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Old 01-04-18, 01:29 AM   #11
ecomodded
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When the apparent mppt charger gets here I will also Time the sunlight to cloud transition glitch it has , it might cause a substantial energy loss or maybe not.


The Plot thickens

The panels will be carried set in a Vee in this single wheel trailer and towed behind the ebike. Any charge along the way is a bonus plan is to stop between 11 and 3 to recharge on the road . I will be able to charge once I reach my destination for camping or gold prospecting. Something i do now.

That arrangement is the best way i can carry them if i was to carry them stacked and flat they stick over the side rails 2 inches on either side and risk getting damaged.



They are propped up while I design a light angled aluminum frame. Planning to use 1 x 1" x 1/8th inch 6061 angle . It weighs in at 2.16 lbs per 8 ft length and should be strong enough for the job. Home hardware sells it for $22 per 8 ft.

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Old 01-04-18, 05:33 AM   #12
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Your image isn't displaying for me unfortunately.
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Old 01-07-18, 01:23 AM   #13
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I will try again

Poof




Rather then a aluminum frame I will be folding a sheet of coroplasts into a pup tent shape and rivet together using washers as backing along seams.
It will have a added fairing at the front end for wind protection and improved Aero

Once its in shape and riveted will spray canned foam along the inside seams for a hidden light weight framework..
It will be removable as a unit from the trailer. The plan is to stop and charge under the mid day sun

A labor of love something Im putting together for spring and summer camping when out Sunning and gold prospecting in the nice weather.


keeping weight down is paramount. The panels weigh 3.5 lbs each
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Old 01-07-18, 07:24 AM   #14
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Looks good and shouldn't be too draggy in use.
It might be good to have the option to carry them flat in the event of strong cross winds on your journey?
Any further details on the panels in terms of pricing and source?
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Old 01-07-18, 10:47 AM   #15
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I picked them up on eBay.ca listed for $165 OBO with free ship from Canadian warehouse.
Not sure if he ships to the U.S. If your in the U.S with the exchange rate I bet you could find the same panels on eBay.com for around $120

With a good design a convertible type rack could be made up to work like your suggesting I dont have that design but do like the feature.

The design would have to compete with the one peace folded designs riveted seams and no moving parts , no wiggle. Its a tough one to beat. For sturdiness and lightness its about perfect. I will be using the weather forecast for Sun and wind if caught unexpectedly can pull over for shelter from any wind storms etc.
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Old 01-07-18, 12:55 PM   #16
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I'd definitely look at making it fold up, if nothing else it would make it a lot more compact for storage when not in use.
That's an excellent price for high efficiency thin panels.
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Old 01-07-18, 11:48 PM   #17
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Your idea is good its just not going to mix with my needs.

I have put some thought into designs and decided on a light rigid rack. No moving parts to fail no bending and unbending nothing the one piece design means stability something a fold up rack will not have. In short the losses are too great for a odd wind storm I won't and don't want to ride in. Instead I would pull over , bicycling in wind storms is not productive at all ..I would pull over for shelter regardless of the panels position.

The first design I had was complex to no end. It was flat ( the best) for wind resistance but the panels stuck over the trailer rails 2 inches per side so if the trailer tipped over the panels edge hits first

So its tent style
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Old 01-08-18, 12:32 AM   #18
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Sounds like you have the best design for your needs. Will you have some storage underneath also?
The only things putting me off the thin panels is the apparently short life and the fact that the premium sellers claim that the cheaper ones are all made using rejected cells.
I think it makes sense to protect against bending and impact as much as possible as you are.
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Old 01-08-18, 09:48 AM   #19
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There is a good chance the most affordable panels may be customer returns for damage then resold at a reduced rate. They also have A b and C grades from the factory.

One panel was without damage the other had 2 pieces of wire sealed under the protective plastic but the panel is fine as the static pressure was low.

You can find semi flex pv with a 20 year manufacturers output warranty so with their life expectancy and my sporadic use I don't think I will be wearing them out.
They only make fiscal sense if you need weight savings durability or the ability to mount on curved surfaces.

This rack design will have about zero failure points
It will have coroplast inner boxed framework joined and filled with canned foam for strength , the rack will have to endure rough roads and be fully removable with panels on board.

The mppt chargers arrived , two of them one for Solar charging and one for a boost converter to increase battery voltage for more speed. Now Im waiting for pv cables to join it up.
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Old 01-08-18, 10:16 AM   #20
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I forgot to mention the batteries will go on the bottom back of the trailer and supplies in front of them and lighter objects at the very front. I will limit the weight to 40lbs gear including the panels weight.
The trailer weighs 13 lbs on its own for about a 50 lb tow load. The trailer is rated to carry 70 lbs.

Also the trailer is made of welded 4130 Chromoly tube with gussets welded in.

So Im making the rack durable for a good match , the flat version was going to use Chromoly tube...


I just thought about it now but will use them at home when not doing distance on the ebike
It makes fiscal sense ..

The below reflector method works to boost panel output. So will lay out some Tyvek at base of the panels when at the home as well bike trips.



Mikes Garage rooftop panel set up


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