An MPPT controller will give you about 33% more power into your battery but will cost much more, so many people argue that instead of buying the more expensive controller, you should just buy a third solar panel which will give you 33% more power. It’s paid for and you are used to carrying it around. From a safety standpoint it may be wise to wire the plugs so the female plug end is on the panels. These batteries have very thick positive plates and belong in the true Deep Cycle class. Janis, it is much simpler than it seems. You can’t go wrong with a Renogy kit but you still have to make a few choices. You can see they suggest combining the panels in series. In full hot sunlight I get a maximum of 7 Amps from each set, but as you know the slightest puff of cloud or partial shade from dancing leaves brings that down quite a ways. Bob. You are likely asking “What took you so long?” Well, there are a few reasons. Would you use a separate (additional) charge controller for the portable system and then attach the wire from this additional charge controller to the existing battery bank on the same permanent system? This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commisson if you decide to make a purchase through my links. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. The kit came with 8 “Z” brackets and screws for mounting; I just had to provide the sealant. But if you want to watch TV, use a 12 volt compressor fridge or run a fan a lot, you need 200 watts: two 100 watt panels. Sounds like you’ve pretty well got it figured out, then. Thanks in advance, and thank you SO much for this thread. ... they make installation easy. Equipped with components specifically for on-the-go projects, such as a flush mount charge controller and a cable entry housing unit, they take all the guesswork out of starting your solar adventure. I know there are more efficient units with some cool extra features on the market. Then I can simply plug in the 35ft 10ga extension cord and plug the other end into the solar panel(s). Then I could afford a better one that I’ve been using for the last 3 years and is really great. One of them had four 100 watt solar panels in series and the other had four 100 watt panels in parallel. Now, lithium is supposed to last longer than lead batteries, so the extra cost would be amortized. I mounted the 30 amp charge controller on the wall in the back of the front storage compartment next to my 1000 watt Inverter and just behind the battery box. I got up about 6:30AM and turned off the furnace, using the Big Buddy again. With real life voltage drops, what would happen in each scenario that would make it worth halving your amps with the series connection? New 400-Watt 12-Volt Mono Solar Premium Kit for Off-Grid Solar System The Renogy 400W Mono Solar Panel Premium The Renogy 400W Mono Solar Panel Premium Kit is the most economical choice for the off-grid adventurer. Fortunately, Amazon sells a 200 watt kit with a PWM controller and without the feet or extension cable for $309: Renogy Solar Panel Bundle 200 Watt. … By placing the panels away from the van, you can park in the shade while they are in full sun. If you paid someone else to install it the costs would skyrocket and most people didn’t know what to buy or how to install it. Installing the Renogy 200W Solar Kit Mounting the Solar Panels First thing to do was plan out where I was going to mount the 2 100 watt solar panels on my Keystone Cougar fifth wheels roof and the best routing for the wiring. First thing to do when you start the installation is to decide where you are going to mount the controller. Extremely well thought out for a boondocker, and fairly priced. I’m glad you’re getting it figured out! So, by placing the panel’s right up front they will get the best solar coverage and will have a slight tilt into the sun. Internet has tables, Bob, (Experiment that was conducted on the effect of shade (or even shadow) on generation of power). The kit came with all the panel wiring connectors ready to hookup in the form of waterproof MC4 connectors that just snap together. Bob, I think you’ll be really pleased with them, they are great units! He created a video where he setup up his current van with 2 batteries daisy-chained to be come two 12 volt batteries. I’ve been studying a lot about RV solar applications and came across a couple of points I thought worth mentioning – well, they gave me pause…. So if you have 200 watts of solar you need about 200 amp-hours of battery. Renogy 200W Monocrystalline Starter Kit is designed specifically for customers new to solar. But that still left the problem of how to get it