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  1. #141
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    Default Re: Portable Solar Panels

    Quote Originally Posted by jphewitson View Post
    I'm setting up for a 2-month trip in late July, with a fair amount of time off-grid.
    I've just bought the Eiger Cruiser 200w foldable panel based on this thread, and I'm starting to experiment.

    ADVICE needed:
    The Defender has a dual battery system.
    I have another 100aH lead-acid battery as backup.
    Is it ok to link that one in parallel to the Landy's 2nd battery?
    Will they then both charge on the long drives, or will it be a problem?

    Thanks.
    My experience on my Pajero.
    When i connected my 2 batteries in parallel under the bonnet, i started going through starters. 4 x starters in 18months. I was told that there was to many CCA for the starter. So i put an in cabin isolator switch between the batteries and disconnect them when starting, ever since then my starter is lasting as normal again (touch wood almost a year now)
    When i am stationary i connect the 2 batteries and they both charge from the solar panels.
    When in motion i connect them together again and they charge from the alternator.
    It works well like this so far.
    Last edited by MarcoP; 2023/06/23 at 12:10 PM.
    05 Mitsubishi Pajero LWB 3.2 Did GLX

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  3. #142
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    Default Re: Portable Solar Panels

    Great, thanks.
    I'll test them. Both are fairly new.

  4. #143
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    Default Re: Portable Solar Panels

    I think I need to clarify.

    The two batteries in parallel should be after the solenoid/DC/DC interrupt to the crank.

    As Marco pointed out, two batteries in parallel will keep the same Voltage but double the amps.

    My bad for assuming that the dual battery system has a solenoid or DC?DC included.

    For interest sake what dual system do you have. ?
    Stranger

    Lusted for a Landy but the Pajero was sexier and bigger in the right departments, just like my Missus.

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  5. #144
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    Default Re: Portable Solar Panels

    For my Portable Fold up Panels I just go with the Brand I know >> Flexopower and I prefer the Mojave Models >> mine are 240 Watts
    Hilux 2.5 Litre DC 2015 4x2
    Summit Everest Trailer Full House

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  7. #145
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    Default Re: Portable Solar Panels

    Quote Originally Posted by Graeme McConnachie View Post
    I am changing the Harrison plugs on the panel side to MC4 plugs which are "waterproof" & play from there.

    I do trust Fluffy's judgement but l've got nothing else to do!

    Cheers
    Graeme
    My Flexopower Panels have Brad Harrison plugs and work in the coastal rain conditions but I take them under the Trailer awning if I am in camp at that point
    Hilux 2.5 Litre DC 2015 4x2
    Summit Everest Trailer Full House

  8. #146
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    Default Re: Portable Solar Panels

    Hi All

    I have a problem relating to portable panels. I received a 200w foldable panel (no regulator), but then on looking at specs it states that the Vmp is 20.5v and the OCV is 26.1v . I want to connect to my CTEK D250S and I am obviously concerned that the max input to the CTEK is 23v and the Ctek will fry. How can I reduce the OCV to below 23v? I thought of connecting an MPPT Controller to the folder panels and then to the CTek but somehow I don't think this will work. ... Note I know little or nothing about electrics.

  9. #147
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    Default Re: Portable Solar Panels

    Hi Ted - I think you are referring to VOC - Open Circuit Voltage (Voc).
    This is the maximum voltage the panels can produce.
    As you note you don't want to exceed this voltage.

    I have the same Ctek and would never exceed its 23V. I am not sure of a safe way to avoid this limitation.
    Incidentally although I still use the Ctek I also have a Victron Mppt with a 100Volt limit. Gives plenty of room for solar.
    You could possibly not use the Ctek for solar and buy a separate Mppt charge controller and connect this to the battery as well.
    I have two solar charge controllers on my system but now mainly use the Victron. Victron's are excellent and you have the bonus of Bluetooth for monitoring.

    Last edited by Paul Dold; 2023/06/27 at 04:51 PM.

    “Africa changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same." - Ernest Hemingway

  10. #148
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    Default Re: Portable Solar Panels

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Dold View Post
    Hi Ted - I think you are referring to VOC - Open Circuit Voltage (Voc).
    This is the maximum voltage the panels can produce.
    As you note you don't want to exceed this voltage.

    I have the same Ctek and would never exceed its 23V. I am not sure of a safe way to avoid this limitation.
    Incidentally although I still use the Ctek I also have a Victron Mppt with a 100Volt limit. Gives plenty of room for solar.
    You could possibly not use the Ctek for solar and buy a separate Mppt charge controller and connect this to the battery as well.
    I have two solar charge controllers on my system but now mainly use the Victron. Victron's are excellent and you have the bonus of Bluetooth for monitoring.

