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New Solar Panels in all of our kits for 2019

B J G

B J G

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2,049
Location
Stamford
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T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
The Solar panel can't put any more charge into the batteries than they currently take therefore not really a remedy for your 'old' battery problem.

In addition if you were in a dull and overcast sky situation very little charge would be available to top up your batteries which again would bring you back to the 'old' battery issue.
 
IanE

IanE

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Messages
598
Location
Kendal
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
Thanks both - sounds like I might as well give it a go! Worst case I have to get new batteries after fitting the solar panel :)
 
IanE

IanE

VIP Member
Messages
598
Location
Kendal
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
And thanks to you BJG - yes I've a feeling that I'm going to be involved in getting new batteries in any event - this maybe just makes justifying a solar panel a bit easier!
 
B J G

B J G

VIP Member
Messages
2,049
Location
Stamford
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
And thanks to you BJG - yes I've a feeling that I'm going to be involved in getting new batteries in any event - this maybe just makes justifying a solar panel a bit easier!
I was thinking that's what I'd do if a solar panel was well up in my plans especially as solar panel design has moved forward recently.
 
DrJuanKerr

DrJuanKerr

VIP Member
Messages
419
Location
Cardiff
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
@Roger Donoghue Hi Roger, I'm ready to get the single panel and the WRM15 so I'm wondering about your availability for fitment. Are you free Monday 15th April? Cheers
 
Sp0_0k

Sp0_0k

Messages
1,074
Vehicle
T6 Beach 4Motion
How much height does the panel add to the van?
 
Roger Donoghue

Roger Donoghue

VIP Trade Partner
Messages
214
Vehicle
T5 Beach
12.5mm at the highest point - lower than the official VW awning and less than 2m in total (for to!ls, ferries etc)
 
Sp0_0k

Sp0_0k

Messages
1,074
Vehicle
T6 Beach 4Motion
Is it important to have an L profile aluminum holders or can use wider planks that should have pretty decent sturdiness? I don't want to gove over current 1,95.
Also dropped the idea of gluing because of no cooling which might be important for the panels at high heat.
Leaving airflow underneath is a good idea.
How do they tolerate an automatic car wash?
 
Roger Donoghue

Roger Donoghue

VIP Trade Partner
Messages
214
Vehicle
T5 Beach
It has to be L profile for rigidity and to protect the leading edge. It's only a 1.2cm gain in height. None of my customers have had height issues.

You can't use a car wash with it on.

Regards

Roger
 
kave

kave

Messages
1,194
Location
Boras Sweden
Vehicle
T6 Beach 4Motion
I am also charging the starter battery with my solar panels. It seems that if the batteries are topped up when starting the van the generator won’t charge but instead the solar panels keep charge even when driving. If I engine break it will start charging with the generator and pause charging with the solar panels. So I guess I will also save fuel this way with panels.
 
Sp0_0k

Sp0_0k

Messages
1,074
Vehicle
T6 Beach 4Motion
panel's drag on the roof might contribute more to increased consumption than 10-20 amps unload on the alternator can reduce it ;)
 
Roger Donoghue

Roger Donoghue

VIP Trade Partner
Messages
214
Vehicle
T5 Beach
Just a heads up as June is often our busiest month - I'm on holiday from June 1st to June 18th, with shipping resuming on June 21st, so if you are planning on a summer order then before June is a good idea.
 
kave

kave

Messages
1,194
Location
Boras Sweden
Vehicle
T6 Beach 4Motion
What is the maximum watt to be expected with two panels? I now have a 1000w inverter connected to my leisure battery to charge my ebike and the maximum in direct sunlight here in Sweden is about 165w at 13.06V reported by the Victron app.
 
Roger Donoghue

Roger Donoghue

VIP Trade Partner
Messages
214
Vehicle
T5 Beach
That sounds about right. Once panels heat up they lose some power.

In my experience I've seen:

100w framed (regular) panel - 6amps
100w thin stuck on panel - 5amps (the run hotter)
100w thin panel on frame (I.e Cali kit) - 5.5 amps

So from a 120 w Cali panel I'd expect around 6 amps. Two of them, 12amps.

165w at 13v = 165/13= 12.7 amps - so what I'd imagine as the max.

You never get the true watts stated from solar panels as the specs are always under ideal conditions. Perfect sun, in the cold.

R
 
altvic

altvic

VIP Member
Messages
178
Location
N Wales
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
I was wondering why the vw battery capacity display reduced to 80% with only the refrigerator on No3 on a sunny day. I was getting similar to this before installing solar panels. I asked Roger and he replied straight away despite being on his holidays. Below is the reply I received; great service!
The Cali system isn't aware of the solar input ,but it does see usage, so it it assuming the battery is draining . Start the engine and then stop it and the display resets I believe.

The wrm always tells the true reading.”
 
B

Brian Bongo

VIP Member
Messages
8
Location
Chester Wrexham
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
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.
 
kave

kave

Messages
1,194
Location
Boras Sweden
Vehicle
T6 Beach 4Motion
I have now driven on Autobahn for the first time with these panel mounted. I think they start to make som noise at 140km/h. At 160km/h it sounds like the are going up and down rapidly causing a flapping sound. Is there any danger driving even faster? We where going at 160km/h for about 20 minutes today. It was not getting worse.
Any experience with solar and Autobahn speed?
 
Roger Donoghue

Roger Donoghue

VIP Trade Partner
Messages
214
Vehicle
T5 Beach
They are held down very tight and should make no noise at all, even at 90mph.

Have you removed the backing tape from the foam. ?
 

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