Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-09-2010, 09:52 AM   #1
New Member
 
Currently Looking...
Somewhere , Ozarks
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2
Question Need How To Solar Info

Hello!
Please tell your info about how to set up an airstream for solar power.
We are in the process of purchasing our first airstream.
We will need to use solar (or other non grid) source of power 80%
of the time.
I am very appreciative of any advice or lists of equipment needed you
are able to supply.
I have done some research, but felt it would be nice to hear from others with experience.
Thank you kindly!
__________________

__________________
AirMama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2010, 10:13 AM   #2
_
 
. , .
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
welcome

start with this thread...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...ice-39392.html

then read a few dozen of these...

Generators & Solar Power - Airstream Forums

there are as a many wayz to configure and mount solar as there are starz n da sky.

cheers
2air'
__________________

__________________
all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
2airishuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2010, 11:06 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Wabbiteer's Avatar
 
1973 27' Overlander
1972 29' Ambassador
St. Paul , Minnesota
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,912
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 2
Solar is complicated.

If thinking of mounting solar panels on the roof remember tree shading kills solar - and three or five solar panels are not enough to power air conditioning even in dawn-to-dusk sunlight... A compromise (w/o air conditioning) is parking your trailer in the shade and having portable photovoltaic (PV) panels... but then they are fragile so they need sturdy frames & anchoring and essentially have a big "STEAL ME" flag on them!

If you calculate your needs and will be camping year-round in NW Arkansas the short days of winter only hold 55% of the energy potential that July has for you there; the furnace uses battery power to force propane heated air around and eats battery charge pretty fast.

Explaining more of what you have to work with can get you better answers...
__________________

Wabbiteer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2010, 11:45 PM   #4
2 Rivet Member
 
2008 23' International CCD
Denver , Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 99

Study, study...do some web searches...read as many Forum posts as you can as there is excellent information here...And there are many companies out there. I chose to go with a local Denver company (rvsolarconnection.com) because they are knowledgeable and local. I wanted to be able to talk and work with somebody right here..I will try to attach a PDF of what we did for our AS. Basically an external panel (yes, you better find a way to lock it - we use a long bicycle cable and padlock) that plugs into the batteries directly. I can park in the shade and put the panel in the sun. Our 130 watt Kyocera fits our needs very well. Calculate your amps consumption per day and that will tell you how many amps you need to put back...Good luck.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Denver solar panel.pdf (329.5 KB, 102 views)
__________________
Jim and Marsha
"Stream of Consciousness"
AIR #35886
JimmyT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2010, 10:23 AM   #5
New Member
 
Currently Looking...
Somewhere , Ozarks
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2
Thank you

Thank you for the help with solar ideas! We presently are in the process of purchasing. Airstream will mostly be used in one spot, but moved periodically. Would be nice if Solar system can go, but not necessary.
__________________
AirMama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2010, 10:29 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
arodriguez60's Avatar
 
1959 22' Flying Cloud
1969 25' Tradewind
1983 34' Limited
fairview , New Mexico
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 574
Images: 85
Here is a forum site on renewable energy. It is very informative. everything you would want to know about solarpower. Not to much about airstreams though. Solar Electric Power Discussion Forum by Northern Arizona Wind & Sun - Powered by vBulletin
__________________



Avion C11
1959 Flying Cloud
1969 Tradewind
1973 Safari
1983 34 ft Limited
2004 F250 superduty ext cab
2014 F350 longbed superduty crewcab
arodriguez60 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2010, 10:33 AM   #7
_
 
. , .
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
"used in one spot but moved periodically" ?

if the stream is gonna be PARKED such that the power reserve can be GROUND mounted...

look into RESIDENTIAL off the grid systems.

whether solar or generator or wind or hydro/electric,

there are BOOKS at the local library or online for this.

and giant websites on 'off the grid living' that can help.

the LEAST expensive setup initially might be a big o' generator and fuel tank and bank of batteries in a shed.

longer term, a solar grid that tracks and a bank of batteries might be LESS $...

but could cost more that the trailer to setup initially.

there is an energy tax credit for folks installing these things.

more VERY BASIC info on mobile/rv set ups...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...ing-11634.html

most larger streams are equipped with TWO 12v deep cycle batteries

that can cover MOST camping needs for a few days of trippin'

and the LP GAS systems (fridge, water heater, furnace, cook stove) are the REAL camping power supply.

cheers
2air'
__________________
all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
2airishuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2010, 10:34 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
arodriguez60's Avatar
 
1959 22' Flying Cloud
1969 25' Tradewind
1983 34' Limited
fairview , New Mexico
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 574
Images: 85
I just bought 2 100 watt panels and a morningstar mppt controller from solar blvd for 560.00. I installed it myself and they are doing great. You need approx a watt for every amp hour of battery for optimum performance. I have 2 27 group batteries that come to 220 amp hours more or less
__________________



Avion C11
1959 Flying Cloud
1969 Tradewind
1973 Safari
1983 34 ft Limited
2004 F250 superduty ext cab
2014 F350 longbed superduty crewcab
arodriguez60 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2010, 12:30 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
68 TWind's Avatar
 
