solar power

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While browsing CL looking for some stuff on ideas bouncing around in my head (it really hurts after awhile, all that bouncing), I found a link to these guys who are in Burnaby:

http://www3.telus.net/public/tps.x/page_4.htm
 
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I'm going to pick up one of the 50W charger kits he sells this week. Costco has a somewhat comparable Coleman/Sunforce unit for a similar price, but this one is apparently better quality.

Fixed the link in the original post as well.
 
Thanks for the link Jeff.
Report back with your impression of their service and product if you wouldn't mind.
My parents have been considering some ideas for their place in the Kootenays. Their electrical rates are higher there not being with BCHydro. Probably be a lot of years before something like solar/wind etc would pay itself off.
 
I too would be interested in hearing how the 50W system functions. Now that I am attached to a CPAP every night, I'll need something for camping and for battery recharging at home (if the power goes out for an extended period).

How big of a battery are you planning to get? I think I will need a 100 amp/hr deep cycle. Hope to get into Polar Battery in the next week or so to ask them what they recommend.
 
Thanks for the link Jeff.
Report back with your impression of their service and product if you wouldn't mind.
My parents have been considering some ideas for their place in the Kootenays. Their electrical rates are higher there not being with BCHydro. Probably be a lot of years before something like solar/wind etc would pay itself off.


Papsolar is a one man show, ran by Trevor, out of his very functional backyard garage. He seemed very knowledgeable and was keenly interested when I mentioned I work for an alternate energy company.
He is very into all things alternate energy, but he is no hippie.
For Toyota content, he has a rhd townace that he runs on his own 100% veggie oil.
I believe he said all his stuff comes from China, but he buys only from ISO9000 factories to maintain good quality.
The panel I picked up looks good, with a sturdy aluminum frame.
I should be able to get some pics up soon, as the honourable Mr. Voo is Rubicon prepping my rig as we speak.

I too would be interested in hearing how the 50W system functions. Now that I am attached to a CPAP every night, I'll need something for camping and for battery recharging at home (if the power goes out for an extended period).

How big of a battery are you planning to get? I think I will need a 100 amp/hr deep cycle. Hope to get into Polar Battery in the next week or so to ask them what they recommend.

Mine will be wired back into my existing vehicle system, just for peace of mind that when I'm camped out for a few days (because I do it so often :rolleyes:) I still have power to gtfo. I can't recall what my betteries are, but I did get them from Polar a couple years ago.
 
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I ended up picking up the set that Crappy tire had on sale a while ago, I believe it was 35W, for $129.00. It was 2 panels joined together, a regulator and some usless mounting hardware. I've had it on the roof of the truck (does not take a lot of room but is a little heavy) and so far it has worked great. Came with a 5 year replacement warranty. This upcoming trip will be a good test. I'm curious as to the one you got, what size? with a regulator? cost? warranty?
I know on really sunny days it charges the battery from 12.4 to 14.2VDC and holds at that in about 3-4 hours. That's with no load. With the stereo going off that battery only (for about 3 hours) it dropped to 13.7VDC and stayed there. On cloudy days it does less but still manages to charge it nicely.
 
So Jeff, now that you have had good use of this system, give us your review.

I've emailed Trevor to pick up a 100 amp/hr battery for our trip this week. No one came close to his price for a 100 amp/hr battery like that. I'll have to wait on the solar system for now. I will have to eventually buy one that is at least 80 watts for longer camping trips and for power outages at home.
 
I'm curious as to the one you got, what size? with a regulator? cost? warranty?
50W, with a regulator, 20 ft cable , mounting brackets @ $295 for the system. See the System 2 RV package in the middle of the page:
page_4

I'm not sure about the warranty to be honest, but Trevor was very helpful with any questions I had. I did think I had a problem with the system, and he was more than willing to replace any components if they were faulty, but it turned out to be a simply polarity issue.

So Jeff, now that you have had good use of this system, give us your review.

I've only really used it so far while camped at Rubicon Springs for the two days, so no real feedback other than it worked.
I did have it sitting inside the truck while we were parked at the hotel at Disney Land, but the panel is way too large for any kind of interior dash mount, and it wasn't effective in that scenario.
I'm going to leave the fridge running with the panel hooked up to the 81 in the driveway, and see how it goes for the week.
 
Reply from Trevor, re: warranty

"Hey Jeff, glad to hear it worked well for you. Warr is 2 yrs parts and labor on the mechanical structure, after that, 10yrs at 90% output and 25 yrs at 80% output, thats pretty much a standard module warranty. I will have a look at message board, thanks for the link. I have a tilt up mount that fits the panels I have if that might work for you, I included a pic.
thanks"
rv mount.jpg
 
Working as intended. The 81 was parked in the driveway for a week with the fridge running and the panel plugged in, keeping things cold at a -1 setting. I unplugged the panel on Saturday to do some errands, and today the fridges check light was flashing (built in battery minder had turned the fridge off to save starting power on the battery). I plugged the solar panel back in, and in probably less than an hour the fridge was back to normal operating temperature.
I had picked up a 1.8 watt dash mount solar panel at CT (was only 10 bucks on sale), but it's way too low power to keep the battery up with the fridge running if not using the big panel.
 
I saw Trevor last week before we left for our Northern Cascade trip. - mainly to buy a 100 amp/hr AGM battery. He really has some neat stuff there. He also knows how to do up proper systems for CPAP units. I definitely will be buying a system from him in the near future - mainly as a CPAP back-up power supply. He also is going to be bringing in LCD flood lights. He was experimenting with them when I was there. They are amazingly bright and will make good camp/work lights. IIRC, he said they would be about $45 each. I also got a smaller 5 amp hr AGM battery for $20 which I have wired to keep the CD changer presets. I am charging it from the voltage reducer and have a switch on it to control charging. I presume I could run a small cheap Cr@ppy Tire panel to it to ensure it is always kept fully charged.
 

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