1000W portable generator or 90W solar panel

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Re: 1000W portable generator or 90W solar panel

Postby Kaz » Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:48 pm

Hands down I'd go solar. No gas No NOISE. If your running A.C. you'll need a generator, otherwise go solar. ZAMP makes a couple of portable units. There nice and may seem a little pricey but I've built a unit on my shed for charging batteries and it's a quality set up and It probably cost me more to build then buying a ZAMP unit. I'll probably ZAMP 80/120 watt in the near future. They come complete units charge controller included.
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Re: 1000W portable generator or 90W solar panel

Postby Crabapple » Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:34 pm

Kaz wrote:Hands down I'd go solar. No gas No NOISE. If your running A.C. you'll need a generator, otherwise go solar. ZAMP makes a couple of portable units. There nice and may seem a little pricey but I've built a unit on my shed for charging batteries and it's a quality set up and It probably cost me more to build then buying a ZAMP unit. I'll probably ZAMP 80/120 watt in the near future. They come complete units charge controller included.

Nope no AC...just my small and very efficient 12V fridge/freezer as stated, and charge my cell phone. I rarely use the trailer lights (LED) or Fantastic Fan anyway. There is a Zamp distributor just north of where I live. Also Northernfridge.ca has the solar panels I posted earlier, and they are close by too.
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1000W portable generator or 90W solar panel

Postby GerryS » Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:36 pm

What's the current draw of the fridge? That is really the question....think of it as a demand problem, not a solution problem. When you build a bridge you know the span...you don't build the bridge the find a home for it.

You may find just getting a bigger deep cycle battery will fit your need and not need either. We run out domestic cf35, lights, and a fantastic for 3 days and come home ready to charge the battery...
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Re: 1000W portable generator or 90W solar panel

Postby tony.latham » Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:54 pm

bdosborn wrote:Your fridge looks like a rebadged Waeco; our Waeco uses around 1 amp-hr on average when set to 40F in 85F weather. I have no problem keeping up with our fridge and cell phones with an 80 watt portable panel. That's assuming the sun shines every day and you're not camped too far in the shade. :)

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I followed Bruce's suggestion (and info on his webpage) and my sixty-watt folding panels work great. :thumbsup: :pictures: When they're set up, they don't even hum. 8)

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I made my legs from a cheap camera tripod that needed to be recycled. :beer: Since these photos were taken, I added another twenty-watt panel ontop of the tongue box so that the battery is always being maintained.

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Re: 1000W portable generator or 90W solar panel

Postby flboy » Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:08 pm

Depending on your needs, you may need both solar and generator. I have 200W of panels and 2 deep cycle batteries. They will keep the batteries charged and run a small dorm fridge (via 115VAC inverter) all day in sunlight and the fridge will run off the batteries and the inverter overnight. The fridge takes about 150W when the compressor runs but only runs about 20 minutes an hour on hot days. You can do the math with the batteries capacity and etc. to figure out how much power you need. I also run lighting and a small TV off the inverter and have some +12VDC lighting also .That is all that is needed unless you want to run a small AC. I have a small AC I use in Florida in the summer, and for that I bought a real quiet Honda 2000W Generator. There have also been cloudy days, or times I camp where trees prevent 100% sunlight all day. I need the generator to top off the batteries before sundown to make it through the dark hours.

If I did not use AC, the 200W Panels and the 2 batteries are sufficient to do most anything you need (lights, tv, small fridge) with a little margin. If it was my only source of power, I'd run 300Watts of panels and add a third battery to make sure I did not get below 50% on the batteries overnight.

Just my 2 cents. The link below is my setup. I have room for a 3rd panel for sure. They are relatively cheap. I can get 1 100W panel for about $120.
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=50647&start=60
Don (Flboy)

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viewtopic.php?f=42&t=65498
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viewtopic.php?f=42&t=50647
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb-pvBbyyBs - Exterior
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Re: 1000W portable generator or 90W solar panel

Postby bdosborn » Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:45 am

GerryS wrote:What's the current draw of the fridge? That is really the question....


Probably something like this (from testing I did):

Image


Test Linky

Lets assume he's using a smaller 12V deep cycle battery with a capacity of around 80 amp-hrs. At 1 amp-hr average usage, he could last around 40 hours on the battery without charging.

I have two golf cart batteries; I can go 4 days without charging. That's assuming I don't run anything else but the fridge, which is a poor assumption for me as I have a lot of stuff in my trailer that gobbles up juice.

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Re: 1000W portable generator or 90W solar panel

Postby Crabapple » Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:01 pm

bdosborn wrote:
GerryS wrote:What's the current draw of the fridge? That is really the question....


Probably something like this (from testing I did):

Image


Test Linky

Lets assume he's using a smaller 12V deep cycle battery with a capacity of around 80 amp-hrs. At 1 amp-hr average usage, he could last around 40 hours on the battery without charging.

