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Going solar with trailer.

 
Old 05-11-2019, 10:44 PM
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Mussl Kar
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Default Going solar with trailer.

Finally had time (under pressure too) to get these installed. Bought them a year ago. 544 watts of solar on the roof.
Prep with random orbit 11" with maroon Scotch Brite to get the crusties off. I followed this with battery leaf blower and 3-4 passes with denatured alcohol with white rags.


Panels are last generation but better for my use. At home trailer will be partly in the shade and these panels are OK with that. Batteries in pit will still get topped off and maintained. Adhesive on back is evil sticky good. Where you put them is where they will stay.

Penetrations through roof are adhered/caulked with Sikaflex and the little wire housings are supplemented with 2 stainless screws each. May or may not caulk the perimeter of the panels. 60 amp charge controller gets wired in soon and 300 ah of batteries already in the pit. 2000 watt pure sine inverter already installed but need to remove its GFCI and install those at each outlet. GFCI trips instantly when connected directly to trailer wiring. Goal is to have power for new 12 volt reef all the time and batteries always at perfect charge. Reef needs to run around the clock and still have plenty of juice in pitt after to run winch and trailer landing gear.
More pics as the installation progresses. Got a bit of sun on my arms doing this today. But all good.
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Old 05-12-2019, 12:55 PM
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That is very cool, can't wait to see how it turns out.
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Old 05-12-2019, 04:21 PM
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Thats quite a few solar panels. How many batteries?

I'm charging my winch battery with one panel - like 8 by 8 inches. Works great.
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Old 05-12-2019, 04:39 PM
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What's the Amp Hour draw of the fridge? My RV has a residential fridge and it KILLS the batteries. I've resorted to freezing milk jugs of water and using the fridge as a big cooler overnight instead of trying to keep it running off the batteries.
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Old 05-12-2019, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by 177mph View Post
Thats quite a few solar panels. How many batteries?

I'm charging my winch battery with one panel - like 8 by 8 inches. Works great.
3) 100 ahr Optima batteries in the pit when finished.

Originally Posted by DTMiller View Post
What's the Amp Hour draw of the fridge? My RV has a residential fridge and it KILLS the batteries. I've resorted to freezing milk jugs of water and using the fridge as a big cooler overnight instead of trying to keep it running off the batteries.
Costway chest fridge that runs directly on 12 volts, 115 volts with a supplied brick. 70 watts DC and will be connected to batteries without any parasitic loss from the inverter. Hoping it will run all night in a hot trailer with a hot car in it cooling down. It does have low voltage cutoff.

I have just a few days to get trailer ready for the season so more pics over the next few days. New rubber all around too.
Todays progress.
Goose neck trailers have an attic and it is called a storage attic for a reason. Stuff goes up there and if out of reach it stays there. Collection of useless crap. Pic of wire penetrations from the roof.


Attic appears to be empty. Why? Pic below.


And that is not all of it. Today was rain and overcast and I measures 40+ volts on one of the panels, open circuit. Yard area will have partial shade at all times and these cells should keep batteries topped off.
Battery pit below. Optima on left is toast. It was charged by the truck and powered only landing gear and winch. Trailer circuits drained it to total flay over the winter, second time for that. Toast. Have a replacement. This battery pit gets re worked and a third Optima added. They will all be charged by solar and truck will only charge the brake battery of the trailer. I hope these cells can generate even enough juice to keep the batteries full with snow covering the roof. We will see next winter.


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Old 05-13-2019, 11:00 AM
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Instead of 3x batteries check out commercial 4D or 8D sized batteries. They're usually used in diesel heavy equipment. It would simplify wiring if nothing else.

What kind of charge controller and inverter are you using?
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Old 05-13-2019, 01:23 PM
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I have a renology 100W system, I upgraded to 400W, using two marine batteries and a 2KW inverter for my trailer. Love it. Mainly use it for charging things, (phone, batteries, scooter, car), lights, and the a fan when needed. I haven't added a fridge or anything like that -- but might.
Is there a portable ice chest/fridge freezer setup out there? Not having to buy ice and re-freezing my cool suit bottles would be awesome.

Mike
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by BillNye View Post
Instead of 3x batteries check out commercial 4D or 8D sized batteries. They're usually used in diesel heavy equipment. It would simplify wiring if nothing else.

