Narrowboat Solar Project: 3pcs of 120W Lensun Flexible Solar Panel

Many thanks to Steve’s share of his boat solar system with Lensun 120W Flexible Solar Panel.

Available at : USD199/PC

https://www.lensunsolar.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=438&search=120

Steve bought and installed the entire system in three separate installments, during which time he kept in close contact and shared with us.

Here is his description of the system

“ The panel is mount on a 10mm plastic fluted underlay to help vent it as the boat roof gets hot and is removable for maintenance. The system will be x3 120w panels, victron MPPT 100/30 charge controller and control panel.

The boat has 560 amh agm leisure batteries running a 2kw inverter charger.

My boat is a 60″ traditional narrowboat, built in 2006 by Braidbar Boats Ltd.

She is well equipped with, TV, fridge, freezer, microwave and most household products.

Myself and my partner, Liz, have lived onboard for the last five years travelling on the inland waterways, rivers and canals, between London and Yorkshire. She is home.

She operates in three states

  1. Marina mooring; were she is supplied a 16amp mains feed on constant trickle charge and  supplies the 240v ring main.
  2. Cruising; were the 90amp leisure battery Alternator, batteries and 2kw Victron Energy inverter/charger provides 12v and 240v.
  3. Moored with no mains supply, three 120w Leasun flexible solar panels.

The boat is equipped with x4 100 amp gel matt batteries as leisure (only use 50%) and a standard x1100 amp starter battery.

Victron Energy 2kw inverter/charger, BlueSolar 100/30 MPPT, battery and solar monitors.

Installation was help by the fact that the roof was already fitted to accept solar cables in two locations, I fitted the panels, an internal fused junction box , the MPPT, monitors and all cabling.

The system is used to extend the time period between engine or external generator charging, when moored away from mains supply. This is usually every other day, depending on use. I would like to attain every 3-4 days and will add panel as required. 

It is very important to be able to walk from front to rear on the roof, hence the locations with stepping gaps and the morring lines, nylon ropes, often land on top of the panels.

The panels are attached to 10mm polycarbonate vented underlay, to help cool them as the roof can get hot, with extra strong vehicle door seals.

Lensun 120W 12V ETFE Flexible Solar Panel with Rubber Strip to protect the edge, special for marine enviroment

Made of Newest Hight Efficiency Monocrystalline PERC Solar Cells

Electrical Information:

Peak power: 120W
Solar cell efficiency: 22.5/%
Maximum power voltage: 18V
Maximum power current: 6.67A
Open circuit voltage: 21.24V
Short circuit current: 7.33A
Power allowance range: +/-3%
Maximum system voltage: 500V
Values at standard test conditions: Air Mass – AM1.5, Irradiance – 1000W/m2, Cell Temperature – 25°C

Material Information:

Laminated for weather resistance
Laminated with fiberglass + ETFE + Silicon cell + EVA + Tedlar
Solar cells: Monocrystalline
Dimensions: 1060 x 695 x 2.5mm/41.7 X 27.4 X 0.1 inches
Net Weight: 3.6kg/8 lbs

Back sheet: Fiberglass
J-Box: IP 68 rated

If any questions or advice, please contact us or call us in the following information from Mondays to Fridays. Any wholesale request just call us or email us, thanks.

Contact information
www.lensunsolar.com
Tel: UK +44 2032875806
US +1 (323) 2845027
China: +86 15759769602
Whatsapp/Wechat: +86 15759769602
Wechat: +86 15759769602
Skype: lensunsolar
Email: [email protected][email protected]

Lensun 200W 12V Portable Solar Panel Blanket with MC4 Connectors for Solar Generator Power Station, RV Campers Boat battery charge, Lightweight Ultra-Thin only 5.2 kgs/11.4 lbs

Solar Blanket is really a great way for you to get the power from sun.

This type solar panel means that when you arrive at your intended destination,  and have to park your vehicle in the shade, or if you can’t change the position of your car throughout the day, then you’re likely to miss out on all the important sunlight we get throughout the day. Solar blankets solve that problem for you. Choose an appropriate solar kit to charge for your appliance and your batteries on the road of travelling.

Lensun 200W 12V Portable Solar Panel Blanket with MC4 Connectors for Solar Generator Power Station, Lightweight Ultra-Thin only 5.2 kgs/11.4 lbs which is easy to set-up and pack up and store.

200W produce enough power for your camping trip, which is perfect to keep your 12V dual battery system charged and power the fridges, LED camp lights and other campsite gadgets.

