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With the roof flipped back over I installed the Solar Panels.    Two Kyocera KD-135 GX-LP panels to give up to 270 watts of electrical generation.    That should be enough to keep up with the refrigerator, heating fans, lights and other loads.


I considered mounting them like this:


which would have allowed room for a roof rack, but I decided on the end-to-end format because I would still have the ability to use the pole-chocks for long poles for desert or other camping structures.    It’ll also prevent me from adding a roof rack and loading the roof up with further weight.    It’s already much heavier than I’d like it to be.

The solar charge controllers is a Blue Sky 2512ix maximum power point tracking (MPPT) controller.     MPPT controllers are more efficient because they operate the solar panel at the voltage where it produces the most overall power.   Conventional chargers operate at battery charge voltage (typically 13-14V), while the MPPT controller has a DC to DC converter to convert the MPPT voltage to charge voltage.


The Kyoceras produce maxiumum power at 17.7V.   More info on MPPT controllers are available in this PDF.

  1. ken lawson-williams
    May 10th, 2009 at 21:06 | #1

    You might want to consider using the first layout BUT adding another pair. The 270W is likely only with bright sun at 90 degrees – and in the NW that is not as common as in CA or AZ! Doubling the capacity should give you 400W or sop on a bright summer day and likely 200 in am/eve or in winter (overcast) noon conditions

  2. ken lawson-williams
    May 10th, 2009 at 21:12 | #2

    You could always add a spacer under the pole brackets to ensure clearance over the panels… and another pair on the other side. Then add a 400W wind generator and a pair of poles to raise it up to the drivers side (a rectangular aluminum flat plate with mount like a christmas tree stand that collapses to less than the max height of the warning lamps can have the pole go through it like a trunk while the plate sits under a wheel for stability – mounted on roof opposite the hatch)

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