Performance of solar installation on 19'? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Escape Systems | Water, Waste, Charging & Propane
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 01-25-2013, 11:07 AM   #1
Don
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 4
Performance of solar installation on 19'?

While researching the various aspects of sizing and installing a solar system, I've found it's frequently stated to install the panel where there is not a shadow cast onto the panel as "even a small shadow will nearly disable the entire panel; even if only a portion of a few cells are shaded, it can cut the amperage by one-half or more."

I've only seen a few photos of the solar panel location on the 19'. From those photos, it appears the panel is located midway between the air conditioner housing and the MaxxFan and likely to have a good chance of being partially shaded by either one or the other for a good part of the day. If that is correct, and the installation warnings are valid, the specified peak current of 5.5 amps supplied by the 95 watt solar panel in actual conditions may actually be less than 3 amps. In other words, a sunny day may only replace 25-30 amp-hours in the batteries?

So, I have questions for those of you who have real world experience using the solar package on the 19'.
1. Does the solar package keep the batteries sufficiently charged when you have been without shore power for a week or more (assuming LED lights, no a/c or microwave)? If you've ever noted how many amp-hours are actually being replaced in a typical day, please provide that information.
2. Is there even space to install the solar panel in a different location or orientation on the roof of the 19' that would minimize partial shading of the panel?
Thanks for your input.
Don
__________________

Don is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2013, 04:00 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Vermilye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Oswego, New York
Trailer: 2016 Tacoma Off Road, 2017 21
Posts: 2,279
I don't know if there is enough room to install one on the back of the roof - that is where mine is on the 17, and it is rarely shaded except when there is low angle sun coming across the TV antenna.

Combined with the 6V battery option it supplies enough to keep me going for at least 2 weeks, running LED lighting, the furnace for around 45 minutes per day, my power hungry laptop for 1-2 hours, various chargers, and a short (6-8 minute) 60 amp draw to make a pot of coffee each morning. Have always shown 100% by the end of the day; usually by noon. This was dry camping at 10,000' in Leadville, CO with night time temperatures going into the low 30's...
__________________

__________________
Jon Vermilye My Travel Blog
Travel and Photo Web Page ... My Collection of RV Blogs 2016 Tacoma, 2017 21
Vermilye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2013, 08:10 PM   #3
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: York, Pennsylvania
Trailer: 2016 2ndGen Escape 19' PRAIRIE SCHOONER pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 13,661
My installation gives me 100% full by 10 am daily. If you feel the a/c is giving you a shadow, reposition the trailer to a south/north orientation, that should minimize any shadows with the panel in a east/west position.
__________________
Jim
The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why………..Mark Twain
cpaharley2008 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2013, 12:38 PM   #4
Don
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 4
Thanks for the replies to my questions. Guess I just need to stop "over analyzing" everything and move on.
Don
Don is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2013, 01:00 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 11,933
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don View Post
Thanks for the replies to my questions. Guess I just need to stop "over analyzing" everything and move on.
Don
Yeah, really. I think you are the first one on this site to do that, Don....Not.

I too (like many others) overthought the various components that made up my trailer. In fact, I think I overdid things (for what was available at the time) more than had things I wished I had done.

After 4 years of pondering something along the lines of solar, I still have not done anything, and you know what? I have never really needed it. The max I have gone to date has been 5 days without services, and with temps down just below freezing, my batteries still had good life left in them. This is without LED lighting too, just using conservative measures without compromise. Last year I converted all lighting to LED, so should be that much better.

Other than the furnace, we use little else for power usually, and spend much of our time out of the trailer anyway, even in the evenings.

I do still have inklings towards solar, but have been leaning toward something portable, that does not even have to come along if I know it will not be needed.
__________________
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” — Abraham Lincoln
Jim Bennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 12:58 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Spruce Grove, Alberta
Trailer: 2009 17B - Escape Pod
Posts: 138
Agreed, if you are only out for less than a week, or in moderate temps., where you are not using the furnace fan much, you don't need solar. However, it you want to be able to boondock for a couple of weeks, or camp in cold weather, solar s great. The other positive is the immense enjoyment you will get from watching your monitor show 100 percent each day. Not to mention the fun of reading all the posts that question how practical solar panels really are
__________________
Dave
2009 Escape 17B
2010 Toyota Highlander
ddevin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 01:18 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
float5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Denison, Texas
Trailer: 2015 21'; 2011 19' sold; 4Runner; ph ninezero3 327-27ninefour
Posts: 4,898
Dave, I am looking forward to that immense enjoyment.
The Grape panels seem to get very good reviews. The only thing I don't like is the 47" length so still looking at that. And want portable.

I have seen that people used panels when power went out at a campground after a hurricane or storm so that's another use.

Also, the Morningstar 6-amp controller looks sufficient but apparently Grape says to use an MPPT which costs five times as much. I guess it gets much more charge. That would make the controller cost nearly as much as a 100-watt panel.
__________________
Cathy. Floating Cloud
"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.... "
Emerson
float5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 10:00 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: N/A, Indiana
Trailer: Escape
Posts: 931
We use this system to good effect:
130 watt folding portable RV solar battery charger - Professional Series
Securing Portable Solar Panels
Jubal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 10:31 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 11,933
Those look like interesting systems. I like the idea of portability. I have discussed the possibility of sharing a unit like this with a couple other folks. I assume we would each need our own controllers though, correct?
__________________
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” — Abraham Lincoln
Jim Bennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 10:36 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: N/A, Indiana
Trailer: Escape
Posts: 931
:
  • Built in 3 stage, Patented, Digital, PWM charge controller with bulk, absorption, and float modes. Displays battery voltage, output amps, total amp/hours produced, and % battery charge.
__________________

Jubal is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:50 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.