installed. Mostly for tools rather than lights, as in an upscale air compressor, or a portable high volume water pump to run water from my traveling water tank to fill up the trailer. The Solar Charge Controller comes with a separate detailed manual. As long as you always use the same color for positive and negative it will be all good. Thanks for the reply Bob. thanks for keeping us updated on what is new in the world of solar. I hope to never live in a house again! Pick a color and make it positve and negative and always stick to that. What I have now works just fine for my purposes. With the ability to access energy wherever there is sun, the options for your journey are limitless. In the summer you will be amazed by how much power you get out of them! The panel includes MC4 leads that extend from the junction box affixed to the back. I’ll make do with this until I can afford a fancier solar power monitoring solution. I arrived yesterday with a fully charged battery bank. My two 12V AGM batteries theoretically provide 208Ah. The combination of tilting and tracking the sun with your panels will give you a lot more power into your battery at the end of the day. If efficiency and reliability are high on your wish list, the Renogy 100W 12V Premium Kit is your choice. The output is at 1000Wh per day, which can help RVs, trailers, boats, cabins, jet skis etc.,. Bill, I don’t understand, do you mean having two controllers feeding into one battery bank? Follow our RV adventures! ... Renogy 200-Watt 12-Volt Monocrystalline Solar Bundle Off-Grid Kit with 30 Amp Charge Controller (3) Bob. Bob, Did you know that AC travels better then DC. http://amzn.to/2e5eko6 ANL up to 500 amp The more ah in your battery bank, the better during storms and winter. I was very happy with that as it is one of the lowest sun angles of the year. I can effectively use half of that, leaving me 104Ah. But if you ask on the forum LOTS of people can help you! See Affiliate Disclosure. All that matters is that we each find what works best for us. Bob. I am very new to this stuff. It’s been a year or two since I used the generator for myself, I’m just carrying it to loan to friends. They are a little more per watt for the convenience but they are truly plug-n-play so for a lot of people it’s worth it! KINDLE VERSION: How to Live in a Car, Van or RV--And Get Out of Debt, Travel and Find True Freedom, Cheaprvliving.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Things keep improving and getting cheaper. The Renogy 200w Solar Starter Kit consists of Two Renogy Premium Grade a High Efficiency 100 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panels. I don’t remember which inverter she had so it will depend the size of the inverter. As solar got cheaper over the years I reconsidered but still the hassle of installation put me off. It has advantages but it also is very expensive and has a very steep learning curve. Use these links and I'll make a small percentage and it will cost you nothing: By doing a Google search for MPPT controller in “shopping” I found many inexpensive controllers one of particular interest is the Victron Energy Marine MPPT 75/10 Solar Charge Controller for $79.90 with free shipping. I use about 60 amps a day. Somehow I managed to attach this comment to the microwave post instead of here where it belongs. Hi Steve, you need a sacrificial extension cord that you cut the ends off. I believe with a little conservation on our part we will greatly reduce the run time on our generators now, only needing to fire them up on cloudy days or if we want to run a high wattage item like the AC, microwave or toaster. I’m sorry, I can’t help you about the RV and solar. Is it? In fact, they are so popular and so good that my standard recommendation for most people on a tight budget is to order a 100, 200 or 400 watt kit from Amazon, depending on their budget and power needs. Trying to find out what kind of reenforcing I need to do to my camper while I’m rebuilding it to install three or four solar panels for off grid hunting and maybe living going to be running four or five 12v battery s replacing all rafters so mite as well reenforce to mount for panel while I’m at it. Just be sure you don’t let the combined total be too many watts for the controller. Take command of your power system with a Renogy Premium Solar Kit. Like you my solar has kept growing and now I almost never use my Honda–I’m giving thought to selling it! The PWM will not increase the amps, it just drops the volts. Bob. It’s also a hassle to have to store them away every time you need to run into town. Bob. Bill, as long as the portable system was the same