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Old 02-09-2016, 04:03 PM   #29
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I installed an American made mppt charge controller made by Intronics. Has worked very well for me for a couple of years now.
Al
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Old 02-09-2016, 05:39 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by BoldAdventure View Post
You are correct, the GS series were custom made. That's why they don't have the 135's anymore either. I do not know if the SF is made by Grape though. Lew might know. I do know the GS is Grape Solar since that's the sticker on the back of all my panels.

For some reason, Grape Solar seems to always have more discounted panels than others. Not sure what that is about. \_(ツ)_/
Greg Holder designed the panels and sourced the Sun Power cells that Grape Solar used in the GS-100 and GS-135 modules. Prior to that, Grape only dealt in the residential market. What was to be an AM Solar exclusive soon began showing up at Hope Depot, Amazon, etc. Sort of a sellout I would think. They both have been discontinued since Sun Power has stopped making the high efficiency cells. These cells required a back-contact assembly process which was also more expensive to apply so that no silver wiring is visible across the cell faces. The few remaining pallets of GS-100 panels are now available only in Springfield from AM Solar.

AM Solar's new SF series panels are mono-crystalline as well, but utilize regular high efficiency cells (NOT Sun Power), which is why the SF-100 is larger than the GS-100. In any event, AM Solar is having both panels custom manufactured for them exclusively in the Orient (NOT China!). You will not see these in Home Depot or on Amazon.
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Old 02-09-2016, 05:44 PM   #31
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Good information. I have noticed that my GS100 is smaller compared to a friends Renogy 100 and weights less. I do like the smaller size and weight while still getting the same performance if not better.

I'd be biased if I didn't say I think they should make the SF panels with black trim. It looks better IMO on the roof the Airstream. But that's just me.
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Old 02-09-2016, 06:36 PM   #32
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I have used Go Power equipment on my last two trailers. It all worked as designed. I don't have any experience with other brands. But, I likeGo Power by Carmanah. There web site is just as good as others. With lots of free info.
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Old 02-09-2016, 06:49 PM   #33
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The AM Solar GS-100 panel size (nominally 20 x 40) is what allowed us to mount five on the roof of the 23D and nine (or ten if it will fit when we try that in May) on the roof of the Classic.

We have a Magnum MS-2800 in the Classic with a 600 amp-hour AM Solar lithium battery and a MSH-3000 in the 23D with a 300 amp-hour AM Solar lithium battery. We are using the Magnum ARC-50 control head for both systems.

We are using the Morningstar TriStar 60 MPPT controller in the Classic with it's remote control display and the Blue Sky 3024iL MPPT controller in the 23D with it's IPN Pro Remote.

So far both systems have performed well. We will be attending our first rally with the 23D this weekend which will the first real test off all the systems.
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Old 02-10-2016, 12:01 AM   #34
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I wonder if it's worth using my old but
Immaculate Trace SW 4024 in my AS
With the new lithiums?
I hate just letting it sit around in the weatherproof container I mounted it in. The battery disconnect panel I still
Intact as well.

Maybe Lew cold advise on this.
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Old 02-10-2016, 06:21 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0557 View Post
I wonder if it's worth using my old but
Immaculate Trace SW 4024 in my AS
With the new lithiums?
I hate just letting it sit around in the weatherproof container I mounted it in. The battery disconnect panel I still
Intact as well.

Maybe Lew cold advise on this.
At 24VDC, it won't be able to properly power anything in your rig. You would also need your batteries to be in series for a 24VDC bank. You could get a 24VDC to 12VDC power converter to provide for the 12VDC that you need from a 24VDC bank, but the expense wold be rather large for a quality unit.
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Old 02-10-2016, 08:56 AM   #36
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As an American small business who has first hand experience with the decimation of our economy by foreign (mostly Chinese) garbage that floods the markets that many in this country buy strictly on a price basis, many products that are made here get a favored spot in my world, AS LONG AS THEY PERFORM AS REQUIRED. Anyone who has a basic understanding of economics will realize the benefits of buying and using products that are made here by US owned companies.
.

BOOM!!

Yep, me too!


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Old 02-10-2016, 11:10 AM   #37
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I've installed 150W of Renogy panels (100W and a 50W in parallel) using the factory prewire into Renogy's 20A MPPT controller going into the 2 stock group 24 batteries. I acquired all the components from Amazon, with the exception of a home built all-weather electrical combiner box with parts from Home Depot and sealed up Sikaflex 221. I attached the panels with Renogy's Z brackets with a single screw per anchor point and Sikaflex 221. I do not currently have a battery monitor (it's on my list).