Head over to the link for more information:

https://www.lensunsolar.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=429&search=200

MC4 universal connector to match the solar generator power station,

Also with various types of connectors, suitable for a variety of solar generator.

MC4 offering to wire multiple panels in parallel or in series for greater power.

Connect in parallel with another solar panel to charge a 12V battery faster.

The Lensun 12V 200W Portable Solar Blanket is the apex in portable, convenient and lightweight solar power to suit any camping lifestyle. Lensun solar blankets are constructed with a solid copper backing and thick connectors for higher efficiency.

Made of A-Grade Latest Hight Efficiency 23.5% Monocrystalline PERC 9BB Solar Cells

For more details about PERC solar cells, please click link http://www.lensunsolar.com/blog/whats-perc-solar-cells-whats-the-different-between-the-standard-and-perc-solar-cells/

Suitable For:

12V Automotive / Dual Battery Systems
Recreational / Portable Dual Battery Systems, Solar Generator

Lensun solar blankets are a state of the art, portable solar blanket that are purpose-built to accompany you on your travels.

Feature:

1.Made of high quality frosted ETFE film and black Fiberglass back sheet

2.Come with Anderson plug connectors making installation easier – just plug and play.

3.Extra Outer bag with solar controller and cables. Easy to set up, Easy to carry and Easy to store so that it can be used anytime and anywhere.

Item Specifications:

Model: LS-200BK-MC4
Rated Power Output: 200W
Optimum Operating Voltage [Vmp]: 18V
Optimum Operating Current [Imp]: 11.11A
Open Circuit Voltage [Voc]: 21.24V
Short Circuit Current [Isc]: 12.22A
Cell Technology: Monocrystalline Solar Cells
Solar Cells Efficiency:23.5%
Production Tolerance: +3%
Output Type: Solar Cables, Solar Controller
Dimensions(unfolded): 1403 x 1124 x 5 mm/55.2 x 44.2 x 0.2 inch
Dimensions(folded): 380 x 380 x 65 mm/ 15 x 15 x 2.5 inch
Net. Weight: 5.2 kgs/11.4 lbs
All Technical data at standard test condition AM=1.5, E=1000W/mm, Tc=25℃

Note: The kit does not come with the solar controller, if you want solar contoller please click link to buy this kit: https://www.lensunsolar.com/Solar-blanket?product_id=356

Kit with Lensun Waterproof 20A 12V/24V MPPT Solar Panel Regulator Charge Controller LCD Display, Charge for AGM, Liquid, GEL and Lithium Battery. Built-in Bluetooth, just search the app called “Solarlife” in Google to download and install, and you can set the battery type by the key. Also the alligator clip ready for charging for your battery.

If there has any questions or advice, please contact us or call us in the following information from Mondays to Fridays. Any wholesale requests just call us or email us, thanks.

Contact information
www.lensunsolar.com
Tel:    UK +44 2032875806
US +1 (323) 2845027
China: +86 15759769602
Whatsapp:  +86 15759769602
Skype: lensunsolar
Email: [email protected][email protected]

Lensun 110W Foldable Solar Panel Charger with Kickstand, MC4 connector, USB, QC 3.0, Type C for Power Station Solar Generator……

In generally, we install the flexible solar panels out of doors or on the vehicles, they fixed in position and cannot be disassembled in some application.

So for the convenience of use, there are many foldable solar panels that are used in different applications on the market.

Lensun 110W Foldable Solar Panel designed with kickstand to keep it stands firmly on the ground to get a better angle of the sun.

Available at:https://www.lensunsolar.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=479&search=110

Universal MC4 Connector for you to wire multiple panels in parallel or in series for greater power.

Connect in parallel with another solar panel to charge a 12V battery faster

When you combine two solar panels in parallel, the current from the two solar panels are added together and this will enable the battery to charge faster.

How to connect in Parallel to charge a 12v battery

How to connect in Series to charge a 24v battery

As well as USB, QC 3.0, Type C to charge for your phones

18V DC port output for power station solar generator

In Addition, If you want to charge for battery, solar controller will be required. We recommend this one to match well.

12V 300W Waterproof LCD Solar Panel Regulator/Controller for Lithium, AGM, GEL Battery, With Battery clips ready to charge

https://www.lensunsolar.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=482&search=300.

It is waterproof and can be set to charge for lead-acid or lithium-ion battery by pressing the key. At the same time, the built-in Bluetooth allows you to monitor the data at any time by downloading the APP.

