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Old 05-25-2004, 06:47 PM   #15
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Im real fond of my new panels made by unisolar , they are flexable plastic mounted on sticky bituthane stuff , they come in lengths up to 18 ft x15 in. x 1/8 inch and made to stick on flat seam metal roofs . They bend to fit the curve on your roof and stick right to it . One side of my roof is covered with them from end cap to end cap . less output than a rigid panel but big enough to make up for it . No you cant run your a/c but it extends my camping in the williwacks and is worth it to me because its quiet and with glass matt batteries I never think about the charge unless I am using power . When its sitting I dont have to think about adding water or having it plugged in to maintain the charge .

chris
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Old 05-25-2004, 07:56 PM   #16
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It takes four of the Uni-Solar 32W panels, for a combined area of 33.4" by 112.54" (3758.84 sq in) and a 4 for $1,100 price, to approximately equal the rated output of ONE $474 Kyocera KC-120 panel that only takes up 25.7" X 56.1" (1441.77 sq in).

In other words, flexibles cost 2.5 times as much, and take up 2.6 times as much area, for about the same power.

Or said another way, conventional panels only cost 40% as much and only need 38% of the space compared to flexibles.

Plus, the flexibles run hotter without the space for cooling air flow behind them.

But it's your money... whatever floats your boat.
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Old 05-25-2004, 10:47 PM   #17
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Well, I still have no choice. Petrochemical is out of the question. I'm not getting the tilt racks right away as I realised I'm not capable of tilting them on my own.
I am having very good progress turning my dog (part black lab- 8 yrs old 50 lbs) into a service dog. The private trainer says she's the best dog she's ever seen. We are already up to service dog in training- just waiting for the cape. She's great in her new cage in the car and hops in and out. Great at the grocery store. Now we have to get her used to obeying commands when there are lots of kids and other large dogs around. The UPS man and I agree she passes when she stays at my command and doesn't chase the truck or bark at him.!!! Today was a slightly rainy day so I was able to walk her up and down the road but no one else was out. Oh well. Still working on solar and husband replacing the tail lights with leds so they are much brighter. One got in tonight. I know it's not traditional but it fits the same space and is MUCH brighter. It's going so slowly I feel like screaming and pulling my hair out. Don't know how you did it tin can luv. Of course my husband is a perfectionist. this makes for beautiful work when he FINALLY gets done. We do have two fantastic fans in now and all sealed. suz
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Old 05-26-2004, 08:37 AM   #18
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Suz,
If the power goes out during the summer (worst case) in a campground in the Keys, you will need as a minimum per day:

60AH - one Fantastic Vent running on medium 24 hours

82AH - Sun Frost RF19 refrigerator running with an average 90 degree internal trailer temperature, maybe 80 at night, 100 during the day with the Fantastic Vent with 90+ degree average ambient temperature.

8AH - one ThinLite flourescent light running 4 hours, second Thinlite (over the sink or in the bathroom) running an additional 1 hour

That's 150AH per day, and you'd want to be able to go two days on batteries without dropping below 50% charge, so you'd want 600AH of battery capacity. For going three days on batteries, you'd want 900AH and so on. Group 31 Lifeline AGMs are 100AH each, IIRC.

If you believe the electrical outage will last more than 2-3 days, or if you intend to try to boondock, five 120W solar panels at 30AH/day would supply that minimal use per day, if every day was a sunny day all day. With afternoon clouds and thunderstorms, plus the occasional rainy spell, eight 120W panels would carry you through most situations, plus have sufficient capacity to make up one day's use in two days of all sun.

In Spring and Fall, your solar array will be producing about 2/3 of that output, but the need for the Fantastic Vent will decrease and the refrigerator power use will go down.

Winter might still be a problem, especially without tilting panels.
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Old 05-26-2004, 12:44 PM   #19
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Thanks, Moe, I'm still trying to figure out how much room I have on top of the roof. I already have a lot of solar things like a portable oven, lamps that generate 20 hours from 3 hour exposure, fans that operate on batteries and a solar battery charger. Lots of things that operate on batteries and can be used with re chargeable batteries. I also have a cooler that lasts 5 days with ice. The one thing I wonder is if I put solar panels on the behemouth van, would they be too far away to charge the trailer batteries next to the refrigerator( lines going out the ref vent.). Should I have seperate batteries in the behemouth (the AS van's name)?? And can they take the heat in the van? after all the agm's were made for hummers. But John can get deep cell gel for 1/2 the price. I even have a solar laptop charger. And Mark is working on the bycycle charging generator! As if I could petal very fast. I still havent figured out the oxygen problem but I hear nebulizers come in battery operated models. Thanks for all your help, Moe. I'll send you the electrical diagrams when we get that far. Any good advice on the microwave oven? I'm looking at 500 watt and 700 watt ones at west marine. As for clothes washing I can always do the foot stomping in a bucket routine, and dry on a line strung the length of the trailer. Been there, done that.
And over all- the keys and the carribean islands are FAR FAR cooler than TX in the summer. And a great breeze usually. I find I eat very little when I am by myself, and spend most of my time during the hottest part of the day, snorkeling- the kind that exerts very little energy. Mostly observing one patch. I really am the absolute most relaxed, snorkeling, and feel the best. (I wear full suit with booties to protect against jelly fish stings, and cold) I guess the solar will have to take care of itself- I'll just have to live with it. Cold camping is not something I can do, now. The circulation is so poor in my feet I wouldnt want to chance it (Aunt lost toes, Uncle lost leg). Thanks again, suz P.S. I can be home for winters!!!! And the speed at which the trailer is going- who knows where I'll be this summer. And mostly, I'm getting used to staying in the house all the time. suz
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Old 05-26-2004, 12:51 PM   #20
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P.S. If I could get someone to run the van- would that charge the batteries?? Would it harm the van? I have a solar battery trickle charger that's working really well with the other (hhhmmmm...) useless trucks around here (My son's projects in progress). thanks, suz
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