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-   -   Solar Ele on the roof or remote? (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448/solar-ele-on-the-roof-or-remote-141159.html)

Oxen 09-15-2015 04:26 PM

Solar Ele on the roof or remote?
 
I understand that AS now installs wiring for solar, even if the solar option is not chosen. So, solar panels can be added later. When installed later, should they be installed on the roof, using AS's wiring or separate from the body of the AS?:blush:

switz 09-15-2015 04:35 PM

The factory pre-installed #10 wire is just barely adequate for the two 53 watt panels that Airstream installs on the roof.

We were able to install five 100 watt panels on the roof a 23D and eight on the roof of a 31' Classic. Nine would have fitted okay.

The wire sizes were significantly larger from the roof to the solar charge controller like #2 wire.

AWCHIEF 09-15-2015 04:35 PM

Your choice. Dozens of threads discussing this subject.

switz 09-15-2015 07:01 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Here is how we are installing five 100 watt AM Solar panels on the roof of the 23D. We replaced the original Winegard fold down TV antenna for the Winegard Rayzar (curb side front). We have replaced the factory skylight with a frosted lenses skylight from Maxim. The two Fantastic fans were replaced with two Maxxfan model 00-07000K units.

Oxen 09-15-2015 09:49 PM

Connection
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by switz (Post 1684511)
Here is how we are installing five 100 watt AM Solar panels on the roof of the 23D. We replaced the original Winegard fold down TV antenna for the Winegard Rayzar (curb side front). We have replaced the factory skylight with a frosted lenses skylight from Maxim. The two Fantastic fans were replaced with two Maxxfan model 00-07000K units.

So, how did you connect it to the ele system? You couldn't have used the existing wire because it would be in adequate.:innocent:

Oxen 09-15-2015 09:50 PM

Tilt?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by switz (Post 1684511)
Here is how we are installing five 100 watt AM Solar panels on the roof of the 23D. We replaced the original Winegard fold down TV antenna for the Winegard Rayzar (curb side front). We have replaced the factory skylight with a frosted lenses skylight from Maxim. The two Fantastic fans were replaced with two Maxxfan model 00-07000K units.

Can the panels be tilted toward the sun?:innocent:

lewster 09-15-2015 11:05 PM

All AM Solar panel kits come with rocker mounting feet that allow for tilting in either direction. If you intend to use the tilting feature, you have to give a bit of thought about the panel placement to avoid shading one panel when you tilt another.

When connecting the panels to your battery system, heavy cabling (up to 2AWG) feeds the roof array into the solar charge controller and then directly to your batteries. The only place 10 AWG cabling is used is to connect the individual panels to a combiner box.

Switz is totally correct in that Airstream' pre wire is completely inadequate for any solar array in excess of 100 watts. Connecting the solar charge controller directly to the batteries is also much more efficient and shows less voltage drop than using the forward bus bars, as Airstream does.


Lew Farber
RVIA/RVDA Nationally Certified Master Tech
Master Tech Energy Systems, Inc.
AM Solar Certified Installation Center
Lifeline Batteries**Magnum Inverters
541-490-6357

Plan-B 09-16-2015 06:57 AM

I took delivery of a 2016 25 FC in June. My dealer also has a significant AS restoring business and knows all the trailers inside and out, they also install solar, as an option, on many of their customers new and restored AS.

I had TWO Samlex 100 watt panels installed. They too said they would not use the AS pre wire, too small, and they pulled their own wiring to specifications of the load.

I am pretty ignorant when it comes to electrical designs and specifications but I am glad I listened to the Airforum experts since I am comfortable my dealer was not jerking my chain.

Thanks forum experts! We listen:-)

Oxen 09-16-2015 10:07 AM

Wire Route
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by lewster (Post 1684603)
All AM Solar panel kits come with rocker mounting feet that allow for tilting in either direction. If you intend to use the tilting feature, you have to give a bit of thought about the panel placement to avoid shading one panel when you tilt another.

When connecting the panels to your battery system, heavy cabling (up to 2AWG) feeds the roof array into the solar charge controller and then directly to your batteries. The only place 10 AWG cabling is used is to connect the individual panels to a combiner box.

Switz is totally correct in that Airstream' pre wire is completely inadequate for any solar array in excess of 100 watts. Connecting the solar charge controller directly to the batteries is also much more efficient and shows less voltage drop than using the forward bus bars, as Airstream does.


Lew Farber
RVIA/RVDA Nationally Certified Master Tech
Master Tech Energy Systems, Inc.
AM Solar Certified Installation Center
Lifeline Batteries**Magnum Inverters
541-490-6357

So, one wire is routed on the outside of the shell down to the batteries?

Jer:brows:

lewster 09-16-2015 11:18 AM

Outside ?????? NEVER!!!!

All wiring is invisibly run thru the inside of the trailer. The only outside wire is from the front DC bus bars to the exterior battery box, where it is located from the factory.

In the majority of my installations, new batteries, either Lifeline AGM or our new lithium cells are placed inside the trailer, so no external wiring is used.


Lew Farber
RVIA/RVDA Nationally Certified Master Tech
Master Tech Energy Systems, Inc.
AM Solar Certified Installation Center
Lifeline Batteries**Magnum Inverters
541-490-6357

BScott 09-16-2015 11:51 AM

I saw a video of a couple that do a blog of their life on the road in a SOB. They installed 4, 100watt flexible panels that were only about 1/8th an inch thick. Looked really nice only screws were for the wiring not the panels.

lewster 09-16-2015 11:59 AM

I never use screws for my installations. If you search the Forums, I gave posted some direct usage comparisons between hard panels and flex panels.

There are many issues with flex panels that the promoters don't disclose.


Lew Farber
RVIA/RVDA Nationally Certified Master Tech
Master Tech Energy Systems, Inc.
AM Solar Certified Installation Center
Lifeline Batteries**Magnum Inverters
541-490-6357

AWCHIEF 09-16-2015 12:53 PM

Interesting. The commercial and recreational marine industry has been using flexible panels successfully for over 30 years. Some people here act like they are a new untested undeveloped product. I have several 25 year old flexible panels that still put out almost as good a new. Labels are long time gone and I do not remember what brand they are.

switz 09-16-2015 01:34 PM

The photos in post #4 above of the solar panels on the roof of the 23D were pre-wiring as we were still testing the layout. The wiring was completed last week and the solar panel wiring combiner box was to be installed just above the microwave which is above the refrigerator. That is in the free space beside the street side of the air conditioner.

The pair of #2 stranded copper wires come through the roof below the combiner (or junction) box to the solar panel controller located behind the microwave and then continue downward inside the trailer to the solar system isolation switch located in the refrigerator compartment. The solar wires then proceed to the lithium iron phosphate battery located under the "sofa" just in front of the street side wheel well. The Magnum MSH-3012 is located on the other side of the furnace so the leads from it to the battery are about three feet.


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