THE KEY FEATURES OF the 110 w solar panel ARE:

1.Solar cell: Made of Grade A PERC 9BB Monocrystalline solar cells high efficiency(23.5%) and more durable than other solar cells.

2.High Compatibility: Includes adapters, compatible with most portable solar generators on the market, Suaoki/Enkeeo/Goal Zero Yeti/Webetop/Paxcess/ROCKPALS Power Source.

3.4-Port smart charging technology: Equipped with 1*DC port, 1*USB port(5V/2.1A), 1*USB QC3.0 port, 1*Type C port. Suit for Smartphones and Tablets, GPS, digital cameras, etc. Ideally suited for outdoor life and even unexpected power outages.

4.Premium EFTE Film: This film features superior light transmittance and weatherproof performance, and is also heat, corrosion, and UV resistant. ETFE also has self-cleaning abilities, ensures the best performance day after day.

5.High Portability: Ultra compact of size 22.8*21.6*1.5 inch(folded)/42.5*22.8 inch(opened), weighs only 7 lbs, and it comes with a leather handle that makes it easy to carry anywhere you go, 4 metal reinforced mounting holes and 2 kickstands for easy installation or angle adjustment.

For more details about PERC solar cells, please click link: http://www.lensunsolar.com/blog/whats-perc-solar-cells-whats-the-different-between-the-standard-and-perc-solar-cells/

Specifications:

Model: LS-110FD-MC4
Maximum Power(Pmax): 110W
Solar Cell: PERC 9BB Monocrystalline
Cell Efficiency: 23.5%
Optimum Operating Voltage(Vmp): 18V
Optimum Operating Current(Imp): 6.1A
Open-Circuit Voltage (Voc): 21.5V
Short-Circuit Current (Isc): 6.7A
DC Charging Port: 18V/6.1A(max)
USB Charging Port: 5V/2.4A(max)
USB QC3.0 Charging Port: 4.5V 5A, or 5V 4.5A, or 9V 2.5A, or 12V 2A, 24W(max)
USB TYPE-C PD Charging Port: 5V 3A, or 9V 3A, or 12V 3A, or 15V 3A, or 20V 2.25A, PPS3.3-5.9V 3A, 3.3-11V 3A, 45W(max)
Folded Dimensions: 22.8*21.6*1.5 inch/580*549*38.1mm
Unfolded Dimensions: 42.5*22.8 inch /1080*580mm
Net Weight: 6.5 lbs /2.95kg

If there has any questions or advice, please contact us or call us in the following information from Mondays to Fridays. Any wholesale requests just call us or email us, thanks.

Contact information
www.lensunsolar.com
Tel:    UK +44 2032875806
US +1 (323) 2845027
China: +86 15759769602
Whatsapp:  +86 15759769602
Skype: lensunsolar
Email: [email protected][email protected]

LENSUN NEW 100W Flexible Solar Panel- Cutting Edge Technology make it ideal for curved surface up to 250 degrees

Flexible solar panels are perfect solutions to power for your accessories like fridges, phone/laptop chargers, lights, power station etc. They are suitable for many applications , various means of transport for RVs, travel trailer, truck, camper vans and camping , yacht, vehicle hood, roof top tent, boat etc.

But for some large curved surfaces, ordinary flexible bending curvature is too large, will damage the solar cells, resulting in output reduction…….

Lensun 100W new product, new design, make it ideal for curved surface. It is able to bend up to 250 degrees compared to ordinary flexible alternatives; you can easily mount them over different curved surfaces.

Check it out: https://www.lensunsolar.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=475

Tougher, lighter, thinner and more durable

  • Durability: Cutting edge technology, Special material built-in to protect the solar cells from extreme wind, and hail impact. While special materials and stringent quality control ensure panel longevity.
  • Flexible: Lensun combines a unique patented material with other industry-leading technologies to produce a superior flexible crystalline-silicon panel that can be installed on a curved surface. It’s bent to the max of 250 degrees for installation.
  • Solar cell: Made of Grade A PERC Monocrystalline solar cells with much higher efficiency(22-23%) and more durable than other mono solar cells.
  • Premium EFTE Film: This film features superior light transmittance and weatherproof performance, and is also heat, corrosion, and UV resistant. ETFE also has self-cleaning abilities, ensures the best performance day after day.
  • Thin lightweight Lensun solar panels have a tough top layer. Tougher, lighter, thinner, and more durable.

Even more to the pointtwo junction boxes are designed to be protected separately by positive and negative outputs to reduce loss and improve safety.

