portable solar hookup - Page 2 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Modifications and Alterations
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-26-2016, 04:27 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: paso robles, California
Trailer: ex Casita/ 2016 Escape 21 '16 TRD 4x4
Posts: 113
Doesn't make sense to me. When my rooftop 160 w panel was in the shade, my portable solar100 w panel with 30 amp controller hooked straight to the battery was putting in 15.2 vdc. Enough to charge the battery when I had enough sun. I am unable to get to the built in controller above the fridge.
jerry
__________________

jerryandmaria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2016, 04:45 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 8,302
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
I was told recently at a solar shop here in town that the system will only perform as good as its weakest link (he called it the Buffalo Theory).
Buffalo Theory: A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo.

The idea is apparently that the lower-performing panel will limit the output of the higher-performing panel. In this case, the voltage of the panel in the shade will supposedly limit the voltage of the panel in the sun... but it won't because panels have blocking diodes to prevent reverse current flow, so in the most extreme case the stronger panel will just reverse-bias the other panel - no contribution from the "slow buffalo", but no waiting for it either. If there is no blocking diode, then there is a potential but unlikely issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
Are you suggesting a separate charge controller for the portable panel? This is what the fellow at the solar store here said to do, but to isolate both systems, so it was one or the other operating, at least that was what I understood. The guy seemed to know his stuff, maybe I need to go visit again and get ideas straightened out, so that way I can get it straight in me own wee mind.
No - just the opposite. There isn't much point in two separate controllers... and if you do have two running at the same time, they probably won't work properly together. If only one is used at a time, then there's really no point in having two: you could just wire both panels to the same controller, and unplug or switch off one (and there's no point in doing that, either... just leave both connected).

A setup with two separate controllers in parallel would probably work if both are the MPPT type, but few people use MPPT controllers in RVs, let alone dual MPPT controllers.

May I ask which solar store?
__________________

Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2016, 04:55 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 11,076
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Buffalo Theory: A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo.

The idea is apparently that the lower-performing panel will limit the output of the higher-performing panel. In this case, the voltage of the panel in the shade will supposedly limit the voltage of the panel in the sun... but it won't because panels have blocking diodes to prevent reverse current flow, so in the most extreme case the stronger panel will just reverse-bias the other panel - no contribution from the "slow buffalo", but no waiting for it either. If there is no blocking diode, then there is a potential but unlikely issue.


No - just the opposite. There isn't much point in two separate controllers... and if you do have two running at the same time, they probably won't work properly together. If only one is used at a time, then there's really no point in having two: you could just wire both panels to the same controller, and unplug or switch off one (and there's no point in doing that, either... just leave both connected).

A setup with two separate controllers in parallel would probably work if both are the MPPT type, but few people use MPPT controllers in RVs, let alone dual MPPT controllers.

May I ask which solar store?
Thanks for the input. It does make sense. I am going to assume I misunderstood what he said.

The store is Solar Wholesaler. They seem to have quite competitive prices. I bought a couple 225Ah AGMs for $250 CAD each. A heck of a lot less than I could find anywhere else.
__________________
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 online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2016, 02:09 AM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Auburn, California
Trailer: 5.0 TA newly hatched April 2017
Posts: 40
Question

Hopefully I still am on topic. Speaking with Sarah I was told to get a solar port (they would install it for me) to plug a portable panel into my charge controller. Can't find solar port on Amazon? Please educate me the charge controller will keep me from over charging my batteries and I can plug my portable panels into this and still have my roof top panels inline and working.
Terry H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2016, 05:02 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Holland, Ohio
Trailer: 21 on Feb 28, 2017 2016 GMC Canyon Duramax
Posts: 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry H View Post
Hopefully I still am on topic. Speaking with Sarah I was told to get a solar port (they would install it for me) to plug a portable panel into my charge controller. Can't find solar port on Amazon? Please educate me the charge controller will keep me from over charging my batteries and I can plug my portable panels into this and still have my roof top panels inline and working.
Zamp makes a port that some folks have used.

Roof and Sidewall Solar Port for Zamp Solar RV Systems

The portable panel I chose uses MC4 connectors. Those won't fit the Zamp port so I am having ETI install a standard electrical port like they use for the non-removable power cord. They will run 2 wires from the existing charge controller and pigtail them under the dinette seat. When I pick up the trailer I will install MC4 connectors on the pigtail wires and then my portable panel will plug in at the port. Not quite as clean looking as the Zamp port but it'll work.
stephen99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2016, 07:18 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 11,076
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen99 View Post
Zamp makes a port that some folks have used.

