Fitting solar from scratch

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

  1. Are all monocrystalline rigid panels equal its just that I have seen them range in price from £120 to £240. Perhaps I won't worry about it and just buy one and have a go.
  2. theBusmonkey

    theBusmonkey Sponsor

    I don't believe they are all the same as the quality of silicon (and type) varies. If it helps at all I've bought a 100w rigid panel for the Syncro.
    The bay has got 180w on the roof but we also run a propex and had originally spec'd the system to power the old absorbtion fridge.

    I bought the 100w panel from ebay. It came from a German seller (solarshop365) who charged 85 quid plus about 15 quid carriage so it was cheap to buy. That drove the decision this time rather than specification although it's hail proof, nicely put together and has 4mm tails with MC4s rather than those piddly bits of thin cable you see on some panels.

    I haven't scrimped on the controller, it's the same one we have on Chip and the last few years have proven that it is rugged and works. It's not fancy, but is MPPT a has the right bits inside rather than fancy displays etc. That cost about 75 quid IIRC.

    it'll all be hooked up in the next 2 weeks or so coz we're swapping the bus round with Mrs Monkeys beetle this weekend. The bus goes into storage so we loose the extra fridge space that supplements our weedy boat fridge. Therefore I've got to get my finger out & mount the panel and instal the gubbins in the Syncro which we have near the boat so Mrs Monkey can have her cold G&T's......

    I'll do an instal update on Big G's thread & let you know how the cheapo 100w panel performs :D
    art b and pkrboo like this.
  3. Thanks, I've been looking I'll probably be driven by size as I want to fit it in the rear roof rack section of a front hinged Westy. this looks most favourable at the mo.
    Seems like a lottery to me!

    BTW I have bought the same MPPT that you have recommended to me previously ....
    3901mick and theBusmonkey like this.
  4. theBusmonkey

    theBusmonkey Sponsor

    It's an elegant solution to mount the panel in the rack. I'm sticking the one on the Syncro on Thule roof bars as it doesn't have to look pretty.
    What I will do though is have cable extensions that mean I can demount the panel and have it in the sun whilst the bus is in shade. The flaw with roof mounted solar is that the van has to be in the sun for the panels to work!!!
    OK in the UK but no so further south.

    I reckon up to 7m of cable would be the limit before voltdrop becomes too much of an issue but we'll see....
  5. That's a good point about the bus having to be baking in the sun to get most out of it.
  6. Now you know why I went on about my solar so much!!

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
    1973daisey and theBusmonkey like this.
  7. theBusmonkey

    theBusmonkey Sponsor

    And your fridge :eek:

    Anyway, I know you're promoting child slavery in the pop top kitchen in Leicester tomorrow but are you around Sunday?
    art b and 1973daisey like this.
  8. Haha, yes in all day Sunday working on the bus. Popping in for coffee and pastries?

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
    1973daisey likes this.
  9. theBusmonkey

    theBusmonkey Sponsor

    Why not....our turn to supply pastries s :food:
    1973daisey likes this.
  10. Lovely, I'll break out the dowe Egberts!!

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
    1973daisey and theBusmonkey like this.
  11. scrooge95

    scrooge95 Shadow chancellor of the exchequer

    Loving all this solar chat and information - it's definitely on the to-do list - so I'm awaiting with interest the results of @1973daisey's panel stuck onto the ridges of his roof, with air underneath, rather than onto a totally flat surface a la @sANDYbAY , @pkrboo etc.
    Keep the info coming chaps :thumbsup:
    Lardy, 1973daisey and theBusmonkey like this.
  12. Mine isn't completely flat, it has ridges going across the roof. Been on over a year now with no sign of coming off.

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
    1973daisey and scrooge95 like this.
  13. scrooge95

    scrooge95 Shadow chancellor of the exchequer

    And that's exactly what I wanted to hear! It'll be a darned sight better and easier to mount a panel on the ridged Devon pop top than on the actual roof over the cab. Perfecto :)
    1973daisey likes this.
  14. theBusmonkey

    theBusmonkey Sponsor

    Mine too. But then there's 60 odd rivets holding ours on!
    No leaks in 4 years of hard use and fibreglass can be filled haha.

    There's always more than one way to do stuff ;)
    Valveandy, 1973daisey and scrooge95 like this.
  15. Sproggy4830

    Sproggy4830 Supporter

    Sorry I don't understand a single bit of this thread . I am ignorant on this subject. It mystify me in particular why do you need a app on a phone to charge a battery. Also what's this about wifi .
    You all make me feel very old and out of touch .
    Now where's my spare gas mantle I've jut put a hole in the old one with my match .
    77 Westy, Valveandy and 1973daisey like this.
  16. I know when I heard u lot did this I was like wow that's way over the top lol but its actually very simple and easy all I have to do it leave my bus on drive and the battery is full

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    scrooge95 and theBusmonkey like this.
  17. Basically I have this thing about not having wires and things on show so I found a wifi box so I can god all the gubbings in my cupboard and the info gets sent to my tablet !!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  18. Sproggy4830

    Sproggy4830 Supporter

    I see . I thought you were fitting wifi in the van as a part of the kit .
    So you fitted a separate bit of kit .. mifi is it called or that type of thing .
    1973daisey likes this.
  19. Wifi Ebox it's called plugs in to my controller and basically my tablet then becomes the controller display

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  20. Just realised wherever you put it on the roof then you will always have the issue that the best place is for the bus to be out in the sun. Doh
    theBusmonkey likes this.

Share This Page