I have two golf cart batteries; I can go 4 days without charging. That's assuming I don't run anything else but the fridge, which is a poor assumption for me as I have a lot of stuff in my trailer that gobbles up juice.

Bruce

Yes I tested last summer and I can go a weekend on just the battery which is a 24/140. My fridge is also smaller than yours, only 31L.
I know I can't quite go 4 days though. Plus the battery is now a year older too so that may be a factor.
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Re: 1000W portable generator or 90W solar panel

Postby teamredjeep » Tue Jun 23, 2015 6:34 pm

Just spent 4 days at Teardrop event in Nevada with temps in the 80's. Ran ARB fridge, fantastic fan on thermostat control and lights at night. I have Group 24 AGM 85AH and my 60 watt solar panel kept it charged fine. I have a 100 watt panel on top of carport I store our TD in to keep battery up. I also run the same stuff minus lights in between trips at times with no trouble. For me I think 100 watts is to much, I like a smaller suitcase to transport and I can always run tow vehicle if panel can't keep up.

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Re: 1000W portable generator or 90W solar panel

Postby teamredjeep » Tue Jun 23, 2015 6:42 pm

I also installed the controller permanently in trailer so I don't have to worry about it in the weather.
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Re: 1000W portable generator or 90W solar panel

Postby bdosborn » Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:34 pm

teamredjeep wrote:I also installed the controller permanently in trailer so I don't have to worry about it in the weather.


Me too.
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Re: 1000W portable generator or 90W solar panel

Postby Shadow Catcher » Wed Jun 24, 2015 5:16 pm

One of our problems is that virtually all camping spots in our neck of the woods, have exactly that, woods and shade! The advantage of the high voltage panel is that I get useable current in situation a 17V panel would produce nothing. Even my, on the end of a cord Unisolar flexible panel is high voltage a couple of feet wide by 18 foot long.
I have yet to use it!
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Re: 1000W portable generator or 90W solar panel

Postby Crabapple » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:34 am

So I have decided on solar over a generator.
Don't have all the prices yet, but I have dealers close by for these two brands so it will be this...
http://www.zampsolar.com/product/80-wat ... m-zs-80-p/
or this...
http://www.northernfridge.ca/products/slp090f-12s

Would be happy to see comments favourable to one over the other, the specs are slightly different.
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Re: 1000W portable generator or 90W solar panel

Postby ukewarrior » Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:47 pm

For what its worth, you can build your own folder and save a lot of money.

I just bought two Taiwan made 35W panels for a 70W total for about $90 total.
I then bought a morningstar SSL-6 controller for $25 off ebay. They routinely sell for $35 or so.
For the cost of two hinges, a couple of pop rivits, a window clasp and a handle strap at about $15 total, I can build a 70W folding unit for less than $150.
Mind you, this is with the nearly infallible, 5 year warranty morningstar controller. You can spend even less for a no-name chinese controller.

Reference:
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?t=43994&highlight=folding+pv+panel
Crabapple wrote:So I have decided on solar over a generator.
Don't have all the prices yet, but I have dealers close by for these two brands so it will be this...
http://www.zampsolar.com/product/80-wat ... m-zs-80-p/
or this...
http://www.northernfridge.ca/products/slp090f-12s

Would be happy to see comments favourable to one over the other, the specs are slightly different.
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Re: 1000W portable generator or 90W solar panel

Postby Crabapple » Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:44 am

Thanks, understood and appreciated. But at this point in my life I have more money than I do time!
ukewarrior wrote:For what its worth, you can build your own folder and save a lot of money.

I just bought two Taiwan made 35W panels for a 70W total for about $90 total.
I then bought a morningstar SSL-6 controller for $25 off ebay. They routinely sell for $35 or so.
For the cost of two hinges, a couple of pop rivits, a window clasp and a handle strap at about $15 total, I can build a 70W folding unit for less than $150.
Mind you, this is with the nearly infallible, 5 year warranty morningstar controller. You can spend even less for a no-name chinese controller.

Reference:
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?t=43994&highlight=folding+pv+panel
Crabapple wrote:So I have decided on solar over a generator.
Don't have all the prices yet, but I have dealers close by for these two brands so it will be this...
http://www.zampsolar.com/product/80-wat ... m-zs-80-p/
or this...
http://www.northernfridge.ca/products/slp090f-12s

Would be happy to see comments favourable to one over the other, the specs are slightly different.
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Re: 1000W portable generator or 90W solar panel

Postby ae6black » Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:59 pm

At the end of June I spent 5 days camping without shore power or a generator. Since it rained half the time, I only used my Renogy 100W folding suitcase (which is basically 1/2 the cost of a zamp unit) for a about 8 hours every other day since I haven't taken my controler off the suitcase and mounted it in the tow vehicle. it kept the battery charged. I was using the radio several hours a day and the led lights and the electronic ignition on the refrigerator as it was running on gas. Also used the water pump as needed to flush the toilet. Had no problem keeping battery charged even only using it that amount of time.
I am sold on solar panels for the noise.

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