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Old 05-05-2019, 09:47 PM   #1
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Auxiliary Portable Folding Solar Panels

I believe I saw these folding panels in post by Twoxentrix.



My 200 watt unit is from www.lensunsolar.com It has 5 40 Watt panels that fold out and deploy at an angle. The panel I purchased did not come with a controller, it just has MC4 connectors.

To hook the folding panel into my existing system I used a Marinco 12VCP - ConnectPro Receptacle & Plug Kit



I wired the receptacle in parallel with my existing panels. I chose to use Dual PowerPost Cable Connectors , but you could get away with paralleling at the controller in most cases.


I made a quick cable by cutting the ends off one of the sides of a MC4 extension cable. and connecting to the plug. You see below the panel is deployed in my driveway. This was about 10:30 in the morning and I was getting consistently over 9 amps, when combined with the panels on the top of the van I was reading 25 amps. Total wattage of panels all panels is 560 watts.


The nice thing about these panels is there folding size 22” x 21” x 2.5”, also the extension cable rolls up nicely and fits in the zippered pouch.



And more importantly stowed in the rig.



-greg
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:52 AM   #2
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Interesting, and promising, panels Greg. I'm still somewhat leery of panels that have the potential for a lot of flex. Please give us periodic updates about the longevity of these panels.




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Old 05-06-2019, 12:18 PM   #3
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Actually I ended out using the ACOPOWER 120W Portable Solar Panel 3x40W Foldable Suitcase - Essentially the same concept as Scalf77 has shared.

I use two of these suitcases (since they come with MC4 connections I added the "Y Branch adapters" so both feed into the 75ft line that leads to my Van)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Been working great for about 18 months now & everything still looks and operates as new (On a relatively clear day It will produce 10.5 - 12amps out of this set-up).

***Scalf77 - I like the way you orchestrated your connection to the Van
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Old 05-06-2019, 12:44 PM   #4
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Scalf/Twoxentrix

I am still coming up to speed on power metrics provided from panels. When you say your panels produce X amp of current, is there a unit associated with that? E.G. is that X amps per minute/hour/day? I am assuming hour as that is the standard I see for draw (AH/WH battery ratings) but wanted to verify.

In my ongoing re-design of my solar system I want to up grade my roof panels from 200W to at least 300W but adding an auxiliary setup like that that I can setup when I am in camp mode is an intriguing idea.

I will be bookmarking/following this thread with a lot of interest.
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Old 05-06-2019, 12:54 PM   #5
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If your solar panels produce 10 Amps, that is a reading at one given moment. If that same panel produces 10 Amps over a 1 hour period, that is then 10 Amp-hours, or 10 AH.




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Old 05-06-2019, 01:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoHauler View Post
If your solar panels produce 10 Amps, that is a reading at one given moment. If that same panel produces 10 Amps over a 1 hour period, that is then 10 Amp-hours, or 10 AH.




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gotcha... so its an instantaneous read. If you were to log that over a given period of time you could find the aggregate rate for your desired period but that will fluctuate based on cloud cover and time of day. Thanks I now know how to model it in my mental schematic :-)
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Old 05-06-2019, 01:36 PM   #7
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renegadeoverland - I pursued the panel concept based on the fact my 160wt roof panel does little good while camping simply because I elect to park where I receive the most shade.
My 75ft cord that comes from the Van allows me to position the panel in a location to take advantage of the sun. The second panel has an additional 25ft cord (which attaches to the "Y" branch where the first panel connects to the cord) allowing me to position either with the first, or at a little more of an angle to capture the sun at a different angle - this way I dont have to tend the pair as often (or in many cases at all).
I chose the thin flexible panel because of storage flexibility due to size & weight. The frame has grommets and on occasion I've hung one from a tree as well as the side of my van. Placed them on rocks in a stream and placed over the front of my windshield a time or two - simply easier to handle than metal framed units.
I looked for a system that offered SunPower Solar cells, and units that have that extra outer ETFE coating on them for added protection (Lexun suitcase has this as well). The controller is just an inexpensive 10wt controller that is also detachable, has starter battery clips, and 2 ports to charge phones/laptops

May find this info helpful in your search:
https://bestportablesolargenerators....-solar-panels/
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Old 05-09-2019, 12:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by renegadeoverland View Post
Scalf/Twoxentrix

I am still coming up to speed on power metrics provided from panels. When you say your panels produce X amp of current, is there a unit associated with that? E.G. is that X amps per minute/hour/day? I am assuming hour as that is the standard I see for draw (AH/WH battery ratings) but wanted to verify.

In my ongoing re-design of my solar system I want to up grade my roof panels from 200W to at least 300W but adding an auxiliary setup like that that I can setup when I am in camp mode is an intriguing idea.

I will be bookmarking/following this thread with a lot of interest.
Obviously it can get confusing when we talk about the output of panels. At the same time I installed my aux solar input, I was changing to a different solar controller, so I needed a couple of days to code in the changes. This is a Snap Shot from my "Solar Monitor". On the left you can see the panel information, I record the array volts and array current and calculate the watts based on that information. The temp readings are for my two hard mounted panels, which is disconnected at this time.

We have a array voltage of 16.6 volts and a array current of 7.8 amps, display says 127.8 watts.(note watts is currently calculated when voltage updates)


Now we move to the controller output, we have a voltage of 13.2 volts and a current of 9.0 amps giving us a display of 118.6 watts. This is the actual power that is being put into the battery at this moment.

I do show AmpHrs, but at this time this value is calculated from the time I start the program.



-greg
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Old 05-09-2019, 12:46 PM   #9
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I used to think suitcase type solar was just another unneeded piece of jewelry for our van/overland addiction. I was wrong, they have come a long way. Impressive output Greg and Felix. I was checking out Felix's setup this past weekend. Very well made and executed.

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