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Discussion Starter #3
240VAC? Must have a built-in inverter? We see no "DC specs" for the underlying solar panel. You could probably remove the inverter and treat it as a normal panel - - but without 'specs', hard to know for sure.
Did you scroll to the second page? Only DC spec I see is DC/AC conversion efficiency.
 

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MMXVI - L2H2 in IN
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It's free,
It's got a micro invertor on the back,
Step down transformer to battery charger?

I think this is the panel by itself, Rated Voltage (Vmpp) 54.7 V
 

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It has an inverter which should be able to be demolitioned. Most MPPT controllers can handle voltages above 12 volts and convert it to 12dc. It’s a big panel but would fit and MIGHT save you $300 or might be a super headache. I’d take it of course and cut out the inverter, put it in the sun and find the open circuit voltage and go from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It has an inverter which should be able to be demolitioned. Most MPPT controllers can handle voltages above 12 volts and convert it to 12dc. It’s a big panel but would fit and MIGHT save you $300 or might be a super headache. I’d take it of course and cut out the inverter, put it in the sun and find the open circuit voltage and go from there.
I'm picking it up as soon as I get back in town. Worth a shot I figure.
 

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MMXVI - L2H2 in IN
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I think it's, Open-Circuit Voltage (Voc) 64.9 V

It's free, it's a sun shade, that's almost half of my roof.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Hi,

The panel has a micro inverter included to convert the DC power produced by the panel to 240 volt AC that can be tied directly to the grid.

If you want more info on this kind of setup, google "Enphase microinverter" as they are the major manufacturer of these micro inverters. My home PV system uses 10 panels with microinverters:
http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/PV/EnphasePV/Main.htm

You could just disconnect the micro inverter and use the PV panel on the van without it. Its a 96 cell panel, so the nominal DC voltage it produces is about 0.5 volts per cell, or 48 volts. The open circuit voltage would be higher -- you could google 96 cell PV panels and probably find some other 96 cell panels that would give you some idea what the actual voltages would be.

The charge controller would have to be able to handle these relatively high voltages, but there are certainly controllers out there that could handle it. The Midnite Sun Kid controller would be one choice. I think there are other controllers out there that could handle the panel and for less money than the Kid.

Another option would be to use the free panel as a sort of bootleg grid tied PV system for your home. Basically, it produces grid compatible power -- it you plug its inverter into a 240 VAC socket in your home (eg an electric dryer) it would feed power into your house and reduce your electric bill. Here is an example of a similar system: http://www.builditsolarblog.com/2012/03/under-radar-plug-and-play-grid-tie-pv.html

This is a bootleg kind of deal and if your utility discovered it, they may not be happy, but from what I have heard they are unlikely to discover it and unlikely to do anything really nasty if they do.

Its probably a $500 panel with the micro inverter, so I'd not turn it down.

Gary
 

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I think it would take a very good (expensive like Outback) charge MPPT controller to convert that panel to 12 volts after modding it to DC. At the low price of today's panels it would be much better and less problematic to use 12v panels. If you are in a good Sun area it does not take a Hugh amount of panels to accommodate the amount of batteries most of us will put in our van. After the batteries are at float that electricity is just sitting there waiting for something to do.
 

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responding to GaryBIS

If you plug this into a 240v outlet wouldn't you be back feeding the power lines if there is a power outage (a tree takes out a power line in your neighborhood)?
 

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Grid-tie inverters lack stand alone capability, they synch on a qualified signal preexisting on the output wire to achieve phase lock. The built in 'anti-islanding' safeguard is most important, if power drops the remote feed inverter must drop and not keep lines hot and endanger the power network. Back-feeding into any public power grid w/o inspection and safeguards is a 'guerrilla grid tie' and illegal, let anything happen its unlimited liability.
 

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responding to GaryBIS

If you plug this into a 240v outlet wouldn't you be back feeding the power lines if there is a power outage (a tree takes out a power line in your neighborhood)?
No -- that's not a problem. All of the micro inverters have anti islanding that shuts down the PV system completely if it cannot detect the presence of the grid. There are thousands of micro inverter systems out there (including mine) and they work just fine and are safe.

When you do a full utility approved install (as I did) it gets inspected by the electrical code inspector and the utility company. On these systems, the micro inverter array gets hooked to the grid via a manual shutoff switch and a dedicated circuit breaker, but the end effect is the same as if it was plugged into a 240 VAC outlet in the house -- you just lose the manual cutoff switch (which is a code requirement). But, its the anti islanding feature built into the micro inverter that protects line workers.

http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/PV/EnphasePV/Main.htm

I'm certainly not advising anyone to hook to the grid without an inverter that has the anti islanding feature, but as a practical matter, utility workers don't rely on the inverter safety feature -- there are too many people with generators out there that may not be hooked up correctly and will backfeed the grid.

Gary
 
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