Fitting solar from scratch

Discussion in 'Mech Tech' started by 1973daisey, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. Also spotted this one £240

    Screenshot_20181125-180432.png Screenshot_20181125-180515.png Screenshot_20181125-180525.png
  2. Are flexible panels preferred or will the fixed ones be okay. Fitting to a 76 westy pop top
  3. I’d go for the Giosolar with the Epever 20A controller. Then when you discover 100w isn’t enough you can add another panel and the controller will still be well within the theoretical maximum output of both panels. Although in practice it’s very unlikely two panels will produce 10 amps so the SRNE 10A controller would also handle two 100w panels.

    The 25 year power output warranty (from Giosolar) is something that I’ll look for next time.
    slammedresto likes this.
  4. The Westy roof is curved so either use flexible panels or space rigid panels away from the roof – they would be easier to remove if they fail but you might not like the look and they’d be more likely to be damaged on height barriers.
    slammedresto likes this.
  5. What's the best way to fit the flexible panels??
  6. If you read through all of this thread from page 1 you'll probably find out ;)
  7. I used Sikaflex 252i adhesive/sealant thinking they’ll never need to be removed – now I have to remove them.:rolleyes:
    snotty likes this.
  8. Well, I'm finally getting around to putting in some solar, just a quick question, if the battery is disconnected/isolated witht he panel hooked up to the controler could it cause damage? I have an Epeaver Tracer MPPT as seen on this thread. :thinking:
    Sproggy4830 likes this.
  9. The Epever controller will not be hurt. I regularly disconnect the battery then turn off the solar cells with an isolator switch when I am working on the electrics. The controller just sees the absent battery as a faulty high voltage on the battery and stops trying to charge it.
    Surfari likes this.
  10. Hi @Razzyh , what wattage panel is that from ??
    Looking at maybe fitting something at techenders...

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
    scrooge95 likes this.
  11. I got 2x 100 watts. Think they were called lensun. Still working think about 3 years so far.
    Popsy and Lasty like this.
  12. One thing to remember with flexible panels is you can only curve them one way on installation. Any surface that has double curvature is a no-go.. so a curved poptop is OK but the cab roof itself wouldnt work except for probably the middle third from front to back.

    Seems like my panels stuck on with lines of Sikaflex every 30cm or so stayed on in the gales on the way to Dubfreeze. Doing 65mph and being hit by a 50mph crosswind...

    If I want to remove them for further use, I would use the likes of a wrapped bass guitar string to saw the adhesive away.
    scrooge95 likes this.
  13. If you need an extra pair of hands, just shout..... about time I returned the favour!
    Plus, I really need to look at my system compared to others @mikedjames as I don’t think I’ve ever got the ampage reading that @Razzyh got (over 4A pictured a few posts back) and I can’t understand why.
  14. On a good day 6amps+ but I’m 2 x 100 watts.
    scrooge95 likes this.
  15. I’ve got 180w and seem to get barely an amp. Summats not right.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
  16. Thanks @mikedjames I just don't want to blow anything stupidly. I usually disconect the batteries when I put the camper away, its in a pretty dark shed and I usually cover it too so I don't think it will normally be an issue. One other thing, I want to keep the cables tidy, is there any reason I can't take off the waterproof conectors and solder/heatshrink the cables. I'm going to stick them to the roof so they're not comming down.

    Thanks again.

    @scrooge95 that doesn't sound right I got 3 amps off 2 x 100 watts last weekend in watery winter sunshine, I learned from @77 Westy to test the panels first.:)
    scrooge95 likes this.
  17. Yeah, I know, I need to have a look at the system. The panels should be fine, so I'm wondering if it could be the cabling? it'll be a PITA to rip them out, so I'm hoping to pick Mike's brain at Techenders, and see if we can test the cables in situ. My tiny multi meter probably isn't tech enough, plus it's a two person job.
  18. The only thing about "tidying up" with heatshrink is that ordinary heatshrink is not waterproof , providing a capilliary path for water.
    The solar connectors will use compressed rubber seals and stop water more effectively.

    TBH my cell connections outside the bus are soldered at the cells and then the joints are buried in Sikaflex, then a continous cable runs inside the bus to joints inside the bus.

    Use hot melt adhesive lined heatshrink.

    And its a good idea to make sure you can still disconnect the solar panels - 100 or 200 watts can do a fair bit of damage..

    I dont mind checking over solar stuff at Techenders .

    There have been recent days where I have seen 3 amps into the load out of the 2x100 watt panels on the roof. My panels are in series as that is cited as more efficient with the Epever tracer 20 amp version. Each panel has three built in shunt diodes across panel sections to help with shading.

    I have also seen 0.1 amps while it was drizzling at mid day ...
    Surfari likes this.
  19. Thanks again @mikedjames , I'll make sure they are waterproof. I'll keep connections inside near the controler so it can be disconnected.:thumbsup:
  20. My 2x100 watt panels produce less than an amp in good conditions (bright sunshine), open circuit voltage is per spec but short circuit current is next to nothing. One day I’ll summon the energy to remove the carefully stuck to the roof panels and throw them away.
    Surfari likes this.

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