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Alaskan solar and additional external solar panel


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#1 nixfwc

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 12:18 AM

My 14 Alaskan came with 160 watts of Zamp solar. In the shade I can’t keep up with fridge amp draw so I have added an additional moveable 100 watt panel through a 120 watt smaller zamp panel I had left over from earlier campers. My question is if I hook up the external panel when the Alaskan is in the sun, will they work together or will the larger panel cancel out the smaller panel input? I read somewhere something about a combiner. It would be great to have the full 260 watts in the sun. Any ideas?
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#2 Vic Harder

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 01:46 AM

if you have two panels and two controllers hooked up to the same batteries, they will work together to charge up the batteries the two chargers may not agree on what constitutes a full charge, but that’s ok
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#3 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 02:12 AM

What Vic said. You might also check the existing controller to see if it can handle the wattage of the two panels, and if it has connections for a second panel. Since the new panel sounds like a portable, you could add a quick disconnect to make things more convenient.
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#4 nixfwc

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 03:25 AM

I chose to run it to a separate controller because I did not want to run another wire to the top of the camper thru the flexible tube. I don’t know if the existing controller would handle the extra watts but will check in the morning although I don’t want to retire unless necessary. I was thinking of installing the other panel in an easily removed roof mount and then having the extra panel contribute as if parked in the sun. But mainly have it to be able to park in the shade and still keep some charge for the fridge.
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#5 klahanie

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 04:54 PM

... will check in the morning although I don’t want to retire unless necessary.

 

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#6 PackRat

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 06:03 PM

The guys will know better than I do, but it sounds like your fridge has a BIG draw and your battery does not have the capacity to provide that power to it. So...here is my question for you Solar Gurus.....what if the OP added a SECOND battery to his Alaskan? Would that be enough to offset the draw? Would he then be better off if he intends on adding the portable solar unit to have increased storage that the second battery would have? 

 

Any info on how to wire up the second panel and the two controllers and two batteries to work in tandem would be interesting and perhaps helpful if the OP is running outta power....not enough power at night to run the fridge and interior lights, etc. after the sun goes down would seem to be a problem that a second battery AND a second solar panel might overcome.

 

Your thoughts gentlemen?


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#7 nixfwc

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 09:50 PM

Hah!....Retiring has been in the back of my mind, but it must be leaking towards the front. Can’t think too much about it or it might happen. I mean I am only 72. Furthermore predictive typing I s a PIA. Proof reading is a necessity.


On another thought my Alaskan has two Gp.27 AGM batteries but fridge draws 4 amps. In the sun it barely keeps up if I want to keep batteries above 12 volts hence the additional moveable solar panel .the two panels together will keep me above 12 volts if the second cc is able to read the correct voltage. My concern is that the primary system may fool the secondary system into thinking there is more charge than there actually is at the battery. I have a trimetric but have not put the full system into full sun to see what kind of readings I get. The trimetric will read total input and output.
Turning fridge temps up helps but then I don’t get ice. Bourbon and water without ice just doesn’t cut it.
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#8 CougarCouple

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 01:20 AM

Hello nixfwc
Getting harder and more complicated to have a simple drink on the rocks all the time.
Russ. :)
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#9 ntsqd

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 01:29 AM

2 way or 3 way fridge? 4 amps is only 48 watts. Seems like even with high sun angle loss that you should be able to keep up.

 

For me it's ice cream, but I hear you on the ice topic.


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#10 nixfwc

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 02:38 AM

One way fridge. Compressor type. I am trying to keep battery voltage over 12 volts to preserve my $500 battery investment. 2 -75 amp hour gp 27 AGMs. I’ll let you know what my trimetric informs me once I get it all going.
If I retire...Damn, there it is again....Rewire. I may try to tap into the factory plug where it connects to the truck battery and go thru the 30 amp cc. It should handle the load. Just more work to rewire.
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