Electrical Information

Power: 100W
Solar cells: PERC Monocrystalline solar cells
Cell Efficiency: 22-23%
Maximum Power (Pmax): 100
Maximum Power Voltage (Vmp): 18V
Maximum Power Current (Imp): 5.55A
Open-circuit Voltage (Voc): 24.21V
Short-circuit Current (Isc): 6.1a
Operating Temperature (°C): -40 °C to 85 °C
Maximum System Voltage: 600 VDC
Junction box: IP 68 rated (each j-box has one by-pass diode)
Cable: 12 AWG, 60 In/1524mm(Negative Cable), 60 In/1524mm(Positive Cable)
Connectors: MC4 connectors
Dimensions: 38.2×26.3inch/970x670mm
Net Weight: 5.1lbs/2.35kgs

If there has any questions or advice, please contact us or call us in the following information from Mondays to Fridays. Any wholesale requests just call us or email us, thanks.

Contact information
www.lensunsolar.com
Tel:    UK +44 2032875806
US +1 (323) 2845027
China: +86 15759769602
Whatsapp:  +86 15759769602
Skype: lensunsolar
Email: [email protected][email protected]

105W Fj cruiser bonnet solar panel installation

Many thanks to Winton‘s share of the installation experience.

Lensun 105W Flexible Hood Solar Panel, An updated version for Fj cruiser  with two holes specifically reserved for washer nozzles.

It is available at:

https://www.lensunsolar.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=84&product_id=455

Whether it’s to charge your primary battery or running the 2nd battery, although you can put out a portable solar panel when campsite this some kind of. However, a permanently fixed solar panel that would give you the added ability to run  accessories like fridges, lights, power bank/inverters etc. without the fear of draining your battery . This hood solar panel will work out great.

The followings installation details:

Double sided tape from Bunnings 24mm wide, Moroday, clear, heavy duty.  If you space each strip about 10mm apart you can get away with 120m roll. 

Position in the correct place using the washer nozzles as a guide, then measure to rear of and the sides to confirm that the pan is uniform.

With wide masking tape, place around to hold & stop panel from moving while you make a hinge at the rear so the panel can be swung up to remove the blue tape strips. 

This method helps to ensure that the panel returns to the correct position. (no second chances with this tape). 

Once panel is in place firmly, you can mask all around firstly the panel and then the bonnet, leaving about a 3 or 4mm gap to seal with Sikaflex. I used, marine grade adhesive by “sikaflex” (bunnings). 

Wipe sealant, wet your fingers with kerosene if you want. Romove the masking tape straight away to prevent the sealant skin pulling up. Done. 

Wire the panel as required to you battery system. Ensure that the solar panel is run through the correct control system to suit your needs. 

Ps, this will be very difficult to remove, so make sure you check and double check the position.

For more installation advice, we also recommend to have a vinyl piece on the hood to protect it. Add a vinyl sticker (Search for keywords on Amazon or ebay, for example:hood blackout decal , or hood vinyl wrap……) between the solar panels and the HOOD so that the panels can be removed later without damaging the paint.

In addition, if you’re not sure to install it by yourself, it’s recommended finding a local auto repair shop or modification shop to help with the installation.

If any question or advice, Please contact us or call us in the following information from Mondays to Fridays. Any wholesale request just call us or email us, thanks.

Contact information
www.lensunsolar.com
Tel:    UK +44 2032875806
US +1 (323) 2845027
China: +86 15759769602
Whatsapp:  +86 15759769602
Skype: lensunsolar
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

 

100W solar panel with rubber edging mounted on the roof of camper van.

Lensun 100W solar panel with rubber edging mounted on the roof of camper van.

Much thanks to Justin’s share on his YouTube Channel:

You can check out our flexible solar panels here:

https://www.lensunsolar.com/Flexible-solar-panel/Black-flexible-solar-panel

Lensun ETFE solar panels have a better light penetration percentage of 95% and contain fluorine atoms which bond to the EVA layer of the panel, ensuring it will never delaminate or discolor as time passes.

The textured finish of ETFE solar panels makes them dirt resistant and self-cleaning, minimizing the impact on solar output.

Regarding Installation, Justin also mentioned in the video that using 3M VHB tape is a good option for customers who cannot install directly with screws.

The standard solar panels(Except for those that require special customization)we have right now are with eyelets, because that gives the customer to choose how they’re going to install them even there have eyelets, they can install it by 3M tape also.

