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    Solar power set up?

    Was thinking of setting up solar on my citroen c15 romahome, so I can have additional power. Plus I was wanting to add some sort of interface so I can see power usage and charge etc. And finally a secondary battery. Was wondering if anyone had tips on how I could make this a reality. I've watched some vids but so far it seems to be going over my head.

    #2
    I think the first step would be to get a leisure battery up and running and charged from the engine via a split charge relay. Depending on your power needs this m inay be enough, especially if you swap out the light for LEDs.
    Perhaps a c15 owner can advise on where it all goes.
    Last edited by jondxxx; 10-09-2018, 03:57 PM.
    Il dolce far niente.

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      #3
      Thanks so much, gives me a place to start as I'm literally a massive novice!

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        #4
        As jon said - first step a leisure battery 80 or 110 amp hour next step rip out (carefully remove ) your strip lights. Replace with LED units.
        I have been running solar panels for about 6 or 7 years - we tend to wild camp not use campsites and never the EHU - in fact mains has been removed from our van.
        Solar Panel measure the space on the roof and fit either 80w or 100w. Even cheap charge controllers have a digital read out - my last one cost less than £20. Budget about £250 for LED lighhting, Solar Panel, charge controller, Leisure battery, split charge relay and wiring.

        Jon
        Amor omnia vincit et nos cedamus amori
        https://smallromahome2oldies1largedo...logspot.co.uk/

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          #5
          This is what you want:
          https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/100W-Sola...QAAOSwzC9bO5hg

          Beware of installing a leisure battery and using a split charge relay: if your van has an intelligent alternator, it will suddenly become unintelligent if you connect a second (leisure) battery just using a split charge relay.

          The very first thing I do when buying a new motorhome is drive it home. The second thing I do is fit a solar panel. They are as essential as diesel. The third thing I do is go indoors and make a cup of tea.

          I'm not sure if that item in the link above includes a controller for the engine battery as well as the leisure battery. It looks as if it does, because the control box has 6 sets of two connectors. If it does then you don't want a split charge relay to connect to the engine battery, this controller does it for you. It is the setup I have got, though I have a different make. If you like the look of it, contact the seller and ask if it has one pair of contacts for the panel, one pair of contacts for the leisure battery and one pair of contacts for the engine battery. If it does, it is a good buy.
          suivez l'aventure

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            #6
            Originally posted by gasgas View Post
            This is what you want:
            https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/100W-Sola...QAAOSwzC9bO5hg

            Beware of installing a leisure battery and using a split charge relay: if your van has an intelligent alternator, it will suddenly become unintelligent if you connect a second (leisure) battery just using a split charge relay.
            Don't confuse the lady! She has a C15 so no complex electronics and "intelligent Altenators".
            Amor omnia vincit et nos cedamus amori
            https://smallromahome2oldies1largedo...logspot.co.uk/

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              #7
              I wasn't sure if a C15 has an intelligent alternator. Probably not.
              Welcome Posey.
              If you are confused by electronics, I can recommend RoadPro, in Daventry in the very centre of the Universe. Or if not the universe, England at least. If they are within reach of you, you could do a great deal worse than visit them and they will supply and install just what you want at a reasonable price. Motorhome dealers tend to charge about twice the going rate for solar panels and twice the going rate for labour so RoadPro might be just who you want.
              https://www.roadpro.co.uk/
              suivez l'aventure

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                #8
                Thanks so much everyone! great information I can actually understand

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                  #9
                  Are you doing it yourself or paying someonw to install the stuff?
                  One choice you have to make is rigid solar panel as in the stuff gasgas linked to or flexi solar panel which sticks directly to the roof
                  Flexi https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-100W-...UAAOSw3ydVu56m
                  Rigid https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/100W-Mono...YAAOSwaMhZ3L5U

                  I have a rigid monocrystaline and it has worked well for 4 years now as I said I always go for a cheap controller something like this
                  https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12V-24V-S....c100505.m3226
                  This set up is simple low tech and has worked well along with a normal split charge relay - which your C15 may already have - if your van has a leisure battery or fittings for it then that side is already in place.
                  Jon
                  Amor omnia vincit et nos cedamus amori
                  https://smallromahome2oldies1largedo...logspot.co.uk/

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                    #10
                    As kernowjon has said, a solid mono and cheap controller is all you will need. Our van has a 100w solid panel with a cheap controller and it keeps our 110ah leisure battery topped up and maintained at all times. Even the cheap controllers will allow for programming in terms of protected max voltage and cut off when the volts get down to a certain level. We dont use lots of power when parked up but LED lighting, water pump, flusher and the odd TV programme on the 12v telly is fully catered for.

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                      #11
                      Hey kernowjon and TheOldHobbit Yes! plan on DIY-ing it, but I'll probably seek some help from some friends that know a little better, but wanted to grasp an understanding of what materials I needed to get and how to best install anyways. Big help on the controller, was trying to research them but could not think of the right thing to search. Lots of things showed apps, that I can work but would rather not rely on my phone (just in case). But you guys have been so helpful! really looking forward to modernising this camper.

                      And yes was planning on putting in LEDs, was gonna add some extra strip lighting under the curtain rail (I'll include pics) but since you guys have been so good, any idea where I'd start on changing these (again I'll include pics) to LEDs? There not pretty enough for my taste, plus I want my energy to go as far as it can.

                      Attached Files

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                        #12
                        Hi Posey,

                        The first thing to do is to fit a leisure battery. On my C15 Romahome (Hettie) the leisure battery is in the locker behind the passenger seat. I have the water tank in the same locker. I assume yours is the same. I am absolutely positive that the C15 has a reasonably basic alternator, so any caravan or motorhome engineers will be able to fit one quite easily for you along with a split charger that will charge it while the vehicle is running. The price of professional fitting may well outweigh the effort you would go to to fit it yourself. It's worth investigating first before trying yourself. There are even mobile caravan engineers who will carry out the fitting at your house. If you intend to go off-grid a lot, I would suggest a 110amp leisure battery. That's what I have in Hettie and and I always wild camp and so far I haven't had a problem.

                        I have the same lamps over the door on Hettie and converted these to LED's quite easily. Lots of details on how to do this online and probably on YouTube. You just need to be competent with a soldering iron. You can buy strips of LED lights to use yourself or direct replacements that just need a bit of tinkering and soldering. The light is much better and they use an awful lot less leccy. If you have the spotlight fitted in the living quarters as I do, you can purchase direct replacement bulbs for these as well.

                        I have an inordinantly expensive solar panel kit waiting for my brother and I to liaise and fit, but reasonably cheap and reliable solar kits are available. I would I magine a 100 watt solar panel would be more than adequate and a kit would come with all the necessary components to fit and monitor the charge etc.

                        I'll try and post some pics of Hettie's internals asap that might help you.

                        Panda.
                        These broken wings are gonna leave me here to stand my ground........

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                          #13
                          https://www.amazon.co.uk/ECO-WORTHY-...el%2Bkit&t h=1

                          This would likely suit your needs very nicely.....

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                            #14
                            Thanks for the links TheOldHobbit and pictures would be great Pandabloke and again thanks for all the detailed info

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                              #15
                              much the same as my solar panel and well wort fitting

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