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Rod

Solar Panel up grade

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My Kedron is 5 years old 

it has 3 solar Panel now each one is 135W

I am thinking of up grading the Panels

what would be the best bang for my buck 

Any help thanks 

the system charges 3AGM 120 batteries 

cheers

Rod

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Hi Rod

 

We went through a similar dilemma last year with our 2012 Kedron ATV for two.

 

After considerable research and discussion we did 2 things. 

   1. We upgraded the solar system from 600watts to 1040watts, we used every bit of available roof space to put solar panels on.

   2. Our 3AGM 120 watt batteries (105kg total weight) were on their last legs, so we opted for 4 Victron lithium 90 watt batteries (48kg total weight), a 50amp DC to DC charger, and a 60amp Enerdrive AC charger. The 360amp AGM system, gave us about 180amps of usable power. The 360amp lithium system gives us about 310amps of usable power.  Lithium batteries also charge much faster.

 

Just remember, when adding new fixtures, like solar panels, it's all weight. By opting for the lithium batteries, we saved nearly 60kg in weight. The solar panels we added were less than the weight we saved. Hence, a nett reduction in weight.

 

The end result is fantastic. We don't have to worry about off grid power anymore.  We now have 3 very efficient ways (solar, DC and AC) to charge our long lasting (reportable 15years life) batteries. We even use the normal household toaster through the 1800watt inverter. We don't carry a generator anymore, even less weight  to worry about.

 

But, all these nice things come at a cost, so shop around.  We figure we are adding value to our Kedron, and hopefully, it will be a more 'attractive' item when we eventually sell it. Additionally, we'll never have to replace our batteries again.

 

Cheers from Pete.

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Hi Rod,

I like Peter's thinking above......although somewhat expensive (guessing not much change out of 10k)....ALL comes down to how often you use the van and your style of camping.

Your van you say is 5 years old, if you are still on your original AGM's (not jinxing you) will be due for replacement 'soonish'.

So Peters option above could be considered.....

 

My thoughts are you cannot have enough solar on the roof, in the last 5 years there has been great advancement in panel design & manufacture.

Your van probably/possibly has Polycrystalline panels, .....(newer) Monocrystalline panels are slightly more efficient and compatible with the 'polys'. If you are serious about increasing your solar capacity, can I respectively suggest you do some further research on quality panels. (you don't have to replace the existing panels) Not knowing.... your capabilities & resources, panel installation is not that difficult.

I have found that Springers Solar to be very good @ Lawnton 07 3889 8898 speak to Matt or Eddie both guru's and won't give you a bum steer! 

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Thanks for the info 

my 3 AGM are only 12 months old 

so I was looking at up grading the solar Panels

i found some panels on line

300w

i was keen on these because they fit in the mounting bracket all ready on the roof

670 wide

cheers

Rod

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Hi Pete

when you up graded your solar Panels to 1040W how many Panels did  you use and how did you wire them up 

Did you have to in stall a second solar regular 

Are you running a MPPT regular 

Cheers 

Rod

PS only new to this 

bear with me 🤔

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Hi Rod.

 

Thank you for your enquiry.  

 

I use Springers Solar at Lawnton for my electrical work. You will find their contact number in a previous post by TonyH. They're the technical experts in this field and have the solutions. Basically, they left the original 5 panels (130watt x4 and 80watt x 1) as they were,  and wired the additional panels (100watts x 2 and 80watts x 3) into the 2nd import of the original PL60 solar regulator.

 

Kedron are continually upgrading their caravans, and that includes the electrical/ battery/ solar systems. As a result there are very few caravans exactly the same.

 

Most of us know our own systems, but I dare to say, most of us are not technical experts.  Hence, it is sometimes difficult to advise someone else on what to do when we don't know the exact make and model of the components you have compared to those fitted to other caravans.

 

Rod, my advice would be to find a reputable organisation in your local area who can look at your caravan, discuss your needs and come up with an acceptable solution.

 

Cheers from Pete.

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Thanks Pete 

i do like to talk to people who test the products in the field 

unfortunately not to many reputable organization in newcastle area 

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