Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-26-2011, 06:47 PM   #15
Rivet Master
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 811
Oasis RV in Tucson is a former Airstream dealer and still maintains a service department working on lots of Airstreams.
They have installed many solar power systems.
While not exactly cheap, I am sure they could considerably better the factory price.
You might call them for a price. Lots of room for people to stay in their trailers, hooked up to electricity, if work takes more than a day.
__________________

__________________
handn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2012, 12:53 AM   #16
2 Rivet Member
 
Wild-Air's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB Flying Cloud
Minden , Nevada
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 55
Blog Entries: 1
The wiring for a solar system is included in the $50,000 to $110,000 we pay for these things. I know! It's really just a wire that goes from the roof down the refrigerator vent opening and down to a dark spot above the refrigerator, all included with a smile.

The $2,600 the factory charges for a beginner's solar panel is criminal - do not buy it. Your dealer can install just about any solar system you want. My dealer, Sutton RV, installed a 180 watt dual panel system with a charge controller for less than $2,000. I'm absolutely happy with the system I have. Airstream is just as out of touch with a reasonable solar package as they are with modern insulation and plain old quality control.
__________________

__________________
Russ
Wild-Air is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2012, 09:06 AM   #17
Rivet Master
 
1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
Knoxville , Tennessee
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,163
Blog Entries: 1
1000 watt gen cost about $700 and works when the sun does not shine.
__________________
Bill M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2012, 01:01 PM   #18
one of those
 
Gringo's Avatar
 
2011 27 FB International
'03 F250 PSD , Airstream summers, Catalac winters
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 1,090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
1000 watt gen cost about $700 and works when the sun does not shine.
I could be wrong, but these days I think you can get 2KW for that.
__________________
A Blog from the Devil's Triangle
http://2gringos.blogspot.com/
Gringo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2012, 01:22 PM   #19
4 Rivet Member
 
ddruker's Avatar
 
2000 27' Safari
Palo Alto , California
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 260
Images: 1
I just self-installed a 288 watt system for about $700 in parts, before the 30% federal tax credit.

Two Unisolar ePVL 144 panels (144 watts each) off of ebay for about $300 shipped.
One Intronics MPPT charge controller for $200 shipped.
A second RV battery from Costco for $100. AGM batteries would of course cost a lot more.
Roughly $100 of copper wire and connectors to hook everything up.

Because the Unisolar panels are peel and stick, I didn't need to purchase any mounting hardware. Also, because Unisolar went bankrupt and liquidated, the panels are currently relatively inexpensive - just about $1 per watt - but you get no warranty and it's clearly buyer beware. Last - two Unisolar panels wired in series put out 90 volts DC - so you don't need to run expensive heavy gauge copper wiring to avoid voltage drop like you do with 12 volt DC nominal panels.

My complete system came out at $2.43 per watt for 288 watts. The Airstream system you described appears to price out at $49 per watt for 53 watts - 20 times more expensive per watt.

In any case I hope these numbers help you get an idea of idea of of a floor of price per watt to shoot for coming from an el-cheapo DIY guy.
__________________
- Dan

1999 27' Safari + 2011 Mercedes GL 350 Turbo-diesel
ddruker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2012, 08:24 PM   #20
1 Rivet Member
 
2010 27' FB International
Bend , Oregon
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 6
I would really like to know more about your experiences with the peel and stick Unisolar panels. Can you tell if they seem to have the output their specs show? How sensitive are they to direction and intensity of the sun. Do they work well on cloudy days?
How well does the peel and stick adhere to your roof? Would it be a major problem to remove it if stopped working or had other problems?
Thanks, Steve
__________________
Blkflg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2012, 11:58 PM   #21
4 Rivet Member
 
ddruker's Avatar
 
2000 27' Safari
Palo Alto , California
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 260
Images: 1
The unisolar panels are built with something called amorphous silicon technology. Here is a link to a PPT presentation about the technology - http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...gn_-ZGHP6dH4vw

Basically the downside is that the unisolar panels are less efficient than modern rigid panels - that use mono or poly-crystalline technology - so per square inch you only generate about 50 percent of the watts you could with rigid panels.

The positives are the panels are flexible, are trivially easy to install, and are more shade and angle tolerant than rigid panels. They have bypass diodes built in across every cell, so even if a cell is completely shaded, the panel will only lose the output of that cell. As an Airstream DIY guy, I liked that I could just lay the panels down on my roof with no muss and no fuss.

I did measure the two panels that I have with a digital multi-meter, and via my charge controller, and they are both right on spec.

I do not think it would be very easy to remove the panels from an airstream roof. The mastic is really sticky - it's designed to hold the panels down on a metal roof in a hurricane! I am sure they will come off if you pull hard enough, as I have seen used panels on eBay, but I expect they will leave a sticky black mess on the Airstream roof.

What I understand is that despite the unisolar bankruptcy, solar gurus expect the availability of more types of flexible adhesive solar panels to expand over the next few years. Something called CIGS technology is apparently slowly maturing and there are multiple vendors trying to get products to market. The idea is to figure out how to inexpensively print solar panels onto long rolls of plastic material, rather than having to slice cells out of hunks of silicon crystals.
__________________
- Dan

1999 27' Safari + 2011 Mercedes GL 350 Turbo-diesel
ddruker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2012, 12:34 AM   #22
2 Rivet Member
 
Wild-Air's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB Flying Cloud
Minden , Nevada
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 55
Blog Entries: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
1000 watt gen cost about $700 and works when the sun does not shine.
I agree with the need for a portable generator, but as part of a full electrical supply system, the panels provide charging to the batts so they can run my trailer all night.

The next day, whether I'm there or not, they go ahead and charge everything right back up. Pretty slick.

I'm going to add a 2000w generator soon - thanks for the advice.
__________________
Russ
Wild-Air is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2012, 10:35 AM   #23
4 Rivet Member
 
ddruker's Avatar
 
2000 27' Safari
Palo Alto , California
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 260
Images: 1
Main recommendation would be to look at a slightly larger generator if you want to be able to run your air conditioning. My Honda eu2000i will not quite run my AC. There are lots of threads on the forum about which specific models will.

I find with sufficient solar panels that running the generator has shifted from "every day for a couple of hours to top off" to pretty infrequently, unless parked in deep shade. I just don't worry about my 12V systems that much anymore.

But my main regret is that I can't run my AC off of my generator, so unless I go buy a second companion generator, which I really don't want to have to lug around, we end up looking for full hookups when it's going to be in the 90's or hotter outside. It was close to 100 in Yosemite this last August - we were backpacking but the the trailer would have been an oven.
__________________

__________________
- Dan

1999 27' Safari + 2011 Mercedes GL 350 Turbo-diesel
ddruker 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
NEW: 5th Wheel Airstream Airtrekker Boondocking 38 06-25-2016 10:52 PM
2011 Airstream Flying Cloud 20 foot-like New with SOLAR eBay Watch Airstreams on eBay 0 05-14-2011 05:50 PM
Solar Power Quandary for my '58 mello mike Generators & Solar Power 7 04-06-2011 09:05 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:44 AM.


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.