Author Topic: Solar Power Install.  (Read 2704 times)

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Re: Solar Power Install.
« Reply #25 on: November 16, 2016, 10:21:18 AM »
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Online alans1100

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Re: Solar Power Install.
« Reply #26 on: November 21, 2016, 04:30:48 PM »
I came up with mounting two off cuts from some fence railing on the rear of the panel which is as far as I could get until I ran out of time. Next step is to mount on the trailer after working out which way to route the wiring as a hole or two need drilling in the trailer lid.


With the days off work I got from the doc I should get most of it done.



« Last Edit: July 08, 2017, 04:28:24 PM by alans1100 »
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Re: Solar Power Install.
« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2017, 12:46:05 AM »
This project is not dead - just on hold.

Waiting on a part to arrive which had to be re-sent as the first one didn't arrive. The joys of international postage and just as well it was bought through e-Bay and no charge for the newly sent item. Could be a couple of more weeks before they arrive.

I've also had to get some water proof caps for the leads that go into the trailer from the panel connections plugs. The panel can then be removed when not needed.





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Re: Solar Power Install.
« Reply #28 on: June 03, 2017, 03:53:10 PM »
With cold nights and warmish days I decided it was about time to get on with this though I can only mount the panel to the trailer at this time. The electrical connection are getting done by a friend who lives in the southern suburbs of Adelaide; a road trip in the near future as soon as we get dates that suit us both as it'll be an overnighter.

Only thing I need do now is consider where the battery and charger regulator will be placed. The front centre seems logical for the battery as it would counter the weight of the panel.


The clamps I need to hold the panel in place while I drilled at least the first two holes arrived a week ago and it was just a matter of waiting for a few hours of fine weather.

I had this clamp but need a couple more so a couple of cheapies from eBay did the trick.



First hole drilled



and bolted. Same process for the four holes; drill a small pilot hole and follow up with the right size drill.



Panel completely bolted to the trailer rack.

From the left



From the front



From the rear



With the trailer lid open

« Last Edit: July 08, 2017, 04:37:40 PM by alans1100 »
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Re: Solar Power Install.
« Reply #29 on: June 03, 2017, 05:25:03 PM »
Looks good.

The only comment I would make is either
1. Get Stinkypete to weld caps on the ends of the RHS tube to increase the strength to prevent the bolted sections walls collapsing or,
2. Use wider washers to distribute the force towards the vertical walls.


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Re: Solar Power Install.
« Reply #30 on: June 03, 2017, 05:29:35 PM »
This is where it needs a wider washer.

Experience tells me the steel will bend under the bolt force and everything will slowly loosen.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2017, 07:25:40 PM by Gadget »
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Re: Solar Power Install.
« Reply #31 on: June 03, 2017, 05:50:04 PM »
Awesome work Alan, and great advice Gadget :thumbsup
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Re: Solar Power Install.
« Reply #32 on: June 03, 2017, 06:04:08 PM »
Looks good.

The only comment I would make is either
1. Get Stinkypete to weld caps on the ends of the RHS tube to increase the strength to prevent the bolted sections walls collapsing or,
2. Use wider washers to distribute the force towards the vertical walls.


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Thanks. At the moment it's only secured for transport and I was thinking of end caps to cover the hole or putting a sleeve around the bolt after the panel is remounted after the wiring through the lid is completed.
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Re: Solar Power Install.
« Reply #33 on: June 03, 2017, 06:13:45 PM »
Drill the bar out a little, to take a piece of tube that the bolts fit through, and weld them in. all pressure will then be directed and distributed by the ubes/sleeves. welded end caps are good, keeps moisture and air turbulence out.
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Re: Solar Power Install.
« Reply #34 on: August 15, 2017, 01:41:40 PM »
I needed some expert soldering done on the wiring that connects the panel to the charge controller so last Thursday (11th August) I had a ride to a friend who lives in the city who did the work for me.

I was supplied the connectors and a coil of wire (more than I need) so I just had the connectors soldered at each end and I could cut the length needed to complete the circuit.

While I was in the city I bought some terminals to connect the wiring to the battery. Same type of connection as our bike batteries but a lot smaller and the nuts and bolts came with the battery.



What I needed and forgot was another 15 amp inline fuse (one was supplied for the battery connection) for the load (power sockets) and some 15 amp wire for the battery to charge controller. Once I get these I can start connecting it all up.

I'm wiring as suggested in the left diagram.

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Re: Solar Power Install.
« Reply #35 on: September 24, 2017, 05:10:21 PM »
I got adventurous this afternoon and sorted the wiring out for the final connect up.

Panel and battery wiring have been secured into the regulator with the other ends left free to be connected in sequence. I was going to mount the regulator in place but I need to locate the bolts to suit the nylock nuts I have; may have to buy some more.

The fuse has been added to the double power socket and ready to be connected to the regulator.

