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Old 02-23-2012, 01:57 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS
pbr.....nope

Bob
You do know that PBR has the same amount of alcohol for much less money? LOL ... Sorry, I couldn't resist!

Just giving you a hard time! Actually, your beverage looks inviting. Nice job on the battery door as well!
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:38 PM   #30
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Quote:
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pbr.....nope
That's one nice look'n battery cover Bob. Of course, I realize that image may be distorted by the "brew" in front!

Stan
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:53 PM   #31
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Wink

Before being HB adjusted....


Bob


hi-jack over
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:17 AM   #32
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We're taking the Airstream out this weekend... and we'll have all the LED light, CPAP power and water pump we need, and likely finish the weekend w/ 100% charge in the batteries because of the solar panels.

The two solar panels and controller, cabling, instructions, etc. cost a bit more than a small Honda generator (I installed them myself) ... but I never have to buy, carry or smell gasoline, or worry about locking up the generator or listening to it run. During the day, when we're away hiking or sight seeing, the solar panels are charging up the batteries, and there will be plenty of power for charging cameras, laptops, etc. as needed when we return in the evening. I don't have to think about it - it just happens automagically. Vacation time .

- Bart
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:09 AM   #33
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Auto-magically, very good!
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:06 AM   #34
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Solar since over four years ago

I like Lew's and other's advice to buy from very good supply/service company who has been helping folks like us for a long time. Cheap stuff is very rarely a bargain and often becomes doggone expensive.

Four years ago we installed two 125w Sharp panels (wired in series 24v to use the Airstream's section of pre-wire) to a MPPT charge controller.

Two weeks we completed a nifty panel tilt conversion and really like it. You can read about it here. We can tilt either panel up from the trailer's roof edge, they each pivot at the roof's center line. Not perfect, would be nice if could tilt both the same direction -- but still the panels are filling the batteries up to float charge level before lunch time every day -- no worries.

We're just completing conversion from two U2200 6v golf cart batteries to four GC2 6v golf cart batteries. A week so far on solar only and the difference in battery capacity is just amazing, seems like more than just 2X.

Sure wish I had done this a few years ago!
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:04 AM   #35
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Jim,

Nice job on the tilt bars. Just for informational purposes, AM Solar has had a proprietary panel mounting and tilt system for many years. We use 3M VHB tape for attacking the panel's feet to the roof (especially effective on Airstream's metal roof) and have 2 lengths of tilt bars that work seamlessly with the mounting foot system.

In fact, AM Solar sells many sets of mounting feet to folks that have purchased SOB panels!
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:58 AM   #36
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Has anyone done objective tests of the gain in charging from tilting panels? What is the cost of the tilt kits?

I suppose I could jack up one end of the trailer but the fridge wouldn't like it.

Gene
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:15 AM   #37
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You can find AM Solar's tilt bars here: Tilt Bar Set - 15.5" | for Solar Panels
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:02 AM   #38
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Gene, bragging rights accrue to gimbal-mount, multi-axis degree of tracking accuracy. E-bay occasionally has Polaris, Minuteman or Titan celestial navigation units for retrofit.
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Old 02-26-2012, 12:45 PM   #39
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I was just curious about costs and efficiency. I don't feel a great need to add anything, but I seem to find something new to do every year. This year it is a new floor and making a new dinette table. A TV in the bedroom has crossed my mind, but I am trying to repress that thought.

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Old 02-26-2012, 01:31 PM   #40
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Mr. & Mrs. S,
Thanks for posting a link to HandyBob's site. I have been reading it all morning and was hoping I can ask a question to everyone with more knowledge and experience than myself.

If I have two of these batteries running in series:

http://www.optimatrays.com/optima_pd...34M_082104.pdf

and a two panel, 190 watt solar system with this ZS-30A Digital 3 stage PWM charge controller:

Solar Charge Controllers | Zamp Solar

Can I bump the little switch seen to the left of the display screen to the 14.7 volt setting based on the above pdf of my batteries specs and HandyBob's comments:

"Get the battery manufacturerís charging specifications and pay strict attention to them. The charger manufacturers are nearly all not setting their equipment up for the voltage that the battery manufacturers specify. The difference between 14.4 & 14.8 volts is not 3%. That difference is nearly 20% of the charging range (12.2 to 14.8 volts). That 20% makes a huge difference in how full the battery gets before the charger shuts off. You can eventually get the batteries full by charging at 14.4 volts, but it takes hours, not minutes. We have related industries that are not talking to each other and the outcome is that the majority of RVís are running around with weak batteries."

The RV Battery Charging Puzzle ę HandyBob's Blog

Thanks,

-Brandon
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:04 PM   #41
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I was just curious about costs and efficiency. I don't feel a great need to add anything, but I seem to find something new to do every year. This year it is a new floor and making a new dinette table. A TV in the bedroom has crossed my mind, but I am trying to repress that thought.

Gene
If you ever get to Udvar-Hazy, check out those units. In a way, more valuable than the payload aboard those ICBM's. Awesome to actually see them.

A TV in the bedroom has crossed my mind,

The reasons for a solar bank are many. I always figured the "best" trailer can accommodate two couples or about [4] adults with varying agendas. A second "office" or "lounge" is therefore mandatory. The solar project is going to have a lot of wiring in power distribution, AFAICT.

.
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:56 PM   #42
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Has anyone done objective tests of the gain in charging from tilting panels? What is the cost of the tilt kits?

I suppose I could jack up one end of the trailer but the fridge wouldn't like it.

Gene
A simple approximation is output = full rated output * cosine(angle of sun with respect to panel).

- Bart
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