Hello! Log in or Register   |  Help  |  Donate  |  Buy Shirts  See all banner ads | Advertise on TheSamba.com  
TheSamba.com
 
My solar panel set-up
Forum Index -> Vanagon/Eurovan Share: Facebook Twitter
Reply to topic
Print View
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
jackbombay
Samba Member


Joined: October 19, 2007
Posts: 2117
Location: Eastern Idaho
jackbombay is offline 

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 11:30 am    Post subject: My solar panel set-up Reply with quote

I've gotten a few requests for pics of how I set up my panel over the last few months, and I've finally taken some pics, and an old youtube vid.


Link


Here is a pic of the front mount, it is a spherical ball mount and the bullet shaped steel sticking through it is bolted to the solar panel, the back can lift up or I can tilt it side to side or leave it flat Wink , in all of those positions it is still locked to the van, or I can take it off the van entirely as it is on a 40' 10 gauge cord.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

And here is a thule locking knob, there is one on each back corner of the panel, 6X1 threaded rod is attached to the panel on the back edge. The piece of wire is up there from when I was carrying some long cargo, its not part of anything for the panel.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
_________________

Gas struts to pop your top easily!


Samba ad here.

DIY artificial rain gutters (ARGs)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
allsierra123
Samba Member


Joined: August 19, 2006
Posts: 1463
Location: Moses lake, WA
allsierra123 is offline 

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

where do you live all of your vids look very frigid?
_________________
91 Vanagon GL. 1.9TD Conversion, Currently being transformed into a weekend warrior. No longer a means a daily transportation. So its gonna get wild.
81 Vw rabbit 1.6 Diesel. Sold
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
Boegrrl
Samba Member


Joined: March 26, 2007
Posts: 145
Location: Gainesville Fla
Boegrrl is offline 

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jack that is so fantastic. How very smart & clever to make a pivot point of the mount. It looks like yours is potentially portable, and not merely a roof mount. Certainly the big obstacle will be the Kayak/boat roof racks.
When you are ready to start another manufacturing product for the Samba, let us know!
Signed,
Another Jack Bombay Fan
_________________
'87 Wolfsburg Weekender
2000 9-5 Saab Wagon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
woggs1
Samba Member


Joined: February 22, 2007
Posts: 519
Location: South Pacifica California
woggs1 is offline 

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jack,
Let me know when you start taking orders. Let me start:

Woggs1
_________________
4 speed 88 Westy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
jackbombay
Samba Member


Joined: October 19, 2007
Posts: 2117
Location: Eastern Idaho
jackbombay is offline 

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

allsierra123 wrote:
where do you live all of your vids look very frigid?


That vid is old, but we do live in a very cold place, eastern Idaho, a little south of yellowstone, our tulips are about 3" tall right now, they should start blooming in another couple of weeks or so Laughing But I just spent a week in moab, mid 70's and sunny Cool

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Boegrrl wrote:
Certainly the big obstacle will be the Kayak/boat roof racks.


Yea, I should have mounted it to one side so I could load up my canoe on the other side and not block the panel as bad :-/ but I don't carry the canoe around all that much so it should be ok.

As far as making them for sale there is not a lot to them, but since there are so many different panels out there the customer would have to drill their own holes in the mounting bits I make so they could bolt them to their panels.
_________________

Gas struts to pop your top easily!


Samba ad here.

DIY artificial rain gutters (ARGs)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
jackbombay
Samba Member


Joined: October 19, 2007
Posts: 2117
Location: Eastern Idaho
jackbombay is offline 

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woggs1 wrote:
Jack,
Let me know when you start taking orders. Let me start:

1) Woggs1


Even if there are only a few people interested I could make up a few sets, I'll see how much I can get the locking knobs for and we can go from there.
_________________

Gas struts to pop your top easily!


Samba ad here.

DIY artificial rain gutters (ARGs)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
billwilson
Samba Member


Joined: March 16, 2009
Posts: 172
Location: San Clemente, CA
billwilson is offline 

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woggs1 wrote:
Jack,
Let Us know when you start taking orders.

