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Old 09-30-2008, 04:20 PM   #1
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Solar For Airsteam's

Hi Members,

I just became aware of the Airstream Forums! My name is Mark Spilsbury, and I work for Carmanah Technologies Corp. We supply Airstream with their solar solutions. I just thought that if any of you have questions on solar, "Green RVing", or anything related to renewable energy for your Airstream, I'm here to help. I'm just getting use to how this formum works so I will try to answer you questions as fast as possible. You can also send me an email at mspilsbury@carmanah.com or call me at 800-667-6527 Ext. 8306. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Regards,

Mark Spilsbury
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Old 09-30-2008, 05:24 PM   #2
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Now that's above and beyond the call. Welcome aboard.
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Old 09-30-2008, 05:41 PM   #3
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hi mark and welcome to the forums...

looks like u might want a vendor status membership?

what components do you supply to a/s ?

are u supplying dealers the factory (assembly plant) or the factory service center...

or all of the above ?

i've got some questions.

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-30-2008, 06:03 PM   #4
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Solar..

Hey Mark,

Welcome aboard! I have the RV "Go Solar" or whatever the controller is called on my Airstream. I have two 115v panels and your controller, really happy with 'em so far.

I do have a question on your controller however. I get the alternating flashing between charging amps and solar production amps, however sometimes when I am in total crazy sun exposure I get two numbers displayed during the battery voltage sequence. I can see numbers around 14-15 amps of production, and voltage of around 13.9/charging like .1amp.
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Old 09-30-2008, 06:14 PM   #5
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Hi 2airishuman,

Thanks for the welcome! I think azflycaster, has set me up as a vendor now...I think. Presently we supply them with our 50 watt solar module. However, we get a lot of inquiries from people that want to increase the system and we make recommendations with our other solar products. We supply some OEM's, like Airstream directly, and we also supply the RV parts distributors, who then supply to RV Dealers our Go Power! products. If you have additional questions please let me know.

Talk to you soon,

Mark
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Old 09-30-2008, 06:22 PM   #6
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Hi SafariSS,

Thanks, I'm glad I can help! Presently we don't supply our regulator, however our GPR-25 is the most commonly used solar regulator in the RV industry.....I'm still working on them! Since you have two 115 watt panels, you may have our Go Power! GPR-25, they order our other products from time to time. I can't say for sure, but our regulator is designed to flash between amps and volts so you can an indication of what your present battery voltage is and just how many amps your solar panel or panels are producing and that moment. I know sometimes when regulators are really cold or really hot the LCD display can sometimes give you a strange reading, but that's typically all that it is, just and long as it settles down. However, you could be producing around that amperage in ideal conditions, but usually that won't last, it's probably more typical to see around 12-13 from two 115 watt modules. I'm not entirely sure what you mean about the voltage, but they will usually stop allowing amperage to flow into your batteries when the voltage hits 14.1 or 14.4 volts (depending on your battery type). If you have further questions please let me know.

Regards,

Mark
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Old 09-30-2008, 06:52 PM   #7
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Mark,

I have one 115 watt Go Power panel, one 68 watt PV UniSolar panel, the GPR-25, plus 3 Titan AGM 27 series batteries. I have plenty of power. Everything works well together. Go Power is the systems that RV Legends in Waterbury, CT recommends and installs.
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Old 09-30-2008, 07:12 PM   #8
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ok mark...

as background, when u have time ya might wanna read over this thread by some of us with the factory set up...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...tem-35476.html

i'm planning to increase my system by ~200 watts this winter..

and swap to a 3 stage charger/controller...

and replace the 'sunexplorer' display with something that has MORE detailed info...

in working out the particulars with another vendor a big issue is at hand...

VOLTAGE? for different makes/brands of panels...

apparently the factory stuff (your stuff) is 16-17 volt? is that correct?

the 100w panels i've been considering (am solar) are 21.5 volts?

and mixing is a problem, because it LOWERS the effective watts in these newer panels?

is that correct, and if so what panels can i use to ADD to the current set up, without removing or reducing wattage?

what is the pro/con of the voltage issue with various brands, WHY are your panels lower voltage?

thanks in advance...

2air'
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:55 AM   #9
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Hi Halimer,

That's great to here!

