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bmiller

Portable solar charging

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I'm just about to order this:

https://www.renogy.com/renogy-100-watt-12-volt-monocrystalline-foldable-solar-suitcase-w-voyager/

Intended purpose is to keep the single group 27 in my camper charged when we camp out in the desert and other off the grid places. Our demand isn't huge, just lights at night and maybe a fan on warm days or the fan in the furnace on really cool nights. The fridge is gas.

Too much, not enough, better ideas?

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If your lights are LED, this should be fine. On average, you should plan on getting about 50% of the rated power due to shadowing, aiming, cloud cover, etc. If that's enough, it's a good solution. If not, get a bigger setup.

FWIW, I bought four Renogy flexible panels that had a material defect that took two years to manifest. They paid for the return shipping and gave me a full refund of my original purchase price. Good company.

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Hi bmiller

I just got a similar rig to yours, 96 palomino. Going to drop a 170 permanently on the top.  Going to go from 100 amp group 31 to 200.  Lots of power for device charging, lights. But if yours is like mine and has an Atwood suburban furnace, that sucks 3.5 amps...ouch. I metered the furnace over night in october, .8 kWh.

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Just got the renogy suitcase solar panel set up.

https://www.renogy.com/renogy-100-watt-12-volt-monocrystalline-foldable-solar-suitcase-w-voyager/

First impression is it's well constructed, fairly hefty. Carry case is robust which is important since when folded the panels are facing out. Easy to set up. Alligator clips to the battery, cord could be a little longer but I think they have an extension. Charge controller is hinged onto the back so you can flip it up to see what's going on. It started pumping out juice the instant I set it up, as you would expect. Tonight I'll leave a couple lights on and see how it does tomorrow.

I'll have to figure out how to deal with getting the cable and clips in through the battery access door.

Plan on leaving next Monday for a week in the desert. Further review to follow.

 

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it's not your lights that will be the problem....if you want to use the furnace and its an attwood suburban  THAT is going to be your problem.

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1 hour ago, chester said:

it's not your lights that will be the problem....if you want to use the furnace and its an attwood suburban  THAT is going to be your problem.

True.  I could run the powered vent hood instead. The draw on the furnace is the fan motor. And a little when it fires up the igniter.

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2 hours ago, bmiller said:

True.  I could run the powered vent hood instead. The draw on the furnace is the fan motor. And a little when it fires up the igniter.

if you find a way to develop a work around let me know.  i thought that the attwoods turned the fan on as part of the intake/exhaust process and then the burner ignited...that is no blower, no heat.  i would be happy to be wrong.  i friend who has a heating business briefly got my hope up when he suggested that it would be easy to find a DC motor that physically matched the original but would draw only an amp or so.  when i contacted stockdales, the supplier he suggested, the guy immediately said " if they spec'd a 3.5 amp motor then the fan needs that much power". i need to talk to my guy about that, perhaps that response is standard because they don't really want to encourage people to do this.  what i will probably do is buy a catalytic heater and use that overnight.

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You are correct, fan motor cycles then ignition. I camp in some cold shit but rarely run it all night.

In my pop up there's two group 31 batteries that run the Engel fridge, furnace and everything else. Never had an issue. 

My new camper is a big overhead lance. One group 27. Fridge is gas and works great. Our last trip was a big road trip so it never sat long. This next trip we will sit in the desert for a week, possibly. Thus the solar panel.

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8 hours ago, bmiller said:

Just got the renogy suitcase solar panel set up.

https://www.renogy.com/renogy-100-watt-12-volt-monocrystalline-foldable-solar-suitcase-w-voyager/

First impression is it's well constructed, fairly hefty. Carry case is robust which is important since when folded the panels are facing out. Easy to set up. Alligator clips to the battery, cord could be a little longer but I think they have an extension. Charge controller is hinged onto the back so you can flip it up to see what's going on. It started pumping out juice the instant I set it up, as you would expect. Tonight I'll leave a couple lights on and see how it does tomorrow.

I'll have to figure out how to deal with getting the cable and clips in through the battery access door.

Plan on leaving next Monday for a week in the desert. Further review to follow.

 

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Cripes, it just insane how cheap that technology is getting.

When I put 100 watts onto my old sailboat, I spent probably ten times what they're asking for that little gal you just bought. And I'm pretty sure that the charge controller alone cost more than your whole combo unit.

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11 hours ago, bmiller said:

 

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Downside to soft water = you need to cut back on the detergent in your washer

yer getting suds everywhere 

 

 

 

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OK we just got back.

Charger seemed to work fine. But the site for the camper made it so it had to go on the roof so I wasn't able to see what the charge rate was.

Bottom line every day we came back from riding the battery was charged, according to the minimal panel in the 20 year old camper. Even at the low sun angle and duration this time of year.

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29 minutes ago, chester said:

were you using the furnace?

A little, take the chill off in the morning type of use. Not enough for a real test. We did use it a few nights pretty hard on the drive but not while camped.

Next week I'll do an overnight test when the temps are more moderate. I wouldn't be camping anyway in the temps we've had lately.

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