1) Woggs1
2) Bill Wilson


_________________
'84 Wolfsberg Westy
Shore Power Free since 10 Apr 09
well i was untill 01 Jun 09......
.... but only after 6 days of no sun Smile
16' rims / WBX
Fiamma, 130 watt solar, 198 amp hour batts
Truck Fridge, Coco Mats
and of course:
the hard mount for my Pith Helmet!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
ranchero
Samba Member


Joined: October 11, 2006
Posts: 338
Location: Salida, CO
ranchero is offline 

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Jack let me know if you're going to manufacture as well
Thanks
Steve
_________________
'90 Westy Syncro EJ25 (money pit #1)
'95 Audi S6 Avant (money pit #2)
'96 FZJ80 (cheap by comparison^^)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
crukab
Samba Chef


Joined: December 13, 2002
Posts: 4046
Location: Vermont
crukab is offline 

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last year we went Solar too.....
Laughing
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
_________________
Tom

Dad, you showed me how to work on cars,
taught me all the things it takes to be a good Father & Husband.
I know you will always be with me, rest in peace with no more pain. 8/13/14......

'65 Bus/Panel/camper W/T/Shed
'66 Singlecab
'82 Rabbit Truck
'82 Rabbit Truck Diesel from CALI Smile
'86 Doublecab W/T
'91 Vanagon carat/wolfsbrg.Tiico
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
1621
Samba Member


Joined: May 15, 2006
Posts: 2143
Location: Okinawa, Japan & Portland, OR
1621 is offline 

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brilliant! Love the simplicity!

What are you using for the prop to hold it up?
How much cord length are you limited to when tilting?
_________________
'85 Westy
"Years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the tradewinds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." óMark Twain
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
jackbombay
Samba Member


Joined: October 19, 2007
Posts: 2117
Location: Eastern Idaho
jackbombay is offline 

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1621 wrote:
Brilliant! Love the simplicity!


The first couple ideas I had were pretty "involved" LOL they probably would have weighed 20 pounds without the panel.

1621 wrote:
What are you using for the prop to hold it up?


A piece of 1" X 1/8" steel with a 6X1 bolt welded to it.

1621 wrote:
How much cord length are you limited to when tilting?


I actually have 40' of 10 gauge cord under the panel that is permanently hooked up so on hot days I can park the van in the shade and put the panel in the sun.

To be totally honest I don't move the panel around much largely because I have way more panel then I need so maximizing the output by having it face right at the sun is not all that important.

With this setup I would not leave the panel tilted in either direction if the wind was blowing as the panel is only supported on 3 corners, and when the back end is up the only thing holding the rods on the front of the panel into the spherical ball mounts in gravity, although instead of smooth rod I could use threaded rod and some wing nuts, but they wouldn't be to easy to get at at the front of the panel on the roof.

As it is now I just stand on the rear bumper and can tilt the panel either way or remove it from the roof pretty easily...
_________________

Gas struts to pop your top easily!


Samba ad here.

DIY artificial rain gutters (ARGs)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
westynova
Samba Member


Joined: December 14, 2008
Posts: 210
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
westynova is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey folks after months of reading posts, researching solar system, calculating solar requirements, scouring for panels, batteries and other bits and pieces I have finally put together and installed my system.

I would like to thank everyone for answering my questions and providing advice.

Why was I looking to install a Solar panel set up? Basically I wanted to run my Engel fridge totally off grid for up to 4-5 days. My propane fridge was not running well and my propane tank was due to be replaced. I figured the Engel and solar panel was the way to go. The only issue was that in Atlantic Canada we do not get as much solar radiation so the calculations were indicating that I needed a bigger panel.

Here is my basic set up:
- 1 x 135W Kyocera KD135 SX UPU Solar Panel
- 2 x Odyssey PC1500 Deep Cycle Battery (Only One is installed right now)
- Steca PR1515 Solar Charge Controller
- Lots of wire
- and a complete disregard for drilling holes in the pop top and body.

