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Author Topic: Finally using the solar.... too cool!  (Read 1432 times)

Sun2Retire

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Finally using the solar.... too cool!
« on: September 15, 2016, 10:48:05 AM »
Just had to share. Installed the solar several months ago but for a variety of reasons haven't had a chance to use it.

Dry camping at Reno Air Races this week and finally getting to see it in action. Too cool! Those around me running gensets each day and here I am quietly running microwave, coffee maker, little bit of furnace overnight, inverter 24/7 (as an experiment), lights, DVD/TV, etc. Parked due north for view so not tilting panels, but even so batteries at float by late afternoon.  It's like magic!

OK, back to whatever you were doing.
Scott
2005 Newmar Dutch Star 3810, Spartan, Cat C7 350 "OURVEE"
Eezrv TPMS, VMSpc, 800W Solar
2002 Dodge RAM 1500 Quad Cab "RTOAD"
Stowmaster towbar & Brakemaster

JDOnTheGo

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Re: Finally using the solar.... too cool!
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2016, 10:56:23 AM »
Congrats Scott!!  It is a wonderful thing! Wait until you are alone in the forest - FANTASTIC!!
JD - Full timer out west
1998 MCI 102 EL3 Revolution | 2010 Wrangler (daJeep) | 650 Watts Solar
My Adventures

Becks

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Re: Finally using the solar.... too cool!
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2016, 11:08:00 AM »
Scott, sounds like you are enjoying your solar as much as we are ours. We too enjoy not hearing the genny run so much.
2006 Travel Supreme
Spartan 42FT Tag Axle
1040 watts of solar
2014 Jeep Rubicon/2003 Honda CRV

legrandnormand

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  • Retired and enjoying it since 1995
Re: Finally using the solar.... too cool!
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2016, 08:16:55 PM »
Just had to share. Installed the solar several months ago but for a variety of reasons haven't had a chance to use it.

Dry camping at Reno Air Races this week and finally getting to see it in action. Too cool! Those around me running gensets each day and here I am quietly running microwave, coffee maker, little bit of furnace overnight, inverter 24/7 (as an experiment), lights, DVD/TV, etc. Parked due north for view so not tilting panels, but even so batteries at float by late afternoon.  It's like magic!

OK, back to whatever you were doing.


If I may ask, what was your investment in your 800 WATT solar system ?
Normand
Trois-Rivieres, QC, Canada
2010 Gulfstream Independance, model 8367
2009 Smart Cabriolet

Sun2Retire

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Re: Finally using the solar.... too cool!
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2016, 08:54:18 PM »
If I may ask, what was your investment in your 800 WATT solar system ?

A lot  :( About $3.7K if I recall (trying to forget). Specs:
  • Five Carmanah (GoPower) 160 watt panels for 800W total, on manual tilt brackets
  • Morningstar Tristar 60 amp MPPT controller
  • Morningstar RM1 monitor
I coulda saved $5-800 by going out to Quartzsite area but they were done taking orders for last season when I was shopping. Opted to buy/install from a local Phoenix dealer that is open year-round, liked the idea of having support if I needed it.

There are also cheaper panels but some are really designed for houses and aren't warranted for mobile install. Also, you can save a ton if you do the install yourself.
Scott
2005 Newmar Dutch Star 3810, Spartan, Cat C7 350 "OURVEE"
Eezrv TPMS, VMSpc, 800W Solar
2002 Dodge RAM 1500 Quad Cab "RTOAD"
Stowmaster towbar & Brakemaster

legrandnormand

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  • Retired and enjoying it since 1995
Re: Finally using the solar.... too cool!
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2016, 10:16:13 PM »
MAN OH MAN...that is $5./WATT or $6. CAN/WATT..... :-\


What is the cost of running your 6000 WATT quiet Onan diesel GEN  and how many db's is it  btw ? Where is the economy investing that sum?


GREEN is beautyfull but at what cost !
« Last Edit: September 15, 2016, 10:23:35 PM by legrandnormand »
Normand
Trois-Rivieres, QC, Canada
2010 Gulfstream Independance, model 8367
2009 Smart Cabriolet

Sun2Retire

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Re: Finally using the solar.... too cool!
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2016, 11:37:41 PM »
MAN OH MAN...that is $5./WATT or $6. CAN/WATT..... :-\
What is the cost of running your 6000 WATT quiet Onan diesel GEN  and how many db's is it  btw ? Where is the economy investing that sum?
GREEN is beautyfull but at what cost !

While there is some modest payback in using solar vs. genset (and there may even be some added resale value), I doubt there are many who install solar believing it will pay for itself anytime soon. And while solar is certainly better for the environment than running the genset, I will admit that had nothing to do with the decision. I believe LED falls into the same category, but both can extend my dry camping capability to some degree and can make it substantially more relaxing.

The benefits are both tangible and intangible, but clearly considerable based upon required lead times at most large installers. But no, it isn't cheap. Then again, I also could have saved gobs of money camping in a popup towed behind my Cherokee, rather than arriving in a 7-8 MPG diesel pusher that seems to have lots of expensive parts.
Scott
2005 Newmar Dutch Star 3810, Spartan, Cat C7 350 "OURVEE"
Eezrv TPMS, VMSpc, 800W Solar
2002 Dodge RAM 1500 Quad Cab "RTOAD"
Stowmaster towbar & Brakemaster

JiminDenver

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Re: Finally using the solar.... too cool!
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2016, 12:13:11 AM »
Way to go on the solar, ours has been great to use. We haven't needed the generator since we started using it, saving not only on the gas to run it but on the gas it takes to go get more gas to run it.

It also saves us propane using a microwave and electric hotplate to cook with. We use a coffee maker instead of the stove for coffee and again later for small amount of hot water for the dishes and such. I even have a small electric heater in the bathroom so I don't have to fire up the furnace.

Another thing is a full timer doing 50-90's with a generator is going to be replacing their batteries sooner than with a solar system getting them back up daily. Just keeping me from having to replace the Lifelines once over the life of the system would pay for it right there.

JDOnTheGo

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Re: Finally using the solar.... too cool!
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2016, 07:33:43 AM »
Great points and well said Scott and Jim!

I've posted the details of my solar charging system and it's quick payback over and over again so won't repeat it. For those that want some details and thoughts on payback, here are a couple links:
http://jdfinley.com/payback-solar-charging-system/
http://jdfinley.com/solar-charging-system-take-two/
http://jdfinley.com/solar-power-winter-update/
JD - Full timer out west
1998 MCI 102 EL3 Revolution | 2010 Wrangler (daJeep) | 650 Watts Solar
My Adventures

Becks

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Re: Finally using the solar.... too cool!
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2016, 03:45:36 PM »
JD, enjoyed your solar write up and could not agree more. We have enjoyed our 1040 watts of solar, and are very happy we decided to go with it.
2006 Travel Supreme
Spartan 42FT Tag Axle
1040 watts of solar
2014 Jeep Rubicon/2003 Honda CRV

JiminDenver

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Re: Finally using the solar.... too cool!
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2016, 08:56:04 PM »
I want to add that there is nothing like driving hundreds of miles to get to a area, go 20 miles past town on back roads as far as you can go and then fire up the 4x4 low to go even further to get to that absolute isolation and quiet only to fire up a generator and spoil it all.  ::)

I start full timing the first of the year and will keep a generator because I feel having a back up means of charging essential. That said I am really hoping my 750w mounted and 230w portable keeps my batteries happy.


 

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