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Old 04-30-2016, 05:52 PM   #57
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Installed. Just waiting on my extension cord to connect them to the front panel and I'm 300 Watts. No holes drilled and so far plug N play. Used 3M RP45 VHB to attached the panels to the roof. Also used 5/16" mill aluminum screen frame to provide additional contact surface between the roof ridges as well as to prevent wind lift. Much more elegant than the AS OEM panel.

Will remove the SB-164 relay tomorrow to remove that useless battery drain. I'll test this set up before I venture into more batteries.
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Old 04-30-2016, 06:04 PM   #58
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Installed. Just waiting on my extension cord to connect them to the front panel and I'm 300 Watts. No holes drilled and so far plug N play. Used 3M RP45 VHB to attached the panels to the roof. Also used 5/16" mill aluminum screen frame to provide additional contact surface between the roof ridges as well as to prevent wind lift. Much more elegant than the AS OEM panel.

Will remove the SB-164 relay tomorrow to remove that useless battery drain. I'll test this set up before I venture into more batteries.
If you want to put your television antenna back on, it should mount on top of the air conditioner shroud, but without the tripod base so that it doesn't stick up as much.
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Old 04-30-2016, 06:18 PM   #59
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I'm lucky with the '16 GT set up. The Antenna is located in front of the AC so I had clear real estate in the back. Nothing to do but tape them and plug.
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Old 05-01-2016, 10:06 AM   #60
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Looks good mcrider.
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Old 05-01-2016, 10:57 AM   #61
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Boondocking in Grand Tour

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Originally Posted by Mcrider View Post
Installed. Just waiting on my extension cord to connect them to the front panel and I'm 300 Watts. No holes drilled and so far plug N play. Used 3M RP45 VHB to attached the panels to the roof. Also used 5/16" mill aluminum screen frame to provide additional contact surface between the roof ridges as well as to prevent wind lift. Much more elegant than the AS OEM panel.

Will remove the SB-164 relay tomorrow to remove that useless battery drain. I'll test this set up before I venture into more batteries.
Nice job! No added holes is a good thing. Every penetration on the roof is a potential leak eventually.

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Old 05-01-2016, 12:37 PM   #62
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Very nice installation. May I ask for the details of your add-on panels? I think I could do something very similar if I knew where to get them. Also, are you connecting them in parallel to the existing panel, giving you three parallel panels? Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-01-2016, 05:32 PM   #63
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Very nice installation. May I ask for the details of your add-on panels? I think I could do something very similar if I knew where to get them. Also, are you connecting them in parallel to the existing panel, giving you three parallel panels? Thanks in advance.
http://gpelectric.com/products/solar-flex-kits-modules

Yes, with the GP-100E, you get the plugs required to connect to the solar panel supplied from AS (which is the same panel as comes in the kit above). You will need a cable to run from the back panels to the front panel. You can make it or in my case I ordered from a vendor on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Solar-Photovol...ilpage_o01_s00

I purchased the 3M VHB from Amazon as it is not available Retail. The Aluminum screen framing used as a spacer was purchased from Lowes.

Note, I checked with Airstream before venturing on this and Customer support replied saying the OEM wiring, controller etc. can accommodate 300 Watts. That said there is one notation in the AS Schematics that shows 15 Amps where the controller connects to the battery buss. 3 of these panels together can produce over 17 Amps. I had it apart today to reverse Service Bulletin 164 and it does not appear to be fused, but it is marked 15 amps with a Sharpie. It appears to be just a straight Buss. I guess I'll find out eventually.

Good Luck.
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Old 05-01-2016, 06:37 PM   #64
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Mcrider - Good stuff! Thanks.
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Old 05-03-2016, 05:31 PM   #65
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Got the extension cable yesterday. Hooked up the back panels to the front and drove out into the Houston sun at 4PM. 13+ amps of charging. Very nice. I turned just about everything on + 120 volt loads while I was working and was able to pull the batteries down to ~80%. In the sun a short period and all was back to 100% with everything running. I'll test this set-up for a bit and see if I need to add more AH storage. Would like to avoid the weight if I can.
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Old 06-03-2016, 09:17 PM   #66
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This as an educational paper. You must have general mechanical and electrical skills (and some dexterity) for this experiment. Project goal: Boondocking in moderate climate for 48 hours without generator use. Details in attachment
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Old 06-04-2016, 10:55 PM   #67
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This as an educational paper. You must have general mechanical and electrical skills (and some dexterity) for this experiment. Project goal: Boondocking in moderate climate for 48 hours without generator use. Details in attachment
I like the power allocation table in your document. Most sources I've read assume an average of 5 hours of solar production. If you're in a sunny southern climate, your performance may indead be better, perticularly in summer.
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Old 06-05-2016, 07:55 AM   #68
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I like the power allocation table in your document. Most sources I've read assume an average of 5 hours of solar production. If you're in a sunny southern climate, your performance may indead be better, perticularly in summer.
You have to consider that a horizontal panel may get more hours of sunlight, but at a lower angle of incidence i early morning and late afternoon that reduces the panel's effectiveness. Thus you may still only get 5 hours of "good" sunlight.
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:30 AM   #69
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Protag, LB, Yes you are correct, the model assumes only 55% efficiency over those 6 hours. In May while in TN with a mix of sun and clouds this estimate came in almost on the money. I looked at several efficiency scenarios using some DOE data. In February at Fort Davis, TX I was surprised to see peak power around 1PM while on the same trip in the Basin of Big Bend solar capture was miserable. The difference between the two was shading from the TV antenna. After a year I'll have a better feel on what to expect across the seasons.
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Old 06-05-2016, 11:27 AM   #70
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This as an educational paper. You must have general mechanical and electrical skills (and some dexterity) for this experiment. Project goal: Boondocking in moderate climate for 48 hours without generator use. Details in attachment

Nice job! I really like the approach of using two more OEM battery trays from Airstream on the curbside to add to your battery capacity. You may want to add a terminal fuse on the added curbside battery group to protect the crossover cables in case they got damaged by road debris.


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