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Old 11-01-2016, 10:19 PM   #1
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Solar power vs.

Ok, ive been really looking into solar power, pros, cons yadda yadda. I began to think about wind generators. So i start looking, and they do nake them RV sized. I ran across a few good points such as, the sun doesnt shine 24 hrs a day, but the wind does blow. Im seriously considering making a combined system for mine. Does anyone have any experience with wind turbines?
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Old 11-01-2016, 11:26 PM   #2
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PLEASE read about wind generators on vehicles. There's lot's of information out there about doing that. In a nutshell, don't waste your money trying - it won't do anything useful, and there's absolutely no ROI at all. When the sun's not shining, that's why you have batteries! PV panels and FLA batteries are mature technology and can work very well as a mobile system. I have 2kW of PV on my bus roof, but I wouldn't use a wind generator even if it were free.

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Old 11-01-2016, 11:31 PM   #3
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Ive just started delving into wind power, and realized i had not seen anyone talking about it on here and thought i would see what ya'll think about it. It seems to me that having a back up charging system that isnt a generator sounds like it may be a dang good idea.
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Old 11-02-2016, 01:31 AM   #4
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If you are somewhere where there is ALWAYS wind blowing, it might be. I was looking at adding wind to my last project bus, but I scrapped the idea after a little while when I realized that it seems the only place there is always wind blowing is at higher elevations, which there aren't many places in this country that are high enough for that AND are bus-accessible.

There are large wind turbines as you head west.... but look how many of them are not turning vs the number that are.
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Old 11-02-2016, 06:35 AM   #5
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out west you could use a genny, great wind out there. you can pick up a small one for a couple hundred bucks. the higher you put it the better so you would need a push up pole. you would need to store the unit and pole in your bus when your not using it so its taking up space. if your going to be out west for a long period of time it might be worth the trouble. if your going to be moving allot i wouldn't bother.solar is great for an rv, park for free where ever you want. good luck
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Old 11-02-2016, 07:07 AM   #6
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Its just something i had come across while researching solar power. I thought it was odd no one has mentioned it.
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Old 11-02-2016, 02:00 PM   #7
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Its just something i had come across while researching solar power. I thought it was odd no one has mentioned it.
I think there are quite a few reasons no one has mentioned it, like the many listed above.

I do like the thought of alternatives to solar, but if you are moving, EVER, the hassle of taking down/ putting up far outweighs adding a few more batteries and panels - which is how I have dealt with cloudy days. Nothing compares to solar.

Now maybe if you camp by creeks, water turbine might be a good alternative? Still a hassle.
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Old 11-02-2016, 04:00 PM   #8
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I think there are quite a few reasons no one has mentioned it, like the many listed above.

I do like the thought of alternatives to solar, but if you are moving, EVER, the hassle of taking down/ putting up far outweighs adding a few more batteries and panels - which is how I have dealt with cloudy days. Nothing compares to solar.

Now maybe if you camp by creeks, water turbine might be a good alternative? Still a hassle.
Its just a question i needed to ask. Now i am the wiser for asking.
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Old 11-02-2016, 04:52 PM   #9
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Its just a question i needed to ask. Now i am the wiser for asking.
I am glad you did, I have been talking myself out of it mostly for the reasons listed above, but it is good to know others have the same negative opinion about wind. I still want to create a cheap solution just to say I did it, but it is simply not practical if you move........ever
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Old 11-02-2016, 06:06 PM   #10
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At some point I will probably still work something up, but it's not a real high priority right now. Would be nice to have it though, in the event I find myself in a place where it would actually be useable. It won't be something that will be put up every time I park.
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Old 11-02-2016, 09:07 PM   #11
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Panels are better.
Tribunes have always been more intensive.
Upkeep and regulating collection is tough.
The sun doesn't always shine but, you shouldn't go under 70% battery bank anyway.
Worst case, get a Honda generator.
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:49 PM   #12
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At some point I will probably still work something up, but it's not a real high priority right now. Would be nice to have it though, in the event I find myself in a place where it would actually be useable. It won't be something that will be put up every time I park.
If you spend any time in the desert of AZ or CA the wid is a constant. But in the desert you have the sun..maybe a good back up system?
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Old 11-03-2016, 02:49 AM   #13
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Could be a good backup for the desert for the one day a year it rains (lol), but I was thinking more about if I'm in higher elevations where there's wind for if it's a cloudy day.... like I said it's not a real high priority right now. That's for *way* down the road.
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Old 11-03-2016, 01:42 PM   #14
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At some point I will probably still work something up, but it's not a real high priority right now. Would be nice to have it though, in the event I find myself in a place where it would actually be useable. It won't be something that will be put up every time I park.
Haha sounds like me. I too would like to get a couple of alternative projects rolling and I have even been in extremely windy environments that make me think that I should do something but they're not always windy as you can see on some of the big towering windmills that are not moving. Those guys have made some really big Investments in those plants and yet many times I've only seen a 50% operational movement. The other thing that nobody has discussed is the noise that those propellers make. I have been woken up in the middle of the night by wind and the noise created by the straps holding down my kayak.
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Old 11-04-2016, 12:02 AM   #15
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Unless you have a massive array of solar its hard to get passed just a huge battery bank or a a propane genset. propane fuel is half the cost as running the bus. But if you run the bus once a day you don't have the cost of even a genset and you can have a small battery bank.