If must considering hiding the eyelets, it is recommended by our customers that search for” Black Hinged Screw Covers (1/4″)” on Amazon, that will be another good one.

Solar panels for your RV or camper van, you can use anytime the sun is out. 

When you driving camper van or RV, chances are you solar panels will be permanently fixed to the roof. In some cases you’ll want portable panels that you can take out when you need them, put on the ground, and hang somewhere for a better Angle to get more solar power.

Solar blanket or foldable solar panel will be also the effective supplements.

https://www.lensunsolar.com/Solar-blanket

https://www.lensunsolar.com/Foldable-solar-kit

If any question or advice,please contact us or call us in the following information from Mondays to Fridays. Any wholesale requests just calls us or email us, thanks.

Contact information
www.lensunsolar.com
Tel:    UK +44 2032875806
US +1 (323) 2845027
China: +86 15759769602
Whatsapp:  +86 15759769602
Skype: lensunsolar
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

200W Lensun Solar Blanket – Ultra Portable Solar Power System

Many thanks to Ray and Brain for the Demo and review of Lensun 200W Solar Blanket.

Here the link to this 200W kit:

https://www.lensunsolar.com/Foldable-solar-kit?product_id=266&fbclid=IwAR2GpI8Hqy3PVCmxQoCfikMjOJX2PY_spxIxL8zuE5-w9_8kClXCehOIXVc

You can also check out the original YouTube Video and at the below.

For those of us who like to get out and enjoy camping. A fixed solar panels on the roof or hood of your vehicle and go with a folding or blanket like this 200W kit at the same time will be the best option to capture the most solar energy available. When your vehicle is shaded by trees, there still have your foldable or blanket solar panel that could be exposed in the sun to get the energy.

As Brain said in the video: “that 200W solar kit from Lensun it’s a complete solar charging solution. Super compact and easy to store fits in a bag.”

“the kit includes a 200-watt semi flexible solar panel array that folds up into a super portable 16″x16″ square. It also consists of a waterproof EPever 15A MPPT controller, various hookup cables, a canvas carrying bag, and an EPever WiFi data box( should be selected according to needs).”  Ray said.

At first, the grommets of our 200W that used to hang for better angles would have been simpler, but we continued to update them based on customer feedback until they were stronger and more durable.

We also have updated the solar controller, the solar controller can charge lead-acid or lithium battery, select the battery type by connecting to cell phone via Bluetooth/WIFI Module  (can be selected according to needs).

Regarding for how to download, install and use WIFI module, you can also get more detailed commentary through Ray’video.

If any question or advice, Please contact us or call us in the following information from Mondays to Fridays. Any wholesale request just call us or email us, thanks.

Contact information
www.lensunsolar.com
Tel:    UK +44 2032875806
US +1 (323) 2845027
China: +86 15759769602
Whatsapp:  +86 15759769602
Skype: lensunsolar
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

Customized flexible solar panel for Nissan Leaf hood

Solar panels, as an auxiliary charging system for the vehicle, have its own unique advantages. Recently, Sam, the owner of Nissan Leaf came to us and asked if we could custom a flexible solar panel for his car to generate electricity to a better battery life.

One advantage of customization is that it maximizes the use of space, making it more matching and beautiful.

You asked for it, and then we made it. 

“Lensun Solar Team, My name is Sam Elliott, and I have a Youtube channel (Innovative Sustainable Solutions) where I explore the feasibility and methods for making solar powered commuter vehicles.  I had a viewer refer me to you.  As soon as I saw your custom panels I thought “bingo, that’s what I’ve been looking for……”. 

In the communication after we got in touch, Sam provided relevant dimensions and more detailed information. According to the dimensions he provided, our engineer team designed the drawings and provided them to Sam for confirmation.

Everything is going on smoothly

.

In response to the design we made for him, Sam said::“That looks perfect!  Nice work, a 30% over what the hood panel is spec’d for currently too”

The below link is Sam’s video on our custom solar panels posted on his YouTube channel.

Soon, Sam will also provide more pictures after installation to share with us, and we will update them in real time. We will also continuously dedicate to provide designs and customized solar panels for more models.

If you happen to also want to do some DIY solar for your car, please feel free to contact us.

Contact information
www.lensunsolar.com
Tel:    UK +44 2032875806
US +1 (323) 2845027
China: +86 15759769602
Whatsapp:  +86 15759769602
Skype: lensunsolar
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

Customized 120W hood solar panel installation for Toyota FJ Cruiser

Many thanks to Nat’s share of the installation experience of Lensun 120W Flexible Hood Solar Panel for his Toyota FJ Cruiser.

