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  #51  
Old 04-01-2010
JerryKessler's Avatar
JerryKessler JerryKessler is offline
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That circuit board and your thoughts on it were previously discussed. Larry is providing a schematic on it so it can be easily reproduced. That is good thinking to think ahead on these things.

The system components are quite modular. Removing and replacing an actuator or switch would be fairly easy as everything is accessible. The only thing that would take effort is tracking the wiring if that were needed for some reason.

I'll post where the actuators came from and what their original purpose was.
Edit: Here is the url : http://www.shop.creativewerksinc.com...6&productId=55

Those are 2-volt Sun Extender batteries. There are six of them wired for a 12-volt system. 3 in the battery/inverter box and 3 occupying where the original 3 starter batteries were. They are very tall, very heavy, and very high capacity. We wanted Rolls batteries but there was a 3-4 week waiting time and we can't deal with that now or in the future.

The solar panel lifting mechanisms have current limiters which stop the lift movement if there is resistance such as making contact with an object. The idea was to stop the lift before any damage to a panel could occur. It is quite sensitive and can be adjusted. You are right, the actuators could cause severe damage because they are so powerful. The instructions are to watch closely when moving the panels to make sure no malfunctions are occurring. Should one occur, the actuators can be disconnected easily and the panels manually lowered.

Keep up the input. We need it to make improvements or changes (if necessary). Also it can help avoid future problems. We appreciate it very much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by warbucks13477 View Post
Jerry it appears that they do beautiful work. But just remember unless you are going to maintain the solar system and all integral parts that work with it yourself....then you absolutely need detailed documentation on how everything is designed......your specifications that they designed the solar system to....schematics of all electrical systems, manuals for each of the parts they used to design the system.

There is one thing you have described that worries me and that is the circuit board they designed and built to control the antenna movers that they are using to raise and lower your solar panels. If you are capable of working on this system yourself and repairing it if something goes wrong then there is no problem. But if you depend on others to maintain it there is no way of knowing how long any business will be there in the future and a system without good documentation is a pain to get anyone to work on it.

It appears they are using 24 ( or 36") inch ball screw satellite antenna movers similar to these
http://tinyurl.com/yj7e3rx
. They probably have reed sensors that count the revolutions of the screw and there are control boxes you can buy off the shelf that will very accurately move the screws to any position you program into the box. I use to sell them in the 1980-90's with large satellite antenna systems. They are extremely powerful movers and have enough power to rip your panels right off the mounts if they are not properly programmed and controlled.

And one more thing. From the pictures you have posted (excellent) you have 12V batteries not 2V. They look like 8D batteries.
Good luck and hope it works to your total enjoyment
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1994 Wanderlodge PT40 WBSA
2007 Roadtrek 190P 4x4
1992 Ford F250 4x4 Toad

Last edited by JerryKessler; 04-01-2010 at 06:46 PM.
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  #52  
Old 04-23-2010
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JerryKessler JerryKessler is offline
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Well, it has been about a month now that we have been using the solar panels and updated coach electrical system. It has been a great experience being able to boondock with ease. We are steadily learning about electrical loads of the various components in our coach. We have been parked in the very quiet and secluded tent section of Rancho Oso in Santa Barbara. No electrical hookups here and we are doing just fine.

I believe that we have some programming fine tuning to do with the electrical system to get it to work at peak efficiency but what we are getting from it so far has been fantastic. With 1680 watts of panels on the roof, they kick out a good amount of power on non sunny days and from ambient light when shaded. I have not had time to make some videos of the system but I will when I can.

I do have this one picture I took just before taking the coach in for it's annual thorough going over at the local Detroit service center. Hopefully, I will be able to take detailed pictures and video after we get to Jackson Hole, WY in two weeks.

Jerry
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1992 Ford F250 4x4 Toad
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  #53  
Old 04-23-2010
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Congrats Jerry! Its good to hear that you guys are meeting your electrical needs stand alone. Any data on energy harvested/used and battery bank depth of discharge?

Peace&Love, Darren
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  #54  
Old 04-23-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryKessler View Post
Well, it has been about a month now that we have been using the solar panels and updated coach electrical system. It has been a great experience being able to boondock with ease. We are steadily learning about electrical loads of the various components in our coach. We have been parked in the very quiet and secluded tent section of Rancho Oso in Santa Barbara. No electrical hookups here and we are doing just fine.

I believe that we have some programming fine tuning to do with the electrical system to get it to work at peak efficiency but what we are getting from it so far has been fantastic. With 1680 watts of panels on the roof, they kick out a good amount of power on non sunny days and from ambient light when shaded. I have not had time to make some videos of the system but I will when I can.

I do have this one picture I took just before taking the coach in for it's annual thorough going over at the local Detroit service center. Hopefully, I will be able to take detailed pictures and video after we get to Jackson Hole, WY in two weeks.

Jerry
That is amazing. This is why I've been telling my dh that we definetly need to go solar!!
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