1968 24' Tradewind
Oxford, , Mississippi
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,420
Check out the book "Managing 12 Volts", by Harold Barre. You can get if from Randy at Bestconverter.com or maybe Amazon. It gives detailed info into how to figure your electrical needs which you then can decide the best solar setup. Anyone running deep cycle batteries in a boat or RV can benefit from the info in this book.
__________________
__________________
Bruce & Rachel
__________________
68 Trade Wind
2001 Toyota Tundra
68 TWind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 11:48 PM   #10
2 Rivet Member
 
2008 23' International CCD
Denver , Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 99
Great book idea. I'll have to go get that. Thanks.
__________________
Jim and Marsha
"Stream of Consciousness"
AIR #35886
JimmyT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2010, 01:08 AM   #11
3 Rivet Member
 
1983 31' Airstream310
Santa Cruz , California
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 157
Images: 12
Off-grid power advice

There's a lot of happy nonsense out there about solar and 12 volt systems and Airstreams. As an engineer who has built a few remote-site solar systems that operate 24/7/365 (and who has built systems for his two Airstreams and his girlfriend's Winnebago) I think I can offer some advice.

Solar that you can put on an RV won't power air conditioners, don't waste your time. But please, don't take my word for it but do the arithmetic for yourself. About 1 kW of solar energy lands on every square yard of your roof in peak sun conditions. The most efficient solar panels convert about 16% of this to electrical energy. You can expect about five hours of peak sun per day, so for a 31 foot Airstream, the available roof area (with air conditioners and vents excepted) permits about 500 watts maximum of solar panels (I didn't try to squeeze the maximum, I have 360 watts on mine). Air conditioners require 900-1,200 watts to run, to which you must add all the losses in the inverters, batteries, wires etc. It is practical to run everything else from solar but not a/c.

Batteries are not very efficient, and they prefer not to be discharged more than 50% of "capacity." Their life is also directly related to temperature: for every ten degrees above 77 degrees F, the lifetime in number of cycles is reduced by almost half. This makes them a pretty poor choice in hot weather, but you have no option -- just treat them carefully. The Bell System called a set of them a "battery plant" and thinking of them as another sort of plant, that you need to care for, is a good start.

Small generators, particularly diesel ones, can be practical and efficient. They are noisy and require maintenance, but if you plan carefully you can build an off-grid system built on a combination of batteries, solar, wind and generators that will supply your needs and not need to run all the time. The other references in this thread, particularly 2air's summary, are valuable in deciding what those needs really are, but realize that if you choose to operate your own power company you will need to learn all this stuff. It's like gardening, or raising goats, a whole new skill set you will have to absorb. Reducing your requirements, and understanding what's practical in terms of generating capacity, are key to this process.
__________________
dljosephson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2010, 06:01 AM   #12
3 Rivet Member
 
Arrowstream's Avatar
 
Columbia , South Carolina
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 173
Images: 4
Check out this site.
builditsolar Solar energy projects for Do It Yourselfers to save money and reduce pollution
__________________
Arrowstream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2010, 08:04 AM   #13
4 Rivet Member
 
2008 16' Safari
Destrehan , Louisiana
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by dljosephson View Post
There's a lot of happy nonsense out there about solar and 12 volt systems and Airstreams.
I'm also in engineering and agree. There is just not much bang for the buck with solar. Running your own generator is also much more expensive than buying power from the grid. With todays technology and power prices; it just doesn't pay. The only justification is to have some power when you are way off the grid.
On the practical side, there are a few things that can be done. Change all of the lights to LED, install a small solar panel to charge the battery. Run everything you can on propane. As long as you don't need the A/C, you can go a long time off grid.
__________________
dlb435 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2010, 08:16 AM   #14
Rivet Master
 
Dave Park's Avatar
 
2005 22' Safari
Hyde Park Place , Ohio
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 972
I have 3x15W solar panels on my TW, which I installed as a cheap form of "insurance" for battery maintenance when not in use, though I find 45W and LEDs are an effective combination.

I placed the panels over the living area of my AS, and my infrared thermometer, at 2pm, records a ceiling temperature of 115F where there's no panel, and 102F where there is panel shading of the roof, when in full sun, on a 105F-in-the-shade day.

My conclusion is that panels will slow down the heating of the trailer in the morning, lower the peak thermal load midday and allow earlier passive cooling in the evening, with a 5-10F benefit in passive indoor temperatures depending on the area of your panels.

As a side observation, I have used a portable panel, placing it on the floor by my airstream so the sun hits it directly AND reflects off the side of the AS onto it, increasing output of that panel from 40W to 55W - until someone stole it, anyway... This caused me to contemplate the ugly hack of putting hinged panels on the side of the AS and using it as a glorified solar collector - but... sacrilege!
__________________

__________________
TX-16
Dave Park is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Solar Help takeachance Generators & Solar Power 15 05-26-2007 08:26 AM
Best way to go solar? flynmike Generators & Solar Power 11 05-23-2006 07:01 AM
Solar Installations - Info needed barnwood Generators & Solar Power 0 09-14-2004 03:39 PM
Solar neil.ervin Generators & Solar Power 6 09-05-2004 01:27 PM
solar 4 our AS lee Generators & Solar Power 10 07-05-2003 07:19 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:14 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.