Stacked Panels with a slide out feature when parked.

Sgt Raven

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I saw this video on YouTube and my mind went into overdrive. In the video they have a slide out panel for when you're parked, that slides to the rear.
Then I thought slide out to the side and drop down at the end. Have panel #1 flat mounted on the roof with a raised stand. Then under it a 2nd panel that slides sideways and then the outer edge can swing down aiming it at the sun on that side. Have a plug that hooks panel #2 in parallel when deployed and is unplugged in transit. A pair of Anderson SB50s would be good for that. The roof of my Camper Shell is limited for space and I thought I was going to be limited to one 40" x 67" panel because of it. With this idea I could double the panels in use when parked for a while.

Someone tell me where I'm missing something with this idea. I want to hear what is wrong or right about it. This video is where my idea 1st started at.


 

Dzl

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Its a cool idea, I've been pondering similar designs for a while now, but unless you are a good fabricator or money is no object the juice might not be worth the squeeze. I find the everlander build (video series MisterSandals linked to) very inspiring, but that shit ain't cheap. Then again, if you are creative it may not be that hard to come up with a cost effective solution, especially for smaller panels.

Another plus is that the slide out panels (especially the tilt down type you are envisioning) would double as awnings too
 

tim0shel

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There are a few other van builds doing this same idea which is great for additional coverage or shade if it comes out far enough. What I seen was extra two panels coming out on both sides giving 8 panels total when parked.
 

opta

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Do the panels on top and the panels below need to be wired totally separate, or can they be wired in parallel?
If parallel, would the lower panel double the amperage when it is slid out, or would this mess up the panels health over time...?
 

HRTKD

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Do the panels on top and the panels below need to be wired totally separate, or can they be wired in parallel?
If parallel, would the lower panel double the amperage when it is slid out, or would this mess up the panels health over time...?

The panels on top could be wired in series. The panels on the bottom could also be wired in series. Then those two series strings would be wired in parallel.

An alternative would be to keep the two series strings separate and run each string into its own solar charge controller.

Lots of ways to do it. There isn't one right way to do it.

The biggest downside to the slideout design is weight. Easily triple the weight of just flat mounting two panels.
 

tim0shel

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I would do two charge controllers but if you already have one big one then this might not make sense as a cost perspective.
 

HaldorEE

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I saw this video on YouTube and my mind went into overdrive. In the video they have a slide out panel for when you're parked, that slides to the rear.
Then I thought slide out to the side and drop down at the end. Have panel #1 flat mounted on the roof with a raised stand. Then under it a 2nd panel that slides sideways and then the outer edge can swing down aiming it at the sun on that side. Have a plug that hooks panel #2 in parallel when deployed and is unplugged in transit. A pair of Anderson SB50s would be good for that. The roof of my Camper Shell is limited for space and I thought I was going to be limited to one 40" x 67" panel because of it. With this idea I could double the panels in use when parked for a while.

Someone tell me where I'm missing something with this idea. I want to hear what is wrong or right about it. This video is where my idea 1st started at.


I bet you could make something like this out of 8020 extrusions to be a perfect fit for your existing panel and for quite a bit less money. This gives me a way to mount two 300W panels on the roof of my econoline. One over the front and one under the roof basket in the rear. Thanks for the great idea.

Four of these should be able to support a big solar panel.

 

HaldorEE

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I am torn on the one vs two controller decision. Two controllers are going to do a better job of harvesting the most energy, but will cost more and be more complicated to install.

A Victron Smart 100/20 at 24V is about the perfect match for a pair of 300W panels. I would want the single, unobstructed panel to provide power while driving, so that leans toward a pair of controllers. Unless I only plug in the second panel when it is deployed. Anybody know of a robust connector solution that can handle lots of connection/disconnection cycles? I don't think MC4 connectors are going to last long in that application.
 
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tim0shel

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I bet you could make something like this out of 8020 extrusions to be a perfect fit for your existing panel and for quite a bit less money. This gives me a way to mount two 300W panels on the roof of my econoline. One over the front and one under the roof basket in the rear. Thanks for the great idea.