Here the link to get it for your FJ!

https://www.lensunsolar.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=84&product_id=430

Special designed 2nd gen hood solar panel with two holes for washer nozzles is also available now at below link:

https://www.lensunsolar.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=84&product_id=455

Nat’s said: “My setup uses the existing BCDC charger to direct power to the Aux battery(100AH lead acid battery), but will also direct it to the main crank battery once the Aux is full (but only if it requires it).

The reason I went for a solar is so I can run a fridge and camp lighting for a multi-day camp trip. Means I don’t have to drive the car everyday while camping in order to charge the batteries.”

The followings installation details:

Here’s the underside of the panel. I’ve used the tape pictured below. It’s a high bond double-sided tape that’s also heat resistant. Around the edges I’ve used double (one strip on top of another) due to the small lip that goes around the panel. It’s actually a pale grey coloured tape and the blue is the bit you strip off before applying.

Below is the tape I used. Moroday Ultra High Bond double sided tape. 20mm thick. 

I removed the washer nozzles and the grid panels in between the wiper blades. 

I detached the water tubes from the washer nozzles before removing them. Notice I taped one extension to the main branch to help feed it though and under the wipers. Makes it much easier otherwise it catches on the way through. 

Feeding the washer pipes through and under the wipers (I also fed it BEHIND the bonnet hinge) .The tubes ready to be connected to the new nozzles which will be positioned in the grids as shown below. 

Nozzles I bought on eBay. They need to be able to angle up as much as possible to make up for not being further in front in the bonnet. (Your blanket with prefabricated holes won’t require any of this if course). 

I found nozzles with a nut that fit perfectly into the grate moulding (14mm). 

         

 

The nozzle fixed in from the top side into the nut which is fixed underneath as shown above. I’ve set it as far forward (away from the window) as possible. 

Attach the water tubes onto the nozzles and place the grates back into place (easy – held in with their own clips). 
 
Notice the solar panel cable fits nicely under into the gap at the back of the bonnet. 
 

And then feeds easily into the retaining clips that used to hold the washer tubes.  I have a BC-DC charger fixed between the radiator and the front grill. A custom bracket was used to fix the controller next to it and connected it the BC-DC which is already attached to my aux battery. So it’s all good to go. (The cable runs down behind the washer bottle and then behind and round to the front of the aux battery before routing to the front grill) 

I’ve used Christmas clips to attach a 5mm heat insulation to the underside of the bonnet to prevent too much heat getting through to the panel. (Picked it up from a friend who does air conditioning). 6mm Christmas clips push easily through the insulation and into the factory holes already there. Easy as. 

 

In a couple of places where there weren’t factory holes or I haven’t cut it right. I’ve used the same tape as above to fix it to the underside of the bonnet. 

And looks sooooo good! 

If any questions or advice, please contact us or call us in the following information from Mondays to Fridays. Any wholesale request just call us or email us, thanks.

Contact information
www.lensunsolar.com
Tel: UK +44 2032875806
US +1 (323) 2845027
China: +86 15759769602
Whatsapp/Wechat: +86 15759769602
Wechat: +86 15759769602
Skype: lensunsolar
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

Solar System with Flexible Solar Panels in Escape RV

Many thanks Mark’s share of his installation experience of 3pcs Lensun 80W Flexible Solar Panel on his Escape RV, the following is his installation details which also posted on https://www.escapeforum.org/forums 

Click link to shop Lensun flexible solar panel

https://www.lensunsolar.com/Flexible-solar-panel/Black-flexible-solar-panel

I completed my solar installation on my 2019 Escape 19 a couple weeks ago and had a chance to put it to use on a 6 day camping trip last week. I thought I would give an overview of my installation as some payback for all the good information I got from the forum. I also had great input from Jim Bennett, as well from my electronics wizard buddy who also helped me with the installation. Please note that this is the way I did it and not the only way, so if you prefer other installation equipment and methods better, go for it.

I chose to do my own solar installation specifically because I wanted to go with flush panels as:
• I am an aviation guy and I like the low profile aerodynamics of a flat panel over one stuck up in the wind,
• I like the fact that the panels are out of sight from the ground, which to me is more aesthetically pleasing, and
• the panels are less visible for theft and a lot more difficult to steal than ridged panels.

