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Old 09-15-2007, 01:00 PM   #15
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Lew, which does AM Solar prefer, the PWM (pulse width modulation) charge controllers or the MPPT (maximum power point tracking) charge controllers?
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Originally Posted by lewster
Well,

Just got back from Eugene,OR and my meetings with the good folks at AM Solar. Let me tell you that they really know what they are doing, have been in the solar business for over 20 years and do installs just the way I will.......THE RIGHT WAY!

Use quality wire of the proper guage to minimize voltage loss (very important in solar systems) with top grade connectors, use the BEST controller available (they build their own!) and sell only the most reliable custom built solar panels (by BP Solar) and all of this equals a very tight system.... probably the best available.

We still have some talking to do on dealer specifics, but it looks like a GO at this point.

Pat, lot's of slots available.......just grab me when you have a minute or you see me with an adult beverage in my hand instead of a wrench.

Clancey, I'll keep you posted on the specifics. I can bring a system with me on the way back to FL after the Balloon Fiesta.........................

Stay Tuned!
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Old 09-15-2007, 01:44 PM   #16
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I had my 110 unit installed by dealer. He did NOT change out the batteries and it cost me $1700. I will buy the AGM's when the original batteries wear out.
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Old 09-15-2007, 03:06 PM   #17
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Balloon rally?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goin camping
Had to take the power jack head to C&G for warranty repair. Asked about the cost of Solar installation. Prices listed below include parts and labor but not batteries. Have AGM already.

$1,100.00 for 55 amps worth of panel.

$1,300.00 for 85 " " "

$1,500.00 for 105 " " "


It will be installed first week of Oct.
Aren't you cruisin with us then?
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Old 09-15-2007, 05:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motoman
Lew, which does AM Solar prefer, the PWM (pulse width modulation) charge controllers or the MPPT (maximum power point tracking) charge controllers?
Don,

I know that AMS does NOT use PWM, but I'm not exactly sure what they DO use. I'll do a little more studying of the materials that they gave me and post back.

BTW, there were several tests done on the leading solar systems by Trailer Life, and AMS was the best as far as output and charge retention. I have the articals and will post more on that also.
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Old 09-16-2007, 06:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motoman
Lew, which does AM Solar prefer, the PWM (pulse width modulation) charge controllers or the MPPT (maximum power point tracking) charge controllers?
Don,

The AM Solar HPV-30DR controller uses MPPT (Maximum Power Point Technology) and 3-stage charging. It also utilizes temperature compensation and external voltage sensors, which give a true reading of the battery voltage and vary the charge voltages which are dependent on the temperature of the batteries.

It will also charge the engine battery if one is present (as in motor homes) as well as the house batteries, and can be linked with 4 X 100 watt AM100 solar panels.

Let me know if you have any other questions on these systems.

I am currently in dealer negotiations with AM Solar, and should complete these and be a dealer/installer for them before the end of the month.
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Old 09-16-2007, 07:10 PM   #20
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Aren't you cruisin with us then?
The trailer goes in on the 24th.

Vacation time is the issue on whether or not we can ride out with the gang.
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Old 09-16-2007, 08:05 PM   #21
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Lew,
I was going to post last night that my HPV22B is a MPPT type of controller and that is what AM Solar recommends in their book.
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Old 09-22-2007, 03:48 PM   #22
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Solar panels

In reading the posts, I'm feeling somewhat technically challenged as usual. I want to have solar panels installed on my 87 34'.
How much wattage do I need, just to keep my batteries charged and run minor appliances?
I am near Our of Doors Mart(Airstream Dealer) and a Camping World, both of whom sell them and install them, although diffierent brands. Should I trust them to install?
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Old 09-22-2007, 05:29 PM   #23
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I would trust Out-of-Doors mart much more than Camping World. They are an long time AS dealer with a good reputation. I bought my trailer from them.
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Old 09-22-2007, 08:27 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tslanier
In reading the posts, I'm feeling somewhat technically challenged as usual. I want to have solar panels installed on my 87 34'.
How much wattage do I need, just to keep my batteries charged and run minor appliances?
I am near Our of Doors Mart(Airstream Dealer) and a Camping World, both of whom sell them and install them, although diffierent brands. Should I trust them to install?
TSL,

Lots of manufacturers make adequate panels.....some better than others. The top two are made by BP Solar and Kyocera. After selecting the panels, the installation is of prime importance!

Proper guage wire MUST BE USED as voltage drop from the panels to the controller is probably the biggest problem encountered in bad installations, along with using the right type of wire crimps that minimize corrosion and allow clean, tight connections. Use a minimum of 10AWG wire from the panels to the controller, and possibly larger depending on the length of the run. The size of wire from the controller to the batteries depends on the length of the run and the output of the controller to those batteries.

