Solar in winter months?

Markd

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836
Indeed - might not even be connected at all!
Unless parked up for a long period you'd never really know as moving around keeps battery topped up and draw when stopped is minimal.
 

Bedonwheels

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131
The battery is just an electricity bucket. You can probably charge it to 95% full, discharge to 50% full, so the effective capacity is 45% of 105Ah, which is around 47Ah.
In turn, that's about 564 watt hours, the equivalent of 40 grammes of LPG (costing about 5p). Sadly, gas won't run your TV!
Years ago TV's and radios got very hot so maybe they did run on gas... :)
 

Bigbarry

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99
I like your set up Exwindsurfer, are the hinges and struts commercially available and do you lock the panels down when traveling
 

Exwindsurfer

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1,024
I like your set up Exwindsurfer, are the hinges and struts commercially available and do you lock the panels down when traveling
Made the hinges the strutes came of the net as did the actuator .I use to strap them down but I don’t bother now as the actuator pull them tightly to the roof .The hinges are made from Rose joints bolted a 6in x 13in x 1/8th alloy plate bolted and glued to the roof
 
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alwaysared

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358
I've discovered that as long as you put more into your batteries than you take out everything works fine regardless of the time of year ;)
So rather than concentrate on the things I have no control over ie. the amount of light falling on my solar panels at any given time I'd rather concentrate on the things I can control ie. the amount of power I use. With that in mind you have to prioritise things and everyone will have different priorities, and for me the most important thing anytime of the year is to be warm (I don't hesitate to put the heater on even in August and I already have a few times) so I will put the heater on rather than watch a few hours of Netflix but I prefer to do both so I look for alternative ways to watch Netflix. I use a USB rechargeable Apeman projector with an Anker Soundbar and recharge them in the day or when I'm driving along, as an added bonus this gives me an 39" screen to watch on. I also look for anything else that can be used on 5v USB so I can use an Anker battery pack to power them if needed, again I'll charge the battery pack while on the move. I started out full time last October with 300W of solar and a four year old 130ah battery which didn't last too long. So at the December Moffat meet I ordered 2 x 100ah lithiums which Alpha delivered to the Frog and with the help of Phil and the generosity of a couple of other members got them fitted along with a Victron battery monitor delivered by Amazon to the local post office, I managed okay with this set up through the rest of the winter, then came the lockdown. So we self isolated in the van on my son's drive and with his help (well I actually helped him,🤪) we measured the roof area and filled it up with as much solar as possible and after a telephone consversation with Phil about cable sizes and inverters we fitted a Victron inverter. All this changed the way we used the van during and now after lockdown, Diane can use her hairdryer and we haven't used the gas kettle since but rest assured if I need to cut back on power consumption the gas kettle will be out and Diane's hair will be towel dried but I'll still be nice and warm. :giggle:

Regards,
Del
 
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in h

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748
Would it be cheaper just to add another battery
Less effective, probably. All an extra battery can usually do is put off the time when demand exceeds supply.
If it's just enough to tide you over between sunny spells, it's worth adding, but if there is a power deficit, more batteries won't really help much.
 

Markd

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836
I've done some more fuel consumption measurements on my car 1.9L Passat
I got the engine up to full working temperature and aided by this warmer weather got the aircon condenser cooling fan onto high speed (300w = 25A)
With rear screen heater and lights on the fuel consumption rose to 1 4L/hr at tickover.
However this is delivering c50A which is probably more than you'd get into a leisure battery even with a fancy B2B charger?
 

in h

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748
The Aircon probably used more fuel than the alternator!
It's quite normal for the ECU to increase the idling speed if you turn either the HRW or the Aircon on. With both on, it's almost certain to have been increased.
 
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St3v3

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1,321
It's quite normal for the ECU to increase the idling speed if you turn either the HRW or the Aircon on. With both on, it's almost certain to have been increased.
No. The engine is quite capable of being loaded, but still running at idle speed, not idling.
 

in h

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748
My experience is that turning on the HRW and the Aircon always increases the engine speed. YMMV
 

St3v3

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1,321
My experience is that turning on the HRW and the Aircon always increases the engine speed. YMMV
Ok, so not "almost certain to have been raised."

I do wish you wouldn't phase your experience as fact. I went and checked, so as not to look stupid.

This was two different vehicles (03 Passat and 17 Ford Tourneo.)
 

St3v3

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1,321
The built-in in tachometer probably isn't precise enough to show it.
Jesus that's clutching at straws...

So how did you know yours increased???

All I'm saying is you could have phased your comment as "any cars I've taken notice of raised the rpm"

But you didn't, and never do, it always sounds like it's fact. I'm just trying to help...
 

Exwindsurfer

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1,024
Jesus that's clutching at straws...

So how did you know yours increased???

All I'm saying is you could have phased your comment as "any cars I've taken notice of raised the rpm"

But you didn't, and never do, it always sounds like it's fact. I'm just trying to help...
Do what I have done Steve put him on ignore.
 

in h

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748
Do what I have done Steve put him on ignore.
Anyone who doesn't like what I post, please do ignore me, automatically or manually. But there is no need to tell the world. I don't think anyone cares. I most certainly don't.
 

Markd

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836
I can confirm that the engine speed did not increase at all when I put everything on - this was not just me looking at rev counter - the diagnostic system reports exact rpm (819 as it happens).
I take the point about the ac pump consuming some power - probably (risk of challenge 😀) much the same as previous reports. The big difference was the cooling fan being on high speed.
My point is that nothing comes free and if you draw a lot of current to charge a battery that energy has to come from somewhere. On my Passat we've see what the consumption is doing 'nothing' at tickover and how that rises quickly when load is applied.
Expecting some comments I took a photo of the read out last time 😀

20200915_123608.jpg
 
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