voltage as whatever is already going into the MPPT controller it should be fine. Bob. They don’t outgas (unless severly overcharged) and because of this they don’t corrode terminals and don’t need to be watered. This Christmas, Santa (my lovely wife) sent me a special package from Amazon containing a brand new Renogy 200W Solar Kit. cable and probably need a 1200 watt inverter (600 watts x 2) so you need to size your wire (battery to inverter) for 1200 watts/ 12 volts, or 100 Amps, this means you need somewhere between 6 and 4 gauge wire, depending on length. The only thing, I’m not quite sure about, is the batteries for the solar. There are true 12 volt deep cycles, but unless you know the manufacturer it’s hard to be certain how good they are or if they are true deep cycles. Find it here: So these panels are 18 volt panels so they will double to 36 volt. They do seem to be a superior battery technology and I especially like the size and weight. With lithium batteries, I can theoretically use 100% of the amp-hours. At the top of the page is a pull-down menu called Electrical and another called Solar and Wind. Thanks for all you do and I do believe this is gonna happen!! It makes installation so much easier that most people can do it by themselves with a little guidance. With this in mind we put our spare funds into. With almost everything now being LED and/or charging off of 5 or 12 volts I question the need for an inverter above, say, 200 watts, which will run off of my 25 amp fuse accessory socket no problem. On the other hand, you might someday need electricity away from the van. Tray Cable, four Mounting Z-brackets, and three branch connectors. May GOD bless you for helping so many of us who’d be pretty much lost without you. I want to mount the solar controller in the TT. I’m very glad I could play some small role in helping you follow your dreams! For many of you on a tight budget, this kit is your very best choice. Thanks for all the articles they have helped me a bunch But if a MPPT controller decreses the voltage by 66 percent from 36 to 12 volt, it then increases the amps by a 66 percent so it all goes in the battery. However, I have a question on the controllers (PWM vs MPPT). Which should you get? You will run into storms and clouds and if you don’t want to run out of power you must have more solar than you need in good weather. Billy, you need a 40 amp controller for that. powered by a 160 watt solar panel and i run my van’s stereo Pioneer 4201 with 300 watt booster and my laptop, phone, phone mods, hair trimmer, toothbrush, and charging, miscellaneous stuff batts. I’ll also talk about connecting your panels in series instead of parallel to reduce the voltage drop over a distance. I decided to go with the Renogy panels after reading so many positive reviews about them and the attractive price for the kit. Renogy 400W 12V Solar Starter Kit features four 100W 12V Solar Panel, one 30 amp PWM Charge Controller, one 20 ft. ok trojans then, re the renogy kit im just quoting the link you put in the article, did you check it? Bob. The controller is electronic so it has different settings for AGM. Next I covered the panels with a blanket so they weren’t outputting power and hooked up all the wires to the charge controller. I guess what I’m trying to say is. Bob. For example, Renolgy sells the same 200 watt kit with either a PWM or MPPT controller and the PWM controller is $320 Renogy 200W Poly: 200W 30A with PWM controller and the MPPT controller is $480 so it costs a lot more RENOGY® 200 watt Mono Solar kit with 20A MPPT Controller. For boondockers another very good option is to buy the 100 watt folding suitcase solar panel from Renogy; we’ll talk about that in my next post. We grow our solutions to fit our situations. Designed to keep. Bob, Using solar panel these days sure help lots of people. bank. Bob, Technomadia has been using lithium batteries for over three years. You don’t have to drill holes in the roof which is a very scary idea for a lot of people and eliminates the risk of leaks. Bob, I have been pretty concerned about volcano eruptions!! So rather than use a common solar power extension cable she decided to use a heavy duty outdoor 110 volt extension cable like the heavy duty yellow ones you see at construction sites. Renogy RV Solar Kits are carefully arranged to meet your RV needs. The two panels were able to bring my batteries back up to a fully charged state again before the sunset and that was with the Inverter running all day while I prepared this post on my laptop. Dandelion was fortunate in that she had a friend here in camp who led her through the whole process making