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An online forum community for the owners, admirers and fans of Sportsmobile vans and Sprinters, new and old. Share photos, advice, discuss modifications, camping or buy & sell. Anyone who owns, has a passion for, or just curiosity about SMBs, come in!
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:44 pm
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:37 pm   Post subject: Opinion wanted on this solar panel

Hi all,

A local guy is selling a number of these "Trina" 240-watt solar panels as refurbs at $120 each. I was thinking of getting one for my SMB, but honestly don't know the first thing about spec'ing a panel, other than what I've read on the forums (consensus seems to be to get at 125 watts).

Any advice would be great. Here's a link to the panels: http://www.solarelectricsupply.com/Sola ... 0DA05.html

Thanks!
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Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 4:28 pm
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Location: Turlock Ca
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:51 pm   Post subject: Re: Opinion wanted on this solar panel

You might ask the seller if it has a warranty when installed on a RV. I'd also want to know if it can be tied into a RV solar controller...there is no voltage specs (that I saw) Other issues would be how to mount it. Seems the RV type panels are designed to be bolted to a vehicle. That said maybe its a good deal???
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:01 pm   Post subject: Re: Opinion wanted on this solar panel

That is a high voltage panel and is not compatible with RV 12v solar controllers. I have a Solar Boost 2000e and the recommended max open voltage (VOC) is 24v. That panel puts out 37.5 VOC.

All solar panels are made for outdoor use so I wouldn't worry too much about RV ratings, especially if you can find something for $125, just my opinion.

Solar Boost 2000e data sheet
http://www.blueskyenergyinc.com/uploads/pdf/SB2000Edatasheet.pdf
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:48 am   Post subject: Re: Opinion wanted on this solar panel

Thanks guys! Amps, volts and all that gets me confused sometimes. I'm pretty good with wiring stuff up, though.

I also found a 24v panel locally on Craiglist for around the same price, so maybe that would be a better war to go (or, of course, a 12v one).
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:44 am   Post subject: Re: Opinion wanted on this solar panel

Actually at one time Kyocera was one of the few companies that offered a warranty on their 135 watt panels if mounted on something mobile. Looks like nobody (at least I couldn't find one) will warranty them now if installed on a vehicle or boat. Of course you don't have to tell them where they're mounted :b1: One thing about glass panels is they have been time tested but they can break. I shattered one of mine :b7: but hopefully that won't happen again.

I wish they would sell semi flexible panels at a reasonable cost. Unfortunately my flat walkable Solars did not last very long and was a huge mistake money wise on my part. Everything semi flexible I've seen on the market has a beaucoup price.

If your goal is to just keep your batteries up and charged for maintenance, a small 80 watt panel with a good mppt controller will do fine but having the ability to supply a positive charge to your house battery system depends on your daytime load usage and how large and how deep you've taken down the battery system. Seems that a 130w panel is a reasonable size for a SMB when comparing a cost to preformance value. YMMV I have twin 135's on my van.
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2006 Ford 6.0PSD EB-50/E-PH SMB 4X4 Rock Crawler Trailer
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Sportsmobile, Not Your Standard RV About Sportsmobile's (an online article)
Sportsmobile 4X4 Adventures..........On and off road adventures
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:51 pm   Post subject: Re: Opinion wanted on this solar panel

I'm mainly looking for long-term battery maintenance while parked in my driveway to keep the batteries charged up, as I can't keep it plugged in all the time. My driveway gets full sun for over half the day, even in winter. I figure I either invest in solar or keep investing in replacing dead batteries! The charging/power while actually camping is secondary, although also very desired.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:28 pm   Post subject: Re: Opinion wanted on this solar panel

I'd at least prepare for adding to your array if you go small. Wire for it and purchase a large enough controller to handle future needs. It's nice to be able to supply the refrigerator and still have some power left over while the van sits.
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Sportsmobile, Not Your Standard RV About Sportsmobile's (an online article)
Sportsmobile 4X4 Adventures..........On and off road adventures
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