Are they also installing what appears to be a rebranded Victron MPPT solar controller, sold under the overland solar name?
Flexible Solar Panel InstallationSolar panel flexible
Posted 27 April 2018 - 03:30 PM
not sure....that would be cool, especially if it had the bluetooth option.
Posted 27 April 2018 - 03:36 PM
Here is the MPPT on their website...no details on the manufacturer.
2019 Silverado 2500HD, 2017 Hawk
Posted 27 April 2018 - 03:40 PM
That sure looks like a Victron 100/30 MPPT Controller
1993 Dodge Cummins W-250 Club Cab long bed, 2007 FWC Keystone
Posted 27 April 2018 - 03:50 PM
Agree, looks like a rebranded Victron. I have the Victron controller in my Fleet flatbed and love it. Their app is awesome. All the info I need and then some, but easy to use. I have a new Zamp controller in another camper and it is a POS compared to the Victron. Zamp is not even in the same league. The connectors have microscopic screws to attach the leads, very limited data. The Victron can be mounted out of sight which is great too.
Posted 27 April 2018 - 09:07 PM
2015 FWC Hawk Flatbed
Posted 28 April 2018 - 02:49 AM
Looking at the manual - it looks like it is copied straight from Victron. That would definitely be an in improvement from Zamp, but it seems like it would be even better just to use the original OEM from Victron, so you know it would be supported by Victron.
2016 Fleet Flatbed
2016 Toyota Tacoma
Posted 27 September 2023 - 06:04 PM
Update on my flexible solar panels: My flexible solar panels I installed as indicated in this post have lasted 7 years. They were still performing adequately, until my garage door failed to raise all the way to the top and I broke off one of the junction boxes at the top. I have tried to fix these in the past and it seems pretty much impossible to me.
Luckily, I had a spare SolarCenergy 120 watt panel from years ago. It was easy to remove the damaged panel. In installing the new panel, I omitted the step of attaching aluminum stiffening bars to the bottom of the panel, and I did not even use screws to attach to the 1 inch square mounts. I just cleaned and sanded the mounts, which were all in perfect condition with no failures, and used VHB tape to secure the panel to the 12 1x1 mounts. I now think the stiffening bars, and the screwing down of the panel into the 1x1 mounts, was overkill. That VHB tape is really amazing, and the new minimal mounting method seems to be working fine.
I just tested it out, and on this late September day in Southern Utah, I was getting 244 watts at about 1:00 PM. Recall that my array is a nominal 480 watts. So today I got 51% of rated performance. In middle of summer, at high altitude, I expect I would get a lot more. This is acceptable for me. My philosophy is to install a lot more solar than you think you need, since in real life use, you always get a lot less than rated capacity.
Posted 28 September 2023 - 05:35 AM
Zirdu, thank you for the update! I previously tagged this thread that you started years ago because my intent was to install solar and use your method of attaching flexible panels. I want to use the lightweight flexible panels for the same reason you did, to reduce weight on the roof. And I'd rather use VHB and avoid putting holes in the roof. I'm hoping to install solar on my camper this winter when I have some down time.
My biggest concern with your method was the possibility of introducing some flex or flutter in the panels from air passing under and over the panels while driving at freeway speed, which could affect the longevity of the panels. Since you have not experienced any panel failures I would say that my concerns are not valid. Do you think the angled aluminum bar provided any benefit to not allowing air to get under the leading edge of the panel? I believe you are calling that piece of aluminum a stiffening bar, is that correct?
Posted 28 September 2023 - 12:24 PM
Thank you wildcat. Yes, I initially added the angle bars and flat stiffening bars to the bottom of the flexible panel to avoid the possibility of flutter of the panels at high speeds. They certainly did do that. But they are a lot of work to install, and I am thinking that they were not necessary. I can't see the panels while driving of course, so can't really tell what is happening up there at speed. But I open the window and don't hear anything, at least. I think the flexible panels are strong enough so the extra stiffening is not necessary. I guess I I will find out! Note I do have mounts in the middle front and back of the panels, and one in the middle, which I think help a lot to keep the panel from flexing at speed.
By the way, I always keep my camper parked in my garage when not in use. i think the main thing that wears out the flexible panels is sun damage over time. And heat, if you have them mounted directly on the roof without an air gap.
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