I ordered my trailer pre wired for solar, which greatly simplified the installation providing the MC4 connector on the roof and the wires running down to the driver’s side under seat area and from there to the battery. Note that I do not have an inverter.

The main components I used were purchased from Lensun.

1. 80W 12V Black Flexible Solar Panel. 37” x 21” Lensun panels. I chose this panel supplier as they had been already researched by Jim Bennett and used by many other forum members. These panels are the perfect size for the trailer as the 37” length just fits the raised center roof width without going over the edge radius. I was able to install 3 panels for a total of 240 Watts. Note that I chose the standard panels without the edge protection as I feel the existing edge will take the wind load and minor dirt and bug impacts. I did not want the additional thickness of the edge channel where I was going to bond.

2. 30A MPPT Solar Panel Regulator Charge Controller and LCD Display Remote Meter (MT-50) 12/24V. The website shows this controller as a Lensun product but it is actually an EPSOLAR unit. Many suppliers identify EPSOLAR components as their own. In fact, I found Renogy had better manuals on line for the monitor than what came with the component. I could have used a 20A controller but the 30A is only $10 more and will allow me to add external panels at a later date if I so choose. I ordered it with a remote monitor, which allows monitoring of the system without going under the dinette bench and is easier to use to program the controller with than the controls on the controller itself. It also makes it easier to enter the specific charge parameters for my batteries (factory 2 x 6 volt flooded) instead of the pre-set values. I did enter my own user values.

3. I also ordered the MC4 connectors from Lensun as it was easy and the cost was competitive. I did order breakers and a DIN mount, additional panel wire for the roof, and adhesive tape from other sources. I borrowed the MC4 crimping tool from Jim Bennett and my buddy 3D printed me some MC4 wrenches.

Panel Installation on Roof.

I installed one panel at the front, one in the middle, and one at the rear of the trailer (see photos).

Note that the highest structural loads on the panel do not come from wind on the leading edge, but from any lift from the airflow (Bernoulli’s principle for you aviation/fluid dynamics guys). I considered using Eternabond or 3M VHB tape and feel that both are good options. Both have the strength and will seal the edges from water ingress. The Eternabond tape is likely safer if you are at all concerned about bonding preparations as I feel it is more forgiving if there are preparation issues. I decided to go with the VHB tape as I liked the look better (not that you can really see it from the ground) and have high confidence in its bonding capabilities from my experience using it in aviation design work. It is also used for bonding panels on cargo trailers, panel trucks and skyscrapers so I was not concerned about using it on these panels. I also believe it is easier to remove than Eternabond if you ever need to replace a panel and 3M provides instruction and sells the tools for removal. It does require careful surface preparation to prevent bond failure.

I chose 3M VHB Heavy Duty Mounting Tape 5952 Black, 3/4 in wide x .045” thick. This tape is good for high to medium energy surfaces (high being very glossy smooth). It also has good thickness to account for variations between the two surfaces. It is weatherproof. I chose ¾” width even though my calculations showed ½ was adequate, just for an additional margin of safety.

Panel Preparation:
• Clean the panel bond areas with IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol, not India Pale Ale).
• I ran tape around the entire perimeter which is overkill for strength but I wanted to seal out any moisture. I also put it over the redundant grommet holes at the corners, and sealed the grommets with calking to prevent water ingress.
• I also put three 6” strips equally spaced under the panel, longitudinally to the trailer. This was to prevent the panel from sagging inside the perimeter tape and prevent any chaffing (however unlikely) between the panel and the roof.

For the roof I did the following:
• washed the roof with soap and water and rinsed with clean water
• cleaned the area with IPA
• masked the perimeter of the panel profile with painters tape
• lightly scuffed the area next to the tape where the VHB will bond with maroon 3M Scotch-Brite to improve the bonding surface
• cleaned the area again with IPA
• peeled off all the surface film on the center strips and pealed a small length of the surface film on the perimeter tape and placed the panels in position. I did this rather than pealing it all off at once to give some forgiveness if I accidentally set the panel in the wrong position.
• pulled off the remaining film and pressed the panels in place
• using a hand roller pressed all tape contact areas down firmly
• removex the painters tape
3M data states: “After application, the bond strength will increase as the adhesive flows onto the surface. At room temperature, approximately 50% of the ultimate strength will be achieved after 20 minutes, 90% after 24 hours and 100% after 72 hours. Handling Strength is typically achieved immediately after application of pressure to the bonded components. In some cases, bond strength can be increased and ultimate bond strength can be achieved more quickly by exposure of the bond to elevated temperatures (e.g. 150°F (66°C) for 1 hour)”. 3M also has a graph that shows curing over several days at 10°C (50°F).
Being in Calgary in May I was concerned about bonding temperatures. The forecast for the day was for a high of 19°C (66°F) and lows of 3°C (37°F). I was a bit worried but in the end it was a very sunny day and the surface area of the black panels was measured to be around 125°F and the panels were at these temperatures for at least 4 hours.
I secured the cables with black tie wraps (zip ties) and the wrap mounts were also secured with VHB tape.
I did a 270 km (168 mi) trip this weekend with speeds up to 120 kph (75 mph) and we have had lots of rain since the installation and nothing has lifted or moved.