Four of these should be able to support a big solar panel.

Typically an drawer slide works best than the roller wheels because of the design and clearance. I had a pretty big order with 80/20 while back and just got my order delivered. Seems like it took forever.
 

Mad_Texan

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:unsure: Working with a 80/20 like product to have a panel slide out for extra power. It will also provide some shade for the rear doors. Just too many other projects at the moment...
 

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EcoRV

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I designed a slide out system for my Class-B Winnebago Travato. Its 1500 watts using Sunpower commercial panels with 2 Victron 100/50 controllers that are getting maxed out during peak times when i am cool weather. Currently these charge 5 Battleborns that are mounted underneath the chassis in drop-down trays. I have 4 Basen 280ah's coming from California and 8 CATL 200ah coming from china to test out this summer.

Last pic is a readout of Solar panel performance during the last few days.


Travato Summit.jpgRV Florida.jpgTravato Back.jpgTravato VRM Max.jpg
 

Sgt Raven

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I bet you could make something like this out of 8020 extrusions to be a perfect fit for your existing panel and for quite a bit less money. This gives me a way to mount two 300W panels on the roof of my econoline. One over the front and one under the roof basket in the rear. Thanks for the great idea.

Four of these should be able to support a big solar panel.

I am making a rack to surround 4 100W panels using 1515S 80/20 extrusions. Zoro has pretty good prices with free shipping over $50.

As for the connectors, use Anderson Power Poles. Either the 45A or 75A would be my choice for the solar panels. The 45A will handle 10AWG and 75A will handle 6AWG, for larger you have to step up to the 120A or bigger.
 
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Sgt Raven

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Typically an drawer slide works best than the roller wheels because of the design and clearance. I had a pretty big order with 80/20 while back and just got my order delivered. Seems like it took forever.
Look at Zoro.com next time if you're in the US. They had my 80/20 15S extrusion in stock and I had it in 3 days. I bought three 8' sticks of 15S. The part of my order that drop shipped from 80/20 took a couple of weeks.
 

EcoRV

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I am making a rack to surround 4 100W panels using 1515S 80/20 extrusions. Zoro has pretty good prices with free shipping over $50.

As for the connectors, use Anderson Power Poles. Either the 45A or 75A would be my choice for the solar panels. The 45A will handle 10AWG and 75A will handle 6AWG, for larger you have to step up to the 120A or bigger.
You can get some great performing panels @ santansolar.com I got 68 volt and 48 volt panels from them. I run everything using 10ga parallel to a 2x combiner box and then 6awg to the 2 Victron controllers (separate runs for each panel type) The 250 Sunpower panels were like $68 each and the 370's were ~170 each but those were like 1of a kind find.
 
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JoeHam

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Brand new 370’s with mfr warranty are now $158 :

 

Sgt Raven

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You can get some great performing panels @ santansolar.com. I got 68 volt and 48 volt panels from them. I run everything using 10ga parallel to a 2x combiner box and then 6awg to the 2 Victron controllers (separate runs for each panel type) The 250 Sunpower panels were like $68 each and the 370's were ~170 each but those were like 1of a kind find.
Locally on Craigslist I found four one year old 100W panels for $30 each, $120 total. I'm going to run them 2S-2S then 2P. I added up the dimensions and the four together were perfectly sized for my application. Running them 2S, they fit well within the parameters of my DC-DC/MPPT charger. I may order a couple more to have as spares or build/use as ones I can set out. This would make a prefect case for two of them hinged in the middle and folded in half. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076DJ9NZ...olid=2D2ZSVCWGUFHS&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

They are these panels. https://www.amazon.com/ECO-WORTHY-Monocrystalline-Efficiency-Module-Marine/dp/B00V4844F4?th=1
 

HaldorEE

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Brand new 370’s with mfr warranty are now $158 :

I looked at those. The open circuit voltage was too high for me to series connect two of them to my SCC (Victron Smart 100/20). That and the physical dimensions, are why I chose Renogy's 300W panel. I paid double the price of the Seraphim though. For residential I would certainly go with San Tan. No shipping cost for me.
 
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