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Old 03-07-2012, 12:42 PM   #1
mgm
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
ravenna , Ohio
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25ft Safari SE- Adding additional Panels--Advice and Opinions-

I bought one of the flooded campers a few years ago after one of the storms in the South and I have been lucky enough to be able to have it back on the road and have been enjoying it.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f396...tml#post810903

I am in Afghanistan now with the Army and am dreaming up some new ideas to add some panels, and would really like some input from some more knowledgable people. I have put together my options below, so please weigh in.

I will be changing over my lights to LEDS from Dan when I get home and would like to throw in some Life Lines AGM batteries as well. Size and Location TBD

But Currently, My plan is to add some more panels and get the high dollar purchases knocked out. I know a larger bank of batteries or just bigger ones will equal more power, but I move around a lot to different campgrounds and Solar has served me well so far to recharge the batteries before the sun drops. But Living in the East, limits me on Sun, so to compensate I want to maximize the hours i have of quality sun light with more panels...

I had the factory install their kit in 2010 and I have the GO POWER 25 regulator and a 110W panel currently. And have found some good deals on additional panels. $611 for their 125W / 7 AMP/H and $435 for their 80W / 4.6AMP/H and am trying to decide which comination makes the most sense. I have had my father measure, and my options below would all fit on my roof with my current 110W / 6.7 AMP/H panel





I have done some calculations and I believe the chart below is on the high side, but would reflect some numbers I could easily reach while bood docking.

12V DC Appliance....... Amps........... Qty........... Hours/Day .................Amp/Day

Stereo...............................0.8 ................1..................... 6................................. 4.8

Water Pump...................... 4................ 1..................... 1................................. 4

Refrigerator.................... 0.4................ 1..................... 24.............................. 9.6

Fan................................... 1.5................ 2..................... 6................................. 18

Propane Alarm.............. 0.2................. 1..................... 24.............................. 4.8

Furnace.............................. 8................. 1..................... 6................................ 48

Other................................... x................. x..................... x................................. 10

.................................................. .................................................. .............99.2 AMPS




Current Solar System
I have 2x 75 Amp hour batteries that I think with the above usage wouldnt last me more then 2 Days, even if I started to ration power.
My 110 Watt Solar panel in direct sunlight is rated to send 6.7 AMPS an hour back to the battery; letís also assume that I can get an average of 7 hours of quality sun per day.
So If I use at least 1/2 of 150 Amp Hours per day or 75 Ah. I would like to be able to replenish 75 amps in 7 hours = 75Ah/6h = 10.71 Amps. Below are the charging amounts for my 110 Watt Solar kit per day based on varying solar hours during the day.



SOLAR HOURS.......... AMPS PER 110W OF SOLAR PANELS................... ADDED TO BATTERY


4................................................. ......... 6.7............................................... .................. 26.8


5................................................. ......... 6.7............................................... .................. 33.5


6................................................. ......... 6.7............................................... .................. 40.2


7................................................. ......... 6.7............................................... .................. 46.9


8................................................. ......... 6.7............................................... .................. 53.6


9................................................. ......... 6.7............................................... .................. 60.3


As you can see my 110 watt solar kit is below my needs if I plan on the above usage. The Furnace is my biggest draw, and if I take that away during the summer months when itís not in the equation, then my daily use is roughly around 51 AMPS and I would be right on pace to fully recharge each day. I have not subtracted the lights from my amps, so I will have to factor that in is as a large draw as well. Regardless, if I want to dry camp during the early spring and fall and use the furnace then I need to increase my solar charging power as well as my battery size if I plan on extended trips.

My options.....
315 WATT Solar System: additional panels $1046.00
If I add a 125 Watt Panel and an 80 Watt Panel that would yield 315 Watts of power that would have the ability in direct sunlight to put 18.3 AMPS an hour back to the battery.
As seen below, with the addition of the two panels I could now easily cover my daily use, without adding larger batteries. Still assuming 7 hours of quality sunlight I would yield over 125 amps back into the batteries.

SOLAR HOURS................... AMPS PER 315W OF SOLAR PANELS.............. ADDED TO BATTERY
4................................................. .............. 18.3.............................................. ................. 73.2
5................................................. .............. 18.3.............................................. ................. 91.5
6................................................. .............. 18.3.............................................. ............... 109.8
7................................................. .............. 18.3.............................................. ............... 128.1
8................................................. .............. 18.3.............................................. ............... 146.4
9................................................. .............. 18.3.............................................. ............... 164.7


350 WATT Solar System: additional panels $1305.00
If I add 3 x 80 Watt Panels that would yield 350 Watts of power and have the ability in direct sunlight to put 21.5 AMPS an hour back to the battery.

SOLAR HOURS..................... AMPS PER 350W OF SOLAR PANELS.......... ADDED TO BATTERY
4................................................. ............... 21.5.............................................. ............... 86
5................................................. ............... 21.5.............................................. ......... 107.5
6................................................. ............... 21.5.............................................. ............ 129
7................................................. ............... 21.5.............................................. ......... 150.5
8................................................. ............... 21.5.............................................. ............. 172
9................................................. ............... 21.5.............................................. .......... 193.5



395 WATT Solar System: additional panels $1480.00
If I add 2 x 80 Watt Panels and a 125 Watt Panel that would yield 395 Watts of power and have the ability to put 22.9 AMPS an hour back to the battery.

SOLAR HOURS......................... AMPS PER 395W OF SOLAR PANELS............ ADDED TO BATTERY
4................................................. .................... 22.9.............................................. ............... 91.6
5................................................. .................... 22.9.............................................. ............. 114.5
6................................................. .................... 22.9.............................................. ............. 137.4
7................................................. .................... 22.9.............................................. ............. 160.3
8................................................. .................... 22.9.............................................. ............. 183.2
9................................................. .................... 22.9.............................................. ................ 206

So please chime in and let me know what you guys think is overkill or if i should be cutting these possible panel yields in half with my limited quality SUN hours out east and go big with the panels to maximize output.

That and If you think this is a waste without changing batteries or converters... I read alot of posts when I can and I just want some more opinions....I'am 27 and fool around with a lot of toys...but the AIRSTREAM is the one I am least familiar with all the in" and out's

Thanks in advance

www.michaelsprojects.weebly.com/
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:25 PM   #2
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Quote:
As seen below, with the addition of the two panels I could now easily cover my daily use, without adding larger batteries.
Without draining your current batteries below 50%, you are only looking at 75Ah.. below what you are looking for.
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:15 AM   #3
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good job

Last year we went solar we found that a good solar suppler is a good thing to have. We put on two panels. When we were setting it up Doug said we were on the light side. But we went ahead making sure we sized all the parts with the thought we might need one more panel. We went out for 2 months and found while we had sufficient power we would like a little more. So this year we will put on a movable panel with a cable attached to the A.S. so we can move it around the campsite for more sun and more power. I would recommend talking to these people as well as others.
RV Solar Electric Store
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:07 PM   #4
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I added two panels to our 25 foot FB on either side of the vent above the bedroom. It works very well. Also, switched out group 24s for group 27s with slight mods to battery box.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:42 PM   #5
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As you have discovered, solar provides a quiet freedom that simply enhances the Airstream experience. In addition, more storage eliminates potential stress driven by those inevitable cloudy days. Of course, there are always compromises. Your calculations really help one understand what is going on. I just haphazardly thru panels and batteries at the thing and went happily camping, indefinitely. And by accident, it all works beautifully. I think, as others have pointed out, you may be a little low on your panel requirement. Remember, it is not desirable to exceed 50% deletion of your available amp hours. I would bump up both panels and batteries. Hope you return home safely.
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