Author Topic: solar circuit  (Read 770 times)

Michael DeFalco

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solar circuit
« on: January 20, 2021, 10:12:59 PM »
is any one familiar with the wiring of the factory solar set up in a 2000 marquis tourmaline. i would like to improve the system for better performance and do not know how the existing system is wired ?

Bill Lampkin

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Re: solar circuit
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2021, 10:20:00 PM »
Check coach assist for the wiring diagram for your  coach. If you have one solar panel like my coach, its likely one, 100w panel.  A 100w panel makes about 5 amps charging current in full sun, for about 5 hrs/day. That's only 25 amp hours per day; think of your solar as a very small, 5 amp trickle charger. There is not much in the way of re-wiring that one can do. Solar works great once you understand its limitations.
2005 Patriot Thunder Lexington, 3 slides
40' tag axle (short wheelbase)
525 hp C13

"Liberty is not the power to do what one wants, but it is the desire to do what one can" J-P Sartre; inscription in base of Statue of Liberty

Michael DeFalco

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Re: solar circuit
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2021, 10:27:01 PM »
ok ,there are two 80 watt panels but i never see any amps on the monitoring panel , so maybe the panels are shot they are 20 plus years old

Michael DeFalco

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Re: solar circuit
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2021, 10:28:45 PM »
i need to find the charge controller ,  question   do all solar panels require a charge controller?

Michael DeFalco

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solar system
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2021, 10:37:01 PM »
i am looking to improve on the factory 2 panel system in my 2000 marquis tourmaline, i do not know how this is wired so i need to find out if i can use existing wiring ,where is the solar charger ,how do a marry a new system to what i have now ???   
i have no clue where  to start.

Bill Lampkin

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Re: solar system
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2021, 11:05:10 PM »
AM solar did the original factory installation of your solar panels. See their website for more details than you can imagine, good info.

https://amsolar.com/

More solar won't make up for bad batteries. Check your batteries with a hydrometer (if they are flooded wet cell batteries) to see if they will hold a charge.
2005 Patriot Thunder Lexington, 3 slides
40' tag axle (short wheelbase)
525 hp C13

"Liberty is not the power to do what one wants, but it is the desire to do what one can" J-P Sartre; inscription in base of Statue of Liberty
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Steve Huber Co-Admin

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Re: solar circuit
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2021, 11:21:14 PM »
Michael,
If my memory hasn't failed me I think the controller is under the bed or just inside the engine access.
Steve
Steve
2015-          07 Contessa Bayshore C9,  400 hp
2013-2015: 00 Marquis Tourmaline, C12, 425 hp
2005-2013: 01 Contessa Naples, 3126B, 330 hp
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Eric Maclean

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Re: solar circuit
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2021, 12:55:05 AM »
Michael
In my 1997 patriot the solar may be different from yours but as Steve said my charge controler is mounted on the firewall under the bed as part of the isolated board .
On the roof of my coach there where two larger panels (40 watts each ) for the coach batteries and one smaller (10 watt panel for the chassis they where all mounted on the right side of the roof just behind the front A/C from there the wiring runs back inside the roof coming out of the roof and down the inside of the rear cap where they run forward along the edge of the floor / bed structure from there they run across the isolated board.
The coach panels are hooked to the charge controler which in turn feeds through a 10 amp fuse to the coach side of the isolator board .
The chassis panel is hooked through a fuse only directly to the chassis side of the isolator ( no charge controler)
The wiring coming down from the roof is only 10 gauge wire and are not heavy enough to handle anymore panels as the volt drop over the distance would render the output almost useless.

If you are looking to up grade your solar your best bet is to abandon the existing wiring  and feed new appropriate sized wiring down through the fridge vent to a newer  style controler and use higher out put panels

Beaver it seams where continually up grading there solar program over the years the earlier units like mine had very minimal charge capabilities in my case the coach system was a total of 80 watts which in full sun could only yield  approx 6.5 amps
More realistically expect 4 maybe 5 amps. Which would be a good trickle charge for a coach parked on a salesman's lot but not enough to realistically put back the current used for a nights bondocking unless your really frugal .
And  I suspect the thinking on not installing a charge controler on the chassis panel is that in full sun the chassis panel could only provide in the neighborhood of 1/2 amp and would not likely over charge the chassis battery bank.

