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Old 03-22-2017, 05:01 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by joeblack5 View Post
this is what I used, I paid still $ 125 all on flea bay
later J
You built your own frames and added your own glass? It looks like these are just the cells, not the entire structurally finished panels.

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Old 03-22-2017, 06:57 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by joeblack5 View Post
High Efficiency 60 Cell 300W Semi Flexible Frameless Mono Solar Panel 300 Watt

$89.00 for a limited time.

this is what I used, I paid still $ 125 all on flea bay
later J
I tried to buy panels from Santansolar a while back. He has some amazing deals. Unfortunately, for me, the shipping almost doubled the cost. If you buy enough panels it gets worthwhile.

I had tried to round up other that were interested and order 30+ panels at once. That brings the per panel shipping down enough to make it a reasonable deal.

If you are close enough to drive down and pick them up it would be a score!
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Old 03-23-2017, 05:25 PM   #23
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Awesome! Thanks!

I called earlier and Alden answered! It was before you responded and I didn't want to mention anything until I knew you had bought it lol but I will definitely tell him you sent me! I have some 'homework' to do and I'm e-mailing him tomorrow!

I assumed it would be more expensive to get a package as opposed to buying separate parts, but, sadly, I have limited faith in my ability to get it right the first time! I think for our first venture into the solar world a package is perfect... hopefully one we can build upon!


Yeah, I'm in the same boat as you! I don't know much about electrical but have definitely done a ton of research to get me up there. Alden said when the package arrives he will guide me through the process of installing, which is a extreme plus!!!!


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Old 03-23-2017, 10:34 PM   #24
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Hi Lucasd,

The panels have glass but no frame. I wanted to integrate the solar panel with the frame on the bus, so yes I made the frames out of U channel and then L channel on top. These 300 watt panels are the largest size in the best length / width ratio that you can put on a minibus like i have. My 5 window can have 3 panels, 2 in front and 1 behind the hatch and still have enough space to walk on the roof and step in between panels. I used the rubber gaskets / seals from skoolie door windows to protect the edges of the solar panels.

These panels come with a separate junction box that you have to glue on ( clear 100% silicon)

I picked them up at the manufacturer in Chicago area. ( see my built thread elfbus) Also some pictures of my frame in there.

I still paid $125, mid lastyear, down to $ 89 OBO, unbelievable.

Later J
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Old 03-25-2017, 04:11 PM   #25
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I still paid $125, mid lastyear, down to $ 89 OBO, unbelievable.
OK, that is pretty decent if all you had to do was use some channel to rig the support frames. As you point out, you're probably doing some metal work for mounting them on a bus anyway. It's not like you see that many solar mounts advertised for use on a bus roof.

I spotted some listed within a few hours of me for 180 and thought it was low! Though, in fairness, those came with frames, so that's probably part of the difference.
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Old 04-11-2017, 06:17 PM   #26
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Have you read the solar forum here?
Just starting my research. Found this thread in a search. Where is said solar forum?

I'd like to know from you and PNW Steve if all solar is even a viable option in your locale. Not all that many sunny days. Solar and a genny?
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Old 04-11-2017, 06:53 PM   #27
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Here's the solar, electrical and charging section.

Electrical, Charging and Solar - School Bus Conversion Resources

I don't have much faith in solar here in Oregon. I'm told it does work effectively but not like in the sunnier locations. Here I'd expect to see moss trying to grow on the panels.

I considered solar, but even a 50% charge rate would take a very long time to actually pay for itself. Considering the investment, which I'd expect to be about three thousand dollars or more, it would take a long time to recoup that investment based on electrical expense savings. There is a certain ability to enjoy household appliances powered by solar while off grid, but a modest generator will also allow the use of appliances.

I was looking at about $1,500 for six AGM batteries, another $1,000 for the charging module, and then there's the solar panels for probably another $1,000. I just don't see a return on this rather large investment. Solar is a fragile system that requires maintenance.

Additionally I don't want to mount solar panels on my roof. That's kind of a dead giveaway that the bus is being lived in if you're trying to maintain some anonymity. Personally I don't want to stay in RV parks, so looking like a simple nondescript bus is my goal. I've simply chosen to not deal with the expense of solar.
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Old 04-11-2017, 07:27 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
Here's the solar, electrical and charging section.

Electrical, Charging and Solar - School Bus Conversion Resources
Not sure how I missed that.

Quote:
I don't have much faith in solar here in Oregon. I'm told it does work effectively but not like in the sunnier locations. Here I'd expect to see moss trying to grow on the panels.

I considered solar, but even a 50% charge rate would take a very long time to actually pay for itself. Considering the investment, which I'd expect to be about three thousand dollars or more, it would take a long time to recoup that investment based on electrical expense savings. There is a certain ability to enjoy household appliances powered by solar while off grid, but a modest generator will also allow the use of appliances.

I was looking at about $1,500 for six AGM batteries, another $1,000 for the charging module, and then there's the solar panels for probably another $1,000. I just don't see a return on this rather large investment. Solar is a fragile system that requires maintenance.
Maybe I'll hold off on solar. It will only get cheaper with time. With a decent ATS, I should be able to go back and forth between shore, genny, and solar.

Quote:
Additionally I don't want to mount solar panels on my roof. That's kind of a dead giveaway that the bus is being lived in if you're trying to maintain some anonymity. Personally I don't want to stay in RV parks, so looking like a simple nondescript bus is my goal. I've simply chosen to not deal with the expense of solar.
Kinda hard to beat solar on quiet. Generators aren't nearly as quiet. Not sure how a noisy genny fits with "anonymity". If you are boondocking some place you aren't supposed to then do a better job hiding next time.

I have a portable genny (5500W) that I could use short term.
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:19 PM   #29
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Just starting my research. Found this thread in a search. Where is said solar forum?

I'd like to know from you and PNW Steve if all solar is even a viable option in your locale. Not all that many sunny days. Solar and a genny?
Sunny days???

How could you miss the Ark that I am building in the front yard???

No, solar is useless where I am now. But... I figure that if I put solar on top of something with wheels and an engine then I can go find someplace where it will.

Seriously, the solar on my rig will be for when I am boondocking in the Southwest or in Mexico.
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:22 PM   #30
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It's a crapshoot, Jack. You can end up spending some serious tuition at that school, unless you've gone to another previously and done your homework. This place here is one such school; handybobsolar is another.

You pays your money and you takes your chances, but fortune favors the prepared. If the OP is not confident, he's not "prepared". Me, I've read enough on this forum to be confident taking on the care and feeding of a multi-liter diesel engine in a big shoebox with some solar panels on top. Not for everybody.
Well put Sir!
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Old 04-13-2017, 03:02 PM   #31
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I would say solar is a great option for alternative energy. It's drastically cheaper compared to years past and can be collected anywhere. My whole solar setup is under $2,000. I think I might want to get 2 more batteries later down the road (6 batteries total at 215amp each). It's a good idea to get a generator for backup in case I don't have enough energy.
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Old 04-13-2017, 03:35 PM   #32
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I would say solar is a great option for alternative energy. It's drastically cheaper compared to years past and can be collected anywhere. My whole solar setup is under $2,000. I think I might want to get 2 more batteries later down the road (6 batteries total at 215amp each). It's a good idea to get a generator for backup in case I don't have enough energy.
Specs on your system?

And far more newbie, how does this work? If you go stupid and add 37 batteries do your 4 cells charge them all but it takes 6 months with zero drain? Yes I know this is extreme, inefficeincies, etc. but ignore that for now. Fill in the blanks later with actual numbers. Batteries are big, heavy, ugly but I'm guessing one of the cheaper components of a solar setup?
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