BajaNomad
Not logged in [Login - Register]
Go To Bottom

Printable Version  
 Pages:  1  
Author: Subject: Solar panels in a suitcase
Hook
Select Nomad
*******




Posts: 8138
Registered: 3-13-2004
Location: Sonora
Member Is Offline

Mood: Inquisitive

[*] posted on 2-9-2012 at 11:13 AM
Solar panels in a suitcase


I was by the big bash in Quartzite, AZ this year in late January. There was a product that intrigued me, with an application for my truck camper setup.

Basically, two firms were marketing two solar panels that fit into an aluminum suitcase. Inside the suitcase was a mounted charge controller. On the outside of the suitcase were "legs" that were adjustable that allowed one to angle the panels at the sun.

The idea here is that you can manually move the panels (mounted inside the case) in relation to the sun. Very portable. Take it with any rig you own. It also came with about 50 feet of cabling with large clips for attaching to your batterie(s).

Any opinions on this type of setup? I THINK that they were marketing two 70w panels in this for around 500 bucks. The suitcase was somewhere around 2 feet by 3 feet. The panels were NOT thin film type, that I remember.




View user's profile
wessongroup
Platinum Nomad
********


Avatar


Posts: 20200
Registered: 8-9-2009
Location: Mission Viejo
Member Is Offline

Mood: Suicide Hot line ... please hold

[*] posted on 2-9-2012 at 11:26 AM


Thanks Hook .... solar on my mind.. "again"... with the price of propane moving one way all the time...



View user's profile Visit user's homepage
Diver
Elite Nomad
******




Posts: 4712
Registered: 11-15-2004
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 2-9-2012 at 01:09 PM


Not sure of the cost ??
We have an 80 watt Kyocera panel that my wife made a padded slip-on bag for.
I glued a small charge controller to the back and have it connected to 35' of 12 ga extension chord so we can move it around the camper for best sunlight.
My battery has the other end of the extension chord wired on and hanging out of it's box, ready for power.
I'm sure you can do this with any size panel.
But the suitcase idea does sound pretty guchi !
.
View user's profile
comitan
Elite Nomad
******


Avatar


Posts: 4177
Registered: 3-27-2004
Location: La Paz
Member Is Offline

Mood: mellow

[*] posted on 2-9-2012 at 01:23 PM


Hook

Both combined were probably 70W, and the loss in 50ft of wire:lol::lol:




Strive For The Ideal, But Deal With What\'s Real.

Every day is a new day, better than the day before.(from some song)

Lord, Keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

“The sincere pursuit of truth requires you to entertain the possibility that everything you believe to be true may in fact be false”
View user's profile
wessongroup
Platinum Nomad
********


Avatar


Posts: 20200
Registered: 8-9-2009
Location: Mission Viejo
Member Is Offline

Mood: Suicide Hot line ... please hold

[*] posted on 2-9-2012 at 01:26 PM


Good point.. :lol::lol::lol:



View user's profile Visit user's homepage
bajamedic
Nomad
**




Posts: 364
Registered: 12-5-2008
Location: Northern California
Member Is Offline

Mood: Just waitin for baja

[*] posted on 2-9-2012 at 06:39 PM


In my previous career in the emergency services, there was a fold up solar system from Daniels Electronics for our portable repeaters. They came as a 60 watt, 12 VDC system, folded up to 6”X10” and unfolded to make a 4’X6’ panel. They came in a hard plastic case, complete with rope, mallet and connectors, everything needed to deploy quickly. You might check the system at

http://www.danelec.com/products/hardware/solar.asp

I do not recall the cost of this system, but I do remember that quality and dependability was primary. JH
View user's profile
Hook
Select Nomad
*******




Posts: 8138
Registered: 3-13-2004
Location: Sonora
Member Is Offline

Mood: Inquisitive

[*] posted on 2-10-2012 at 06:39 AM


Quote:
Originally posted by bajamedic
In my previous career in the emergency services, there was a fold up solar system from Daniels Electronics for our portable repeaters. They came as a 60 watt, 12 VDC system, folded up to 6”X10” and unfolded to make a 4’X6’ panel. They came in a hard plastic case, complete with rope, mallet and connectors, everything needed to deploy quickly. You might check the system at

http://www.danelec.com/products/hardware/solar.asp

I do not recall the cost of this system, but I do remember that quality and dependability was primary. JH


I've looked at those foldable panels and they seem to be extremely pricey for the current generated. I think they are mostly sold for military use and are mil spec.




View user's profile
Hook
Select Nomad
*******




Posts: 8138
Registered: 3-13-2004
Location: Sonora
Member Is Offline

Mood: Inquisitive

[*] posted on 2-10-2012 at 06:41 AM


Quote:
Originally posted by comitan
Hook

Both combined were probably 70W, and the loss in 50ft of wire:lol::lol:


So, what would you have to reduce the run to in order to get full power out of both?

