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Old 03-11-2014, 12:27 AM   #225
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Zamp Solar

So, I double-checked our dealer-installed solar system. It's a 150 watt system from Zamp Solar with a Model ZS-30AP controller. They installed the panel, the controller and the requisite wiring.
You experts out there, let me know what I've got here. Good? Bad? Pretty much ok but nothing special?


Thanks.
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:02 PM   #226
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Your proposed solar controller is a very basic PWM unit ( no MPPT) with no settings for battery type or temperature compensation. Both of these are very important features if you want to get the most from your solar panels and battery longevity.
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Old 03-11-2014, 03:43 PM   #227
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Thanks, Lewster. That's the system my Airstream dealer *already* installed, though it's clearly good of you to urge others to shop around for more bang for the buck. I also should have shopped around more, I suppose.

Anyway, it does have an optional battery temp sensor input. Seems that could help a bit. Worth adding at this point?

It also has a few different charging algorithms, set by dip switches. I'll have to double check to see they are set correctly for the stock batteries in our TT.

In the end it's still a PWM controller, whatever that means, but maybe with a temp sensor and optimal dip settings we can eek out a bit more performance until we decide to upgrade to something better. Thoughts?
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Old 03-11-2014, 06:50 PM   #228
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvery Moon View Post
Thanks, Lewster. That's the system my Airstream dealer *already* installed, though it's clearly good of you to urge others to shop around for more bang for the buck. I also should have shopped around more, I suppose.

Anyway, it does have an optional battery temp sensor input. Seems that could help a bit. Worth adding at this point?

It also has a few different charging algorithms, set by dip switches. I'll have to double check to see they are set correctly for the stock batteries in our TT.

In the end it's still a PWM controller, whatever that means, but maybe with a temp sensor and optimal dip settings we can eek out a bit more performance until we decide to upgrade to something better. Thoughts?
Battery temperature sensing and battery type settings are indeed much better than none at all! Even though you will not be getting the benefit of MPPT, I would use what you have (as long as it is keeping your batteries full) until you decide on an overall upgrade.
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:52 AM   #229
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Thanks again. We'll check on / add the battery temp sensor option to the PWM system we have, and we'll run that until we finally decide it's time to upgrade to MPPT. If we had it to do over again, we'd use what we've learned here to have a more efficient system installed.

Honestly, it just never occurred to us that we could customize our Airstream so much outside of what the dealer would do for us. We know more today!
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Old 04-14-2014, 04:29 PM   #230
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Lew! Hey, It's Mark from Hood River Coffee Co.! We just bought a 1997 B190 Airstream and I was thinking I'd like some solar panels on it! Are you ever in Hood River these days?
Cheers,

Mark
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Old 04-14-2014, 05:08 PM   #231
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Lew! Hey, It's Mark from Hood River Coffee Co.! We just bought a 1997 B190 Airstream and I was thinking I'd like some solar panels on it! Are you ever in Hood River these days?
Cheers,

Mark



Hi Mark,Welcome to the Forums.


If Lew doesn't read this thread, you can send him a private message using this link.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/priv...=newpm&u=10325

If you click on his user ID on the left of any of his posts, you will also see some other ways to contact him,

Ken
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Old 04-14-2014, 05:29 PM   #232
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Thanks.

I went to his page but the email address is bad, it came right back. I'll send him a PM.

Mark
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Old 05-22-2014, 11:27 AM   #233
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Name:	ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1400776054.848608.jpg
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ID:	212498does this look like a factory installed unit ?
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Old 05-22-2014, 11:11 PM   #234
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Hi JacobMerridy,

From a quick look that looks like a ICP/Sunsei Solar Panel. I don't believe they are in business any more.

AirSolarGuy
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Old 05-27-2014, 01:30 AM   #235
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Old 05-27-2014, 02:02 AM   #236
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These photos are of the airstream dealership install from fairfield ca and. They installed a 200 amp zamp solar system with ZS-30ap controller.

I am new to solar so I may have done something wrong while charging. I was out dry camping, boondocking this weekend from Saturday to Monday noon.

5 of us, my wife and three kids and I were at Lawson landing in tomalas bay and we had the sun out all day. Saturday we arrived at 3pm and set up camp with the airstream. Our first time boondocking and not saving much on utilities as we should have.

TV and DVD player on, heater at 67 degrees, charging our 5 iPhones, stove on cooking dinner, refrigerator in electric, water pump on, lights on after dark. Showering and washing dishes. Two fantastic fans running.

All fine the first night. Next day Sunday, we left the airstream after morning washing up, breakfasts from stove, tv on. We did turn off he heater. We thought after we leave solar would charge our batteries to full. While. We left .

I left the inventor on and airstream on instead of on store to shut down all systems. Came back around 7pm. We turned on the led lights, and wife washing dishes while I was outside bio camp grilling oysters and charging my cell phone with the heat exchanger component. My daughters were charging their iPhones and using them and also reading books. My son was outside with me playing. We went in after cooking the oysters and eat. Stove heated up the water for tea, heater was at 70 degrees, and now TV was on. Two Fantastatic fans running. I was concerned about the power but did not think of checking the level of charge on batteries. The zamp controller read 11.3 amp at time.

At around 10:30 pm the power dropped and shut down the DVD and TV. I may have made the mistake of not shutting everything down before leaving which may have caused some of the power usage.

We were going to shower and clean up also but we filled the grey water tank and were close to no water. I figured this would happen. So we went to bed and heater was still at 70 degrees.

Next morning, we woke around 8:30 am and stove working, inverter still on, refrigerator on electric, and iPhone charging on radio USB slot. TV and DVD player not working until I saw the batter meter read to orange and not red. And so kids wanted to finish the movie. Turned it on and it worked. The solar controller was at 4-6 for gain. Fantastic fans off and only movie playing. Water pump off. Refrigerator on. The batteries were gaining power as I see the meter read from red to orange to now green. In about 2 hours time. Sun was out full.

So the only thing I was confused about is the Sunday when our tv and DVD ran out and the batteries were not fully charged. Or did not family use it all before I get inside.

Lester you may have the answer but if anyone else has an answer also that would be great.

My airstream is a 2014 23 ft. international series.

Appreciate any answers as to what I did wrong or what when wrong for I will be dry camping again in October for the same amount of time but the sun may not be in full exposure at that October date.

Thanks ahead of time.

Gary wong
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:15 PM   #237
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Hi Gary,

There's a lot going on here, but to make it shorten it up I think you just were running too much and not monitoring your battery voltage. I think when you said the solar controller was showing 11.3 Amps this might have been Volts, which is pretty low. This is also probably why later on that night your inverter went into low voltage shut down, which is generally 10.5 volts +- .2 Volts. As for the Inverter its best to turn it on when you want power then turn it off when your done. This will help you conserve power. As for the solar, they weren't placed in all that great of a location, and you can see that you will be getting shadowing from the AC unit. Also did the dealership ask you what kind of RVing you planned to do and then sized both the solar system, and the batteries to go along with them? Any other questions just ask. I try to comment when I can, but I have way too many emails as it is

AirSolarGuy
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:17 PM   #238
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Hi JacobMerridy,

From a quick look that looks like a ICP/Sunsei Solar Panel. I don't believe they are in business any more.

AirSolarGuy
Sorry ...are not in business any more...just noticed that
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