Semi-mobile garage

Anything got to do with solar thats off grid. No matter how big or small.

Semi-mobile garage

Postby bschevelle » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:07 pm


Just purchased an 8.5’ X 20’ enclosed trailer to haul my race car to the track, I am going to add 2 solar panels (180-210 watts, each) and batteries to supply power for lighting, stereo, Laptop, 12volt winch, misc electrical tools.

I will not have much control over pitch or direction of the panels so they will be close to flat with just enough pitch to keep rain running off. I will pitch them to take advantage of where it parked at home, when in use I will keep the pitch in-mind when parking.

The trailer will be parked at the race track usually for two days sometimes 3 days, I will have NO AC power available, I will be limited to 4-6 batteries based on weight and space so I will have a small generator that I will run only when I have to (yes it can charge the batteries while running), too noisy and I don’t want to disrupt the people parked next to me. I will also use the battery bank as a misc source of power while packed at home and in the woods for quad trips.

I am no solar or battery expert so I would like to learn from the expertise of the forum members.

Considering limited space and trying to keep the weight down I would to keep it to 4-6 batteries with maximum amp hours.

What is going to be my best bang for amp hours, 4-6 6v batteries in series/parallel or 4-6 12v batteries in parallel?

Please recommend type of batteries for my application?

I would like to charge the batteries from the truck alternator while the engine is running, from the solar panels most of the time, from AC power when available and from the generator only when needed.
I know that I will need a charge controller and DC to AC convertor, please recommend type and possible brand that would be most effective for my application?

What else would I need to make this happen???

Am I on the right track???

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Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:56 pm

Re: Semi-mobile garage

Postby Dave_Gorman » Fri May 04, 2012 9:12 pm

I would use 6x standard car batteries in parallel, but charging them from solar is a very bad idea.

Compared to charging the batteries from your portable genny, grid AC or your Truck's Alternator, you will find 2 low power Solar Panels on a near-flat incline extremely disappointing. You would get the same charge from half an hour on the genny as you would from all day on the solar panels (*if* it was a sunny day and you continually moved the panels around to get a good angle).

It seems that you already have plenty of power available, and the added complication of solar panels into the mix would simply make your power system a lot more expensive and far more prone to failure but for almost no benefit.

Ultimately, you would spend more time monitoring the output of your solar panels and trying to get the "perfect" angle than working on your car.

Unless you're planning on A: fitting a motorised tracking system to the panels and B: doing most of your racing near the equator, I would not bother.
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Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 8:06 pm

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