I could not find the type of Solar Panel needed for our BOV Solar installation in Taiwan but managed to get one from China instead. I needed a Semi-Flexi 20W Solar Panel which is lighter and more durable unlike those glass reinforced with Aluminium frames that are much heavier.
Delivery took less than a week and the package was well packed. Also included was a 2 metres cable with connectors and that save my effort to hunt for more cables and connectors. Currently I got only one Solar Panel to test it out, if it is good, I will get probably 2 or 3 more to ran in parallel for more Amperes for BOV camping and survival.
Base on the calculation a 20W Solar Panel only produces 1.2 amp current. It is definitely insufficient if we were to use for self sustain BOV camping.
Based on our need, estimated ampere hourly ampere usage calculation what we will use are the;
- Cool Box 3amp 36Watt hourly and if on it for 8hour and off it during the evening, we would consumed 288Watts
- LED x 3@ 0.12amp = 0.36amp = 1.44watts x 3 = 4.32Watts hourly and for 8 hour in the evening = 34.56Watts.
So in one day, we would consumed total of 322.56Watts. Our Battery Size 12V 90amp = 1080watts and since it is an ageing Battery 85% capacity = 918watts. Our battery would only last around 3 days for our usage. In reality, our battery probably can be use in 1.5 days as we are allow to use max half capacity of a Lead Acid Battery.
I am no Solar energy expert but just some basic knowledge. Base on the calculation we would might need a minimum 120W solar panel in total to keep us going. Frankly Solar installation is not cheap even for households, considering the cost of solar panels and batteries maintenance, it would take 3 to 5 years to break even.
Anyway back to the topic, at the moment, I got the solar panel just to tickle our starter and auxiliary batteries. The reason is we had to many battery failures due to our lack of use on our BOV. Once our battery volts fells below 11.9V, we faced problems with the battery health. I have bought a Mashin Intelligent Charger to regain the battery health so now I like to keep them alive with the solar panel.
Couple of days ago I had modified the Solar Charge Controller and carry out the installation, I faced with a problem. The Solar Charge Controller programmed mode was useless to preprogrammed timing to charge the starter battery. It seem the positive terminal is always Live on the Load and with the negative Load hook the vehicle chassis, there is always constant current supply to the starter battery from the Aux battery.
Gave up the idea on pre-program charging and connect both batteries in Parallel, that mean whatever the Aux battery voltage is, it will be the same as the starter battery. Will make a connector for the Load negative terminal so I can isolate starter battery from draining if we are out BOV camping. Will monitor the progress for the next few days and see how it goes.
|The Solar Panel is lightweight so it was easy to install on the windscreen just by using s suction cap to hold it in place|
|solar connector point to Solar Charge Controller|
|Battery @ 12.6V..was a cloudy day.|
|Joeypa Battery Isolator connected the Load directly to the starter battery|