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Old 06-16-2016, 03:18 AM   #1
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Default Adding Solar to Jucy

I recently noticed that Jucy has added a solar panel array to its vehicles to help charge the house battery. It is apparently a home brew add-on, with a series of panels. (If it's manufactured, I'd like to know by whom.) I'd love to add one to my vehicle, but am a complete novice in matters electrical, much less solar. So, what can you tell me from this photo? What wattage are these panels separately? How would I connect these panels together to replicate this array? Appreciate any help.
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Old 06-16-2016, 03:27 AM   #2
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Doesn't seem worth the effort especially considering that big shadow on it.
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Old 06-16-2016, 03:34 AM   #3
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I'd likely mount it atop the "penthouse" - run it down the raised strip in the middle. Should give it a clear view of the sun.
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Old 06-16-2016, 12:53 PM   #4
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If you are going to mount it on the top of the penthouse you might as well use a standard solar panel instead of a flexible one.
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Old 06-16-2016, 02:13 PM   #5
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I would like to avoid the added bulk atop the penthouse. For that reason I prefer the thin profile. Why do you suggest the standard panel versus the flexible? Is there a performance advantage?
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Old 06-16-2016, 02:41 PM   #6
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Standard panels would be less expensive and have more power. Flexible panels with the same power for the same size would be very expensive. If the lower power and added expense are acceptable then flexible would be fine. Is the top of the penthouse flat or does it have ridges? Not sure about mounting flexible panels in non flat surfaces...
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Old 06-16-2016, 02:43 PM   #7
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You need to use the search function here and at RV.net and research what you want to do. I think you'll find 1) You need to do an energy audit and see how much juice you use per day and therefore need to replenish and 2) How many watts of solar panels will accomplish that goal. Speaking for myself and how I use my van, I would get more use out of more battery than solar. I'm not parked long enough and I look for shady campsites.

That little panel in the picture you posted is useless. I doubt it does anything more than shield the paint underneath it from UV.
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Old 06-16-2016, 05:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmchugh View Post
Standard panels would be less expensive and have more power.
Expense is a consideration, and so is the visual of the vehicle. I don't want to disrupt the lines or add height with a box bolted to the top of the penthouse. Unless I misunderstand how to calculate need, a 50 watt panel will be more than enough to keep the house battery topped off.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmchugh View Post
Flexible panels with the same power for the same size would be very expensive. If the lower power and added expense are acceptable then flexible would be fine. Is the top of the penthouse flat or does it have ridges? Not sure about mounting flexible panels in non flat surfaces...
My goal is to keep the house battery topped off on days we stay parked. The primary power drain is the refrigerator, which consumes 270 watts/day, but let's say 300 or 330 in warm weather. Other than that are just a few LED interior lights, and the actuators to raise/lower the penthouse top.

The project with a 50w flexible panel should cost no more than $150, including controller, wiring and whatever ancillaries. Fixed panels don't seem to be priced appreciably differently. (There is sufficient flat space to mount the flex panels.)
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Old 06-16-2016, 06:06 PM   #9
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A 50 watt solar panel will typically get you 13-18 amp hours of battery charge per day, say 15 amp hours. When you say your fridge uses 270 watts per day where exactly did you get that number, 270 watt hours per day would be about a 1 amp average load for the fridge which seems low but may be right. What type of fridge do you have?
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Old 06-16-2016, 06:13 PM   #10
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It's an Isotherm BI 41. That's the spec they offer: "Power consumption (W/24h): 270".
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