Here are my photos, I hope theya re not too much.

I wanted to mount it to my Yakima Roof Rack so I had to modify a set of Canoe mounts
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

I next had to mount the panel to the Canoe Mounts. Right now I have it lock nut on to keep honest thieves honest, Eventually one side will have a lockable hand screw/ wing nut.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Next was to get the wire inside. I used 14 gauge extension cord for the heavy gauge to help reduce line loose and keep heat down. Also the ends were pre-made and allowed for a waterproof connection. I know it is not pretty. Oh yeah got go to love drilling into the Pop Top and through the body metal. I am not looking for resale value.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Next wire it to the Solar Charge Controller
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Pop Up the roof. By the way, jackbombay, your pop top shocks are saving my back. The top is getting a bit heavy now. I may have to order he Heavy Duty shocks
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

And Plug In the fridge. I will be installing a couple of more 12V sockets, one right on the passenger post by the fridge. The temp of the fridge is 'C not 'F. It is cooling down as I write this
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

All for now. I will let you all know how I make out this weekend.
_________________
84 Westy
2010 VW Golf TDI Wagon
2009 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited, Lifted and Locked
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
slowcoach
Samba Member


Joined: December 28, 2010
Posts: 16
Location: Manchester, UK
slowcoach is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:00 am    Post subject: Re: My solar panel set-up Reply with quote

jackbombay wrote:


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



HI -
really interesting panel mounts! im sure you get a lot of interest in those Smile Im about to mount my 130w panel to my roof, which is also fiberglass (as in your picture). mine is not a westfalia, its a Trakka
(Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.).

and here is my one, (with pop top down obviously)

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



I have concerns over bolting through the fiberglass- should i be worried? i hope to make a brace on the underside of the roof across to the other sides's bolts just to make sure. are a lot of people bolting straight through fiberglass? i notice a lot of you guys in the US have roof racks up there, unsure what kind of weight/stresses they can take.. drilling through slowly i bet!?

ta!
_________________
1.9 injection DH Trakka
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
Corwyn Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: December 29, 2009
Posts: 984
Location: Olympia, Washington
Corwyn is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went with the canoe brackets. I already have the Yakima mounts; and even the thought of compromising the integrity of my pop-top gives me the willys!

I'm going to create an external connection for the wires (12v socket) and a 30-foot reel, so I can place the panel in the sun, when I'm parked in the shade.

Cool engineering, though!
_________________
'90 White Westy ("Longship")
Automatic, 2.2 WBX
Olympia, Washington USA

"If anything's" gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there"
~ Captain Ron ~
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
PDXWesty
Samba Member


Joined: April 11, 2006
Posts: 4683
Location: Portland OR
PDXWesty is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Corwyn wrote:

I'm going to create an external connection for the wires (12v socket) and a 30-foot reel, so I can place the panel in the sun, when I'm parked in the shade.


Be very careful of how long of a wire you use and what gauge it is. You lose a lot of voltage with DC current over long distances. I was using a 50' typical orange extension cord (16 ga?) to move my panel to the sun. When I thought about it carefully and measured voltage at each end of the extension, I was down to the lower 12 volts at the far end from the panel. I was losing more than 2 volts through the cord. 12 volts is good enough to use for power, but it's not enough to fully charge batteries.

You can find charts to calculate your voltage drop, but if you want to go 30' from the van, I would use at least a 10 ga wire. I found some bulk landscaping wire at home depot that was perfect. 10 ga, uv resistant, and inexpensive.
_________________
89 Westy 2.1 Auto
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Vanagon/Eurovan All times are Mountain Standard Time/Pacific Daylight Savings Time
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

About | Help! | Advertise | Donate | Premium Membership | Privacy/Terms of Use | Contact Us | Site Map
Copyright © 1996-2013, Everett Barnes. All Rights Reserved.
Not affiliated with or sponsored by Volkswagen of America | Forum powered by phpBB