Most houses having panel on the roof dont have their batteries in the attic. I imagine that runs of at least 25 feet are common. They just accept a 30-50% loss of current?




View user's profile
mtgoat666
Select Nomad
*******




Posts: 10735
Registered: 9-16-2006
Location: San Diego
Member Is Offline

Mood: Indivisible, resisting fascists in orange hair!

[*] posted on 2-10-2012 at 07:37 AM


Quote:
Originally posted by Hook
Quote:
Originally posted by comitan
Hook

Both combined were probably 70W, and the loss in 50ft of wire:lol::lol:


So, what would you have to reduce the run to in order to get full power out of both?

Most houses having panel on the roof dont have their batteries in the attic. I imagine that runs of at least 25 feet are common. They just accept a 30-50% loss of current?


several of the vendors have wire size calculators to help you figure transmission loss.
but 30 to 50 percent loss is unacceptably bad design, don't buy from a vendor that says 30% is acceptable. 3% is max you should lose.
View user's profile
larryC
Super Nomad
****




Posts: 1223
Registered: 8-11-2008
Location: BoLA
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 2-10-2012 at 08:29 AM


Quote:
Originally posted by Hook
Quote:
Originally posted by comitan
Hook

Both combined were probably 70W, and the loss in 50ft of wire:lol::lol:


So, what would you have to reduce the run to in order to get full power out of both?

Most houses having panel on the roof dont have their batteries in the attic. I imagine that runs of at least 25 feet are common. They just accept a 30-50% loss of current?


To get more current you would need to increase the wire size, and as mtgoat666 says there are lots of wire size charts out there. I would guess the amperage of a 70 watt panel is around 6 amps at most, probably a little less, at 12v. Keeping the wire runs to less than 10' with #10 wire would keep your losses to acceptable levels.


MPPT charge controllers now a days can accept voltages upwards of 150 volts. So by wiring your panels in series you raise your panel voltage and are able to carry the current from all the panels using smaller wires and longer distances. Thats how some houses have panels on the roof and batteries on the floor.
HTH
Larry

[Edited on 2-10-2012 by larryC]
View user's profile
Hook
Select Nomad
*******




Posts: 8138
Registered: 3-13-2004
Location: Sonora
Member Is Offline

Mood: Inquisitive

[*] posted on 2-10-2012 at 10:28 AM


10 feet away from a side mounted battery in a camper may keep me in the rig's shadow at times. I generally travel from 1August to early October, so the sun has begun to make it's swing south. And I am usually above the southern border of Utah.

Plus, if my camp has an ill placed tree, 10 feet wont get me around it.

The 30-50% loss is based on Comitan's comment that TWO 70watt panels with 50 feet of cable might only produce the output of one panel. At least thats the way I read it.

Guess I better find a wire size calculator............




View user's profile
wessongroup
Platinum Nomad
********


Avatar


Posts: 20200
Registered: 8-9-2009
Location: Mission Viejo
Member Is Offline

Mood: Suicide Hot line ... please hold

[*] posted on 2-10-2012 at 10:40 AM


You guys here .. have such a great deal of knowledge on so many things ... thanks to all...

Save time, save money, save work and a few others ... ask here..




View user's profile Visit user's homepage
Fernweh
Nomad
**




Posts: 374
Registered: 2-24-2011
Location: Centenario, BCS
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 2-10-2012 at 12:08 PM


Here's a link with a few electrical calculators:

http://www.mikeholt.com/technical.php?id=technicalvoltagedro...

The feared voltage loss is not only important to a solar installation, but for many (sub)standard electrical house wiring's in Mexico.
Too long of a wire run with a small AWG wire can damage electrical equipment, especially electrical motors.
My friend in El Centenario supplies his house via a 340' long line from the meter pole with only #6 AWG = very bad!

Karl

[Edited on 2-10-2012 by Fernweh]
View user's profile
Diver
Elite Nomad
******




Posts: 4712
Registered: 11-15-2004
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 2-10-2012 at 12:17 PM


If you connect a cable as I mentioned above with a short chord with plug ends, you can always insert an additional chord if you need to move the panel further. You might loose some power but it's better than having the panel sitting in the shade. Our 80 watt panel on it's 35' chord still has plenty of power to charge our 2 batteries from 1/3 to full any mostly sunny day.
View user's profile
Bob and Susan
Select Nomad
*******


Avatar


Posts: 8175
Registered: 8-20-2003
Location: Mulege BCS on the BAY
Member Is Offline

Mood: Full Time Residents

[*] posted on 2-10-2012 at 12:38 PM


actually vendors havent a clue what size is needed to move small voltage
the grids they supply are WAY wrong

the thickest stranded cable is what you want
to move small voltage

this is why 115v is used in houses
it can run along way on smaller wire

also when it gets hot outside the current will drop even farther

answer...BIG wire to the controler from solar panels and dont use plugs




our website is:
http://www.mulege.org
View user's profile Visit user's homepage
comitan
Elite Nomad
******


Avatar


Posts: 4177
Registered: 3-27-2004
Location: La Paz
Member Is Offline

Mood: mellow

[*] posted on 2-10-2012 at 01:21 PM


And big wire from the controller to battery, also the shortest distance.