After that, the charge controller must be efficient enough to process the power from the panels and be able to properly charge the batteries. Look for a controller that has 3-stage charging and one that uses MPPT technology (maximum power point technology). Some chargers use pulse width modulation, which has been found in tests to not be as efficient as MPPT.

Batteries are the last piece of the puzzle. AGM batteries are best for solar use as they can be drawn down to a deeper level of discharge than regular flooded wet cells and their much lower internal resistance allow them to be re-charged much faster as well.

If you're going to run appliances, you have to use an inverter to change the 12VDC from the batteries into 120VAC for your appliance use. You have to calculate the wattage draw from these to determine how many panels you need and how much battery reserve will be required and what size inverter you will need.

Hope this helps a little.

PS: I would not let a Camping World change a light bulb, let alone install a sophisticated system like solar, where the use of proper materials correctly installed can make or break a system! In solar, you truly get what you pay for............
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Old 11-05-2007, 08:41 PM   #25
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Unhappy Warranty Warning

Good Folks,
An interesting and disappointing problem with newly purchased Sharp solar panels. I received my panels a few days ago from Solatron (dba partsonsale.com on the internet). When kit with two 125 watt panels, brackets, mppt charge controller and heavy gauge wire arrived, the panels had a warranty update taped to them stating, "Warranty coverage does not apply when the Product is installed in a mobile or marine environment, subjected to improper voltage or power surges or abnormal environmental conditions (such as acid rain or other pollution)"

This seems to have caught the dealer by surprise. The dealer recommended the substitution because of the 2007 shortage on panels. The brand we asked for was Kyocera and are not available for remainder of 2007. I asked the dealer why they would sell a panel (the Sharp) for rv use which is not warranted for the purpose. Dealer suggested they would provide me a written warranty from the dealer, although their literature stridently advises against accepting a dealer warranty in lieu of mfr warranty. (http://www.partsonsale.com/gridtiequestions.html)

They're sending me the dealer warranty by snail mail. I'll not install panels until asking some help on this. I bought fully warranted panels from the dealer. They seem, accidentally or not, to have shipped panels not warranted in the use for which I purchased. Too much money tied up in the purchase to ignore the risks without sufficient consideration.

What do you think?
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Old 11-06-2007, 08:16 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamStreamr
Good Folks,
An interesting and disappointing problem with newly purchased Sharp solar panels. I received my panels a few days ago from Solatron (dba partsonsale.com on the internet). When kit with two 125 watt panels, brackets, mppt charge controller and heavy gauge wire arrived, the panels had a warranty update taped to them stating, "Warranty coverage does not apply when the Product is installed in a mobile or marine environment, subjected to improper voltage or power surges or abnormal environmental conditions (such as acid rain or other pollution)"

This seems to have caught the dealer by surprise. The dealer recommended the substitution because of the 2007 shortage on panels. The brand we asked for was Kyocera and are not available for remainder of 2007. I asked the dealer why they would sell a panel (the Sharp) for rv use which is not warranted for the purpose. Dealer suggested they would provide me a written warranty from the dealer, although their literature stridently advises against accepting a dealer warranty in lieu of mfr warranty. (http://www.partsonsale.com/gridtiequestions.html)

They're sending me the dealer warranty by snail mail. I'll not install panels until asking some help on this. I bought fully warranted panels from the dealer. They seem, accidentally or not, to have shipped panels not warranted in the use for which I purchased. Too much money tied up in the purchase to ignore the risks without sufficient consideration.

What do you think?
DS,

I would be very wary of any panels that are 'not intended for RV use'. I know that the panels that AM Solar uses, made by BP Solar specifically for them, ARE rated for RV use.

You should investigate these and see if they suit your needs and make your decision based on what you find.
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Old 11-07-2007, 11:05 AM   #27
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Trickle charging

I have a 2000 Classic 30' with two batteries. I would like to trickle charge both batteries while stored (outside). I have a small 10 amp panel. If I run the cables to one battery will it also charge the other or do I have to connect to both ?

Steve
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Old 11-07-2007, 05:27 PM   #28
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Quote:
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I have a 2000 Classic 30' with two batteries. I would like to trickle charge both batteries while stored (outside). I have a small 10 amp panel. If I run the cables to one battery will it also charge the other or do I have to connect to both ?

Steve
Steve, If you connect both batteries (assuming they are 12VDC) in parallel and connect the positive (+) charge line to one battery and the negative (-) charge line to the other battery, there should be no problem keeping them topped up.

BTW, a parallel connection links the (+) terminals together with a suitable size cable, and the (-) terminals together.
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