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Solar Panels for!

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  • Solar Panels for!

    Hi everyone. I've bought a ford transit van and am converting it into a liveable home. I know NOTHING about solar panels so have come here for some advice!
    My rough plan is: 200W solar panels (two 100W panels), 12v MPPT controller, leisure battery. I will need these to power a small campervan fridge, a plug socket, LED strip lighting and I am also having a sink with hot water (hopefully!). I've ordered my panels and controller but I am really struggling to choose a battery, as they are so expensive, and wondering how it all fits together... please remember I am completely new to solar panels and my electrical knowledge goes as far as changing a light bulb. Could someone please share some wisdom!? thank you!

  • #2
    Two 12v panels wired in series fed into your MPPT will work better than wired in parallel to charge your 12v leisure battery. However if you discharge more than 25% it could take more than a day of full sun to recover. If your RV uses 2 house batteries, 200 watts of panels is just half of the minimum that you would need. If you start and run the RV's engine the alternator will do more in 30 min's than 400 watts of solar will in several days. Lastly working with minimum's is not good with solar as an ideal system is an over sized system.


  • #3
    Originally posted by vrose123 View Post
    ...My rough plan is: 200W solar panels (two 100W panels), 12v MPPT controller, leisure battery. I will need these to power a small campervan fridge,...
    Not going to happen, even if you had 200W of PV on a well aimed rack. The small fridges consume more power than a large fridge because they have little insulation,
    200W of rooftop pv will keep a cell phone charged and run a laptop for a couple hours, that's all you are going to get.

    Suggestion - get a couple 250 -300W panels, use a MPPT controller, and a pair of golf cart 6v, 200ah batteries, and you might get the fridge to run for a very sunny week. You are going to need an Electronic Battery Isolator so the vehicle alternator can charge the battery when you are driving, &
    for more info and NEVER a diode:
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A



    • #4
      send that over priced junk back, you just paid double by buying 12v panels, and although I also own that exact same charge controller, it was purchased for a pond pump system and is now in a pile of other electronic junk in my closet. all of this is going to end up in your pile of impulse purchases taking up valuable space,


      • #5
        Not going to work unless you use a Electronic Battery Isolator so you can use the vehicle alternator to charge the batteries. If you had the Isolator, you would not need the panels.

        Bottom line is an Isolator cost less than $60. It wil work and enough energy to run everything.


        $1000 of solar panels, and charge controller that will not even run the fridge, and needs an Isolator to make up for the shortage.

        Easy enough when you have facts to make a decision.
        MSEE, PE