Stacked Panels with a slide out feature when parked.

McCarthy

Solar Addict
Joined
Nov 4, 2020
Messages
287
Thank you,

I didnt post a build thread here but have posted several of the "mods" to a Winnebago Travato specific groups. Really i prefer to show people in person at meet ups so we can hav e a more in depth conversations. Im happy to answer questions you may have and can start another thread if there is an appetite for that.

Are you in Florida by any chance?
 

The New JC777

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 17, 2020
Messages
151
I am considering permanently mounting 4 390W panels on top of a 7' x 16' Cargo trailer and 6 additional 390W panels (3 on each side of the trailer) that are deployed using gas-springs. Here is a link to a simulator: https://www.gasspringsshop.com/gas-spring-calculator/.

The side mounted panels would be individually deployed with a pair of struts. When closed for travel each panel would be latched at the bottom to prevent accidental opening and probably some type of cover to help prevent damage from road debris. The effort to deploy would be no more than opening the rear hatch of a SUV.

If the trailer is pointed North or South, the side arrays could be deployed progressively and track the sun as the day progresses. Lets say its 10:00 am. The eastern array could be restrained at the optimum angle to prevent full deployment. The western array would be fully deployed at up to +/- 130 degrees from the travel position and retracted as the day progresses. At noon all 10 panels would be flat. At 2:00 pm everything would be reversed with the eastern array fully deployed and the western array partially restrained. At night, when windy, and/or when unattended, the side arrays would be stowed in the travel position.

Each array has its own Victron MPPT 100/50. All panels are wired in parallel.
 

HRTKD

Boondocker
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
7,738
Location
Somewhere South of Denver
I am considering permanently mounting 4 390W panels on top of a 7' x 16' Cargo trailer and 6 additional 390W panels (3 on each side of the trailer) that are deployed using gas-springs. Here is a link to a simulator: https://www.gasspringsshop.com/gas-spring-calculator/.

The side mounted panels would be individually deployed with a pair of struts. When closed for travel each panel would be latched at the bottom to prevent accidental opening and probably some type of cover to help prevent damage from road debris. The effort to deploy would be no more than opening the rear hatch of a SUV.

If the trailer is pointed North or South, the side arrays could be deployed progressively and track the sun as the day progresses. Lets say its 10:00 am. The eastern array could be restrained at the optimum angle to prevent full deployment. The western array would be fully deployed at up to +/- 130 degrees from the travel position and retracted as the day progresses. At noon all 10 panels would be flat. At 2:00 pm everything would be reversed with the eastern array fully deployed and the western array partially restrained. At night, when windy, and/or when unattended, the side arrays would be stowed in the travel position.

Each array has its own Victron MPPT 100/50. All panels are wired in parallel.

Thanks for the link to the gas-spring calculator. I would have never figured that out on my own.
 

eXodus

Solar Addict
Joined
Jul 27, 2020
Messages
894
They're heavy-duty, and you'd have to keep them cleaned and oiled just like any other mechanical device. I've seen folks use them to build homemade slide-out toolboxes in the beds of their pickup trucks a lot; it's what gave me the idea.
if you get them for next to nothing. It's worth a try.
 

12VoltInstalls

…myself everything do I…
Joined
Jan 18, 2021
Messages
4,019
Location
Vermont
Each array has its own Victron MPPT 100/50. All panels are wired in parallel
I’d recommend considering 3 series strings instead. I like your idea a lot- I just think you will get maximum performance that way. Not knowing your VOC I’m not sure you can do that with listed equipment but 3S3P seems like a better arrangement from my experience.
 

Son_of_Scotland

New Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
5
I saw a video or read an article where the guy used ball bearing draw sides between two panels with a locking device while traveling.
 

Sgt Raven

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
Messages
1,079
FYI.... 15 series 80/20 (1.5" square), is slightly thicker than the average solar panel frame side wall. I'm building a perimeter frame from it to surround my 4 100W panels. It will mount like a roof rack.
 

Uoavitar

Boondocker
Joined
Jan 25, 2021
Messages
64
I came across something I may try myself. This company is/will be making a 1200 watt solar awning for rvs.

 

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HRTKD

Boondocker
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
7,738
Location
Somewhere South of Denver
I came across something I may try myself. This company is/will be making a 1200 watt solar awning for rvs.


That's going to be expensive, especially in light of their expectation of offering financing. 1200 watts of solar panels would have cost me $185 x 4 = $740, plus the mounting brackets and wiring. However, I would be hard pressed to fit 1200 watts on the roof. I currently have only 640 watts. From that perspective, it's a good way to get a bunch of PV if your roof is "difficult".

I rarely put my awning out. I'm just not around during the day to use it and leaving it open when away is just asking for a disaster, no matter how wind resistant they say their solution will be.

The housing for the panels looks pretty big.
 

curiouscarbon

Science Penguin
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
2,250
it's so cool and so expensive!

wonder if any counter weight suggested.

panels on roof seem most practical, an idyllic solar awning is appealing in theory to me..
 

Cajunwolf

Solar Addict
Joined
Sep 23, 2019
Messages
360
Location
Houston, the free state of Texas
I came across something I may try myself. This company is/will be making a 1200 watt solar awning for rvs.

Now, that's interesting. And yeah, the first ones will be expensive, but if they catch on then, competition and innovation will bring prices down. You could make your own by buying the flexible panels and attaching them to your awning to where the panels and associated wiring rolled up with it. But, and from what I've heard, the flexible panels aren't as efficient yet, so is the investment worth 7 to 10 grand?
 

The New JC777

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 17, 2020
Messages
151
I’d recommend considering 3 series strings instead. I like your idea a lot- I just think you will get maximum performance that way. Not knowing your VOC I’m not sure you can do that with listed equipment but 3S3P seems like a better arrangement from my experience.
Thank you @12installs for your input. I don't want to pollute the topic too much, but the VOC is just over 48 volts so series is not a option for the controllers I have purchased.
 
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