Mark
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:40 AM   #10
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Hi 2airishuman,

Thanks for showing me that topic. I had a read over it and there is some incorrect information, but I don’t really want to go deeply into it. However, for your set up if you want to expand your system with an additional 200 watts you could use our GP-RV-110E’s x 2. Our current regulator is similar to the Sunexplorer, there both a shunt style 25 amp regulator. We are actually launching a PWM version (3 stage charging) 25 amp regulator near the end of the year. It will have a digital display and will also be flush mount. However ours would be mounted horizontal, while the Sunexplorer is vertical. Most common industrial grade solar modules are 16-18 volts, for a ’12 volt’ solar module. This allows you to mix and match different sizes as long as they are considered 12 volt modules. You are correct if you go with that different panel you may run into that problem. However, I don’t have experience with that module so I can say for sure. I would always recommend our modules just because of the quality, but as long as the voltages are similar and they are 12 volt modules you should be okay to add any size you want as long as you keep your solar modules amperage under the amperage of your regulator. Most 12 volt solar modules are designed to produce anywhere from 16 – 18 volts. The basic reason is that you want to be able to charge your batteries to 100% full. When solar module heats up in the day the voltage drops. So if they drop below 14.4 volts they won’t be able to charge your batteries 100% full.

Mark
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:00 PM   #11
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ok mark good info!

i'm with ya now on the panels, and reading over the basic specs on your website,

it looks like the 110s are exactly the ticket.

so a couple more questions....

1. do the panels come with all the needed mounting bits, that are COMPATIBLE with the 'stream top?

2. i'm interested in the manual tilt brackets, do they tilt "2 ways" or just one?

here is another thread u might wanna scan.

it's older, but the info is still useful...

AND it demonstrates nicely how a vendor here can promote products/services whlle HELPING the members...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f206...yet-17326.html

you lost me on the regulator issue, (shunt vs pwm) perhaps a little more 'splaining would help.

as u know 'streams still come with the parallax charge controller 2 stage charging unit.

many have opted to replace it with a 3 stage version.

what do you suggest in terms of brands and features?

specifically on my trailer the ~320w of panels will be sending juice to 4x12v group 27 lifeline agms...

you are off to a great start and don't be afraid to correct miss-information!

cheers
2air'
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Old 10-02-2008, 04:04 PM   #12
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Hi Mark,

Thanks for your offer on the Airstream Forum. I have a restored 29 foot 1976 Ambassador and am interested in equiping it with a solar panel. It looks like I can get away with 100W but this model has a single battery tray. I have one AGM series 27. When we are not hooked into shore power we use the 12v lights and water pump. Everything else uses propane.

Any ideas as to how many bateries I need?

Where can extra batteries be mounted?


Michael
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Old 10-03-2008, 11:45 AM   #13
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Hi 2air,

I have posted my answers to your questions.

1. do the panels come with all the needed mounting bits, that are COMPATIBLE with the 'stream top? – They come with anodized aluminum Z feet brackets. They should be fine, but most installers will also add sikaflex sealant it ensure a water tight, and solid mount.

2. i'm interested in the manual tilt brackets, do they tilt "2 ways" or just one? The ARM-UNI can tilt both ways.

3. you lost me on the regulator issue, (shunt vs pwm) perhaps a little more 'splaining would help. – To make this one easy, a Shunt style solar regulator basically just lets the amperage flow into the batteries like a 2 stage charger…it only ramps down when the batteries are almost 100% A PWM controller is like a 3 stage charger and just does a better job of providing your batteries with the amperage. However, we have been manufacturing versions of the GPR-25 for over 15 years and it works great. Our new version will have some other options for 24 volt panels.

4. what do you suggest in terms of brands and features? – As far as converter chargers go, I am very familiar with Iota, we recommend them. I know Parallax is pretty good too.

specifically on my trailer the ~320w of panels will be sending juice to 4x12v group 27 lifeline agms... – This sounds like a great system. You should post some pics!



Mark
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Old 10-03-2008, 11:46 AM   #14
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Hi Michael,

We manufacture a 50, 80, and 110 Watt solar kits. I would visit our website and use our Mobile Power Calculator to size your solar system. It will show the the amp draws of 12 volt lights and your water pump. You just need to enter in how many lights you have and then add up the amperage. The calculator will size the solar portion, but you will need to do your math for the batteries. The bigger the battery bank the better. For an example, say you are pulling 50 DC amps per day and you have a 100 DC amp battery. In theory this would mean your battery would last for two days without solar. However, to get a good life out of your battery bank you really don't want to drain it down more than 50%. So if you plan to dry camp for no more than 3 days I would recommend a battery bank that gives you 300 DC Amps. If you added 1 GP-RV-110 (110 watt/6.7 amp solar kit) it would provide you with (6.7 x approximately 5 hours per day) 33.5 DC amps per day. So if you wanted to be able to go for extended trips you may want to add an additional 110 watt kit so that your potentially producing more than your taking out of your batteries. However, as we know we don't always get the best weather when were camping, so having a battery bank that can supply enough power for a few days is always a good idea. As far as mounting does, I'm not sure where you could put them because I don't know the layout, but I like using AGM batteries because they are sealed and don't need to be in a vented battery box. Plus they don't need any maintenance. If you have any other questions please let me know.

Regards,

Mark
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