason and Nikki Wynn's "Gone with the Wynn's" blog and Cherie Ve Ard's & Chris Dunphy's "Techomadia" blog to work up a wish list including lithium batteries, solar panels, automated power monitoring and control systems, communications gear, tire pressure monitoring, and even a composting toilet. I am looking for referrals to companies that have the expertise to properly install all of the upgrades. At the same time, I am looking for a 3 to 4 year old class A gas coach to take advantage of early depreciation in market value and help fund the enhancements. I am a cash buyer with a budget of $100k to $110k for the completed product. I am located in Austin Texas but am looking nationwide for the best combination of quality coach and enhancement installation. Referrals would be greatly appreciated.
  16. As the solar industry booms, so does R&D. Here are 8 exciting new research developments in solar energy research. From Tech Republic Excerpt: "We've said it before, and we'll say it again. 2015 is going to be a huge year for the solar industry. A photovoltaic system is installed every four minutes in the US. There are now 142,000 jobs in the solar industry alone. Some experts are even saying that rooftop solar will reach grid parity in all 50 states by 2016. The research behind solar energy is booming, too. Scientists are discovering new ways to decrease costs and increase efficiency of solar panels and coming up with creative, impressive ways to generate power. Here are eight examples. 1. Bionic leaf 2. 3D printed solar powered trees 3. Perovskites Perovskites are materials with a specific crystalline structure. Stanford University researchers found that using lead, ammonia, and iodine, they could make a lot of it for cheap. Perovskites are more efficient than silicon in some ways, so the idea is using them to supplement rather than replace silicon may be a way to increase the efficiency of solar cells. At Stanford, a silicon solar cell with an efficiency of 11.4% increased to 17% with perovskite. 4. Thin film solar New research from Cornell, published in Nature in January, 5. Carbon-based solar cells Another cheap alternative to silicon that has emerged is printed carbon-based, or organic, solar cells. 6. Colored solar panels Scientists have found a way to make solar panels a little more aesthetically pleasing. 7. Polymer solar cells Polymer solar cells, called P1D2, may increase solar cell efficiency. 8. Solar concentration technology Concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) systems are giant and have to be angled very accurately to get the right amount of sun during the day. They work great, but they're not ideal for roofs. Now, a team of researchers is working on using that high-efficiency technology for rooftop PV systems by building them with miniaturized, gallium arsenide photovoltaic cells and 3D printed plastic lens arrays. The systems weigh less, cost less, and are much smaller than CPV systems, though, and can be optimized for rooftops." OK, each of the above has a link to a full webpage detailing the breakthrough, and I omitted most of the descriptions in the interest of showing all the types in the full article here: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/8-crazy-new-solar-research-breakthroughs/?tag=nl.e101&s_cid=e101&ttag=e101&ftag=TRE684d531
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