Solar Panels

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Solar Panels

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:02 pm

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Does anyone have any experience with solar panels,we are off to Cornwall next week and site has no electrics, have just been and bought suitcase type panel from Maplin as was on offer. It seems to work ok but I expected the battery status display to show it charging and it doesn't, I have tried it in both rear cigar sockets. Any ideas.


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Re: Solar Panels

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:03 pm

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Just the obvious - have you tried to see if that socket works when the ignition is turned off? If not then clearly there's no link to the battery.



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Re: Solar Panels

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:03 pm

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The late, great Tim Sawyer was our solar panel expert. He had one fixed permanently on his Cali roof! Sadly he is no longer with us but his camper is (still in Pocklington I understand), as are earlie threads on solar panels with his advice (a long scroll down) and photos of Tim's panel in situ. Good luck!


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Re: Solar Panels

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:04 pm

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I have solar panels fitted by Detroit solar BUT they raise the height to 2.03 m instead of 1.99 and may not be very aerodynamic. If you go for solar then get the VW fitted ones that are flush with the roof.



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Re: Solar Panels

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:04 pm

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I suspect the vw fitted ones might be silly money, but I can't find out who supplies them. The local VW centre don't seem able to find out, either. Presumably it is VW!! Also, do you have any idea how they are wired/plugged into the leisure batteries, please? Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks

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Re: Solar Panels

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:05 pm

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Essentially there is a plus and minus wire from the panels going to a contoller panel that monitors the battery charge and regulates the flow to the batteries. From this unit there are two wires, one to plus and one to minus on the rear leisure battery. It couldn't be simpler. I think you may need to go to germany to get the panels flush with the roof but, though it's a hassle, if I had a chance again, I would do it. Or if they can be sent by post, it couldn't be a simpler setup to fit.


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Re: Solar Panels

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:06 pm

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I have just come accross the Maplin briefcase type 13watt solsr panel. I too am wondering if this is a worthwhile product to keep the battery topped up. Have you found out whether it does work yet?


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Re: Solar Panels

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:07 pm

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Could you attach the Panel to the leisure battery with alligator clips, bypassing the cigarette sockets, are these provided with the kit?


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Re: Solar Panels

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:07 pm

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I think his very helpful website still exists though..

http://tim28.web.officelive.com/solar.aspx

perhaps it answers some of your questions re connections


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