I drew up a roof mounted solar array that was part of my roof rack. The panels are on a pipe frame that is hinged so they can be stowed laying down flat on the rack. Each side is at a different height by a few inches so they lay flat over the top of each other when there stowed.

I went with the idea of you would lift the panels up on there hinge and install a pin to lock them in place. down at the bottom of the panels leg it would be in around pipe so that it could twist or turn in place. Then that pipe would be attached to a square tube that was slid in the rack square tube. You would remove the pin holding the square tube pull it out a set distance and re install the pin. So now if you are looking at the bus your seeing the solar panels up and slid back off the roof of the bus by about two foot. There maybe a leg under each panel that is Y shaped and resting against the bus like flag pole holder to carry the weight. Mount the tracking cylinder with a couple pins right to its spot on the rack, then attach all the tie rods which would be quick disconnects like a throttle quick disconnect on a lawn mower engine. Or compressed air line connectors? Maybe a hours worth the work if designed correctly. Ten 250 watt panels. enough to go off grid with air conditioning and a ice machine next to your beach chair.

Just short of this a genset is the way to go. the solar would pay you pack 5 gallons or more a day. I'm not sure that is enough in the long run?

If you get a Tesla bus than its time to start mounting panels every where you can.
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Old 11-04-2016, 12:58 AM   #16
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I'm just waiting for the PV paint to come out.... make the entire body of the bus a giant solar panel. I keep hearing about that....
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Old 11-04-2016, 08:47 AM   #17
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Unless you have a massive array of solar its hard to get passed just a huge battery bank or a a propane genset. propane fuel is half the cost as running the bus. But if you run the bus once a day you don't have the cost of even a genset and you can have a small battery bank.

I drew up a roof mounted solar array that was part of my roof rack. The panels are on a pipe frame that is hinged so they can be stowed laying down flat on the rack. Each side is at a different height by a few inches so they lay flat over the top of each other when there stowed.

I went with the idea of you would lift the panels up on there hinge and install a pin to lock them in place. down at the bottom of the panels leg it would be in around pipe so that it could twist or turn in place. Then that pipe would be attached to a square tube that was slid in the rack square tube. You would remove the pin holding the square tube pull it out a set distance and re install the pin. So now if you are looking at the bus your seeing the solar panels up and slid back off the roof of the bus by about two foot. There maybe a leg under each panel that is Y shaped and resting against the bus like flag pole holder to carry the weight. Mount the tracking cylinder with a couple pins right to its spot on the rack, then attach all the tie rods which would be quick disconnects like a throttle quick disconnect on a lawn mower engine. Or compressed air line connectors? Maybe a hours worth the work if designed correctly. Ten 250 watt panels. enough to go off grid with air conditioning and a ice machine next to your beach chair.

Just short of this a genset is the way to go. the solar would pay you pack 5 gallons or more a day. I'm not sure that is enough in the long run?

If you get a Tesla bus than its time to start mounting panels every where you can.
Ive done alot of research about running your AC off of just solar , and besides one couple who say they are doing it right now, everywhere else that i read says no way can it happen.
Im a noob to all of this so i only have a minimal grasp of how the whole system works ( dc to ac , watts to volts, inverter size).
I would prefer to run purely off of solar and not even buy a genny. But myself and my gf really enjoy AC.
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Old 11-04-2016, 12:55 PM   #18
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Its just something i had come across while researching solar power. I thought it was odd no one has mentioned it.
I do this for a living. Solar power is far superior. You'll still need the battery backups with wind and to do it right you'd be looking at a minimum 2k investment on equipment that is in no way meant to be installed on a vehicle. Then you'd have to break down a system that's meant to be permanent every time you want to drive. If you're thinking about driving with it on, don't. You'd have a negative ROI as you're burning fuel to make the turbine spin. Wind is most effective on sprawling farm properties. You can find 24v 305w panels on eBay right now for $100 a piece. Combine that with even the cheapest charge controller, battery bank, and inverter ... you'll be infinitely more happy.

Sorry to burst your bubble. If wind was more efficient for regular people like us I'd love to sell more wind systems. But it's not. And then the zoning ....
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Old 11-04-2016, 01:01 PM   #19
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Ive done alot of research about running your AC off of just solar , and besides one couple who say they are doing it right now, everywhere else that i read says no way can it happen.
Im a noob to all of this so i only have a minimal grasp of how the whole system works ( dc to ac , watts to volts, inverter size).
I would prefer to run purely off of solar and not even buy a genny. But myself and my gf really enjoy AC.
You can, but you're going to have to do a whole lot of research on all that stuff or you're going to kill your gf when you burn your new bus down. If you can find Bob's solar blog I'd recommend you read ALL that. He likes to ramble but knows his stuff. Maybe someone can find a link. Also research basic info pertaining to watt, volt, amp so you better understand the electricity requirements. And plan on spending about 5k for what you want, maybe more, and that's sourcing your own parts and installing all on your own. A/C on solar is not cheap but it can be done with a 1600-2k aH battery and 2kW of panels on top of your bus. Run your ac at home on a kil-a-what meter and find out how much energy you're pulling on a daily basis, then add your fridge and other electrical draw. It'll give you a real accurate estimate.
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Old 11-04-2016, 02:23 PM   #20
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I drew up a roof mounted solar array that was part of my roof rack. The panels are on a pipe frame that is hinged so they can be stowed laying down flat on the rack. Each side is at a different height by a few inches so they lay flat over the top of each other when there stowed.

.
So this was just a drawing? I sure would like to see this design?
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