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Old 08-14-2011, 04:19 PM   #1
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Solar Panel Selection/Fit Help

I am planning on buying a new solar panel in the next week or so. I will then be driving up to SMB (Fresno) to have them install it since I will also need to get the penthouse springs adjusted and there is some other work I need done as well.

Unfortunately I'm struggling with which panel to get due to some fitment constraints on the roof. I've placed some pictures below. We need the panel to sit in front of the last roof rack bar so we can still manage the kayaks on top when needed.

The space in front of the bar is about 54" wide by 40" deep (bar to front of PH). From what I can tell, the Kyocera 135 (KD135SX-UPU) will not fit since the dimensions are 59.1" x 26.3". I believe the older Kyocera 120W would've fit, but I can no longer find it.

Any suggestions on any other manufacturers or panels that would meet our space requirements? I was hoping to get one in the 120W range, but I'm also flexible in this regard. Thanks for the help.



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Old 08-14-2011, 05:18 PM   #2
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Re: Solar Panel Selection/Fit Help

Lots of panels and info at these sites.
http://www.partsonsale.com/solarpanels.htm
http://www.solar-electric.com/
Good luck, solar is the way to go, you'll love it!
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Old 08-14-2011, 05:54 PM   #3
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Re: Solar Panel Selection/Fit Help

Thanks Scatter. Are there any panels/manufactures that I should avoid? The choices are endless...
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:06 PM   #4
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Re: Solar Panel Selection/Fit Help

Didn't I see a thread where the panel was slung under the racks using standoffs? That is a way to get a little more area.
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:32 PM   #5
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Re: Solar Panel Selection/Fit Help

I'd just make sure the panel you choose is designed for off road or marine use and are covered for mobile usage. Shadow cast would be something to avoid...maybe SMB can rig up some kind of rack to work with what you have. There was a post here about a company that had flatter panels made for boats...check out the marine world. Good Luck
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:39 AM   #6
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Re: Solar Panel Selection/Fit Help

Check out www.amsolar.com They have a couple 100 watt panels that would fit perfect in that space...
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:46 AM   #7
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Re: Solar Panel Selection/Fit Help

While we are here, I have a dumb question.

If I get a solar setup and controller/charger, a battery monitor like the LinkPro would still be useful?

Or do some of the solar controllers include the same functions?
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:48 AM   #8
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Re: Solar Panel Selection/Fit Help

What daveb said sdwindansea. All good points. If you've got the bucks, these are great.

http://www.emarineinc.com/products/Comp ... odule.html

You can solve anything, all it takes is money.
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:04 PM   #9
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Re: Solar Panel Selection/Fit Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by ANZAC
While we are here, I have a dumb question.

If I get a solar setup and controller/charger, a battery monitor like the LinkPro would still be useful?

Or do some of the solar controllers include the same functions?
Both have their place. Volts on my blue sky are not monitored as accurately as the link 10. The battery fuel gauge is nice and I find amps very useful. The link pro can help out while troubleshooting a problem. Of course a good multi meter can do the same. My link 10 has showed me a problem before the trouble became an issue that would have screwed me in the field. If you have a good voltage monitor you'll find yourself looking at it often...at least I do. Kinda like a backup camera...I got mirrors, but I'll bet if I had a backup camera, I'd be using it.
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:48 PM   #10
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Re: Solar Panel Selection/Fit Help

Wow scatter, you are really trying to help the economy with that link . Some of the solar panels from amsolar look great as far as specs go. However, does anyone have any real world experience with them? I'm hesitant to go with something from what appears to be a custom "mom & pop" type operation without any feedback.

I guess if need be, I'll end up with an 80w panel instead of a 135w panel. However, since all we use is the fridge, lights (flourescent/LED), water pump and Espar heater, I have a feeling that will be adequate.

Any specific panel advice is also appreciated.
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