Need to remove the panel so I can drill two holes in the lid for the wiring to go inside. Near as possible to the hinge point and under the panel. Hoping the drill is the same size as the wiring to reduce the chance of water getting inside after some water proof sealant is applied.
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Re: Solar Power Install.
« Reply #36 on: October 07, 2017, 02:44:01 PM »
Removed the panel off the trailer lid and drilled the two holes for the cables to pass through. Wiring had to be under the panel and as close as possible to the hinge point.



While I had everything handy I did a temporary connect up with just the panel and battery connected to the charge controller (fancy term for regulator) and so far it works. If work starts before I can get this finished I can still use it and tidy it all up later.

The battery (deep cycle) has been sitting around for over a year and was still in an almost full state of charge. It took about 5 mins in an ad hoc set up to fully charge the battery indicated by its respective (flashing at the time) green light. The type of battery indicator stays on all the time and the load indicator goes off unless you're using power. There is an on/off switch for the load because you can't disconnect the panel wiring unless you turn the load off.

Since I hadn't connected any power sockets and not using that circuit the load light eventual went off - looks like a self test via the on/off switch.



The panel (though turned around) was just leaning against the bike as in the following photo..



I need to put more sealant on and tidy it all up before I put the panel back on. Also need to get some more zip ties for the cables.




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Re: Solar Power Install.
« Reply #37 on: October 07, 2017, 02:53:30 PM »
 ++. Looking good.  Looks like it will keep you going off grip for a while
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Re: Solar Power Install.
« Reply #38 on: October 15, 2017, 04:24:39 PM »
Finally finished this off today.

The other day I made sure the panel charged the battery and before going to far I today I made sure the battery was powering the twin power socket.

With that little test out the way I could mount the regulator and I chose the rear trailer panel. I only needed to drill three holes as I took advantage of one of the bolts used for the added reflector I installed.

All the wiring connected and the regulator as mounted on the rear of the trailer. The battery can be used in any position so I chose to lay it flat. Just need to secure it in place for the rare time the trailer is actually empty.

I'm considering getting some carpet off cuts to place along the rear to hide all the wiring and bolts.

DSC_1124 by Alan Williams, on Flickr

Power socket located behind the rear wheel and low enough to keep the most of the wiring under the carpet.

DSC_1125 by Alan Williams, on Flickr

A zip tie controls the new wiring when the lid closes. Loosely secured to the OEM internal trailer lid light wire.

DSC_1126 by Alan Williams, on Flickr

Once the panel was reinstalled and all the connections made I tested the system by charging up our laptop. I have a 12 to 240 volt inverter so I plugged that in and then the laptop via it's 240 volt charger and it all works. Just need to get the laptop's car charger for permanent usage.

I found a couple of spacers and added a couple of washers/nuts  when securing the panel to the trailer lid. Hardware store up here didn't have anything I could use so I used what I could find.

DSC_1127 by Alan Williams, on Flickr

External wiring secured to trailer rack. Wiring connector in the centre to allow for trips when I don't need to have the panel.

DSC_1128 by Alan Williams, on Flickr
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Re: Solar Power Install.
« Reply #39 on: October 15, 2017, 04:46:02 PM »
 :thumb. Looks good,  will keep you in touch with civilisation no matter where you are.
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Re: Solar Power Install.
« Reply #40 on: October 15, 2017, 10:53:45 PM »
Alan,

Very impressive.

This really needs a larger washer.
It will only get worse. Voice of experience.
Cheers,
Gary
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Re: Solar Power Install.
« Reply #41 on: October 16, 2017, 12:27:52 AM »
Alan,

Very impressive.

This really needs a larger washer.

It's got some support inside around the bolt. I over did the tightening a little when I temporarily mounted the panel for transport. 
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Re: Solar Power Install.
« Reply #42 on: December 13, 2017, 01:28:54 AM »
The 100watt solar panel and the 12volt/20AH/20HR battery was more than ample for my needs while being used at Snowtown.

I could charge three items at the same time if I needed to.

12 volt phone charger for the phone
The car charger for the laptop also allowed charging via a USB cable so the tablet could have gone there.

This was the first time when camping with the bike that I didn't need to have the bike idle while inflating/deflating my air bed via the bikes 12 volt power sockets.

Usually I would use the laptop in the camp kitchen in the mornings and then charge while at work in the afternoons. Sometimes when not working due to rain I would take a half charged laptop back to the trailer at night and watch a DVD. By the time the movie had finished the battery alone would charge the laptop to full.

What was surprising was that at sunset (trailer lid up) the panel was still charging while I was accessing the trailer though for most of the day the trailer lid was closed.

 
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Re: Solar Power Install.
« Reply #43 on: December 13, 2017, 06:20:51 PM »
Great to see your hard work as paid off.  A lap around Aus free camping.  There's a thought
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Re: Solar Power Install.
« Reply #44 on: December 13, 2017, 07:58:50 PM »
I rarely pay for accommodation while touring anyway so a lap of Aust. would be the same.
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