My 40ft 5th wheel 1020 Watt PV Build

LanduytG

Solar Enthusiast
Well I'm basically done with all the wiring up except to pull the wire from the roof to the control panel. Using 6ga marine grade wire for that. Tidy up some with zip ties and mount the Touch 50 screen up in the living area.

I did take 2 of the PV panels and leaned them up facing the sun as best I could and hooked them up in series and then ran it to the SCC. Everything works well. The most I saw was 460 watts out of the pair (Canadian Solar 255 watt)

Ran the a/c some and then only the fan. With only the fan running I had a 245 watt load with 374 watts coming in. Was nice to see everything working. Now I need to build my frame work to mount the PV's. Building the frame work with the intent of mounting an actuator to tilt then panels.

Below are a couple of clips of the monitor screen with things running.
 

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LanduytG

Solar Enthusiast
Been out all week with the 5th wheel and camped in 2 different state parks. We had electric but I wanted to see how the system preformed so we ran off the batteries. We were able to run everything as if we had electric on. Ran the microwave which really was the only big load and then only used it may be 10 minutes a day. I did have a 60 amp load at first I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. But after some head scratching I discovered I had the frig on auto so it was using ac instead of gas.
All in all I was very pleased and excited with the performance of the batteries. After 3 days I was down to 40% which was better than I figured on, we used less power than I figured on. The 4th day I wanted to charge them up before leaving. At 120 amp charge it took a few hours to get them back to 100% but that was to be expected.
Now to get the panels mounted and hooked up. Although they would not have made any contribution this trip because we were in a park where almost all sights were well shaded.
Almost forgot. One thing I noticed is battery temp is about 10-15 degrees warmer than ambient. Like this morning its 34 degrees outside and the batteries are 48 degrees.


Greg
 
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HRTKD

Boondocker
60 amps to run the fridge on AC. Yikes!

I looked at the placard on my gas/AC fridge and it says 2.7 amps. Do you have a compressor in your fridge?
 

LanduytG

Solar Enthusiast
60 amps to run the fridge on AC. Yikes!

I looked at the placard on my gas/AC fridge and it says 2.7 amps. Do you have a compressor in your fridge?
Yes if I recall the heating element is 300 watts. So thats about 25 amps DC. On gas it only draws about 1 amp or a bit more. If the camper wasn't new I would replace the cooling unit with a DC compressor. They are really low current draw and do a better job plus the cycle off and on and would not use that much energy.

Just looked up the heating element and its 325 watts

Greg
 
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LanduytG

Solar Enthusiast
Still have the camper out to. Lean it up after our outing this week.
Measured the frig current. On DC it draws 2.4 amps if the condenser cooling fan comes on it adds another 1 amp. Now when you switch it to run off ac from the inverter its 32 amps. This is using my Fluke current clamp.
When on gas the current hog is the control unit. The gas selinoide only draws .7 amps.

Greg
 

Hedges

Photon Sorcerer
Still have the camper out to. Lean it up after our outing this week.
Measured the frig current. On DC it draws 2.4 amps if the condenser cooling fan comes on it adds another 1 amp. Now when you switch it to run off ac from the inverter its 32 amps. This is using my Fluke current clamp.
When on gas the current hog is the control unit. The gas selinoide only draws .7 amps.

Greg

0.7A at 12V?

I like millivolt thermostats. All my gas appliances other than furnace use a Peltier thermo-electric stack to power a solenoid that keeps gas valve open when pilot is lit, and operates thermostat.

0.7A or between 15 and 20 Ah/day is an absurdly high drain for a propane powered refrigerator. 240 Wh/day, about 25% of an electric compressor fridge.
 

Sojourner1

Itinerant
LandutyG to give an idea on consumption here is a usual day from spring till fall when I'll start switching the fridge over to electric (Norcold 821). Our solar is close in size but your battery bank is 2x larger. You can see the batteries being charged some and solar carrying the inverter loads.
Screenshot_20201017-152900_Excel.jpg
Screenshot_20201017-152947_Excel.jpg

Here are #s from production during this period.
Screenshot_20201017-153258_Excel.jpg

I'm sure once you get the solar going you'll be a happy camper. ;)

Your setup looks great.
 

LanduytG

Solar Enthusiast
Had a very productive day. Pulled the 6ga wire going to the roof from the control center to the point where its going up to the roof. Also pulled a pair of 10ga wires for 12v for future use. Also ran HDMI and USB extension cables and mounted the Touch 50 in the coach. Now all that is left is get the wire to the roof which most likely will not be till spring but will see what weather does and time available. Used duplex marine grade wire for the PV panels. Even though its fine stranded it was kind of hard to maneuver around but we got it there.
When the breakers come in I'll get those wired in and will be ready when PV's get mounted.
Looked at some UNI Strut while in Home Depot today to make the PV mounts. Still waffling on what direction I'm going with the mounts.

Greg
 
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