RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-18-2011, 12:05 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 171
Sizing solar panels

I've checked the forum and if this topic has been discussed, I sure can't find it.

I have a 2005 SMB with the penthouse roof. I'd like to add a solar panel to keep the house battery topped up while I'm camping for more than 3 days or so. The house battery is a Lifeline AGM 4D and reefer is the biggest draw. It's a small Norcold, Norcold says this will draw about 3.5 amps/hour.

I don't run any other appliances, just lights for a little while in the evening, and the furnace if it's chilly.

Any help on sizing a solar panel would be appreciated.

thanks..

Tom
__________________

__________________
2005 SMB RB 50 4X4 w/ a 6.0 PSD
flyfisher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2011, 12:17 PM   #2
Site Team
 
BroncoHauler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southern New Mexico
Posts: 9,419
Re: Sizing solar panels

I think there are a few threads about power usage and appropriate solar panel size, but I'll just offer that I have a single 120W-130W panel, which has been just fine for me. I have about the same usage requirements as you do.


Herb
__________________

__________________
SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
BroncoHauler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2011, 03:32 PM   #3
Site Team
 
daveb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Turlock Ca
Posts: 9,999
Garage
Re: Sizing solar panels

I agree with Herb that a 130 is a good size. Alot depends on how much sun is available in the areas you plan to visit. Overcast or fog reduces the output and that's where a second or larger panel can make a difference. Same with tree cover. SMB has also made panels that tilt so you can aim towards the sun. I carry a portable 65w flat panel but rarely use it.

Dave
__________________
2006 Ford 6.0PSD EB-50/E-PH SMB 4X4 Rock Crawler Trailer

Sportsmobile 4X4 Adventures..........On and off road adventures
daveb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2011, 04:40 PM   #4
Site Team
 
Ford_6L_E350's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Washington - Ridgefield
Posts: 4,726
Re: Sizing solar panels

Our Norcold refrigRuns less than half the time, so the power needed from a solar panel is reduced from what it would be if the refrig ran continuously.

Before solar, we could camp 2-3 days on our 2 group 27 batteries. We added the solar panel (Kyocera 135W) and are quite happy with it. Only in a heavily shaded campsite in Yosemite have we needed to charge the batteries when camped. Other than that, camping for a week or more is not a problem

Other than the refrig, we sometimes watch movies on a small DVD player/TV. The 135W is plenty for us.

Mike
__________________
SOLD04 EB350 Custom Floorplan
6.0 PSD 4.10 Posi
Salem Kroger coil spring 4wd
SMB Trailer w/AT Air Suspension
Alaska to Key West, Labrador and more
130685 miles 16.65 mpg average

Prostate cancer survivor. viewtopic.php?f=8&t=11099
2015 VW GTI
Leaving CA for WA
Ford_6L_E350 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2011, 05:01 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Fruita, Colorado
Posts: 1,185
Re: Sizing solar panels

Another satisfied 135 watt user here.
__________________
Desert Solitaire
2003 7.3L EB 4x4
Denver Fleet 4x4 conversion
saline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2011, 05:55 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 79
Re: Sizing solar panels

Sportsmobile has a good web page full of info on how to size a solar system:

http://sportsmobile.com/5_sys_solar.html

Rick L
RickL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2011, 06:53 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 171
Re: Sizing solar panels

Thanks all! And a big Dope Slap to me for not thinking to check the Sportsmobile Website.

Tom
__________________
2005 SMB RB 50 4X4 w/ a 6.0 PSD
flyfisher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2011, 07:08 PM   #8
Site Team
 
BroncoHauler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southern New Mexico
Posts: 9,419
Re: Sizing solar panels

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfisher
Thanks all! And a big Dope Slap to me for not thinking to check the Sportsmobile Website.

Tom
Actually, I find some satisfaction that people check here first, and then the SMB website.
__________________
SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
BroncoHauler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2011, 11:08 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
dhally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: SE Washington
Posts: 862
Garage
Re: Sizing solar panels

I noticed all the people who replied were from California or Colorado. The OP is in Seattle. It would be interesting to hear about experiences from Seattle or other PNW locations. The latitude, weather, and tree cover could make a difference.
__________________
---------------------
2009 E250 RB 5.4L "SilVan"
dhally is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2011, 05:36 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Tapatio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: California
Posts: 999
Garage
Re: Sizing solar panels

Quote:
The latitude, weather, and tree cover could make a difference.
I recently installed a 200w Sovello solar panel which outputs 8-9 amps in direct sunlight. I just got back from a 4 day trip in the southern Sierra's and it kept up with my electrical draw. I was getting approximately 4 hours of direct sunlight per day with partial shading for 8 hours.

My calculated usage:

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                   1                 4 
CO2/CO detector                 .1                  24                 2.4 
Blue-Sky controller             .017                24                  .4 
Total                                                                 54.3
Picture of campsite, driver side was facing east.



http://www.sovello.com/en/products/p...configuration/
__________________

__________________
2006 E350 6.0PSD 5R110, SMB 4X4, RB-50, ARB lockers front/rear, Aluminess galore, AMP steps.
Callsign KK6GIY
Tapatio is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:23 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×