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New Solar Panels in all of our kits for 2019

Roger Donoghue

Roger Donoghue

VIP Trade Partner
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214
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T5 Beach
Exciting news for next year (well, from now really, but not much demand for panels over Xmas!).

We are switching over to Aluminium core reinforced semi-flexible solar panels.

Up until now, thin panels have been either mounted on thin aluminium sheet (these are silver, and we haven't used them for at least 2 years now), or, more recently, plastic.

The plastic panels were designed primarily to suit the boating marked where flexibility is key, due to boats not having many flat surfaces. The benefit of plastic panels is great flexibility and light-weight. The downside is that you have to be careful not to over extend them, and they lack rigidity, hence we use lateral reinforcement bars on them when making California kits - bars along the short sides.

We are now switching to a new product that was created specifically for the demands of companies like mine - a mixture of the benefits of rigid framed panels, and thin flexible panels. These new panels are EFTE (knobly) coated flexible panels (this texture catches the most light available) that have a layer of aluminium sheet sandwiched between the solar cells, and the backing plastic.

This creates a panel that is much, much stronger than thin plastic panels, but only gains a few mm, and about 2kgs - not enough weight gain to cause roof raising issues, and a huge step up in rigidity/longevity.

They are so much more rigid that you can pick them up by one end horizontally, yet they still bend enough to follow van roof curves. So much more rigid that the side strengthening bars are no longer needed (and this cuts down on one day of production for us, so faster dispatch).

As of now, all our "100 watt" kits will use these panels, and we are defaulting to using 120 Watt panels, at no extra cost. We are also looking at a "curly cord" option for the roof cable - I have some cable on order and will be testing an installation early 2019.

A few pictures below of the new panel type - they are a superb quality panel and we are confident enough in them to be bulk ordering a big batch in the New Year and having new packaging made to suit their wider and shorter form.







Above, you can see how much thicker they are than regular thin plastic panels.
 
Alan Andrews

Alan Andrews

Lifetime VIP Member
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353
Location
Staffordshire
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
Many thanks

Can you please explain to what the cable is connected for charging please?

The online description says 'connect to leisure battery'. So does the panel only put charge in to a single leisure battery?

In my case the Cali Ocean leisure battery in the rear compartment only?
 
Roger Donoghue

Roger Donoghue

VIP Trade Partner
Messages
214
Vehicle
T5 Beach
In a Cali Ocean the rear battery is connected permanently to the underseat battery, so they act as one larger battery, and consequently, both get charged by the solar, which is connected to the rear battery.
 
jts46

jts46

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2,886
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Derbyshire & Lot et Garonne
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T5 SE 130
Many thanks

Can you please explain to what the cable is connected for charging please?

The online description says 'connect to leisure battery'. So does the panel only put charge in to a single leisure battery?

In my case the Cali Ocean leisure battery in the rear compartment only?
I think it charges both as they are connected in parallel
 
Roger Donoghue

Roger Donoghue

VIP Trade Partner
Messages
214
Vehicle
T5 Beach
Update:

I've now recived my first bulk stock of the new panels. New packaging to suit is incoming...

I've made my first curly cord upgrade - it is great quality. UV resistant, and tollerates -30c to +90c before the curlyness is effected. Thick cores too, which are above spec for the solar current of 2 panels.

This will be available as an upgrade when ordering, and also as an aftermarket upgrade, once tested for fit on a very helpful existing customer , hopefully next week.

2019-01-08 15.29.58
 
Bramco

Bramco

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763
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T5 Beach
I've made my first curly cord upgrade - it is great quality. UV resistant, and tollerates -30c to +90c before the curlyness is effected. Thick cores too, which are above spec for the solar current of 2 panels.
Hi Roger,

Would you be willing to supply just the curly cord for DIYers? I'd like to replace our wiring with something like this.
 
Roger Donoghue

Roger Donoghue

VIP Trade Partner
Messages
214
Vehicle
T5 Beach
It'll only be as an upgrade to existing customers, or with new kits, sorry.

You can get the cord on ebay without the connector and extenstion.
 
Roger Donoghue

Roger Donoghue

VIP Trade Partner
Messages
214
Vehicle
T5 Beach
Hi Colin. The varying options are explained here :

https://solarcampersolutions.co.uk/index.php/mppt-chargers

In summary:

LCD MPPT - MPPT charger with built in LCD. . All MPPT chargers give a 20% power boost
There is an option to have a second, flush mount lcd display for this.

Victron - MPPT charger with no LCD but is accessible via Bluetooth on any phone or tablet.

WRM15 - MPPT charger that also charges your starter battery. Accessed via Bluetooth.

It's all about how the battery and charging info is accessed / presented. They are all plug and forget. You don't NEED to see anything if you don't want to.
 
MattBW

MattBW

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5,554
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Bedworth, United Kingdom
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T5 Beach
Definitely got my interest there Roger looks very good.

Do you have any options of a kit without a charge controller as I already have a victron installed.
 
Roger Donoghue

Roger Donoghue

VIP Trade Partner
Messages
214
Vehicle
T5 Beach
Yes, the standard kit, with no MPPT upgrades comes with a standard PWM charger - this costs so little it is almost "free". If you drop me an email I can give you a code to remove £20 off the kit and send you one with no charger at all. This is as well as the VIP 5% discount.

R
 
Taff7996

Taff7996

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Messages
310
Location
Newport
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
Update:

I've now recived my first bulk stock of the new panels. New packaging to suit is incoming...

I've made my first curly cord upgrade - it is great quality. UV resistant, and tollerates -30c to +90c before the curlyness is effected. Thick cores too, which are above spec for the solar current of 2 panels.

This will be available as an upgrade when ordering, and also as an aftermarket upgrade, once tested for fit on a very helpful existing customer , hopefully next week.

2019-01-08 15.29.58
Count me in for a curly cord upgrade Roger
 
Roger Donoghue

Roger Donoghue

VIP Trade Partner
Messages
214
Vehicle
T5 Beach
No probs Taff. I'll post back here when I've done testing - which could well be... tomorrow!

R
 
kave

kave

Messages
1,196
Location
Boras Sweden
Vehicle
T6 Beach 4Motion
No probs Taff. I'll post back here when I've done testing - which could well be... tomorrow!

R
I like to choose it as well then. I have ordered a dual panel setup for a Beach with Bluetooth Victron controller.
Johan from Sweden
 
motacyclist

motacyclist

Colin
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4,141
Location
Chester
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T6 Ocean 204
WRM15 - MPPT charger that also charges your starter battery. Accessed via Bluetooth
Thanks Roger, I’m thinking for the additional cost it might be worth paying the extra for the WRM to look after the starter battery. Are there any complications fitting this?
 
Kmann

Kmann

Iben & Henrik
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1,389
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Virum
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T6.1 Ocean 199 4Motion
@Roger would you at some point consider offering a mobile solution for us who are (almost) married to a roof box. I would really like a solar system, but have a roof box on 80% of the year so it would not make sense. I am looking for at foldable solution for the ground or windscreen, with a prepared easy attaching point. Something that could be easily stored on the rear shelf for instance … I know there are a few solutions alike out there, so it is just an idea. I guess I am not the only here with this roof box challenge?
 

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