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Old 09-18-2018, 09:43 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
1991 25' Excella
Sioux Falls , South Dakota
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 78
My Solar install

I have been working on my solar system for a few weeks That May sound like a.long time but not really as I include research purchasing and the actual labor in that time frame
As of this post it is operational just today
The main reason for my going ahead with this project was the steel frame of the couch breaking. I had put up with that crappy AS couch for 2 years of full timing. When it broke I decided to start ripping Out with the couch, the parallax converter the 2 existing 12 Volt group 24 batteries, the battery boxes and access doors
Highlights of new system:
Boondocker 4 stage 60 amp converter
TriMetric battery monitor system TM 2030
SC 2030 Solar Charger
2 Trojan 6Volt T 105 AGM Batteries
3 100 watt Grape Solar panels on roof and 1 for ground deployment
Homemade combiner box
6 AWG wire from combiner box to charge controller
3M VBH mounting tape on 3X3 aluminum panel mounts

System worked on first try 👍
A bunch of work left to do including patching outer skin where battery boxes where and making all the interior wiring nice and neat. Then Iíll need to do some cabinets to go along with recliners

Iíll expand on what I did and why in following posts

If I can do it so can you
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Old 09-19-2018, 01:11 AM   #2
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1991 34' Excella
2009 34' Panamerica
Telluride , Colorado
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2,476
Narrow body makes it challenging!
Looks great!
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Old 09-19-2018, 07:41 AM   #3
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1991 25' Excella
Sioux Falls , South Dakota
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 78
So letís start on the what and why

I originally looked at using flexible panels that could be mounted directly on the AS skin. I thought how easy that would be. Upon further research and part of the learning curve I believe that heat is detrimental to panel performance. So I decided to use standard type panels that would allow for air flow under the panels. As I was working on the panel install and having to reach under them I can tell you it gets pretty darn hot under them.
Having decided on panel type I started shopping on line. Home Depot had the Grape Solar 100 watt poly crystalline panels for $94.99 each with free shipping to a store of my choice. Seemed like a good deal and Grape has a fairly good reputation

Next up how to mount them decision No way was I going to pay the stupid expensive price of manufactured mounts. I bought a 3 X 3 aluminum angle at local hardware store along with 1/4Ē stainless steel bolts washers and ny lock nuts. Cut the angle to 3Ē lengths, drilled holes for bolts, assembled to panel for trail fit on AS roof. I started out by carefully using cardboard templates to locate panels on roof. Sure you can position the cardboard, but it doesnít really give you a clue on where the weight will bear on skin. When I trial fitted panel with mounts install where I had so carefully positioned cardboard templates I didnít like that mounts where not near ribs or seams of AS skin. So I moved panels until the mounts bore on part of skin that offered more support. Each panel weighs approximately 18 pounds. Having that riding on the unsupported part of skin can only lead to dents or worse stress cracks in skin I felt.
It seems that using 3M VBH tape has become the standard method of attachment on AS I sure didnít want to be drilling into roof. Cleaned mounts and roof with brake cleaner then placed tape on mounts with a small bead of polyurethane caulk around outside of mounts. Placed panels on roof with extra weights on panels for 24 hours
Solid as a rock 👍
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Old 10-13-2018, 01:03 PM   #4
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1959 28' Ambassador
Victoria , Minnesota
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 69
Looks good! Was there a reason you went with polycrystalline over the monocrystalline panels? Iíve read the mono are more efficient but I havenít read the science behind it yet. There seems to also be about a $30 price difference per 100W panel as well.
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Old 10-13-2018, 01:35 PM   #5
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
Fairfield , California
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 905
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyacker View Post
Looks good! Was there a reason you went with polycrystalline over the monocrystalline panels? Iíve read the mono are more efficient but I havenít read the science behind it yet. There seems to also be about a $30 price difference per 100W panel as well.
The difference between a 100w poly and a 100w monocrystalline solar panel is size and cost not power.
So if there is not a size constraint is the extra money worth saving 7 to 8 inches on length and 6 to 7 inches on width on a one or two panel install? That is the question one needs to ask.

Thanks,
Matti
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Old 10-13-2018, 08:19 PM   #6
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1959 28' Ambassador
Victoria , Minnesota
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattirs View Post
The difference between a 100w poly and a 100w monocrystalline solar panel is size and cost not power.
So if there is not a size constraint is the extra money worth saving 7 to 8 inches on length and 6 to 7 inches on width on a one or two panel install? That is the question one needs to ask.

Thanks,
Matti
Which is heavier? 100lbs of feathers or 100lbs of bowling balls?

So the power density is higher on the monocrystalline. Considering the pitch of the roof, I'll probably go that route so I can get as much of the array as level as possible on my roof.

I'm also reading a bit that monocrystalline is a little more efficient it hotter temperatures but I can't find any power curves with the temperature on the x axis. I'm going to keep looking.

Awesome install TOPORANGER. I appreciate the pictures as I plan my install!
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Old 10-14-2018, 07:47 AM   #7
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2013 25' Flying Cloud
Middleton , Idaho
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 97
Nice install! I see you went with the Trimetric monitor and controller. I have them in a pop-up camper as well as my AS and they work great.
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