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Old 10-26-2014, 09:39 AM   #1
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solar panels and led lighting

I'm wanting to add solar panels and switch existing interior lighting to LED on my 2003 Solaris T-1950.

Any comments, experiences and/or advice is welcomed.

Thanks for input.
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Old 10-26-2014, 11:06 AM   #2
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Do it
Panels are cheaper than ever. < $!/watt
Consider a portable unit rather than roof mount. IMO they offer numerous advantages w/ the only possible downside the easily dealt w/ security issue.
Even if you don't go solar do the LED conversion
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Old 10-26-2014, 05:05 PM   #3
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I have a home made portable mount I made for a 100 watt panel. It can be elevated and turned giving max gain during the day. If I'm away I padlock it to my safety chains. I can usually get 5 to 700 watts on a good summer day that is enough with the led's and other things I have done to reduce battery drain I can go all most as long as I like if I don't have to run the heat. I run a ham radio watch TV play my radio and run a Fantastic fan so it's not like I'm roughing it. We usually go to state parks and they generally have no power.
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Old 10-26-2014, 06:32 PM   #4
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Led bulbs

Just how expensive are the led bulbs? There must be 24-25 of them in my 26 footer. Thanks!

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Old 10-27-2014, 07:18 AM   #5
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That doesn't surprise me there were 13 in my T1700. The market is very competitive just stay away from the cheapest, there are often offerings on bulk buys like 10 or more at a time. The most light for the money if you are retaining your fixtures are the ones on a board they all point in the direction you want to light. They make “tower” bulbs that have LED’s all the way around so a good portion of them point up and that’s kind of a waste. One of the better outfits is SuperBrights but they are pricy it is a good place to see what’s out there. I did an overhaul on the interior in mine and ended up with 15 LED fixtures so to give you an ideal of the power savings the 13 original bulbs drew 23 amps the 15 LED’s draw 3.08 amps so that’s a good start on energy independence!
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Old 07-11-2015, 06:07 PM   #6
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Mainah, do you also run a fridge off of that 100 watt panel? I just purchased one but the panel is all I have at the moment.
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Old 07-12-2015, 06:31 AM   #7
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No I am a gas fridge user I can store far more energy in a 20# propane jug than I can in a dozen large batteries. I do use the solar to power all of my electric needs and can go all most indefinitely using the 100 watt panel. I watch TV with an inverter (not a lot) run the lighting (all LED's) my water pump and there again it has a large accumulator to reduce run time; my Fantastic fan, ham radio gear and sat radio. My solar panel has a home built base that tilts and can be rotated giving me max power gain, the key to any solar install is to first reduce power demand when I started my lighting drew 23 amps after I was done it drew 3 amps. I have two batteries that combined give my 160 amp hours. There are electric fridges on the market that well run from solar panels and a battery, very efficient and very expensive but it’s all battery when the sun doesn’t shine. If my gas fridge quit tomorrow I would buy another gas fridge. Another thing to consider is a 100 watt panel will not give you a 100 watts even in direct sun light the rating is high noon at the equator based on 1000 watts per square meter of solar energy so anything north or south the output will go down. Solar has its place and can increase your boon docking time dramatically as long as you can keep the demand below the solar output.
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Old 07-13-2015, 06:45 AM   #8
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Kartimel
I'd surely recommend you get a regulator/controller for a permanent installation but I camped w/ a few folks who did what they called "running wild" They hooked their solar panels to batteries w/ appropriate sized wire & alligator clips or rings w/o a regulator. This forced them to closely monitor their batteries w/ a voltmeter & disconnect the solar when fully charged to prevent damage from overcharging but they'd apparently been doing so a quite awhile & didn't mind the effort
Just mention this in event you want to try that panel before you get a regulator
Solar's definitely the way to go IMO if you boondock. Since getting ours we only use the generator when we need to run the microwave
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Old 07-13-2015, 07:56 AM   #9
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Quite so if you buy a kit is should come with a regulator. A 12 volt solar panel is capable of outputting up to 22 volts DC the controller keeps it in the battery charge range. The new PWM controllers are pretty cheap for a single panel a 10 amp one is sufficient what I can tell you it may make noise in your FM radio so if you hear what sounds like a motor boat that's the controller!
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Old 07-18-2015, 01:40 PM   #10
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Could you post a picture of your set up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mainah View Post
I have a home made portable mount I made for a 100 watt panel. It can be elevated and turned giving max gain during the day. If I'm away I padlock it to my safety chains. I can usually get 5 to 700 watts on a good summer day that is enough with the led's and other things I have done to reduce battery drain I can go all most as long as I like if I don't have to run the heat. I run a ham radio watch TV play my radio and run a Fantastic fan so it's not like I'm roughing it. We usually go to state parks and they generally have no power.
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Old 07-18-2015, 06:14 PM   #11
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Sure. portable solar panel
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