I did the install myself, and compared to some of the packages I've seen from vendors, this ended up being very inexpensive. It's not a perfect system, but it seems to be doing the job of keeping the batteries charged (enough) when sitting in the use mode. The battery voltage is 12.6-12.7 at night, and that is using some lights and the usual parasitic draws.

Pros:
- inexpensive
- relatively easy install using the prewire

Cons:
- Z brackets do not have the capability to tilt, so my panels are 'flat' on the roof permanently
- the MTTP controller (with remote display option) isn't terribly useful - all I can really get from it is input charge voltage and amps being output on the battery side.
- one of the battery terminals broke off the circuit board at install time - customer service was great and offered to replace it, but I was able to just pick up a longer terminal screw and work around the problem so I didn't bother sending it back.
- the panels weigh more than some others
- Doing the install yourself, it's always scary putting holes in your trailer (for the screws as well as for pulling the solar wires up through the roof). Be sure to use grommets!


All in all, I'm satisfied enough with the install. I do have a Renogy 100W suitcase module as well, but don't bother taking it as we don't really boondock much. I am interested in either getting a decent battery monitor solution or replacing the charge controller with a solar charger/battery monitor unit.

If I had a larger trailer and could fit more panels on the roof, I would upgrade the wiring. In my case, I didn't think it was worth it since I'm out of real estate on the small 19' roof.
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Old 02-10-2016, 11:55 AM   #38
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Best Quality Solar Panels & Solar Controllers to use | Opinions Wanted

Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
At 24VDC, it won't be able to properly power anything in your rig. You would also need your batteries to be in series for a 24VDC bank. You could get a 24VDC to 12VDC power converter to provide for the 12VDC that you need from a 24VDC bank, but the expense wold be rather large for a quality unit.

At one time I had 8 Rolls Surette L16
Powering the house in a residential
Setting. But that was a long time ago.
I have considered a 24-12 converter.
That wouldn't be very expensive would it?
Also, can it use AM solar lithiums ok?
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Old 02-10-2016, 12:00 PM   #39
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You can wire lithiums into a 24 VDC configuration with no problem. The issue might be the ability to custom program the charger section of the inverter to the constant current/constant voltage specifications.

New unit have no issues but older ones might.


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Old 02-10-2016, 12:33 PM   #40
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You can wire lithiums into a 24 VDC configuration with no problem. The issue might be the ability to custom program the charger section of the inverter to the constant current/constant voltage specifications.

New unit have no issues but older ones might.


Lew Farber
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Ok thanks
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Old 02-10-2016, 12:39 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
Greg Holder designed the panels and sourced the Sun Power cells that Grape Solar used in the GS-100 and GS-135 modules. Prior to that, Grape only dealt in the residential market. What was to be an AM Solar exclusive soon began showing up at Hope Depot, Amazon, etc. Sort of a sellout I would think. They both have been discontinued since Sun Power has stopped making the high efficiency cells. These cells required a back-contact assembly process which was also more expensive to apply so that no silver wiring is visible across the cell faces. The few remaining pallets of GS-100 panels are now available only in Springfield from AM Solar.

AM Solar's new SF series panels are mono-crystalline as well, but utilize regular high efficiency cells (NOT Sun Power), which is why the SF-100 is larger than the GS-100. In any event, AM Solar is having both panels custom manufactured for them exclusively in the Orient (NOT China!). You will not see these in Home Depot or on Amazon.
A SunPower must be making those cells again, becuase these specs: http://www.renogy-store.com/Renogy-E.../rng-100mb.htm on this new Panel from Renogy are very close to the GS100 just a slight weight difference and $60 price difference.
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Old 02-10-2016, 01:28 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by switz View Post
The AM Solar GS-100 panel size (nominally 20 x 40) is what allowed us to mount five on the roof of the 23D and nine (or ten if it will fit when we try that in May) on the roof of the Classic.

We have a Magnum MS-2800 in the Classic with a 600 amp-hour AM Solar lithium battery and a MSH-3000 in the 23D with a 300 amp-hour AM Solar lithium battery. We are using the Magnum ARC-50 control head for both systems.

We are using the Morningstar TriStar 60 MPPT controller in the Classic with it's remote control display and the Blue Sky 3024iL MPPT controller in the 23D with it's IPN Pro Remote.

So far both systems have performed well. We will be attending our first rally with the 23D this weekend which will the first real test off all the systems.
Did you replace the TV antenna with a panel? AM installed two GS-100s and a 125 on my 23D. Looks like I could get another in the space that the antenna currently occupies.
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