What kind of charge controller and inverter are you using?
I forget the inverter brand. Maybe pics of it tomorrow. Charge controller in a Morningstar Tristar TS-60, PWM type. Bought because original plan was 800 watts of solar panel.

Originally Posted by txhokie4life View Post
I have a renology 100W system, I upgraded to 400W, using two marine batteries and a 2KW inverter for my trailer. Love it. Mainly use it for charging things, (phone, batteries, scooter, car), lights, and the a fan when needed. I haven't added a fridge or anything like that -- but might.
Is there a portable ice chest/fridge freezer setup out there? Not having to buy ice and re-freezing my cool suit bottles would be awesome.

Mike
Amazon is your friend here. Almost all 12 volt units can be freezers. Just skip the solid state units. I set the temp to be fridge, not freeze. There are a few units with dual temp zone$.


Today all I got done was the MP4 connectors crimped to the panel leads, and location chosen for the charge controller. Installation may go live tomorrow, but may not be tidy just yet. Since I have 4 panels I am going with series parallel with the panels. 2 panels in series connected to 2 other series panels connected in parallel. Higher voltage supplied to controller with smaller wire. The TS-60 can handle 125 volts open circuit so the 80+- from series parallel will be fine.
Battery pit is also part of this project. Must get done too before heading out Friday.
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Old 05-14-2019, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Mussl Kar View Post
I forget the inverter brand. Maybe pics of it tomorrow. Charge controller in a Morningstar Tristar TS-60, PWM type. Bought because original plan was 800 watts of solar panel.


Amazon is your friend here. Almost all 12 volt units can be freezers. Just skip the solid state units. I set the temp to be fridge, not freeze. There are a few units with dual temp zone$.


Today all I got done was the MP4 connectors crimped to the panel leads, and location chosen for the charge controller. Installation may go live tomorrow, but may not be tidy just yet. Since I have 4 panels I am going with series parallel with the panels. 2 panels in series connected to 2 other series panels connected in parallel. Higher voltage supplied to controller with smaller wire. The TS-60 can handle 125 volts open circuit so the 80+- from series parallel will be fine.
Battery pit is also part of this project. Must get done too before heading out Friday.
There is a bit of irony that your season is just starting -- and we're all but done down here :-)

Good luck with the project.
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Old 05-14-2019, 04:51 PM
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We've found in the transporter that if we fill fridge crisper trays with ice and don't load the fridge with not cold drinks at the end of the day, it will stay cold overnight not running. It ends up with enough mass to keep cool.
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Old 05-14-2019, 05:39 PM
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You guys are pretty amazing. I replaced the battery that powers my winch and lights and I thought was superman afterwards.
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:51 PM
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No pics of tonight but got all MP4 connections done in the "attic" and brought to the charge controller. #10 wire from each series pair. Neg from solar connected to controller and time for dinner. Positive from solar needs to have a switch disconnect and that may happen tomorrow evening. Now 80+ open circuit volts so prob wear gloves for final connections. Not touching my tongue to the wires.
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Mussl Kar View Post
No pics of tonight but got all MP4 connections done in the "attic" and brought to the charge controller. #10 wire from each series pair. Neg from solar connected to controller and time for dinner. Positive from solar needs to have a switch disconnect and that may happen tomorrow evening. Now 80+ open circuit volts so prob wear gloves for final connections. Not touching my tongue to the wires.
You're in Mass so you get snow like me here in CT. I have noticed a ton of weight on my trailer over the course of the winter.

Can the panel handle that?
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by LuigiVampa View Post
You're in Mass so you get snow like me here in CT. I have noticed a ton of weight on my trailer over the course of the winter.

Can the panel handle that?
Panels ship in a roll about 16" in diameter. They flex just like the aluminum roof flexes. Bet we get less snow than you because of the coastal effect, or less snow that stays. I doubt there will be any issue. I was concerned about mounting rigid panels because of weight and how to attach them. These look to be the perfect answer. Adhesive is thick, crazy grippy, flexible.
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:57 PM
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Progress report. Panels are now wired to controller and disconnect switch is in that circuit. Taking part of tomorrow off to finish the battery pit and other stuff. Roll to first DE around 1 PM Friday.
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