    Many thanks Paul, I will take into consideration. I was trying to avoid a bit of rewiring and extra controller in my caravan.

  11. #149
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    Default Re: Portable Solar Panels

    No major wiring needed.
    You can buy a PWM solar charge controller (lead acid batteries) for a few hundred rand. (Takealot). Check the voltage limits!
    Mount it somewhere (not sure of where your Ctek is) and connect to battery
    either permanently (or with croc clips for temporary camping). I mounted my Victron on the side of
    an ammo box with a piece of offcut. If you don't want to DIY 15 minute job for any auto electrician.

    Being a solar beginner in 2011 I never realised the voltage ceiling of the Ctek's. This really limits
    adding more panels in future as voltage adds up for each additional panel. You don't have to worry about Amps.

    Always recommend Victron - expensive but reliable with warranty, great apps and huge user group. When my Ctek eventually dies I will replace with a Victron DC-DC charger.
    Last edited by Paul Dold; 2023/06/28 at 11:30 AM.

    “Africa changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same." - Ernest Hemingway

  12. #150
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    Default Re: Portable Solar Panels

    Thanks Paul again. I have thought up a slightly different solution as I have a Powerbank (with Lifepo4 batteries) (716wh) with a 230v outlet. I can charge from the 230v outlet of the Powerbank to the caravan's 230v inlet and charge the Powerbank via the foldable solar panels. Whilst the solar input will be lower than the output (whilst charging my 2 x 105ah batteries from say 50% capacity and really only running the 90l NL Fridge/freezer at the same time), i should have enough time (with decent weather) to top up the caravan batteries and then recharge the Power bank when caravan batteries are full. I will have to test. I do have a Victron MPPT controller that can take upto 75v input which will be my 2nd choice if the Powerbank doesn't work well enough.

    Ted

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  14. #151
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    Default Re: Portable Solar Panels

    Quote Originally Posted by Bush2C View Post
    Just got the Cruiser version of the 200W Eiger blanket, where the 5 panels fold out in a row, each with its own built in stand. Very easy to set up! Unzip the bag and take out the accessories. All the panels in their "rolled up" configuration then rest on the stand of the first panel. Open the "roll" to the next panel together with the stand for the next panel, and so further. Takes about 10 seconds to have the row of 5 panels standing.

    Three questions please:
    1. The leaflet refers to setting the "float" charge voltage. On my 100Ah FNB leisure batteries float is at 13.6 and bulk is at 14.4. Is the terminology in the leaflet correct? Should I not set it to bulk rather than float?

    2. The controller instructions provided earlier in this thread refers to the default battery type as lithium. Which of the three options is sealed lead acid?

    3. I measure a 0.8V voltage drop from the panels to the battery using a 20m x6mm extension cable. Increasing the charge voltage setting on the controller to even 16V makes no difference to the actual voltages on the controller and and the battery. Why does increasing the charge voltage setting not compensate for the voltage drop with the extension?

    I was running the 74 liter NL fridge off the battery during the test. When the compressor is running the the voltages at both the battery and the controller drops by 0.7V.

    Would be grateful for your thoughts.

    Attachment 690658
    Attachment 690659
    Used the panels on the Moremi trip, worked well.
    Couldnt do without the 20m extension, had to add the supplied 3m cable as well to get to a sunny spot in North Gste.

    Kept the batteries charged and the NL74 lilre fridge running, with the freezer set at minus 8. Charge setting on the regulator was 14.4V, but with the extension the charge voltage was never above 13.6V (100% or top orange LED) on the NL indicator. This was enough to do the job, though. Batteries were charged within 2 or 3 hours.

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  16. #152
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    Default Re: Portable Solar Panels

    So i have gone through all the above threads and was very keen on the Eiger 200w panels with stand-- WHEN suddenly i get a offer on a brand new, never used Eiger 200W blanket -- like flint its in my car and home it came.
    Tested and used it in Gonarezhou, Mabuasehube, Mozambique and a few local wild camps-- works well, plenty power- (Victron MPPT and AGM Battery in trailer / Intervolt to lithium battery in the car. -- very happy.
    BUT -- my dilemma is the lack of frame.. yes i can hang it on sides of car, but then must move car around all the time, yes i can hang it on trailer, but then must move panel around all the time.

