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Old 01-24-2018, 07:28 PM   #21
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Much more expensive, plus you need to buy mounting plates.

Don't last nearly as long.
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:28 PM   #22
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There are flexible panels but I have no idea how they compare to fixed.
They're generally less efficient than ridgid ones (I think the difference is like 15% vs 22%). For all solar panels the efficiency drops as they heat up, but the ridgid ones can have more air flow than the flexible ones (which can be glued down). You might not care with 22 panels on your roof though.

Personally I'm going with ridgid panels attached to brackets so I can tilt them in the winter.

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Old 01-25-2018, 10:06 AM   #23
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Flex Solar panels

I've got flexible panels for installation. they're 100W panels, 1040x540 mm x 3mm in size. I chose them because they can be really low profile and I have a variety of mounting options...



I've yet to test them in a real configuration, but my initial tests on the first one out of the box, I get short circuit current of about 4.8A (December in Seattle) ... no "real" tests yet. I'll post some results after I get them all installed..

They'll be connected and wired three panels (across the width of the bus) connected in parallel and wired back to the controllers in the back of the bus. I'm initially thinking all panels will be in parallel to the mppt controllers but this wiring gives me the option to do series/parallel connections if I want.

I'm also thinking of adding sun tracking systems on the outside rows. this would tilt one side or the other depending on where the sun is... it would only give me at most another 8% or so.
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Old 01-25-2018, 10:15 AM   #24
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They're generally less efficient than ridgid ones (I think the difference is like 15% vs 22%). For all solar panels the efficiency drops as they heat up, but the ridgid ones can have more air flow than the flexible ones (which can be glued down). You might not care with 22 panels on your roof though.

Personally I'm going with ridgid panels attached to brackets so I can tilt them in the winter.

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I was considering "floating" them to allow for some air flow between the panel and the roof...

Goal is a couple of KW in full sun..
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Old 01-25-2018, 10:52 AM   #25
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AC Enclosure

I'm using a MiniSplit AC system for heating and cooling. 9000BTU, about 7Amps draw when it's running. The outside unit is being installed on the rear deck of the bus and the rear windows are being replaced with grates...

This is the enclosure that isolates the deck from the rest of the bus..







I've also added as sloped drain pan and drains on both sides.
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Old 01-25-2018, 11:31 AM   #26
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Very cool build. Looked into the flexible panels myself. Saw a few ppl had issue with heat from the vehicle skin AND the panels themselves. One guy had 3 different panels get so hot they self destructed. He wished he had not glued them down. I think the instructions state to only mount using the eye holes at the edges. A few others problems were mostly shorts in the output as they are at the edge of those units and not the back like a rigid panel. Hopefully u can find a way to isolate those issues on your build.
Doug
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Old 01-25-2018, 11:33 AM   #27
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I really like this idea for the mini split. Well done...
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Old 01-25-2018, 01:14 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nanoplane View Post
I was considering "floating" them to allow for some air flow between the panel and the roof...

Goal is a couple of KW in full sun..
I'm of the same mind. I'm going with ridgid panels and fabricating simple low-ish profile brackets to hold them close to the roof but still allow heat to escape, plus longer legs so I can manually tilt them in the winter when parked. What wattage panels are you going with? And what kinda charge controller?

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Old 01-25-2018, 02:45 PM   #29
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How durable are solar panels? I've always wondered if a random hail storm could take them out. Ideally you'd just avoid the storms whenever possible, but you never know with mother nature. I also have always enjoyed storms and plan to chase a storm at some point in the bus. And by chase I mean try and be in front of it and safe enough to the side so I can sit and watch, not empty my gas tank chasing after
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Old 01-25-2018, 08:18 PM   #30
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The standardized specs for framed glass panels include test results for withstanding hail.

Most are very robust
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