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Old 07-09-2014, 11:38 AM   #43
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Pleased to see this thread has been getting some input and opinion.

For my part, the project has been on the backburner for a year for personal and health reason, but things should be moving again soon!

I did end up making a couple of purchases last year, which I plan to build on.

A 32w Uni-Solar flexible panel was bought at a good price on Ebay..



I use it for a couple of days per month to keep the house batteries topped up, but have been too worried to leave it for longer without a controller...

Does this panel have a blocking diode inbuilt???

We also got a Bogart Engineering battery monitor 2015rv and shunt for future installation..
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Old 07-13-2014, 10:18 AM   #44
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By the photo of the panel specs, it says "min blocking/bypass diode" 4 A, so I think there is no diode there but if you put one in, it should be 4 A. You usually can see if there is any diode in the wiring box of the panel. It would be a black cylinder with one tapered end, about half inch long and quarter inch in diameter, wires on each end.

You will like the Tri Metric battery monitor a lot when you get it installed and set up. Set up can be a bit tricky (programing that is), but once done it is a great device.
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Old 07-13-2014, 12:00 PM   #45
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The unisolar panel has a blocking diode between each cell. your panel has 11 cells so there should be 11 diodes. You should be able to see a small bump in the surface of the panel adjacent to each cell. I am sure it is visible in your photo of the panel in the right hand border where the two cells almost touch.

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Old 07-27-2014, 09:20 AM   #46
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Flexible Solar panels... Opinions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudsoncamp View Post
I haven't even seen it in person yet, but here's a photo of my SolarFlex installation. One 100 watt and two 30 panels. With limited room on our 19', it fit pretty well. Looks good, now I just hope it actually works!
Attachment 215940


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Hudsoncamp,
How did your SolarFlex panels work out in the Adirondacks? We have similar rooftop space and we will be utilizing 2000i Generator during upcoming 2 weeks w/o hook ups. We are just beginning to research solar units for potential "added energy resource" next year. We have factory installed solar pre wire & right now unsure of best unit for our needs.


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Old 07-27-2014, 09:52 AM   #47
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I'll chime in before Hudsoncamp. We just came back from a week traveling in Oregon with our SolarFlex. I kept my converter turned off the entire time.

The 400w panels served us very well. We were on the coast most of the time in overcast and fog and were never lacking for power. We even used or 2000w inverter to run the microwave in rest areas at lunch stops.

Even in central Oregon when the temps got well over 100F the solar worked just fine. We were parked between two shade trees and the sun fully charged our 200aH worth of batteries as it rose above the trees. And this was a 102F day! Heat was not an issue for our solar that day.

I did a short blog post about our first few days of solar.

We also talked about it a good deal on the latest VAP episode.

So far it's been great. I also want to hear Hudsoncamp's experience.
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Old 07-28-2014, 07:02 AM   #48
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We too had a great experience. Though our trip was shorter, and our system is for a total of 160 watts, we never lacked for power. It was cloudy the first day, and there was a lot of shade. I am going to replace our batteries though. They were purchased by the previous owner a few years ago and they clearly don't have the capacity they should.
I do find when picking campsites I'm now evaluating the amount of sun it should receive.
Here's a photo of the trailer in the wild. You can barely see the panels on the roof.
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Old 07-28-2014, 08:44 AM   #49
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Great wooded campsite...greatly appreciate the information on solar panels. Did you install ? Was your FC
already pre-wired for solar?


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Old 07-28-2014, 09:06 AM   #50
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I had my service guy do the install. I insisted he follow Safari Tim's process. VHB tape, a little Sikaflex bead around the edges, aluminum tape holding the wires down.

No holes except to get to the prewire just behind the forward vent. (Yes there was prewire)

I have 1 100 watt panel and 2 30s. The all connect with 3-to-1 branch connectors.

The install itself was about $700.


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Old 07-28-2014, 09:16 AM   #51
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Great information and have already viewed the installation video to assess what's involved. Was your decision to go with Flexible Solar panels primarily to avoid adding "potential leak points" to the roof?
The install ( labor costs) exclusive of all other materials?


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Old 07-28-2014, 12:55 PM   #52
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Great information here. I have just ordered the new Trimetric TM2030RV and the companion solar controller SC2030 from We Go Solar BC. Great people to do business with. I am considering 3 of the 100 watt flex panels and was wondering about using the prewire. Not sure if it is heavy enough?
Because we have the 25 FB, the fridge vent access doesn't help much for new wiring,as my electrics are on the opposite side, front. That was why I was hoping to use the factory prewire. Any thoughts/ help would be much appreciated.


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Old 07-28-2014, 01:07 PM   #53
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I am in the same boat as George. Wondering how to get a #6 wire from the roof top to the inside. The #10 isn't much good for anything over 100 watts.
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Old 07-28-2014, 01:30 PM   #54
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Just a suggestion not to get too hung up on wire gauge as a general set rule. It all really depends on your total current capacity and more importantly wire length.

I'm calculating on a 12v - 400w system.

Lets say your wire run length to your charge controller is 30 feet. Then, I agree, #6 should be used.

However, if your pre-wiring is shorter, maybe 15 feet. Then #10 is sufficient.

You'd be better off using the prewire if the length is much shorter.

The are calculator apps and websites out there to help you with this.
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Old 07-28-2014, 01:42 PM   #55
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Thanks Tim. I just noticed that Bogart Engineering has kindly included a wire gauge/ length chart in the instructions for the SC2030 that I was reading over before my unit arrives


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Old 07-28-2014, 01:53 PM   #56
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I use an app called Circuit Wizard by Blue Sea on my iPhone. Works pretty good. You can add in all sorts of options.


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