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  • House panels camping?

    Hey guys, I am going to probably ask a silly question, but as I have bought a campervan and are going to install some kind of solar panel's but don't have a small fortune to spend can I use solar panels off a house?
    There are hundreds for sale on Gumtree and cheap as.

  • #2
    I'm building my solar system now, and the panels are only going to account for about 1/3 to 1/4 the cost. Kind of like sending my kid to college. Save up for tuition, but find out how expensive meal plans, dorms, books, and all the fees the university puts on it.

    For me, the costs I did not expect was wiring, circuit breakers, charcge controller, combiner, mounts, busbars, etc. The big hidden cost is batteries. I never expected a solar system would need batteries. Those will end up being more than the panels.

    I don't know a lot about house panels, but I think you would need to see if it has an inverter built in, if it does, not so good to push the AC into a DC system.

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    • #3
      "house panels" are generally panels over 100w and have a higher voltage (30-60V) output than small 100W panels which are often about 20V for charging 12V batteries.

      The low loss system they are designed for, is a high voltage PV DC bus (in the 90-120VDC range ) which reduces the amps and therefor the wire size needed, copper is expensive, insulation is cheap. Then a MPPT charge controller is used near the battery to convert the 90VDC to battery charging voltage. So you only have short runs of expensive copper wire.

      Sometimes a microinverter is bolted to the back of a "house panel" to create a high voltage (230VAC) ac distribution grid to the main electrical panel in a house.
      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

      solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
      gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

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