Controller and Monitor Installation:


I installed the controller on top of the black water tank under the driver’s side dinette seat where the pre wired cable ends installed at the factory terminated (see photo). I used circuit breakers on the positive wire entering the controller and exiting the controller to the battery, the same way Jim Bennett did. This was not only to provide circuit protection but also as shut off switches to isolate the controller, if required. I had to make a small mounting plate to fit the breakers in front of the controller and mounted them on a DIN strip.
I installed the monitor in the overhead bin bulkhead forward of the main door where it is easy to check by just poking your head in the door (see photos). To connect it there, I had to get a CAT4 cable longer than the one provided. You can use a cable up to 50 meters long. I had to drill a 2.5 inch hole to flush mount the monitor unit.

Circuit layout (see wiring diagram):
My wiring seems to be typical of most solar installations that I have seen with one exception. The controller has provisions to run the trailer load. I think this is common on many MPPT controllers but I have not seen it used (in my limited experience with other solar installations). I removed the main 12 volt jumper from the battery self-reset breaker to the 12 volt disconnect switch, and connected the 12 volt source wire from the controller to it. The system is now protected by the breakers I installed for the controller. Note that my trailer, which was completed in December 2019, has this switch under the bench and not on the front of it, and the switch has a large removable key.

The advantages of this are:
• The system uses power directly from the panels to power the load and uses the battery to top it up. This means you only draw down the battery when you are not providing enough from solar.
• This allows the monitor to also display the system load draw, along with the PV voltage/amperage output, and battery voltage and amperage in/out. It also displays if the battery is charging or being discharged.
• You can turn off the 12 volt load at the monitor without going to the 12 volt shut off switch under the dinette bench.

In conclusion, I am very happy with the installation. When camping last week we had one night that left surface ice in the dog’s water dish, so the furnace ran a fair bit (not a scientific measurement). The next day was a bit cloudy and the batteries were fully charged by mid-morning. I am very happy with the ease of monitoring the solar, battery, and trailer load. It will meet our current and foreseeable power requirements.

Here are other customers’ questions to Mr. Mark about the heat issue of solar panels.

Hi Mark,
Your installations looks great. I am considering adding a panel or two to my 19. Some of the concerns I’ve read about with flexible panels is reliability and heat buildup. Some people suggest using a corrugated plastic board as a backer to help keep the heat away from the roof. Did you do that? Also are your panels removable in case they fail?

hi

I don’t know how hot the panels get, but we measured mine at about 125 F in direct sun after installation. I could put my hand on them but it became uncomfortable quickly. I have put my hand on free standing panels on a hot day and it was not much different. Jim Bennetts have been on for over 3 years which included some months in the southern US and the Baha, Mexico and he has had no issues. Note that he installed with Eternabond tape, not VHB. To me the benefits of the low profile semi-flexible panels that I detailed in my original post are worth it.

I think that eventually the panels could/will lose efficiency or possibly fail. Everything does. A part of my choosing VHB tape, other than not wanting to drill holes, is that 3M gives instructions for removal of the tape. You use a garrote (thin wire like the high E string on a guitar) and cut through the tape core to remove the panel. 3M also sells a rotary tape remover to use in your drill (looks a bit like a rotary eraser) that takes the remaining adhesive off. I watched a video on line showing use of this tool to remove the VHB tape of of a car without damaging the paint.

I wanted my panels sealed so I did not get moisture under them. I did not want to put something under the panels to raise them, other than a few spaced out pieces of the VHB tape, as I felt it complicated the installation and made it harder to seal. The panels do have to curve to fit the roof, especially at the rear position. Corrugated plastic board would effect this. You maybe could do something like this with the Eternabond tape which is wide enough to go over the panels and a thien secondary layer, but to use the VHB you would be stacking bonded layers to attach the panels.

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