On some of the newer coaches the charge controler was located in the waste water bay passenger side ahead of drive axle on the rear wall behind the access panel.

Hope this helps some
Eric
« Last Edit: January 21, 2021, 01:09:09 AM by Eric Maclean »
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Steve Huber Co-Admin

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Re: solar circuit
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2021, 01:32:14 AM »
Michael,
As Eric notes, upgrading your complete system is an option. However first you should verify the existing system is working. If you don't have the manual, see Battery Charging Systems in Coach Assist.
One caution; if you decide to run new wiring, be aware that there are muffin fans mounted in the reefer vent (at least there was on my 00 Marquis). So, remove the roof vent cover and use a flashlight to see if there is a way to route the wires past the fans.
Good Luck, Steve
Steve
2015-          07 Contessa Bayshore C9,  400 hp
2013-2015: 00 Marquis Tourmaline, C12, 425 hp
2005-2013: 01 Contessa Naples, 3126B, 330 hp
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Michael DeFalco

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Re: solar circuit
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2021, 02:10:59 AM »
thanks for the input , it just seems to me the solar system is not atiquit to charge the batts on its own. checking the batts is something i need to do i am assuming they are ok because they are only 18 months old.
but thank you again for the feed back i will check about the fans u mentioned. what is their purpose?

Steve Huber Co-Admin

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Re: solar circuit
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2021, 03:04:27 AM »
Michael,
The stock solar system is not intended to charge the batteries, but to act as a trickle charger to keep charged batteries maintain their charge in the face of parasitic and the engine ECU load.
The fans are to provide airflow across the reefer coils. In hot humid weather the reefer can lose a significant amount of its cooling capability if there is no air flow across the ammonia filled coils.
Steve
Steve
2015-          07 Contessa Bayshore C9,  400 hp
2013-2015: 00 Marquis Tourmaline, C12, 425 hp
2005-2013: 01 Contessa Naples, 3126B, 330 hp
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Michael DeFalco

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Re: solar circuit
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2021, 01:12:53 PM »
thank you guys so much you've given me a direction which i had none of before. huge help !!


William Jordan

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Re: solar circuit
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2021, 04:23:17 PM »
I think they stuck those controllers wherever in different years. Mine was behind the screwed on panel to the holding tanks, passenger side , along with all the Aladdin control boxes/ wiring  hidden away. I replaced my controller with a more modern , better one.The wiring is too small to upgrade  much, so I added 800 watts of panels run to a completely different controller. Both systems are on and functional I checked with solar install experts who said the would function independently just fine. And yes you should have a controller for anything beyond a small 10-20 watt panel.
Bill and Gretchen
2003 Marquis Ruby since '14

Michael DeFalco

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Re: solar circuit
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2021, 09:14:48 PM »
Ah ok that's a different approach , so if you upgrade to a higher output solar system as an independent from existing things should work ok??  if so that would be the smarter way.     mike

Joel Ashley

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Re: solar circuit
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2021, 01:10:16 AM »
When I was deciding whether to put out the $ for lithium house batteries, AM Solar in Springfield, OR, was one outfit I checked out because they're not far away, original suppliers to Monaco, and one of the founders of the RV solar technology.  The cost for a full and proper install got too discouraging, and my inverter panel would need upgrading as well as the solar controller, yada, yada.  It wasn't all just the cost;  there were other cons.  So I junked the idea.  But a takeaway was the availability of newer technology panels.  Now a 200 watt panel is as affordable or more so as the common 100w was when our coach was new.  I'm just not into crowding my roof with panels;  it makes walking around or cleaning up there more difficult.  But two 200w panels wouldn't be so bad, and would provide 4 times what I get now.  You might check them out:

https://amsolar.com/?gclid=CjwKCAiA6aSABhApEiwA6Cbm_3iomA-ReF30Pn0jhpo__Bk-FV_GpIscH2WIIFEV7tBxP8aioDVXZRoCBM0QAvD_BwE

Joel
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