Roof and Sidewall Solar Port for Zamp Solar RV Systems

The portable panel I chose uses MC4 connectors. Those won't fit the Zamp port so I am having ETI install a standard electrical port like they use for the non-removable power cord. They will run 2 wires from the existing charge controller and pigtail them under the dinette seat. When I pick up the trailer I will install MC4 connectors on the pigtail wires and then my portable panel will plug in at the port. Not quite as clean looking as the Zamp port but it'll work.
Why not replace the MC4 connectors on the end of the cable with something like the Zamp port? More water tight and easier to connect.

I plan you use some kind of hatch similar to this one which will have all my ports in it, including any antennas I may use, portable solar, coax for TV, etc. It will be on the back of the trailer and enter into the rear bench where most of the electrical/electronic stuff will be.

__________________
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 online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2016, 07:30 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Holland, Ohio
Trailer: 21 on Feb 28, 2017 2016 GMC Canyon Duramax
Posts: 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
Why not replace the MC4 connectors on the end of the cable with something like the Zamp port? More water tight and easier to connect.

I plan you use some kind of hatch similar to this one which will have all my ports in it, including any antennas I may use, portable solar, coax for TV, etc. It will be on the back of the trailer and enter into the rear bench where most of the electrical/electronic stuff will be.

I will also be using the port for other things like wifi or tv antenna cables so that's why I avoided the Zamp port
stephen99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2016, 07:48 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 11,076
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen99 View Post
I will also be using the port for other things like wifi or tv antenna cables so that's why I avoided the Zamp port
How do you plan on connecting these cables then? My thinking is that it would be much more of a pain to get access inside than doing it in an easily accessed hatch. I found in any trailer we have had that it was a pain in the butt to access underneath dinette seats. Mounting connectors to a bulkhead inside a hatch just seems a lot easier. Besides, I am not big on the quality of those cable ports used for a fixed power cable.

The potential connections I see could be:
- Coax for TV - from antenna or campground cable
- Wife Antenna
- Solar
- I might also do a DC outlet in there too

Nothing is set in stone for me yet though, as I don't even get my trailer for (exactly) two months. I will be adding whatever I do end up with myself.
__________________
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 online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2016, 08:03 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Holland, Ohio
Trailer: 21 on Feb 28, 2017 2016 GMC Canyon Duramax
Posts: 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
How do you plan on connecting these cables then? My thinking is that it would be much more of a pain to get access inside than doing it in an easily accessed hatch. I found in any trailer we have had that it was a pain in the butt to access underneath dinette seats. Mounting connectors to a bulkhead inside a hatch just seems a lot easier. Besides, I am not big on the quality of those cable ports used for a fixed power cable.

The potential connections I see could be:
- Coax for TV - from antenna or campground cable
- Wife Antenna
- Solar
- I might also do a DC outlet in there too

Nothing is set in stone for me yet though, as I don't even get my trailer for (exactly) two months. I will be adding whatever I do end up with myself.
Yeah, I realize it might be a bit of a pain but I don't expect to have to access the area often. The port you posted looks a lot better than the one I will be getting but too late now unless I want to pay the change fee and deal with the hassle of ordering the port etc. Just something I will have to deal with. I have lots of plans for other mods and have added numerous 12v drops for other things. By the time I get done with that stuff maybe they will have a way to wirelessly connect the solar panel to the controller
stephen99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2016, 08:28 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 11,076
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen99 View Post
Yeah, I realize it might be a bit of a pain but I don't expect to have to access the area often. The port you posted looks a lot better than the one I will be getting but too late now unless I want to pay the change fee and deal with the hassle of ordering the port etc. Just something I will have to deal with. I have lots of plans for other mods and have added numerous 12v drops for other things. By the time I get done with that stuff maybe they will have a way to wirelessly connect the solar panel to the controller
Not a huge deal anyway, as you could always change things later out if you wish. Easy to do.

I too am getting a fair few 12V drops.

Wireless solar. How great would that be.
__________________

__________________
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 online now   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 07:17 AM.


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