Solar Panels

Discussion in 'Energy & Electricity' started by OldCootHillbilly, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. OldCootHillbilly

    OldCootHillbilly Reverend Coot

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    I got these:

    [​IMG]
    Got 5 of em, they say 20 watts each, an 1.22 Amps.

    Now I just gotta decide what to do with them. Could use em on the motorhome er put in a small system here at the house. Don't now which yet. Be nice if I can get a few more from work.
     
  2. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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    I'd say put them on the motorhome. You can run a cord to the house if needed and they will go with you where you go.
     

  3. Bigdog57

    Bigdog57 Adventurer at large

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    Looks 'well used'. Clean them up and test in bright sun, make sure they put out the proper power before permanently mounting them.
     
  4. OldCootHillbilly

    OldCootHillbilly Reverend Coot

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    Gave em a quick check an were puttin out power. They were used to operate data equipment on the highway.

    Another feller at work grabbed a couple, I helped him rig em up an he uses em ta charge batteries at a cabin in Canada ta run a few light bulbs.

    Yeah, a good cleanin won't hurt em any. These er top a the line units.
     
  5. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

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    Good find, OldCootHillbilly! Always nice to have some solar panels.

    If you don't already have them, you oughta get some of those low-watt lightbulbs, either flourescent or the new LED light bulbs.

    You'd get a lot more "run time" off the batteries.
     
  6. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    That sounds like a good start for your own battery-system.

    Tie them together (electrically) in parallel so that the voltage is between 12 and 17 volts at high-noon. Take the last pigtail and tie that into a charge-controller rated for over 200-watts.

    Snag a small pile of RV batteries (I personally like to have 6-volt batteries tied into series) and tie them into parallel. I would think that 4 batteries at 6-volt would hold enough power to last you a week with "light-use".

    Place a couple of quick-connections at the end of the battery line, like a couple of power-ports (cigarette lighter connections) and something that will allow you to tie an inverter (or two) to the battery-bank.

    What I described there I did with some 12-volt batteries and solar. I run a 300-watt inverter off of it and I have an "all-weather" power-port mounted into a plastic RV casing so that I can run other accessories off of the batteries. Quick-connects join the batteries allowing me to seperate and transport as required.
     
  7. Lowdown3

    Lowdown3 Active Member

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    Agree with Bigdog, test them first. Most panels won't go bad and you MAY even have some warranty left on them depending on the make.

    Quality panels have a long warranty life- 20-25 years is average.
     
  8. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget to cover them up with cardboard or something when mounting/testing them!
    You WILL get a nasty suprise!
    (Ask me how I know that! :D )
     
  9. Think Prepared

    Think Prepared Member

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    ICP Panel

    Just got my 100 watt ICP panel and a 25 wattt charge control today!
     
  10. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    I hope that was a type on the 25watt charge-controller. You should always go with a controller that is rated significantly higher than the wattage of the panels going to the controller.

    I imagine that you have a 250 watt controller - at least - I hope so!
     
  11. Think Prepared

    Think Prepared Member

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    It was a typo. I should have put 25 AMP not watt.
     
  12. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    Then that's a good size for the 100-watt panel. Do you know what kind of amperage it puts out? If I remember correctly, my 80-watt panel has a peak of 17-amps, but, I don't think that I have seen much more than 3 amp on my digital read-out attached to the controller.
     
  13. Think Prepared

    Think Prepared Member

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    Power:
    6 Amps, 16.5 Volts (100 Watts)
    Dimensions:
    45.75 inches x 28.5 inches x 1.4 inches
    116.2 cm x 72.39 cm x 3.56 cm
    Weight:
    28.6 lbs / 13 kg
    20 Year power warranty

    icp
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2010
  14. GetPreparedStuff

    GetPreparedStuff Member

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    I recently did a group buy on this 200 watt two panel system that came with a top notch MPPT charge controller.

    The panels are rated at 4.35 amps IMP and have a higher than normal voltage but with the MPPT controller and the panels in series I was getting over 10 to 11+ amps (11.82A was the highest measured) into the batteries most of the day with the two panels combined.

    The charge controller by itself sells for over $200 and with the two 100 watt panels and controller together at about $595 shipped we were under $2/watt for the system.

    The panels are also narrow than most so they fit will on trailers and RV's with limited roof space but they are also manageable at 25 lbs each to use in a transportable system too.

    This sized system would go really well with a couple 6v golf cart batteries used as the power storage solution. Add a 1000-2000 watt inverter and an AC battery charger (to keep the system charged until needed) and you'd have a complete solar power backup system for about $1200 that others would charge $4000 to put together.
     
  15. Kiwi Will

    Kiwi Will Member

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    Go LED lighting and you'll get lots more bang for your buck so to speak. Mind you, they (the LED's) are gonna make more of a dent in your pocket than a fluro but are W A Y more beta power consumption wise !!! :)
     
  16. Bigdog57

    Bigdog57 Adventurer at large

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    LED performance is improving and prices are dropping too, as they become more mainstream. I will soon be converting my utility trailer to a Toyhauler TT, and will use LED lighting.
    Ultimately, I'll begin using them in the house too, especially once I get my own solar setup going. Have the batteries, need the panels! :beercheer:
     
  17. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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    I very few led's most of them around here are $30-$40 each. CF lights are only about $1 each onsale. It'll take a lifetime for me to make up cost of $30 per bulb. I'll wait a yr or two and the price should drop as more are produced.
    I've switched out holiday decorations and nite lights for my boy, when I find them cheap, but the cost of the standard led bulb needs to come down before I shell out the kind of money.

    I do have them in my camper and I swapped over my tail/brakes to leds as they fail. Led's are very durable and last almost forever. My dual sport cycle was blowing tail lights every time I went off road until I switched to led and it never failed again.
     
  18. whisperingwinds

    whisperingwinds Member

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    Hello,
    Great deal on those.
    How much power could you get from those in your motorhome?
    Would it be just enough for lights and hot water...or air conditioning/heating also?

    Thanks,
    Sherry
     
  19. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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    High draw items like hot water or heat are not practical to do without plug in electric. You'll need LP or set up a system to use waste heat from the engine while driving. A/C also uses too much power to run from batteries. Just look at the labels on the appliances you are thinking about running to give you and idea of how much they will draw.

    A small 110v electric space heater draws 1,500 watts. of power. That's 13 amps of power not counting the 15-20% loss through the inverter. Those panels might run a small space heater for a few hours during peak sun.

    These guy's have some of the best prices around. You can get solar for under $1 per watt. Solar Panels - Sunelec : Solar Panels 97¢/W, PV Systems $2.40/W
     
  20. OldCootHillbilly

    OldCootHillbilly Reverend Coot

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    Our thought be that they'll charge our battery bank what gives us lights, water pump, TV (runs off a inverter) an the fridge if it ain't on propane at the time.

    If we ain't hooked up ta AC power, we can run the genie ta use the air conditioner. Batteries ain't made fer big loads lessin ya got BIG batteries an a BIG way ta charge em.

    Our hot water heater be strictly propane, that was by design, keep the systems as simple as possible cause thier more reliable that way.