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Martyn

Solar panels on van

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Martyn

Just wondering if anybody has fitted solar panels to their van to charge their system battery? If so how did it work out?

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Jango

I know someone who did this, he thought it was a great idea. He showed me and tried to tell me to do it. A couple of weeks later they were removed, something had gone wrong, and some wiring blew, I can’t remember exactly what happened he did tell me but I have forgotten. He then said it was a bad idea. So he removed them and began charging his battery with a charger. Not saying give it a go, it’s up to you. 

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Pjj

If it’s done right it will help to charge the batteries up but bench charging would still be needed depending on power used , camper vans use solar to charge the leisure batteries up and it works well provided they are in direct sun light with no shade . 

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spruce

They work great in summer, but when you want them in winter they produce very little.

 

The most important part is the solar controller. The Victron MPPT controller works well.

 

Edited by spruce

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Philip Hardy

Have to agree with Spruce We have them on both vans, never have to recharge in summer go about two to three weeks over the winter months, easy to fit and set up, can be bought quite cheaply now, saves a load of time on the recharging, would always have them fitted now.

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Martyn

Thanks guys, I've been watching some stuff on YouTube and had begun to wonder if it would be worthwhile. Looks like that tech is getting more affordable too.

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spruce

I found this video clip interesting. It shows the vast difference in solar charging between winter and summer.

David has some big panels on his narrow boat.

 

His daily power needs are much greater than ours but then his panels are much bigger as well.

 

A solar panel would need to be mounted flat on the van's roof. David's panels do tilt a bit so he is better off than if his panels were horizontal.

 

 

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