Strive For The Ideal, But Deal With What\'s Real.

Every day is a new day, better than the day before.(from some song)

Lord, Keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

“The sincere pursuit of truth requires you to entertain the possibility that everything you believe to be true may in fact be false”
View user's profile
Bob and Susan
Select Nomad
*******


Avatar


Posts: 8175
Registered: 8-20-2003
Location: Mulege BCS on the BAY
Member Is Offline

Mood: Full Time Residents

[*] posted on 2-10-2012 at 01:48 PM


and..BIG wires from battery to battery

NOT car battery cables...they are too small




our website is:
http://www.mulege.org
View user's profile Visit user's homepage
Diver
Elite Nomad
******




Posts: 4712
Registered: 11-15-2004
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 2-10-2012 at 03:53 PM


Were I wiring a house or permanent installation, I would definitely follow all of the guidelines that Bob and Comi are relating.

But since Hook asked about a mobile system....

For a mobile system designed for occasional use with the necessity to relocate or re-aim the panel and to set it up in many varying locations, it may not be possible to conveniently accomplish the utmost in wire sizing and connections.

Our system is wired for convenience as the ideal in wire sizes and lengths would make our style of use impossible. We may not get the most amps out of our panel but we get plenty to satisfy our demands. I would think to design your small mobile system with a large enough panel(s) to supply your needs given the anticipated losses.

In our case, our panel is spec'd to put out 5.2 amps and we actually get 4.8 amps on a sunny day with our chord. One 80 amp panel runs lights, water pump, radio, computer, etc. If we winter camp or for multiple cloudy days, we add a second panel. We use 2 Bi-Mart deep cell batteries that we purchase for $55 each every 5 years and they are connected with standard battery cables.

My ideal RV set-up would include huge wiring to batteries and permanently-mounted panels with adjustable sun-seeking mounts plus detachable panels for times when you have to park in shade and a small windmill along with 4 big expensive 6V batteries.
Having not collected my Lotto winnings yet, I do what I can.

.
View user's profile
bajalou
Elite Nomad
******


Avatar


Posts: 4459
Registered: 3-11-2004
Location: South of the broder
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 2-10-2012 at 04:00 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by Hook
Quote:
Originally posted by comitan
Hook



So, what would you have to reduce the run to in order to get full power out of both?

Most houses having panel on the roof dont have their batteries in the attic. I imagine that runs of at least 25 feet are common. They just accept a 30-50% loss of current?


They run larger wire, some up to 00 welding lead to reduce this loss.

I'm running 000 for the ground and 4 for positive for each of the 2 sections of my array.




No Bad Days

\"Never argue with an idiot. People watching may not be able to tell the difference\"

\"The trouble with doing nothing is - how do I know when I\'m done?\"

Nomad Baja Interactive map

And in the San Felipe area - check out Valle Chico area
View user's profile
soulpatch
Elite Nomad
******




Posts: 4586
Registered: 7-30-2005
Location: Nayarit
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 2-10-2012 at 04:16 PM


Most of the wiring on my system is 8g but my panels are wired in a 48V cofiguration.
Way less voltage drop.
Once it's inverted I drop to 10g.
Makes a significant difference.
I had all the tables somewhere but that means I'd have to get up and find them!




View user's profile
 Pages:  1  

  Go To Top


For high speed satellite internet in Baja call +1.6197170810 - or click here to email sistemassatelitales@hotmail.com



Tijuana Walking Tours - on Meetup.com


 






All Content Copyright © 1997- Q87 International; All Rights Reserved.
Powered by XMB; XMB Forum Software © 2001-2014 The XMB Group 






"If it were lush and rich, one could understand the pull, but it is fierce and hostile and sullen. The stone mountains pile up to the sky and there is little fresh water. But we know we must go back if we live, and we don't know why." - Steinbeck, Log from the Sea of Cortez

 

"People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care." - Ivan R. Misner, Ph.D

 

"You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who they think can do nothing for them or to them." - Malcolm Forbes

 

"Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else's hands, but not you." - Jim Rohn







Thank you to Baja Bound Mexico Insurance Services for your long-term support of the BajaNomad.com Forums site.







Emergency Baja Contacts Include:

Desert Hawks; El Rosario-based ambulance transport; Emergency #: (616) 103-0262