Portable solar panels - Page 3 - Escape Trailer Owners Community
Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Me | General Topics > General Escape
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-06-2019, 08:09 AM   #41
Senior Member
 
thoer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Galesville, Wisconsin
Trailer: 2017 21 "Blue II" & 2017 Highlander XLE (previously 2010 17B "Blue" & 2008 Tacoma)
Posts: 4,225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
I run my portable panel through a Zamp connector ensuring the positive and negative are wired correct. I eliminate a solar controller on the portable panel and the feed goes directly into my solar controller with the roof mounted panels. I rarely need the portable except in rare adverse conditions, but boy can I charge the batteries fast if I want too. Lots and lots of various options here, but I can say without a doubt that mine works great for us.
I pickup up a Renogy folding portable 100W panel on sale from Amazon without a controller. Before buying I contacted GoPower about connecting it to my ETI supplied controller. The tech said that as long as my combined amperage didn't exceed the rated 30A that all I had to do was connect the external to the same connections on the controller that our roof panel connects to.

Like Jim, I'm putting a Zamp style connector on the trailer for the infrequent use the portable will get - probably only when our roof panel is mostly shaded.
__________________

__________________
Eric (and Mary who is in no way responsible for anything stupid I post)

"Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance." George Bernard Shaw
thoer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2019, 05:51 PM   #42
Member
 
MBA80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Crestview, Florida
Trailer: 2020 25' Flying Cloud Airstream with three 90-watt Zamp Solar roof panels and 140-watt ZS Portable
Posts: 80
Zamp Solar does not have a polarity issue, because it is a safety feature to have the negative connection be the exposed metal connection. Other manufacturers do not have a safety feature to prevent shocks due to metal grounding.
__________________

__________________
Tony Gautney, CCM
Former ETI 2017 21’ Double Axle
MBA80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2019, 05:52 PM   #43
Member
 
MBA80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Crestview, Florida
Trailer: 2020 25' Flying Cloud Airstream with three 90-watt Zamp Solar roof panels and 140-watt ZS Portable
Posts: 80
Zamp Solar made in the USA.
__________________
Tony Gautney, CCM
Former ETI 2017 21’ Double Axle
MBA80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2019, 05:57 PM   #44
Member
 
MBA80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Crestview, Florida
Trailer: 2020 25' Flying Cloud Airstream with three 90-watt Zamp Solar roof panels and 140-watt ZS Portable
Posts: 80
Just purchase an unregulated Zamp Solar Portable (ie. no Charge Controller) for less money.
__________________
Tony Gautney, CCM
Former ETI 2017 21’ Double Axle
MBA80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2019, 06:12 PM   #45
Member
 
MBA80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Crestview, Florida
Trailer: 2020 25' Flying Cloud Airstream with three 90-watt Zamp Solar roof panels and 140-watt ZS Portable
Posts: 80
Not with a simple solar port by the battery vent .
__________________
Tony Gautney, CCM
Former ETI 2017 21’ Double Axle
MBA80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2019, 06:14 PM   #46
Member
 
MBA80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Crestview, Florida
Trailer: 2020 25' Flying Cloud Airstream with three 90-watt Zamp Solar roof panels and 140-watt ZS Portable
Posts: 80
That’s because Zamp has a safety feature not available with Renogy.
__________________
Tony Gautney, CCM
Former ETI 2017 21’ Double Axle
MBA80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2019, 06:16 PM   #47
Member
 
MBA80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Crestview, Florida
Trailer: 2020 25' Flying Cloud Airstream with three 90-watt Zamp Solar roof panels and 140-watt ZS Portable
Posts: 80
Zamp ports are designed for Zamp portables, which are wired so you don’t ground yourself and get shocked.
__________________
Tony Gautney, CCM
Former ETI 2017 21’ Double Axle
MBA80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2019, 06:27 PM   #48
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 15,110
Quote:
Originally Posted by MBA80 View Post
Zamp Solar does not have a polarity issue, because it is a safety feature to have the negative connection be the exposed metal connection. Other manufacturers do not have a safety feature to prevent shocks due to metal grounding.
It would seem you are a sales rep of theirs with the multiple support posts, but the RV port is in fact reversed polarity to standard. If I did not reverse and kept the wiring the same colour all the way I would feed positive from the panel to the negative of the solar controller, and at least to me that is backwards and wrong. I reversed the cables inside the trailer and now all works great.

