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Old 10-05-2015, 07:48 AM   #101
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Experiments with solar panels

At the Mississippi Rally, Paul had a receptacle on the side of his 21 that I believe was wired directly to his onboard controller. He could plug his portable panel into it via a long heavy gauge extension cord. It looked like a very efficient method
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Old 10-05-2015, 11:59 AM   #102
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Thanks THOER:
I have started reading 'Handy Bobs Blog' and looked at this site, solarseller.com alternative energy by John Drake Services, Inc. that looks pretty good. I ordered a small battery access door in our 2016 escape 21'. This door should be an easy drill location for a solar panel plug. Let the mod's begin.
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:06 PM   #103
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Thanks Thoer:

I started reading 'Handy Bobs Blog' and looked at this site solarseller.com alternative energy by John Drake Services, Inc. which seems to have everything solar. I ordered a small battery access door on our 2016 escape 21' which should be easy to drill though and install a small solar panel plug.
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Old 01-14-2018, 01:03 PM   #104
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Continuing the experiments with solar...

Today, a bright cloudless day, Jan 14, at noon, I measured the output of my portable 150 watt panel in my backyard in Denver, Colorado.

To avoid having to compensate for the variable of a charging battery and to keep a steady load, I used a 1 ohm resistor as a load.

With the panel flat on the concrete I measured 21 watts output and with the panel aimed directly at the low angle winter sun, 76 watts.

This tells me I really need a tilted panel in the winter. Even at noon the best a flat panel can do is equivalent to a trickle charge. Our low winter sun just doesn't have the oomph. (Scientific term, look it up.) Combined with a cold battery and short days, I would not expect to be able to do much boondocking with a standard equipped Escape single roof panel and single 12 v battery. The is a definite need to add a portable panel, or two, and specify the 2-6 volt battery package if you plan much winter type camping.

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Old 01-14-2018, 01:52 PM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanmalk View Post

This tells me I really need a tilted panel in the winter. Even at noon the best a flat panel can do is equivalent to a trickle charge.

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Yup, figured that out years ago on my boat. Mine also swivels and I re-position it an average of 3 times a day when camping. Actually I've been doing that with solar panels for so long that I don't even think about it. Walking by, sun's changed, tweak position and keep walking. I know, most folks don't want to be bothered doing that.

I have two 12's but use them individually. I've never run out of power yet but then we're pretty frugal with electricity and water. If I feel the need for extra power I'll get one of the flexible kind and use it as a portable unit because of their light weight.

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