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Subject Topic: solar panel Post Reply Post New Topic
Message posted by citylinker16/7/2014 at 3:17pm
Outfit:  None Entered     Location:  None Entered
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Ijust got a solar 120 watt fitted but it doesn't power my fridge or heating, can anyone give me an explantion why.

Message posted by Grampian9116/7/2014 at 3:49pm
Outfit:  Mondeo Avondale Grampian     Location:  Midlands
Joined: 11/5/2008
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Because its only 120watts. at peak power in full sunshine.

Also solar panels are not designed to run appliances. They are there to charge a battery and need a regulator to maintain the correct voltage because they produce spikes and not a constant voltage.

The most heat your going to get get from a battery is the heat you get off a couple of bulbs.

Same with the fridge it uses a lot of power. You can only run them on 12v with the vehicles engine running.

If you had a 500w panel and full sun 24 hours your maybe able to run a fridge.

Run the fridge and heating on gas with no hookup.



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Post 1997 licence holder?

Max tow weight = Cars gross laden weight + Caravans gross laden weight.

These 2 figures must not exceed 3500kg. And the Caravans gross laden weight must not exceed the cars UNLADEN weight.

Unless the manufacturer has set a lower limit.

Message posted by Vinn-e16/7/2014 at 7:32pm
Outfit:  Vango inspire 600 PUMP ACTION BABY !!!     Location:  Essex
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Hi Grampian91

i like your signiture post about vehicle weights, im class 1 heavy goods and think thats a great idea to put the write up on there so im gonna nick it and put it on mine too,   far to many people getting caught out by this now days nice one mate...

Message posted by Grampian9116/7/2014 at 10:46pm
Outfit:  Mondeo Avondale Grampian     Location:  Midlands
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Wait for the flak then

Someone will tell you that its legal to have a van that exceeds the cars weight.

Legal yes, But would i let a family member do it? NO..



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Post 1997 licence holder?

Max tow weight = Cars gross laden weight + Caravans gross laden weight.

These 2 figures must not exceed 3500kg. And the Caravans gross laden weight must not exceed the cars UNLADEN weight.

Unless the manufacturer has set a lower limit.

Message posted by spinyeel17/7/2014 at 9:24am
Outfit:  None Entered     Location:  Australia
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We use solar panels to keep our second batteries charged.
You can power a compressor fridge and L.E.D.lights indefinitely,if you have enough sunlight. 120amp panels are more than enough. Google Redarc.

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Message posted by geoff+emmy17/7/2014 at 10:19am
Outfit:  swift conqueror 645+jeep commander     Location:  Huddersfield
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We have a hundred watt panel mounted on the roof
In theory this should have an output of 8 amps However the best we have ever had 2.89 amps This could be because its mounted flat (not the best position) or the sun moves
It does however provide an excellent back up for our motor mover while in storage

Message posted by iscacamper17/7/2014 at 1:49pm
Outfit:  Autosleepers Nuevo ES     Location:  Devon
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As others have said, the solar panel is wired to charge the leisure battery. The fridge is on a different circuit (wired to the towing vehicle battery) and the heating runs on gas or (sometimes) mains. So neither the fridge nor heating can be run from the solar panel.

As spinyeel points out, the only exception to the above is that some compressor fridges are efficient enough to run from a leisure battery circuit. However, these are not usually fitted as standard to caravans, which usually have power-hungry absorption fridges.

Message posted by Andy Higham17/7/2014 at 5:08pm
Outfit:  Bailey Orion 430-4 & Mitsubishi PHEV     Location:  Bolton Lancs
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Caravan heaters are either gas or 230v mains with power settings between 500W and 2000W. Caravan fridges are either gas or 230v from the caravan systems OR 12v FROM THE TOW VEHICLE WHEN THE ENGINE IS RUNNING.
When the sun is out and your solar panel is in perfect alignment, the best you can hope for is 120W. You wouldn't try to heat the caravan with 2 60W lamps would you? Not that you need the heating when the sun is out! At night when you need the heating, the output from the solar panel will be zero, nothing, zilch.
Most British summer days, with the panel flat on the roof you will be getting around 80W out of your panel
The best you can really hope for is to put a bit back in the battery during the day to power your lights/tv during the evening

Message posted by scud498418/7/2014 at 3:30am
Outfit:  Trigano 575tc coachman laser 590-5     Location:  North Wales
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we brought a 100w suitcase type panel from fleabay and used it on our hols,, 10 days in Gwyndd a week or so ago,, we had 2 batteries,, 75/110Ah and we used pumps, tv, sat box, lights, phone charger, etc,, quite a lot too, and not once did we even get close to running out of power,, quite impressed with how much the solar panel actually gathered during the day :)

Message posted by lightshipman18/7/2014 at 7:13am
Outfit:  Sterling Continental 580     Location:  South Wales
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Solar panels will only top your leisure battery up during daylight, how much depends on the amount of solar energy put out by the sun. I only use a solar panel to extend my running time on battery only, and also to top my battery up at home when the caravan alarm is on.


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Message posted by chappers234120/7/2014 at 11:20pm
Outfit:  helsport Kongsvold     Location:  Oxford
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Quote: Originally posted by geoff+emmy on 17/7/2014
We have a hundred watt panel mounted on the roof
In theory this should have an output of 8 amps However the best we have ever had 2.89 amps This could be because its mounted flat (not the best position) or the sun moves
It does however provide an excellent back up for our motor mover while in storage


really? my 40w panel was sometimes running at up to 2.5 amps


Message posted by slippets28/7/2014 at 4:59pm
Outfit:  Coleman x8 Coleman Galileo 5     Location:  Ashbourne
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I have a 120 watt foldable Solar panel, perhaps gives me 5 ish amps at most on a very sunny day, no where near the 6.6 amps stated on the back which means 70 watts output max. Most of the time it averages around 3.5 to 4 amps in summer in derbyshire.

My 12volt cooler box runs at 3.4 amps or Approx 44 watts.
my 240v glass fronted fridge runs at 144 watts.
My 240v small thermostatically controlled panel heater pulls 400 watts.

Your best bet is to get a thermostatically controlled fridge that is not pulling power constantly, unlike my cooler, and try and avoid heaters, perhaps have a heated blanket.

I have 2x 110 amp lucas leisure batteries and 1500watt inverter. Ideally you will need 2 x 120 watt solar panels to survive a week or more (UK) off grid with an economical compact fridge running on thermostat, perhaps pulling 4.5 amps at 12v for 35% of the time.



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Neil


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