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Old 01-15-2014, 01:39 PM   #1
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Solar Blvd portable kits

Has anyone here bought and used these kits?

http://www.solarblvd.com/Solar-Panels-& ... 7b26f45846

They make a 100, 120, and 160 watt version. Over at "expo", people seem to really like them. I have a dual battery setup and would like to get a portable solar kit for an upcoming camping trip so I don't have to run the van to charge the batteries. Prices on these kits are much easier to swallow compared to other kits I've seen.

Which kit would be worthwhile for my 200aH battery pack?
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:47 PM   #2
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Re: Solar Blvd portable kits

Seems like a good price for a panel and controller. Since you can aim it at the sun, even the 100W panel will supply more power than my 130W panel on the roof.

And it is a bunch cheaper than what I paid for just a panel.

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Old 01-15-2014, 02:04 PM   #3
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Re: Solar Blvd portable kits

Provided all you plan to use during times when the only draw is from a refrigerator, any of them will do fine. Never rely on solar to power things unless it's an item that draws minimal amperage. The larger the panel, the quicker you'll be fully charged. Of course the more haze, or cloud cover (and similar), larger panels (more wattage) will do better.

I'm guessing those have a built in controller. If you already have a solar controller and array, you could be better off having a plug installed and tie into the existing system. There are some issues mixing different panels so you'd want to make sure they are compatible. There are some panels out there that are very thin and much easier to store but they are expensive.
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:10 PM   #4
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Re: Solar Blvd portable kits

I don't have any type of solar system right now. These kits are complete with controller and are compatible with AGM batteries. My main sources of draw are the fridge and possibly the heater throughout the night, but thats about it. We haven't spent too much time inside the van once we get to camp so the lights are only on for a combined time of maybe 15-20 minutes. Once I switch the bulbs to LED, that should reduce the draw even more from them.

Looks like the 100w system might be the winner.
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:27 PM   #5
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Re: Solar Blvd portable kits

I helped a friend wire a 120w version for his Eurovan which has a 110ah battery and a propane refrigerator. Works well for his needs.

A 100w panel will produce approximately 7amps with perfect sunlight (amps = watts/volts or 7.3=95/13). I typically use 5 hours of sunlight for estimating purposes so a 100w panel will produce about 35amps in a given day. This is a swag as there are numerous factors that could change the figures.

Sample daily usage I've come up with for spring/summer traveling.

Code:
                               Amps/hour      Number of hours        Total amps
Refrig. 3E - 2.7CF             2.5                  16                40 
LED lights                      .3                   5                 1.5 
Espar D5                       3.0                   2                 6 
Water pump                     4.0                   .5                2 
CO2/CO detector                 .1                  24                 2.4 
Blue-Sky controller             .017                24                  .4 
Total                                                                 52.3
Personally I would go with a bigger panel, having too much is never a bad thing when it comes to solar.
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:37 PM   #6
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Re: Solar Blvd portable kits

Thanks for the calculations Tapatio. I agree that having as much as possible is best, but I'm also trying to consider space since it will be carried inside. I'll have to check the website for measurements for each of the different panels and see where I could store them in the van.
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:52 PM   #7
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Re: Solar Blvd portable kits

This is the portable solar setup that I had my heart set on, and I was excited when they found a US distributor, but those guys had all sorts of issues with US Customs, and now they're not going to import them. It was a pricey setup, but it seemed to be made with quality.


Here's the setup I'm currently contemplating.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Geoking-100W-12 ... 58a36623b1


Herb
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:53 PM   #8
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Re: Solar Blvd portable kits

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapatio
I helped a friend wire a 120w version for his Eurovan which has a 110ah battery and a propane refrigerator. Works well for his needs.

A 100w panel will produce approximately 7amps with perfect sunlight (amps = watts/volts or 7.3=95/13). I typically use 5 hours of sunlight for estimating purposes so a 100w panel will produce about 35amps in a given day. This is a swag as there are numerous factors that could change the figures.

Sample daily usage I've come up with for spring/summer traveling.

Code:
                               Amps/hour      Number of hours        Total amps
Refrig. 3E - 2.7CF             2.5                  16                40 
LED lights                      .3                   5                 1.5 
Espar D5                       3.0                   2                 6 
Water pump                     4.0                   .5                2 
CO2/CO detector                 .1                  24                 2.4 
Blue-Sky controller             .017                24                  .4 
Total                                                                 52.3
Personally I would go with a bigger panel, having too much is never a bad thing when it comes to solar.
I would too but it would depend on the space. I'd look over how big and heavy one would be compared to the other. I carry a spare 65 watt panel and never use it. I mean if I didn't have any solar on top that might be a different story but it's just a hassle for me to set something out when I'm usually on the move. I really feel a high amp altenator and more battery reserves serves a better purpose. For those who stay in one spot and "camp", these things are a great way to keep topped off while hanging out, kicking back, and enjoying life
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Old 01-15-2014, 06:06 PM   #9
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Re: Solar Blvd portable kits

I guess the other question I have with all of this is whether I would need to fully replenish the batteries every day. I understand that if I dont, I will eventually run out of juice. The longest we've camped in our rig so far is 3 days and 2 nights and I think we still had about 80% capacity without running the van.

We booked a week long trip at Henry Cowell State Park for later this year, but I know we will be driving the van at least a couple of the days we are up there. I guess my intended use for the solar is really peace of mind for myself, knowing that I have juice to last a few days without HAVING to run the van.
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Old 01-15-2014, 06:49 PM   #10
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Re: Solar Blvd portable kits

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoHauler
This is the portable solar setup that I had my heart set on, and I was excited when they found a US distributor, but those guys had all sorts of issues with US Customs, and now they're not going to import them. It was a pricey setup, but it seemed to be made with quality.


Here's the setup I'm currently contemplating.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Geoking-100W-12 ... 58a36623b1


Herb
Herb, I'm just learning about solar. Just curious why this $289 100W setup would be better than the $160 one that the OP was asking about. Better brand? Just curious, I would like to know more.

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