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Solar on truck


GlennWest
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I don't think you need to do anything. For example currently our trailer has solar charging the batteries all the time plus the batteries get charged when either we are hooked up to shore power or to the generator thru the standard battery charger converter in the trailer so there are two different sources with out any isolators except the normal fusing.  The solar charge controller should be able to handle the voltage your alternator is putting out. 

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My truck is full height. Ideal spot for solar would be roof of truck. Now I do scrap tree branches sometimes. City right lane mostly. Will this damage panel? Doesn't seem to hurt truck. Only other spot I have is the rear cab mount for the fleet tracking device. Bracket still there. It would be shaded part of the day. I could fabricate a mount near level with top of cab. Any suggestions? I never saw need for drom box. That would be ideal.

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Our truck has a small short 42" sleeper.  I mounted a 33 watt panel to the roof and wired it to a little controller.  Fused a lead to the battery.  Works great and it is connected all of the time.  Batteries stay charged.   I already had that panel or I probably would have chosen one a little bigger just in case.

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3 hours ago, GlennWest said:

My truck is full height. Ideal spot for solar would be roof of truck. Now I do scrap tree branches sometimes. City right lane mostly. Will this damage panel? Doesn't seem to hurt truck. Only other spot I have is the rear cab mount for the fleet tracking device. Bracket still there. It would be shaded part of the day. I could fabricate a mount near level with top of cab. Any suggestions? I never saw need for drom box. That would be ideal.

On our mid roof, I think I have brackets on both sides of the cab and I would run a support from one side to the other side and then do a hinged mount for the panel on that, so you can pivot it up when parked and be level or slightly above the cab. Then when traveling you could pivot it down against the back of the cab for protection. It may also allow you to pivot at an angle and get more sun depending on the trucks orientation when parked. 

Edited by Star Dreamer
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I also have a bracket for fleet tracking on my 2000 Volvo 770.  It's bolted to the back of the cab with 4 bolts and seems to be fairly sturdy.  In my case, the flat top of the bracket is 7 inches below the top edge of the roof.   That should avoid almost all tree branch danger and allow you to mount it fairly flat, so the direction you park the truck won't affect power output much.  Maybe use a slight tilt for the panel to shed water.

I suspect the panel assumes support at all for corners. So only supporting it from the middle may, or may not be a problem.   There seem to be several places on my truck that could brace the ends of the solar panel.

https://i.imgur.com/QGTV35m.jpg

Edited by DanZemke
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  • 2 weeks later...

Bolted angle iron to that bracket for the fleet tracking. It came out as sturdy as back of sleeper can be. It will move around. Back of cab/sleeper not solid. May need to run additional angle to side furlins brackets. But something interesting, I bought some Rust-oleum red paint for steel. Had lot left over. Touched up some areas on back where brackets had been removed. Looked good. Looked at my badly peeled faded fender and said can't hurt. Sprayed it too. Looks pretty good to my surprise. I might buy more. Lol

Edited by GlennWest
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Glenn,

Sometimes life can be kind.  It appears it smiled on you for this.  Hope it works well for you.

After you've used it for a few months, please consider posting a brief review.  Assuming it works well for you, I'll probably follow your lead.

-----------------

It looks to me like our trucks probably have the same paint.  Does the Rust-oleum paint you purchased have a product number or more specific name than red?  I have a roughly 2 by 6 inch part of my roof that is black instead of red.  I suspect the paint was scraped off and I'm seeing primer.  I'd like to give the paint you discovered a try.

Dan

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As to doing any type of touch up on those truck surfaces, even when using Rustoleum, get a catalyst so that the material will fully cure and get hard.  I have used Rustoleum both with and without and I can say I will use it WITH most times.  Can find the catalyst(sometimes called hardner) at auto paint stores and even at Tractor Supply.  But then again if you need to go to auto paint stores, might as well get the right color and do that way.

 

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31 minutes ago, DanZemke said:

Glenn,

Sometimes life can be kind.  It appears it smiled on you for this.  Hope it works well for you.

After you've used it for a few months, please consider posting a brief review.  Assuming it works well for you, I'll probably follow your lead.

-----------------

It looks to me like our trucks probably have the same paint.  Does the Rust-oleum paint you purchased have a product number or more specific name than red?  I have a roughly 2 by 6 inch part of my roof that is black instead of red.  I suspect the paint was scraped off and I'm seeing primer.  I'd like to give the paint you discovered a try.

Dan

i will attempt to find a better match. what i have a little too red. needs more black.  I simply got some 1"X1/8' angle from lowes. A 3' length was long enough to catch panel so solid piece on back bolted to bracket. Front is on about a 45 degree catching holes in panel for mounts. I did buy 2 4" pipe nipples and 5" bolts for back of panel to raise it up for tilt. 

Edited by GlennWest
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Should work fine. I tilted mine just because I could. They catch more sun tilted. If I had a drom box that is where mine would be. But knowing me I would tilt it. Panels aimed south gets most sun. Just park accordingly when you can. Mine right now pointed west so catches evening sun only. Charging batteries right up too. Also that controller also has a load connection for powering whatever. 

Edited by GlennWest
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Phil 
You will be fine.  I have a 100 watt mounted flat on my deck and it will keep my batteries full every day except for a week or two either side of Christmas.  We are about the same Latitude as Detroit and at that time of year the days are quite short and the sun is pretty low in the sky.  
 

Nigel

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My solar is on a board mounted to the back of cab with 2 braces.  Had a 75 watt panel not being used purchased a controller and it keeps batteries up each day.  Wire is up and leave let it work.

[IMG]https://i.imgur.com/GyR1BTEl.jpg[/IMG]

[URL=https://i.imgur.com/GyR1BTE.jpg "target=new"][IMG]https://i.imgur.com/GyR1BTEl.jpg "border=0"[/IMG][/URL]
[IMG]https://i.imgur.com/m3zZPvb.png[/IMG][URL=https://i.imgur.com/GyR1BTE.jpg "target=new"]Click For Full-Size Image[/URL].

 

 

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