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Old 08-25-2012, 11:44 PM   #1
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Installing Wires In Wall For Solar Power

Does anyone know what is needed to install in the walls before I put the interior panels back on? I would like to have future access to wiring, for portable solar power (no panels on roof). I know nothing on solar, and could really use some help. Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-26-2012, 01:59 PM   #2
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Does anyone know what is needed to install in the walls before I put the interior panels back on? I would like to have future access to wiring, for portable solar power (no panels on roof). I know nothing on solar, and could really use some help. Thanks in advance.
If you don't know what wires you'll need, lay in some "tracer tape" to make it easier to pull wires later. Tracer tape is a flat cloth ribbon, like a shoelace only a lot longer. Run the tape from where you expect the roof penetration for your solar to be, down to where you'll hook up the charge controller, and another one from where you plan to put the charge controller down to the battery box. Tie off the ends somewhere to make sure they don't fall out of place, but so they aren't hanging in the open, either. Leave plenty of slack in the tracer tape at the ends so you can get a grip on it later, and make sure it doesn't snag on anything.

Then, when you're ready to run your wires, you can tie one end of the tracer tape to the wires, pull on the other end, and presto, all the wires run without having to remove the interior panels again. Electricians do something similar all the time when they lay new conduit.
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Old 08-26-2012, 04:23 PM   #3
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1963tradewin, for "...portable solar power (no panels on roof)", I believe you only need to provide a method to connect the portable panel directly to the battery. Portable solar panel kits typically come with built-in controllers that are connected directly to the battery. Roof-mount installations are more complicated and require cabling from the panels to a controller, to the battery, and optionally to a display.
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Old 08-26-2012, 04:34 PM   #4
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However... as suggested by protagonist, installing pull-strings for possible roof-mounted panels would be a smart move.
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Old 08-26-2012, 05:07 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by 1963tradewin View Post
Does anyone know what is needed to install in the walls before I put the interior panels back on? I would like to have future access to wiring, for portable solar power (no panels on roof). I know nothing on solar, and could really use some help. Thanks in advance.

in regards to solar, i would run 10 or 8 gauge wire (im supre paranoid on electricity) connectors through the ac unit shroud conduit, and instead of having bulky fold out panels, i would use 2 deep cycle batteries and 3 of these assuming your AS is 19 feet or longer..

144 Watt Solar Panel,24V, USA made, Flexible & Foldable,Peel & Stick,UL,1-d Ship | eBay

Usually solar panels come with a special connector that allows you to either wire them together, or straight to the charge controller. This is where it also gets to be awsome, charge controllers can be mounted inside and also serve as a battery monitor and load monitor, real cool looking if you ask me and very helpful. the one im about to link is rated 30 amps, which most airstreams i study are prewired for 30 amp pull at "comfort stations" using their cord..may be more for newer models.

30A 12V/24V Solar Charge Controller Regulator with LCD Display Remote Monitor | eBay

you need a charge controller for at least 2 deep cycle charge batteries, and then wire it straight in.. IMO, this is the best way to go since these stick on panels do not damage easily, and have a 120 MPH wind rating. Plus it allows you to keep the slick look of the AS.

with the proper setup, you should be able to last a good 6-9 hours, (15 if your super conservitave and use the gas hookups)and charge in direct sunlight, (assuming you lay the panels side by side and park the airstream tounge facing north)should charge in 9-10 hours, the panels I linked are very efficent and rated 144 watts..pretty danm good for flexible panels.
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Old 08-26-2012, 05:13 PM   #6
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1963tradewin, for "...portable solar power (no panels on roof)", I believe you only need to provide a method to connect the portable panel directly to the battery. Portable solar panel kits typically come with built-in controllers that are connected directly to the battery. Roof-mount installations are more complicated and require cabling from the panels to a controller, to the battery, and optionally to a display.
I agree on this, if you do use a fold out setup, the 2 wires that would connect to the batteries simply need to be added to the battery through the battery service door, usally like a jumper cable setup, or to be safer, wire the ends into some O connectors and attach them to the battery, make sure the panels have a blocking diode built into them so the panels, cables, or batteries do not decided to spew white smoke and catch on fire... BTW, I suggest keeping a class c fire extinguisher on hand at all times(or danm easy to get to) if you go this route.
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Old 08-26-2012, 05:59 PM   #7
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1963tradewin, for "...portable solar power (no panels on roof)", I believe you only need to provide a method to connect the portable panel directly to the battery.
Duh! Can't believe I overlooked the word "portable." Disregard my previous transmission.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:45 PM   #8
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Duh! Can't believe I overlooked the word "portable." Disregard my previous transmission.
lol
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:43 AM   #9
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If you have your unit apart, now is the time to lay the wiring so that the skin security and insulation will not be disturbed at a later date.

I would, (and have) used 8/3 marine wire that is adequate for most any application and is well protected from damage. Available from WestMarine or many other outlets.
Duplex Wire by the Foot

You can go for a heavier conductor but it gets more difficult to work with in tight areas. You can go with a lighter gauge wire and defeat the objective of efficiency.

While you are at it, run some lighter wire for your BU camera, your WiFi booster, and any other gadget you think you will add in the future.

Dave
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