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Old 04-25-2010, 11:21 PM   #71
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Both panels, AM Solar system 25FB CCD Twin

Showing the final location of panels just prior to tying down the cables to the roof.
Note the location, the gap in the center is for a future project. Also you can see how much cleaner the stainless allen bolts look instead of the supplied T bolts (they come on the bars as well).
There is plenty of room for pivots, movement of room gear and vents.
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:28 PM   #72
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Last part, the charge controller.

I wanted to minimize the length of the run, not have the controler in a hard to see area so we picked the front bed, curbside closet.
Mounted, the wires comming from up top were easy to get to, easy to run on the outer wall and took advantage of some dead space.
The panel is off the cieling a bit to allow for venting and I was very happy with the final location. Remember, if you drill up from here, stay toward the middle of the trailer as there is a wire bundle just below (curbside) from my location.
I discharged batteries and tested the system, happy happy - joy joy...
All works great, happy with the system and product.
Ya'll stream safe...
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:23 AM   #73
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Just back from three days out at Senator's Wash near Yuma...plenty of sun and power. Dry camping next to the water on the California side of the Colorado river. System worked perfectly, silently and were happy to report panels survived high winds, bumpy dusy road, rather trails...
Happy campers!
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:35 AM   #74
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Great info Bob

Hi Bob,

I'm sorry that I missed your earlier posts.

That looks like a very sensible strategy that you used...even shorter runs than what I had. I too got rid of the T-handle bolts & went with Hex head SS bolts. It's much cleaner & a lot less inviting to thieves I would think.

I'm impressed at how well the whole system works. We were camping in Utah with temps around freezing every night & we would spend a lot of the evening reading washing up etc. With the furnace use & lights we had significant draw on the system, but would be recharged easily by 11:00h every morning.

We encountered some ferocious gusty winds North of Reno on our return trip with a Truck TT ahead of me changing lanes involuntarily. We passed him quite easily with the whole rig feeling quite stable & controlled. All the panels were still very solid on checking afterwards. I think some sort of forward spoiler would help smooth the airflow but it all seems quite solid & quality.

Thanks for posting your experience.

I see that AM Solar has now changed their controllers & panels. It looks like improvements to me; but I am quite satisfied with the performance of the system we have.

-evan
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:39 AM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craftsman View Post
After reading this thread I put in my order for a two 100W panel kit with controller from AM Solar. Should ship the end of this week. I was told the panels have been redesigned, somewhat shorter, but about the same width, and 40 cells insead of 44, but the new cells are suppose to be more efficent.
I'm sure you'll find them quite efficient & powerful.

Under cloudy skies, they will produce a good 24V. I have one of the newer design & two of the older ones. They all seem pretty equivalent - I think.

Have fun on the install.

-evan
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:40 AM   #76
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Called the company with this idea and they said I would need a different controller. My panels are putting out 19.x. each. Which x 2 is over the 32volt rating. The strange thing is they put out 17 pointed away from the sun. Maybe I need a new volt meter.
The AM Solar panels produce 24 V each so putting them in series would get you up to 48V which might be too much for your controller.

-evan
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:49 AM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eheffa View Post
The AM Solar panels produce 24 V each so putting them in series would get you up to 48V which might be too much for your controller.

-evan
Is that open circuit voltage or under a load?
What controller do you have? some will take up to 48VDC and still able to service a 14V system.
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:59 AM   #78
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Is that open circuit voltage or under a load?
What controller do you have? some will take up to 48VDC and still able to service a 14V system.

That's Open Circuit Voltage. I haven't checked to see what the working voltage of the panel side is when under load...

When I asked AM Solar about this, they recommended against a series install & if I recall correctly he told me that the Controller I had was not rated to handle this.

-evan
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:43 PM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eheffa View Post
That's Open Circuit Voltage. I haven't checked to see what the working voltage of the panel side is when under load...

When I asked AM Solar about this, they recommended against a series install & if I recall correctly he told me that the Controller I had was not rated to handle this.

-evan
That's what they told me also. No matter. Two panels and one weather proof box each side and one more hole in the roof. Auto reset circuit breakers in each box. Looking at putting a relay on each panel feed so I can disconnect each one should I have a problem. Could also use it to check output of each panel by turning one on at a time. I'll run 12 volts all the way. Amps will be enough to weld on a sunny day. Painted the roof two coats of white Iron Coat. Two more to go and up the panels go....unless I put a final coat on. I'm having a problem finding pigment for the paint.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:52 PM   #80
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That's what they told me also. No matter. Two panels and one weather proof box each side and one more hole in the roof. Auto reset circuit breakers in each box. Looking at putting a relay on each panel feed so I can disconnect each one should I have a problem. Could also use it to check output of each panel by turning one on at a time. I'll run 12 volts all the way. Amps will be enough to weld on a sunny day. Painted the roof two coats of white Iron Coat. Two more to go and up the panels go....unless I put a final coat on. I'm having a problem finding pigment for the paint.
I'm not sure I understand what you are trying to do. If you combine the inputs in Parallel, you should be able to just use one combiner box & a single feed through the roof.

-evan
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:48 PM   #81
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I'm not sure I understand what you are trying to do. If you combine the inputs in Parallel, you should be able to just use one combiner box & a single feed through the roof.

-evan

I'm kind of fussy. Panel ---Box----Panel
l
l (Watertight Flex Conduit)
l
Panel ---Box---Panel

Hole in roof will be inside box on street side.
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:52 AM   #82
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Great thread. Considering 2 x 100W set up from AM Solar and this has given me some great insight to get me started.
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Old 05-17-2010, 02:29 PM   #83
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Costco now has a 4x15 watt solar panel kit that is rated at 60 watts total. From practical experience, is that enough output to be useful for boondocking, or are two kits needed? Our 19-foot Bambi doesn't have much open space on the roof, so I am looking at putting these on our tonneau cover. However, I am concerned about them being so accessible, especially where they are down low and visible. Also, I'm not sure they will be as efficient, since they may be in shadow longer during the day if mounted on the tonneau.

Opinions welcomed...
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Old 05-17-2010, 02:58 PM   #84
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If they are the amorphus panels I don"t think they are woth it. take too much acreage fot the small amount of wattage. Check to see what you can get from Sun Electronics there in Phoenix. 602-955-5248. They have good prices
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