it much easier. This worked out really well as I was able to make the run from the solar panels right to the battery area using only about 16 feet of the 10 gauge wire Renogy included in the kit. The link for the 200 Watt MPPT controller system does take you to an Amazon seller that charges $720. is finally getting some solar! The Renogy 100W suitcases overcame my last objections. Having read their report, I think I could use their experience to improve my own, but for now I’ll wait a few more years even if I get the money. The Renogy 200W 12V Premium Kit uses our most efficient products to boost your off-grid system to its highest potential. But if I relax a bit I use more like 30Ah per day. She didn’t want to have to do that so she ordered the kit with the nice MPPT controller that is currently $480 at Amazon You can get it from Amazon here: RENOGY® 200 watt Solar Panel Kit Mono 20 amp MPPT Controller, Because she didn’t mount the panels on the roof the Z brackets were unneeded and to make it easier to connect and disconnect the panels she adapted a standard 110 volt outdoor extension cord instead of the MC4 extension cord so she didn’t need the it either. Lifeline is a premium brand of batteries and they are very expensive. Bob. Bob. Tray Cable, two Mounting Z-brackets, and one branch connector. I have been using these batteries over the past decade and find myself appreciating them more and more. I’m not sure I should keep it. Does cable gauge have to match fuse holder gauge? It was a chilly night dropping down to the high 30’s. The article is great otherwise – thank you. I've been a full-time VanDweller for 12 years and I love it. Call it seller’s remorse, but I sure missed mine when it was gone. Bob you are hitting this new series of solar powered articles out of the park. I know at least a dozen people who own Renogy solar panels or complete systems and they are all totally satisfied with them. What are the disadvantages of not mounting the panels. Renogy doesn’t send you any fuses and you really do need to fuse everything. Kathy, I am a big fan of them and highly recommend them to you! Free Shipping! This is a diagram from Renology. How much is that worth to you? Like most high-top vans, her fiberglass roof is very convoluted and she had a hard time finding a place to mount even one panel much less two. A 100Ah lithium pack would cost $620, and that’s without the monitors and other stuff. The only problem I see is a convenient way to keep them from being stolen. It is available in paperback for $6.71 from Amazon.com here: So solar power wasn’t high on the list of must haves but more of a want. The Renogy 200 watt 12-volt monocrystalline solar starter kit is currently available for $259.99 on Renogy’s website and $263.64 on Amazon. – $10. You win in every way. You loose part of your charging ability. Description. I replaced it with a Honda 3000i for a while, but that heavy thing wasn’t nearly as portable. The guy with the four panels in series had a drop in charging amperage that was very dramatic, almost to the point of having none! They cost about twice as much. On the one hand, I got $400 for my first Honda 1000 after a couple of years use. I am looking forward to your next post about it. wow, thanks Bob, I actually understand it now! Wow, thank you! Are you in a different country? The price seems very reasonable and it seems simple enough that I can actually understand it. Or, if the MPPT controller is large enough, is there a way to run the cable from the portable panels to the existing mppt controller? Construction pictures of our "Mobile Homestead" home on wheels! LYRV hits the 75000 Subscriber Milestone - Thank You! Also it would pretty well nullify any chance the panels would be shaded by other things on the roof top. Assume 75% usage on your battery 100 amps at 12V gives you 1200 watts x 75%, or 900 watts, or 45 minutes of run time. ), Agree that golf cart deep cell batteries are best, BUT since I’m married to a brilliant musician and computer genius and NOT a handyman, when it comes to anything practical outside of his field, the words ‘maintenance’ and ‘Brian’ don’t often collide in the same sentence – not pleasantly anyway. Compare CAD $399.99 - CAD $479.99 Choose Options Quick View Add to Cart Renogy 200 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Bundle Kits. Think about that when you buy 50, 100 foot extension cords for your DC. That way I don’t have to move the trailer for weeks on end once I get situated. Do this themselves scenario that would make it an easy decision except it costs so much from your people. 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