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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-06-2021, 12:30 Thread Starter
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Solar panel

Hi looking for some advice, are the two wires in the photo at the rear of my EMS panei for the install of solar panel? and also what is the max amps i can install? Autocruise Stardream 2009 thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-06-2021, 14:47
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hi and welcome.


I've no idea as I'm not in favor of using the vans own connections for solar, I always use a separate controller between the panel and the batteries, the connections are so much simpler and if it all goes awry the vans electrics are still working so you can carry on with the holiday.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-06-2021, 17:43
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Welcome to the forum Matradon.

How much solar you should install will depend on how you use the MH - if you only use campsites with EHU then you really have very little need. If you like to camp off-grid then basically as much as you can, with the battery bank playing a large part in the equation.

I have 130W solar with 2x95A AGM batteries. I'm off-grid quite a bit n ideally would like a bit more.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-06-2021, 19:02
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I have a spare 100w panel just sitting here waiting to be dumped. I have checked it and it has a good output.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-06-2021, 19:09
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The connectors in your photo don't look right for a solar feed. They seem to be straightforward spade connectors for 12 V DC.

Have a long Google-up of solar installations. See if any of the required components are already installed. Is your intention a boost of battery power, or 240V "mains" ?
There is quite a bit to consider.

If, after that , you feel confident, then DIY, otherwise suggest you get it done professionally.
Bill.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 15-06-2021, 19:06 Thread Starter
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Thanks for your answers, I have already bought my solar panel but didn't buy a controller, it says in the handbook the motorhome is "solar panel ready" the wiring diagram shows two wires straight from the solar panel going into the motorhome control unit (I think it is a seargent unit) I was trying to find out if this unit has a controller built-in? All Google searches have came up with two wires ready to accept a solar panel but I'm unsure if it's direct from the panel or through a seperate controller?
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 15-06-2021, 19:38
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If Autocruise, or some fellow motorhomer has a similar van with solar connected cannot help you, then it boils down to straightforward examination of the connection between solar panel wiring and your spade terminals.


There won't be any output from the panel if it is disconnected. Unfortunately, if you put a meter across your spade terminals that constitutes a connection and you may have a voltage reading.


NOTE: Risky advice !!

With all electrical equipment in the van switched off........measure the voltage at the spades on a sunny day. If nothing, there is some equipment in the way. If it is high, say 15 to 18 volts, then there is probably nothing in between and no controller in the way.



If switch on of electricals brings the voltage from nothing to about 14V then there is ( probably ) a controller before the spades and all is well to connect to main unit or whatever.
If the voltage remains at 15 to 18 volts or more, then......

if you know where to connect the spade terminals to your main 12V supply unit, then try a connection, switch all on and see if the voltage has dropped to about 14V. at the batteries.

All the above is risky. You may blow your main control unit or worse. If you are not familiar with multimeters and such, I revert to my original advice.......get a professional in.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 12:47
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This is why I have solar as a stand-alone, standard controllers are not cheap and will for certain spoil your holiday if it packs in.

Installing a panel is extremely easy if you're fit enough to physically fit enough to lift it onto the roof, there are after all only two cables to mess with at a time, you install the controller and run cables to the battery first so it can read it, then once the panel is on fitted the roof there are special stick on with silicone brackets also on eBay, then run wires to the controller, you will need a roof entry gland, loads on eBay.

Firstly you need to consider if you actually need a panel or just want one, if you always have electric hook up then you probably don't, if you wild camp a lot you may need one but it's down to how many watts you consume while away and how long you stay and drive between camping stops, if all you do is charge a laptop and phones then you should not need one, we tried running a TV for 3 hours for two days staying in one place and didn't need a panel so I've not bothered to fit one since now we don't even take a TV, but a couple of tablets with our own individual downloads from Netflix and iPlayer.

I have two expensive panels in the garage which I keep meaning to put on eBay.

If you do go for a stand-alone setup, make sure you get an MPPT type controller as these are better at extracting power from a panel than the PWM type, and not much difference in the price unless you go top of the market

https://www.sunstore.co.uk/2018/10/0...s-to-the-test/


As far as I know, Moho control equipment does not have MPPT in them, but I may be wrong, I've just not seen it mentioned on any motorhome forum.
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