I nice plug and easy to use plug, just happy it was pointed out by someone here so I easily dealt with in on install.
__________________
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 08-06-2019, 06:47 PM   #49
Senior Member
 
Mike Lewis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Santa Rosa County, Florida
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 2,677
If I'm going to have to drill another hole in my trailer for a portable panel connection, I want to make sure I put the right thing in it. So-- which is the best connector to use: Zamp, SAE, PowerPole, or something else?
__________________
Mike Lewis
She don't lie, she don't lie, she don't lie-- propane
mikelewisimages.com
Mike Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2019, 07:04 PM   #50
Senior Member
 
Perryb67's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Lanesboro, MN, between Whalan and Fountain, Minnesota
Trailer: 2018 5.0 TA
Posts: 1,265
Quote:
Originally Posted by MBA80 View Post
Zamp Solar does not have a polarity issue, because it is a safety feature to have the negative connection be the exposed metal connection. Other manufacturers do not have a safety feature to prevent shocks due to metal grounding.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MBA80 View Post
Zamp Solar made in the USA.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MBA80 View Post
Just purchase an unregulated Zamp Solar Portable (ie. no Charge Controller) for less money.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MBA80 View Post
Not with a simple solar port by the battery vent .
Quote:
Originally Posted by MBA80 View Post
That’s because Zamp has a safety feature not available with Renogy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MBA80 View Post
Zamp ports are designed for Zamp portables, which are wired so you don’t ground yourself and get shocked.
Tony, you realize all these posts should have been put into one post. Imagine if we all posted with only one sentence in a post, how many posts people would have to read.

Plus you have about two hours to edit your post, so you easily could have posted these in one post.

Enjoy,

Perry
__________________
Those who know everything use pens. Intelligent people use pencils.
Perryb67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2019, 07:06 PM   #51
Site Team
 
John in Santa Cruz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Mid Left Coast, California
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 2,870
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
If I'm going to have to drill another hole in my trailer for a portable panel connection, I want to make sure I put the right thing in it. So-- which is the best connector to use: Zamp, SAE, PowerPole, or something else?
zamp is a variant on SAE. I generally prefer powerpole, but they aren't weatherproof and not suitable for exterior mounting.
John in Santa Cruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2019, 07:09 PM   #52
Senior Member
 
tdf-texas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Baytown, Texas
Trailer: 2017 21' Escape - improved version
Posts: 2,522
Quote:
Originally Posted by MBA80 View Post
Zamp Solar does not have a polarity issue, because it is a safety feature to have the negative connection be the exposed metal connection. Other manufacturers do not have a safety feature to prevent shocks due to metal grounding.
I realize that you are a Zamp representative but before you start spouting nonsense, look up the SAE STANDARD for this type of connection. Zamp wires the plug up with opposite polarity to the SAE industry standard with an exposed positive terminal on the battery side.

SAE mandates that the negative terminal is the exposed terminal when connected to the battery - not the positive. An exposed positive terminal could allow the battery to short to ground causing a safety risk. SAE mandates that the solar panel have the exposed positive terminal as it can be shorted with much lower risk.

So again, stop with the BS to justify the non compliance of Zamp products to industry standards and it's violation of safety concerns.
__________________
If It Isn’t Perfect, It Isn’t Finished
tdf-texas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2019, 07:17 PM   #53
Senior Member
 
tdf-texas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Baytown, Texas
Trailer: 2017 21' Escape - improved version
Posts: 2,522
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
If I'm going to have to drill another hole in my trailer for a portable panel connection, I want to make sure I put the right thing in it. So-- which is the best connector to use: Zamp, SAE, PowerPole, or something else?
SAE or PowerPole. Zamp uses a non standard wiring polarity that violates international safety standards. SAE and MC4 are the most commonly used connectors for solar.

I would suggest a SAE port connector with 10 AWG wires. Here's a good one:
https://www.amazon.com/SAE-Plug-Weat...07SL3MBR6?th=1

As Jim Bennett stated, if you use a Zamp connector - reverse the polarity of the wiring (connect red to black, black to red) to convert it back to a SAE standard connector.
__________________
If It Isn’t Perfect, It Isn’t Finished
tdf-texas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2019, 09:54 PM   #54
Senior Member
 
alanmalk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Arvada, Colorado
Trailer: 2015 E'21 - 'Velocity'. Tow: Toyota Tacoma V6, 4X4, manual.
Posts: 1,148
Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
zamp is a variant on SAE. I generally prefer powerpole, but they aren't weatherproof and not suitable for exterior mounting.
I'm using the 50 Amp Powerpole connector. As mentioned, it is not waterproof but I make the connection behind an all-purpose porthole where my phone line, coax, thermometer wire, and other wires come into the trailer - passenger side rear bench seat near the batteries. 50 Amps is of course not required for a panel that averages 5 Amps - however it is large enough for my uncoordinated fingers to grasp. It also fits the 8ga wire better than the smaller 30 Amp series.

