Does solar really beat having a generator? - Page 12 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 10-29-2014, 08:19 PM   #111
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I'm starting to think you're a bigger scrounge than I am County dump, wish we still had one of those. Now everything goes to a "Transfer Station" and even if you see someone chucking out something you could have a use for, too bad, into the crusher it goes to become landfill

One thing you might notice with your portable solar panels. Having the ability to orient them towards the most optimum direction can become slightly addictive. I noticed on my boat when I tweaked the direction a bit and saw the meter react positively it sort of motivated me to tweak it a little more. There is definitely an advantage to being able to change their orientation.

Ron
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Old 10-30-2014, 10:40 AM   #112
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Ron so now you got me thinking about some kind of pedestal thing for the panels. That might make it easier to change the orientation as the sun moves across the sky.
Like maybe a fold-up tripod and a 2-inch tube attached to a frame with a swivel so the panels can turn and tilt? This sounds like a great idea for someone who likes making things with metal. Just a thought.
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Old 10-30-2014, 12:26 PM   #113
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Yes, both variables have a measurable effect. Inclination more so for me at a higher latitude.

On my boat, after years of having solar panels low and unable to orient them effectively, and them being more prone to the effects of shade, I built an arch for them. This put them higher and in full sun and allowed them to be adjusted for optimum output. The arch raised them 7' off the deck at the stern.

What to do for the 19 is very high on the priority list right now. I've been kicking around front and rear mounts. Whatever I do will include having the ability to adjust them in both axis. Of course then there's always the option of a solar tracker

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Old 10-30-2014, 02:14 PM   #114
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A 'lazy Susan" works well for orientation changes.
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Old 10-30-2014, 03:44 PM   #115
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A 'lazy Susan" works well for orientation changes.
Hmmm.... screwed to two pieces of plywood? That's interesting. Got a picture?
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Old 10-30-2014, 04:05 PM   #116
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I just pick them up and move them. Less stuff to stow.
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Old 10-30-2014, 05:07 PM   #117
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I too think that keeping deployment as simple, yet effective as possible would be best, at least for me. If you have to swivel some kind of manufactured base, it is just as easy to turn the panels. Elevation is another matter, it would be nice to have an easy way to adjust that, and the further north you go, the more range you need, as in colder months the sun does not get much over the horizon (one reason fixed on a roof is not so great), to summer where it is straight overhead (and the fixed would do just fine...in the sun).

Watching what you, and others, come up with here Myron, as I am thinking of increasing my wattage somewhat, and making a better connection to the trailer batteries than through the 7- pin connector.
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Old 10-30-2014, 05:27 PM   #118
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The 7 pin connector is actually a very acceptable method of connection. 12V and grd. are (or should be) #10 wire. So there is very little voltage drop.

A "Simple deployment" caution. Many of the PV panels are positive ground. The output connectors are not always isolated from the frame, so do not lean the panels onto any conductive (metal) material connected to the trailer frame (negative ground). A direct short could ensue. This includes the use of metal "security" chain and lock to prevent theft.
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Old 10-30-2014, 07:02 PM   #119
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[QUOTE=Jim Bennett;71496 to summer where it is straight overhead (and the fixed would do just fine...in the sun).

[/QUOTE]

Jim, the sun is never straight overhead in Calgary. You're 27.5* too far North for that to be the case, even on June 21st So the panels laying flat are never at their most efficient inclination. I know, I know, only nutcases and the obsessive think about things like that. I can't help it, I like tweaking things.

But seriously, laying them flat and having a good amount of panel wattage works just fine for most people.

What I do will be determined by the size of panels I order. Whatever the case, I do know it will be based on a vertical tube (socket) that will hold another tube with the panel mounted on an adjustable mount.

A caution about using a lazy susan as a swivel, it's too good at swiveling. It would require a lock. A gust of wind would re-orient it otherwise. A little friction in this case is a good thing.

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Old 10-30-2014, 08:24 PM   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Jim, the sun is never straight overhead in Calgary. You're 27.5* too far North for that to be the case, even on June 21st So the panels laying flat are never at their most efficient inclination. I know, I know, only nutcases and the obsessive think about things like that. I can't help it, I like tweaking things.

But seriously, laying them flat and having a good amount of panel wattage works just fine for most people.
It's never directly overhead, but it is north of east at sunrise, south at midday, and north of west by sunset, so laying flat is not bad at all. This is all about mid-summer, of course.
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