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Azbuilt

Anyone doing a Solar system?

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Anyone try running a solar system on any type of vehicle? Just seeing if anyone has done so cause would like a small system on my pathfinder. Brand and watts ect.

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Deleted the second identical thread and moved this one to the General Forums because it is not year specific and you may get more people viewing it.

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I've done a little bit of research for it along with a dual battery set up/power inverter as well. This is one area that $ defines the project. What are your needs and what is your budget?

 

B

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I have one of those solar panels that you get at most camping and car stores. It keeps my battery topped up when i use my electric cooler. Seems to work well

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My budget is $ 300-400 maybe a little bit more with a good set up. RedPath88 Yeah I am having a issue when post it shows up 2x or even 3x

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I've set one up for the cottage to trickle charge the house alarm battery and the tractor battery.... does that count?

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Yes it does

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RedPath88 Yeah I am having a issue when post it shows up 2x or even 3x

Tapatalk :ill: ?

 

Pressing the submit button more than once?

 

 

 

Refresh is your friend ;)

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Well, you can go pretty cheap like this...

 

http://www.harborfreight.com/45-watt-solar-panel-kit-68751-8527.html

http://www.wholesalesolar.com/products.folder/battery-folder/upg-ub-121100.html

or http://www.batterystuff.com/batteries/upc-telecom/UB12900-45826.html

or http://www.batterystuff.com/batteries/upc-telecom/UB12750-45821.html

to have a little bit left over for some cables/mounting and making a wooden travel case for the panels (preferably something that doubles as a stand or can be mounted to your roof for shade). ;)

 

B

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I was thinking mounted to roof rack

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The panels are 3x3, they could easily fit on the roof rack. You'd just have to figure out how to mount them securely...

 

B

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...and keep pointing into the sun.

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I live in Arizona that is not a issue :)

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Exactly!!

Even in AZ (not too far from here), I believe you want a 15 degree inclination to be perpendicular to the light rays, and want to track orientation during the day as well...

Point is, there is no plug and play closer to what I pointed out, assuming you need another battery to hold it all (don't bother with a 1 battery system) for the cost you mentioned.

 

Solar has gotten cheap, but not that cheap...

I'm considering a couple of these to charge a couple of batteries just for emergencies. Well under $1k and you have a basic system that can be split between home and trail. ;)

 

B

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I have a small solar panel set up on my roof rack as a trickle charger, I use a Fleabay bought charge controller. I'll try to get a couple of photos tomorrow.

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All good info on here, otherwise I've seen some really well-written threads on ExPo taking care of the issue on vans, Land Cruisers and the like going on long expeditions. Being in the Sun Belt you should have no problem with the energy, fabbing up a small mount and aiming system should be no problem. GoalZero makes some handy chargers and kits for iphones and the like, but it sounds like you want something a bit more powerful. Still might be worth checking out.

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Nice, yeah soon as my bumper project is done. Solar system and lighting will be on the agenda. Thank you all for the information figured I am not the only one that has thought of this.

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A good source for info would be Van Dwelling. Van Dwelling sticks in my mind because there was a write up on installing solar panels. There are other sites that deal with living out of a van or small vehicle that are also pretty good. This type of living is all about making the most with the least amount of space, and doing it as cheaply as possible.

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I live in Arizona that is not a issue :)

So you don't have to orientate panels where you live?

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Meaning? Facing east or just moving in general?

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We have "solar farms" popping up every where around here now. If they aren't on trackers they at least point S/ SW. I have two tiny panels (8 and 40 watt). If I'm home daytime I'll swing mine from east to west during the day, if not they point S/W all day. I don't want to sound stupid (hard not to) but I've never seen a sun rise and sun set in Arizona. But I will say thanks to you guys I see pics... world wide pics.! Thanks KJ.

Edited by kdj

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I'll get some of those pics for you bud!! Of course with a pathfinder in the background.

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I have a solar set-up. I know this is an older post though. 

Mounted on the roof, utilizing the existing roof rack, I have a Goal Zero - Boulder 100 solar panel mounted with brackets of my own design. 
This feeds into a Goal Zero "Yeti" "Power Station" that I keep in the back to power various stuff. 

Nissan-Goal_Zero_Boulder_100-900x600.jpg

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On ‎8‎/‎5‎/‎2020 at 4:25 PM, AaronHorrocks said:

I have a solar set-up. I know this is an older post though. 

Mounted on the roof, utilizing the existing roof rack, I have a Goal Zero - Boulder 100 solar panel mounted with brackets of my own design. 
This feeds into a Goal Zero "Yeti" "Power Station" that I keep in the back to power various stuff.

 

Does it work well for you? Have you had any problems and would you do anything differently if done again?

 

BTW there's no issue with reviving old posts. Honestly it helps keep related info together :Aok:

 

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On 8/15/2020 at 3:52 PM, RedPath88 said:

 

Does it work well for you? Have you had any problems and would you do anything differently if done again?

 

BTW there's no issue with reviving old posts. Honestly it helps keep related info together :Aok:

 


I picked the Goal Zero - Boulder 100 because it was the largest panel that would fit in the roofrack. For that, I like this product. I can also remove it and set it up on it's stand. Or stand it up on my roof. It's built pretty tough, so it'll last for years being mounted, and dismounted, and used for camping, etc. For performance wise, not so much. I seem to be getting 40 to 60 watts regularly, and only on the best clearest summer day with the panel pointed directly at the sun, can I get something in the low 80 watt range.

Because it's powering a Goal Zero Yeti 400, I sometimes need more power, as I don't have much in reserve. So to get more wattage out of the panel, I loosen my mounts, and stand up the panel. This probably wouldn't be needed if I had more batteries connected. (Which I've ordered).  The Yeti 400 (non lithium) is a 300 watt inverter on a 33ah battery, so if I'm using a laptop, running a 12v fridge, charging phones and cameras, I can drain the thing entirely while working in the sun in something like 4-6 hours. doing the math, you can use 100 watts for 4 hours "400 watt hour" is the rating of the Yeti 400. So even with 40-60 watts coming in, if I'm pulling 180watts, I'm running out of power in the day time. But that's kinda heavy use working on the road.

My rack mount? Isn't the best. The first one that I designed would have been AWESOME, but became cost prohibitive. But I still want to make it. So for the time being, I bought some angle Aluminium and by making several cuts, bends, and holes, it works for mounting the panel. So I spent about $40 instead of hundreds. However, the location of the roof struts are critically dependent to be placed at exact locations for these brackets to connect and mount up. 

I plan to make a video later covering all of this, so any questions now that i can try to answer typing would be good for preparation. 

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