Originally Posted by Zephod_beeblebrox2
Neat but as opposed to flexible panels glued to the roof, a portable trolley could walk away.
It sounds like you have made your mind up about the generator, and that's fine, but all these issues have solutions. I'll add these comments for future skoolie folks perusing the forums.
A portable solar unit can be made to fold to conserve space. It could also be locked to the exterior side wall of the bus so it doesn't grow legs and wander. Storage is the biggest issue.
I, personally, wouldn't want the glue-down solar panels. Since they would be glued to the curve of the roof they will never be at an optimal angle to the sun. Also, grid-tie solar panels (often at 36 volts) are far cheaper and typically built stronger than the 12v ones that can be found at hardware and RV/marine stores. I see plenty of 12v panels with plastic frames. Yuck. All grid-tie panels I've seen have strong aluminum frames with mounting holes. All you need is an MPPT charge controller to convert the voltage to 12v, 24v or 48v..
Here's my set up
). Page 7 shows them in the upright position for winter. Page 8 shows a picture of them folded down. I've had them down all summer, which is still a couple degrees of tilt, and they have been working great. I'll bring them up to around 45° in the autumn. When flat they are about 8 inches above the roof. I also live in the trees and have had many branches scraping along them with no issue. They are built really tough. You can walk on them (though I'd rather not
). Other than changing the tilt there has been zero maintenance, 100% silence, no oil/fuel mess and no exhaust.