Solar panel mounting

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Solar panel mounting

Postby KennethW » Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:16 am

What do you Guys think about. Using a solar panel as the galley hatch on a grasshopper or weekender style teardrop. :twisted:
You would save the weight and cost of the hatch. It would also be streamlined. A 160w panel $115 and is 58 3/8 x 26 1/4 x 1 3/8.
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Re: Solar panel mounting

Postby MadMango » Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:36 pm

It sure would make cleaning it easy. On the flip side of that, it opens it up to "easier" vandalism.
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Re: Solar panel mounting

Postby GuitarPhotog » Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:44 pm

And you will always have to park the trailer in full sun, with the hitch facing south. Might be difficult to do in some campgrounds?

My 80W solar panel has a 20ft cable and a stand so I can park the teardrop in the shade and put the panel where it needs to be for best results.

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Re: Solar panel mounting

Postby Bill n Robi » Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:45 pm

I'm with <chas> - spent a week in the Sequoias, in a bowl. Spent my time moving the portable from sunny spot to sunny spot. If it was on the TD I would have been dead after 3 days. Too many times we have been in beautiful spots, no sun on the TD. Have a nice extension for the 80W and it works well, have a generator now for the really difficult sites.
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Re: Solar panel mounting

Postby KennethW » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:32 pm

Bill n Robi wrote:I'm with <chas> - spent a week in the Sequoias, in a bowl. Spent my time moving the portable from sunny spot to sunny spot. If it was on the TD I would have been dead after 3 days. Too many times we have been in beautiful spots, no sun on the TD. Have a nice extension for the 80W and it works well, have a generator now for the really difficult sites.


Thank you to thou's that responded.
I do mostly road trips so charging when driving is a must have. As far as moving to a sunny spot. If you have a hurricane hinge you can raise the hatch extra high and slip the panel off to be placed in the sun. With the panel as a hatch it will need a liner to keep things in the galley from scratching the solar panel cells.
The liner could be made detachable so it can be used as a temperate galley cover.
The solar panel hatch will not need a storage spot.
As far as being vandalize. the cost on panel have come down so that if vandalize. One could replace it verses the cost of electric sites and the freedom of not needing a electric site.
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Re: Solar panel mounting

Postby GuitarPhotog » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:40 pm

Using the panel as the hatch seems like more effort than necessary to me. My hatch is 48" wide and about 70" long along the chord of the curve. The 160W panels at Solar Blvd are approx 60" X 26", so You'd need two across, with a total hatch weight of 65+ lbs.

The idea is fine, but I think unless you are going to use expensive thin-film panels, and mount them to something more removable than the hatch, it's not worth the work.

But, this is my opinion, based on 2 seasons of traveling with one 80W panel, your mileage may vary.

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Re: Solar panel mounting

Postby MadMango » Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:25 am

KennethW wrote: I do mostly road trips so charging when driving is a must have.

If your solar panel is perpendicular to the road while driving, like a normal hatch, I don't think you'll get much charging accomplished. Maybe a image can help get your idea across?
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Re: Solar panel mounting

Postby KennethW » Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:58 am

MadMango wrote:If your solar panel is perpendicular to the road while driving, like a normal hatch, I don't think you'll get much charging accomplished. Maybe a image can help get your idea across?


The hatch is about 40 degree from being flat(some what like a TC teardrop). Thanks again for the responses. I was just thinking outside the box.
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