--
Alan
alanmalk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2019, 10:04 PM   #55
Site Team
 
John in Santa Cruz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Mid Left Coast, California
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 2,870
yeah, the smaller PP15-30-45 connectors, the pp45 pins are for 10 awg.
John in Santa Cruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2019, 08:28 AM   #56
Senior Member
 
thoer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Galesville, Wisconsin
Trailer: 2017 21 "Blue II" & 2017 Highlander XLE (previously 2010 17B "Blue" & 2008 Tacoma)
Posts: 4,225
Quote:
Originally Posted by thoer View Post
I pickup up a Renogy folding portable 100W panel on sale from Amazon without a controller. Before buying I contacted GoPower about connecting it to my ETI supplied controller. The tech said that as long as my combined amperage didn't exceed the rated 30A that all I had to do was connect the external to the same connections on the controller that our roof panel connects to.

Like Jim, I'm putting a Zamp style connector on the trailer for the infrequent use the portable will get - probably only when our roof panel is mostly shaded.
After talking with a solar installer, I apparently need to go a different direction. He said if the roof panels and portable are wired together at the GoPower controller, that they effectively become one panel electrically. So even if the portable is in full sun, but the roof panels in mostly shade, that the portable output will be severely limited. So I may buy a relatively inexpensive controller and mount it next to the GoPower, connected to a port for the portable and to the batteries.
__________________
Eric (and Mary who is in no way responsible for anything stupid I post)

"Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance." George Bernard Shaw
thoer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2019, 09:01 AM   #57
Senior Member
 
tdf-texas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Baytown, Texas
Trailer: 2017 21' Escape - improved version
Posts: 2,522
Quote:
Originally Posted by thoer View Post
After talking with a solar installer, I apparently need to go a different direction. He said if the roof panels and portable are wired together at the GoPower controller, that they effectively become one panel electrically. So even if the portable is in full sun, but the roof panels in mostly shade, that the portable output will be severely limited. So I may buy a relatively inexpensive controller and mount it next to the GoPower, connected to a port for the portable and to the batteries.
That's not quite true. Most solar panels have what's called blocking and bypass diodes built into their design which prevents this from happening.

https://www.solar-facts.com/panels/panel-diodes.php

Both the Renogy and GoPower panels have these.
__________________
If It Isn’t Perfect, It Isn’t Finished
tdf-texas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2019, 09:04 AM   #58
Senior Member
 
sclifrickson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Port Townsend, Washington
Trailer: 2010 17B “MATT”, then 2017 19 “Lilly”
Posts: 1,584
Quote:
Originally Posted by thoer View Post
After talking with a solar installer, I apparently need to go a different direction. He said if the roof panels and portable are wired together at the GoPower controller, that they effectively become one panel electrically. So even if the portable is in full sun, but the roof panels in mostly shade, that the portable output will be severely limited. So I may buy a relatively inexpensive controller and mount it next to the GoPower, connected to a port for the portable and to the batteries.


Wiring them together at the controller is wired in parallel, not in series (the “one effective panel” option). Something else you can do to isolate panels is install a diode that keeps the electrons flowing one way only, although lots of panels already have these as-is.
__________________
💩-p+☕️+n
sclifrickson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2019, 09:05 AM   #59
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: SLO County, California
Trailer: 2014 21 2019 Expedition
Posts: 4,366
Quote:
Originally Posted by thoer View Post
After talking with a solar installer, I apparently need to go a different direction. He said if the roof panels and portable are wired together at the GoPower controller, that they effectively become one panel electrically. So even if the portable is in full sun, but the roof panels in mostly shade, that the portable output will be severely limited. So I may buy a relatively inexpensive controller and mount it next to the GoPower, connected to a port for the portable and to the batteries.
Hmmm- this might be true. When buying a solar system for the house a Tigo optimiser was part of the system. It was explained that a primary benefit was to isolate a shaded panel(s) as to not drag down the performance of the others.
__________________
"We gotta get as far away as we can!"
- Russell Casse, Independence Day
Rossue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2019, 10:53 AM   #60
Senior Member
 
fudge_brownie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Janesville, WI, Wisconsin
Trailer: Escape 19 (sold) Escape 21 2014
Posts: 1,743
Quote:
So I may buy a relatively inexpensive controller and mount it next to the GoPower, connected to a port for the portable and to the batteries.
You already have an inexpensive controller in the form of the GoPower. I might suggest replacing it with a Victron Smart Controller MPPT and use the GoPower for the portable panel.

Also consider a switch so you can select which panel. Would you need such a switch to select both panels? Probably not as the output will drop the the lower of the two panels.
__________________

__________________
Paul and Janet Braun
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 now 2012 Toyota Sequoia V8
Escape 19' 2010 now 2014 Escape 21'
fudge_brownie 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




» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:22 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×