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solar panels
PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 4:58 pm Reply with quote
wren
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I would like to know if anybody has had solar panels fitted to their caravan. I would like to have some fitted to my LV535. I am having trouble finding someone around the mid north coast of NSW that can give me any information. Hoping someone out there can help me. Cheers Wren
PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 5:39 pm Reply with quote
BobD
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Joined: 02 Jun 2008
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Location: Forrestfield WA

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I have just had solar panels fitted by Care-a-van in WA. I have two 90W panels, one each side of the roof length wise down the roof. These feed through the roof into a cupboard. I have a 15A MPPT controller which I bought on the web for $90. This is exactly the same unit that Kimberley Kampers sell with their high performance solar sytem, for which they charge a few hundred dollars more than a standard controller!!

Care-a-van fitted a standard controller, which cost $100, as the MPPT unit was only ordered after I arranged for the stuff to be fitted and it came one day after everything was fitted and working. I now use the old controller as a volt meter since the MPPT controller doesn't have any gauges, just some lights to indicate the state of the unit.

The MPPT controller is connected straight to the battery, hence not using the solar input on the Electroblok. This is fine and there is no need to go through the electroblok as it wires the panels direct to the battery anyway and relies on a separate controller to regulate the voltage.

For anyone who doesn't know what a MPPT controller is, google it and you will see how they work. They allow the panels to run at their full 18V to provide maximum power and then provide the same power to the battery at battery voltage by increasing the amps to compensate for the lower voltage. Also have a look a Kimberly Kampers web page and you will see how they rave over the MPPT controller, which is the same as what I bought.

I got my solar panels so that I can power my 12V Waeco fridge (see separate post) when free camping and recharge the battery after using the lights. It worked beautifully on a recenty trip to the Pilbara and Ningaloo reef, where we didn't have elelectricity, even in a caravan park overflow area and it was often a bit cloudy.

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solar panels
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