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Old 08-15-2009, 04:00 AM   #41 (permalink)
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From all of the research i've been doing online, it's best to pair your panel up with a 12v deep cycle battery. 14v would work, but it wont charge the battery that fast (but if you have all day, why not?)To charge that battery effectively, you'd need around 18v. It's also a good idea to have a Charge controller as well, so you dont overcharge the batteries.

Most of these cells sold on ebay are 0.5v, so youd need to wire 36 of them in series. Then depending on how big your deep cycle is (amp/hours), again, you'd need enough amps to charge the battery in a decent amount of time. To get more amps, you'd need to wire however many sets of 36's in parallel.

It all really depends on the electrical needs of your car and what range do you want out of your batteries.

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Old 08-15-2009, 11:56 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Gascort - sorry about the partial hijack going on here...

Jedi - Use the force. No, seriously.

LOL - I actually meant "Should I tab the cells together in 14VDC strings, and continue using a 12V battery?"
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Old 08-17-2009, 01:49 AM   #43 (permalink)
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Christ - no worries for the threadjacking.
The cells I got are somewhat flexible - they can be bent much more than the curvature of my roof, but it's pretty flat. They would be fine on your Caravan. I would recommend doing two smaller pieces of plexiglass rather than the one large one I did - more flexibility for expansion/contraction.
Mine is 14V now just because I only had about 48 inches and it worked out that way. (it actually reads about 15V in full sun - more than the cells are rated at)
To charge the battery, 14V will be a trickle charge, but more will make it faster. I'm adding a few more cells on my Kammback in series with my strings on the roof to make them 16V. (will be like 17V short circuit in full sun). On your Caravan, it will be no problem to fit 17-18V, probably 2 18V panels easily.

To the person who asked about the A-B-A testing, no - the panels aren't functioning to aid my FE yet - they will help me recharge when going alternatorless, and I haven't gotten that working yet - I will post a new thread about its success when I make it work.

Update on a bit of a bummer:
Today we had a monsoonish - super thunderstorm. I went out afterward to find an enormous amount of water under my plexiglass. This will be disasterous. I need to figure out how this happened and how to stop it - even if the silicone or a screw was leaking, I don't get how all that water got in there. And it's not condensation - we're talking like a half liter of water. I had a home-made desiccant in there to remove trace vapor, and it's no match for this volume of water... ARGH!
Will post with the problem and my solution!
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Old 08-17-2009, 01:51 AM   #44 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear about the water! I really want to deskin my roof to do this but I think I'll need to practice on another roof first
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Old 08-17-2009, 01:56 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear about the water! I really want to deskin my roof to do this but I think I'll need to practice on another roof first
Over this winter, I plan** on doing alot of work to Cara.

5 speed swap, alternator delete, full frontal grille block with 3rd gen T&C bumper cover, wheel skirts, wiper cover, mild weight reduction, few other things.

I guess I should get to work on getting my Tacoma road legal, then, eh?















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Old 08-17-2009, 01:57 AM   #46 (permalink)
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I saw the ** and wondered how you could have possibly been cursing
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Old 08-17-2009, 02:02 AM   #47 (permalink)
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**** <- there will be lots of these if this ******* water damages my cells!
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Old 08-17-2009, 02:04 AM   #48 (permalink)
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I saw the ** and wondered how you could have possibly been cursing
Roffle. I didn't even think about that while emulating the "it's not what it seems" fine print.
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Old 08-17-2009, 02:05 AM   #49 (permalink)
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Oooo... Gascort - could you measure your roof from windshield trim to hatch seam, and from rain gutter to rain gutter?

Just a random interest in area.
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Old 08-17-2009, 02:05 AM   #50 (permalink)
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Have you discussed yet where you got the cells and how much you paid?

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