    Has anyone built a fold up/ dismantle type frame yet?
    Hot and Sweaty- Nice if you with a Lady, - BAD if you in the Jungle.

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  17. #153
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    Default Re: Portable Solar Panels

    That is the problem of blankets. I have one. Who wants to have your 4x4 in the sun all day?

    The Cruiser looks like a better buy.

    https://campandclimb.co.za/product/e...ng-solar-panel
    Last edited by Paul Dold; 2023/07/30 at 10:29 AM.

    “Africa changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same." - Ernest Hemingway

  18. #154
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    Default Re: Portable Solar Panels

    I would build frame using either 19mm or 25mm aluminium square tubing and Connect-IT corner pieces. Disassembled, the frame will hardly need any packing space.
    Last edited by mikeml; 2023/07/30 at 10:21 AM.
    Mike Lauterbach

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  20. #155
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    Default Re: Portable Solar Panels

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony View Post
    So i have gone through all the above threads and was very keen on the Eiger 200w panels with stand-- WHEN suddenly i get a offer on a brand new, never used Eiger 200W blanket -- like flint its in my car and home it came.
    Tested and used it in Gonarezhou, Mabuasehube, Mozambique and a few local wild camps-- works well, plenty power- (Victron MPPT and AGM Battery in trailer / Intervolt to lithium battery in the car. -- very happy.
    BUT -- my dilemma is the lack of frame.. yes i can hang it on sides of car, but then must move car around all the time, yes i can hang it on trailer, but then must move panel around all the time.

    Has anyone built a fold up/ dismantle type frame yet?
    In summer, just lie it flat. Almost ideal angle.

    Winter is an issue, I think you need 45°. I used to just prop one half of the blanket on a rock or other object so half is ideal, other half was lying flat.

    Not perfect but did the job if you don't want to use it as a windscreen sun protector.
    "K.a.k Wheeler"

    Dont take anything I say as actual advice or fact. I dont.

    GWM P Series 4x4 Limited
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  22. #156
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    Default Re: Portable Solar Panels

    Why dont you just make three poles that you can hammer into the ground, add an eyelit and some bungee cord. Attach those to the little noose on the panel. Or rod stands can also work.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Luka; 2023/07/30 at 11:18 AM.
    "When a clown enters a palace, he does not turn into a prince, the palace turns into a circus."

    Luka Geertsema

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  24. #157
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    Default Re: Portable Solar Panels

    Wonder if anyone can help. We have these panels. Just purchased. But we only getting 4A charge into the system. Checked all the panels are working. Is this what everyone gets? I was expecting more?


    https://campandclimb.co.za/product/e...caAg-BEALw_wcB

  25. #158
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    Default Re: Portable Solar Panels

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullbulls View Post
    Wonder if anyone can help. We have these panels. Just purchased. But we only getting 4A charge into the system. Checked all the panels are working. Is this what everyone gets? I was expecting more?


    https://campandclimb.co.za/product/e...caAg-BEALw_wcB
    Without us knowing what the rest of your system looks like, it is impossible to give an answer. What type of charge controller? What type of battery? What is the battery's state of charge? Any diagram?
    Last edited by An3s; 2023/08/28 at 04:43 PM.
    ZS6VL




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  27. #159
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    Default Re: Portable Solar Panels

    Quote Originally Posted by An3s View Post
    Without us knowing what the rest of your system looks like, it is impossible to give an answer. What type of charge controller? What type of battery? What is the battery's state of charge? Any diagram?
    We need to know where you are measuring 4A, at what voltage and under what conditions.

    Also remember that the panel will only deliver what the load needs. So, in full sunlight the current will be 0A into a fully charged battery.

    Panel testing is complex and not for sissies.
    Cheers

    NAGOF

    HAM Callsign - ZS5KAD

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    If you fly or drive to an anti-Fracking meeting, you have no business being there and you wont get my ear......

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  29. #160
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    Default Re: Portable Solar Panels

    Quote Originally Posted by An3s View Post
    Without us knowing what the rest of your system looks like, it is impossible to give an answer. What type of charge controller? What type of battery? What is the battery's state of charge? Any diagram?
    Thank you. I am new to this and learning by the hour. We have a summit trailer that has an HCDP MK7S SYSTEM so we don't use a controller as I understand that the controller is built in? The battery is pretty flat but not completely flat. We measured mid day in Joburg. Clear skies with very little haze. 101ah battery. 5 m Extention cable that came with the panel with bh connectors. Does this help?

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