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Old 04-27-2012, 10:48 PM   #1
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My solar project

Well, its done. I've completed the solar project and have let it run for about a week now. I'm no expert on writing a thread with running pictures with text. So I've included a few pictures of the project, but more are on my web site here:

Solar Panel Installation Photo Gallery by Robert P Aspey at pbase.com.

Some details; 2 SolarCynergy 140w panels, Blue Sky 2512iX controller and IPN-Pro remote, and lots and lots of hardware.

I wanted a mounting system that did what it has to but without too much hassle. The panels can be tilted to one side or the other, but not end for end. Simple logic, where we camp the most, we park east/west direction so there is no need to tilt end for end. I don't even know if I'll bother tilting anyway as the LED light mod and our minimal use of the inverter for TV only won't eat up much battery power anyway. And the way this thing puts out the power, it'll charge to 100% in no time.

I had to move the FM antenna to make room for the panels. Then I used the hole where the antenna was for the junction box. There the wires, #4, ran down into the camper between the roof and ceiling into a hollow wall. This wall was real convienient as it goes right to the section with the converter and charge controller.

The charge controller is mounted in a metal box that I made to fit into a unused section beside the converter. I had to make a door, stain it to match and mounted it with matching hardware. If the converter gets warm, I have a thermostatic controlled fan to vent the box.

From the charge converter, I ran PVC conduit along the bottom of the camper to a box just behind the battery box. In this box is the shunt. The box also allow me to tie into the emergency brakes system.

The IPN-pro is a neat piece of equipment. I can program the charge controller, monitor the charge controller, monitor my battery status including Ahr remaining, used and voltage. If I wanted to change the bulk charge rate or float voltage for any reason, I could in a few seconds. I'll put it this way, the charge controller is the brawn of the system, and the IPN-pro is the brains.

Enjoy.
Bob
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:10 PM   #2
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Nicely done!
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:04 AM   #3
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Great job!

I'm curious about the hinged panels. Does having the hinge on the panels make you have to always park your RV with the hinged side to the south (for bettter sun)? I'm wondering about how much you will tilt the panels in the future because when I finally go solar (who knows when that will be), I thought about using hinged panels.

Thanks.
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Old 05-10-2012, 02:31 PM   #4
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Looks like the mounts on both sides are atually hinges, so depending on how he parks, he could lift and prop either side.
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Old 05-10-2012, 03:04 PM   #5
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Good catch, I didn't see that. So as long as you point the RV north or south, you'll be able to get ideal exposure on the panels.
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:31 PM   #6
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You guys are killing me. The Herk Solar Project that I keep kicking down the lane may have to stop soon.

Great Job.
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:12 PM   #7
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yes, the panels are hinged on both sides. it makes cleaning under the panels easy and of course tilting for efficiency. one other thing, since the roof is curved, a right angle bracket could actually cut into the roof. the hinges allow the mounting foot to lay perfectly flat.

One final note, solar panels lose efficiency as they get hot. I read somewhere that at least 2 inches of space are needed behind the panels to allow air to pass. My set up is about that.

the rods fit either side, in any hinge. they are light, and cheap to make.

to be clear, I don't think I'll need to tilt the panels under normal conditions as my setup is very power conservative and I rarely need AC power.
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:23 PM   #8
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Go for it, Herk! It's time.... Walk into the light.........
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:26 PM   #9
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Impressive system, BTW. It's amazing how we all learn the best of what others have done, and the mistakes that others have made. Each system posted seems to get better, as we learn from each other!

Congrats on an outstanding install, RPAspey! Enjoy the fruits of your labor!!!!
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2014 RAM 2500 Laramie 4x4 Quad Cab w/Cummins Turbo Diesel, 2009 Rockwood 2607, and 3 'yaks!
300W of Suntech Solar, a Rogue MPT-3024 Controller, and a Xantrex PW2000 Inverter
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:31 PM   #10
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thanks! I always look at all the other's mods and wonder if mine measure up. I agree the mods get better all the time.
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