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  • GleamB
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Solar Upgrade
The P.O. installed (3) 120 w Kyocera KC120-1 panels with a Xantrex C40 controller
We want to add or upgrade solar to around 1000 w
I am reading up, watching videos and, of course, I can ask Roger
The question is, with the current layout, would it be...

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Re: Solar Upgrade
Reply #1
If you can figure out how to add the additional panels without disturbing the existing ones I would do that but only you can figure that out by knowing the size of the panels you want to add. Probably not is my guess. A new controller will...

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Re: Solar Upgrade
Reply #2
If your goal is 1000watts my suggestion would be to start from scratch.
Your current panels are not worth the space they are taking up.

Re: Solar Upgrade
Reply #3
The P.O. installed (3) 120 w Kyocera KC120-1 panels with a Xantrex C40 controller
We want to add or upgrade solar to around 1000 w
I am reading up, watching videos and, of course, I can ask Roger
The...


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Re: Solar Upgrade
Reply #4
Yes, for sure start over.  These are still good panels, they just are not right for your goal of walking room.

At the end of my post here I've posted pictures of how I arranged my approx 1800 watt system.

Your question is excellent, now start your...

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  • Last Edit: May 16, 2020, 03:02:19 pm by Jack L

Re: Solar Upgrade
Reply #5
I agree that to achieve your goal of walking space, you are better starting over with higher watt panels. You might be able to engineer a rack style mount for your new panels using the existing brackets as part of the base. It might be necessary...

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Re: Solar Upgrade
Reply #6
I like the commercial panels with the aluminum frame all the way around. They are about 1.5 inches thick with the actual glass at the top. I installed ours with about 1.75 inch space to the roof so I could use electrical flex conduit to run the...

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Re: Solar Upgrade
Reply #7
Glenn, use the space you have and get better panels.  1200-1400 watts is good if you have the space.  A Victron 150/85 will handle 1200 watts.  The 150/100 will handle 1400 watts.   You can use multiple controllers but if you plan ahead a single...

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Re: Solar Upgrade
Reply #8
GleamB what other equipment do you have or intend to have?

 inverter/chargers/solar controllers are all rated differently. 

Some will take 240 volt panels.

Some have the programming profile to charge lifeline AGM batteries

Some have cooling fans...

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  • Twig
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Re: Solar Upgrade
Reply #9
Learning to live on solar is the key. I have 400 watts, four golf cart batteries, and a hundred dollar controller and live extensively off grid. Of course, if you're loaded..................

  • bbeane
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Re: Solar Upgrade
Reply #10
Like twig said no matter how much solar you have ya still have to manage your usage. Like others said you might be well served to just start over, with the new panels it's a no brainer. If your willing to do the work it's not rocket science.

Re: Solar Upgrade
Reply #11
Learning to live on solar is the key. I have 400 watts, four golf cart batteries, and a hundred dollar controller and live extensively off grid. Of course, if you're loaded..................
I spent...

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Re: Solar Upgrade
Reply #12
Glenn, use the space you have and get better panels..... ......Use commercial grade solar panel cable sized for the length, waterproof connectors make attachment easier.  Make sure...


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Re: Solar Upgrade
Reply #13
Another source for good/excellent wire is Marine Wire like Ancor: fine strand, tin coated for corrosion resistance. No, not cheap.

Wire and Cable | Ancor

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Re: Solar Upgrade
Reply #14
Any of these project can be expensive or not, the biggest cost is in labor if someone else does it.  My entire 1200 watt system cost about $1600 all in and done right.  I got commercial panels delivered to MN for less than $160 each.  Current 330...

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Re: Solar Upgrade
Reply #15
I used Northern Arizona Wind and Sun Northern Arizona Wind & Sun | Off Grid & Grid-Tied Solar Power Systems for our Midnite 150 controller and circuit breakers. They were very helpful and since they were out of state, no tax. The Midnite...

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Re: Solar Upgrade
Reply #16
Marine tinned wire with the UL 1427 on it has pvc as a coating not rubber.  Rubber supports flames. Drips off.  Allows shorting. Pvc wiring chars and the coating does not drip off and keeps the wires separated hence it's required use on boats

Re: Solar Upgrade
Reply #17
I'm in the research mode too. I did a smaller fully self-sufficient solar system on our previous travel trailer so I have some experience.

Here is a screenshot of the Sketchup model that I have for planning the roof layout. This is just one of my...

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Re: Solar Upgrade
Reply #18
If you have a rear ladder, you are now making it unusable.

And, in front what happened with the TV antenna?

Re: Solar Upgrade
Reply #19
Our right rear solar panel is mounted about 5 inches in front of the wrap-around aluminum tubing with the ladder bolted to the rear cap almost against the round aluminum tubing so the ladder still works without any modification. You just have to...

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Re: Solar Upgrade
Reply #20
We have a Winegard Rayzar automatic (flat dome) TV antenna, represented as one of the circles. We will likely strip off the DirecTV dome.

As to the ladder. This is just one of the captured layout samples I have mocked up. Nothing is final. I also...

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Re: Solar Upgrade
Reply #21
It gets expensive to start using smaller panels to fill in spaces.  AM Solar makes their own custom sized panels to make fitting motorhomes with more panels possible.  Many of those panels are well over $500.  You can get close to 400 watts per...

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Re: Solar Upgrade
Reply #22
I was able to get 3 of my panels for $100.00 each, on Craigslist, 4th panel was $175.00 as I wanted the same exact panel as the first 3 and the company had gone out of business. The last 3 were $125.00 each off Craigslist and go to a different...

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  • oldguy
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Re: Solar Upgrade
Reply #23
With this link on solar, I went up on the roof with a piece of cardboard to see where the panels would fit. When I bought this rig it
came with 4 270 watt panels, controller inverter, lots of wire and some breakers. The only thing I see missing...

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Re: Solar Upgrade
Reply #24
If I were doing it again I would replace the window awnings with solar panels that could be propped up when parked and simply go with that. Way too ole to continually try to out do the next guy. Looking at some of the layouts I am reminded to...

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