Thread: Solar Panel mounts

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Concrete jungle of Houston, TX
    Posts
    708

    Default Solar Panel mounts

    Have any of you ever mounted solar panels to your vehicle while on extended trips? I'm curious as to their effectiveness as a battery back-up, as well as a source of energy for accessories in a trailer (i.e. fridge, etc). If anyone has any input, let me know. Thanks!
    - "Two roads diverged in a wood, and II took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." - Robert Frost
    _______________________________________________
    2007 Biodiesel-powered Jeep WK Grand Cherokee 4x4 Limited with 3.0L CRD
    2005 Ellsworth Truth MTB

  2. #2
    Howdy,

    We have an array of solar panels mounted on our roof, and a couple of large deep-cycle batteries for storage. In the north-american summer this is sufficient to keep us fully charged all the time with fridge, lights, computers, satellite, radio, etc. In the winter a week of clouds or snow on the panels will force us to run the engine for the alternator output once in a while to top-up.

    I have a fair bit of detail about our system at http://www.badgertrek.com/sportsmobile/electrical.html

    The system is sized for our full-time use, and just a fridge, or short term usage could be run on a lot less.

    -Erik

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Concrete jungle of Houston, TX
    Posts
    708
    This is perfect! Thanks a ton for your post, I'll be spending my day at work now reading about solar panels. Thanks again!

    Frank
    - "Two roads diverged in a wood, and II took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." - Robert Frost
    _______________________________________________
    2007 Biodiesel-powered Jeep WK Grand Cherokee 4x4 Limited with 3.0L CRD
    2005 Ellsworth Truth MTB

  4. #4
    So do I. I finally removed the generator on Casa azul because of how efficient the panels were.





    The key points about securing the panels are:

    * Making them secure and difficult to steal.
    * Making them so that they can be swept and angled to the correct degree and azmuth.
    * Possitioning them in the most impact free area while traveling.
    * Making sure the "F'en Gazilling $$$" pane dosen't go airborne in a heavy wind (Baja Nort'es).

    I set mine up so that they are attached to 2 pins (only on one edge) that attack to my aviation cargo track system on my roof. I then strap my surfboards over the top of the panel and off we go...

    When were travelling, the alternator is charging battery banks of course, so there is no need to be concerned that your panel working. when we stop for a period of time (sometimes up to a month), the boards come off the roof and the panel gets the rear pin disconnected and swept to the correct possition by using the front pin as a pivot and securing point (for those pinche nort'e winds).

    Here is travel mode.


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