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Thread: Solar panels - regulated

  1. #1
    Just a 10 min job, what could possibly go wrong? Hauler's Avatar
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    Solar panels - regulated

    Hi,

    I'll soon be in the market for some new portable solar panels. I currently have a folding set which is 12 V / 120 Watt so, after accounting for inefficiencies it should be putting out somewhere around 7 amps but It only gets 4.5 amps in bright midday sun. With my new bigger fridge running in the camper that isn't going to be enough if we are stopped for a few days and it is not 100% sunny. So I'm looking for probably a 200w set of panels, preferably folding, that will put out at least 6-7 amps or more. Has anyone bought panels recently and are the new blanket type panels worth the big extra $$? I have a DC DC charger in the camper so panels do not need to be regulated which should help price I hope.

    Thanks.

    Mike.

  2. #2
    Administrator pacs's Avatar
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    Hey Hauler personal experience I've found the folding sets with the connections never make the full amp rating compared to a single higher rated panel must be due to voltage drops in the connections and then it depends on the panel type I guess

    as for the blankets I'm interested to hear what others have found with these also
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  3. #3
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    Most campers or vans with batteries are able to be topped up with the connection from the car. So if required I run the car for half an hour or so and that tops up the batteries if required. In addition to that I have 150 watt solar blanket that certainly does the trick in the right conditions. I use the blanket when the suns about and then top up with the car if not.
    However I'm never long in the same place so with my set up all has been honky dory!

    Col.
    Life is not a destination but a journey, make the most of it and remember, the worst day above ground is a whole lot better than the best one under it.

  4. #4
    Defusing the grenade. Graham99's Avatar
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    Hi there,

    I suspect that your solar panel has a PWM controller on it. This will hurt the output of the panel as the controller will clip the panel voltage to 12v without boosting the current.

    On the back of the panel there should be a label with Max voltage and max current. My 120W panel is 21V and 6.67A. I removed the controller and ran it direct to the BCDC 1225 internal MPPT controller. This turns the extra voltage into current.

    If you change to an MPPT controller you should notice a difference.
    Regards
    Graham

    2014 200 Series GXL Landcruiser, ARB GVM Upgrade, ARB bulbar, GME 80ch UHF, rear storage system, split battery system, snorkel, torque converter lockup kit.

  5. #5
    Just a 10 min job, what could possibly go wrong? Hauler's Avatar
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    Thanks Graham99, I can't remember if those figures were before or after we disconnected the regulator but now it is bypassed and I run it via the Redarc BCDC charger into the camper batteries. Over a weekend it should be fine even without much sun but for a longer stay I'll need bigger panels even just to run the fridge/freezer I think.

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