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Solar system 2.0 build

Discussion in '3rd Gen Builds (2014+)' started by abomb60, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. Sep 16, 2020 at 7:36 AM
    #1
    abomb60

    abomb60 [OP] Maker of things

    Joined:
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    I've had some questions and interest about my first solar setup so figured i'd document the 2.0 build in case anyone is interested. Nothing groundbreaking or earth shattering here but it might help someone :)

    For the past few months i've run a GoalZero Yeti 400 Lithium as a 2nd battery of sorts mostly to power the fridge and to provide some "off grid" power for USB devices and such. Since that model has a small battery I figured i'd rebuild the system as a true dual battery with solar. I'd also like the option of removing that from the truck to power stuff, such as in the tent, without bringing the fridge with it. So thus the 2.0 build was born.

    First I built a board for the main components and this is mounted in the front of the bed using the factory bed rail. This houses the 30A MPPT controller, main breakers for PV input (one for PV+ and one for PV-), main breaker for 12v loads, fuse panel for 12v loads, inverter and AC to DC charger. Also here is a crappy old battery out of my former 2007 BMW M5 that I had kicking around that still seems to work just fine so using that for now. This whole part of the system is also chassis grounded to the frame under the bed. Gotta clean up that wiring a bit but that might wait until I put in a better battery.
    image0.jpg

    Next I built a 2nd board that is in the rear of the bed that has the remote head for the MPPT controller, remote on/off for the inverter, a 2nd 12v load panel that is connected to the first at the front and some 12v sockets (1 usb and 1 socket). Like the other board it's mounted to the bed rail system. Plenty of room here to add more stuff as needed. Eventually will add the Dometic 2pin socket here once they are back in stock. Also added a little LED battery monitor since I had it already ... just need to drill a hole and run the wire through the board so it looks better.
    image1.jpg

    For solar I have a Lensun 100W flexible mono panel that is mounted to the tonneau cover. Perfect size and the tri-fold cover still works normally without touching the panel. This panel connects with MC4 to a 2-way MC4 splitter. Main feed on the splitter goes to the MPPT controller and the other side goes to a MC4 to Anderson adapter. This allows me to connect additional panels as needed.
    image2.jpg image3.jpg

    Quick wiring diagram that I think is still correct:
    tundra solar wiring.jpg

    So there ya have it. Next up i'm looking to add a DC to DC charger so I can keep the 2nd battery topped up when the truck is running. Might do a combo inverter/charger since I accidentally bought a modified sine wave inverter.

    Pretty much all of this was sourced from Amazon except for the Lensun panel. Links are below.

    AC to DC Charger: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003JSHQW0/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    MC4 to Anderson Cables:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07T3K9TND/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    12v Fuse block:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08975FHKN/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Inverter:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00T564EIY/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    30A DC Breaker:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08DXW3TNQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    MC4 to bare wire cable:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JH1PABW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    30A MPPT Controller:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071XP39BK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    MC4 connectors:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07R8BXH6B/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    MC4 extension cable - 5'
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B087QXMVBT/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    MC4 branch connectors:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DJ5PHSB/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    10 gauge cable:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0776BQYY8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Lensun 100W black flexible panel:
    https://www.lensunsolar.com/Flexible-solar-panel/Black-flexible-solar-panel?product_id=371
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  2. Sep 17, 2020 at 5:08 AM
    #2
    Stig

    Stig New Member

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    What led you to those solar panels? I've seen a lot of long term issues with flexible panels and was looking into the sunpower brand. The one you went with looks promising too. How long has e you had them?

    I'm looking to replace my rigid panels eventually.
     
  3. Sep 17, 2020 at 6:27 AM
    #3
    abomb60

    abomb60 [OP] Maker of things

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    While doing some looking around for larger panels (had a 50W Renogy flexible on there before) I found the Lensun panels. 100W and was the perfect size for the spot I needed ... bonus was it was black so it's a little more stealthy than the white Renogy panel. A rigid panel wasn't an option due to the thickness.

    From what I found a lot of the issues with flexible panels is due to de-lamination and the PET plastic used. For my Renogy panel there are a bunch of complaints about this on Amazon but so far it's been fine and I still use it as an extra panel when needed. The Lensun claims to be ETFE instead of PET so maybe that will end up better long term but I haven't owned either panel long enough (about 6 months for the Renogy and 2 for the Lensun).

    I guess in the end i'm not too worried about it if I get 3-5 years from the panel. For $200 it's a great deal and in a few years i'm sure I can find something comparable in price with a higher wattage.
     
  4. Sep 24, 2020 at 11:22 PM
    #4
    t-rey1

    t-rey1 New Member

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    How did you attach panel to tonneau cover?
     
  5. Sep 25, 2020 at 7:02 AM
    #5
    abomb60

    abomb60 [OP] Maker of things

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2019
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    #27904
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    601
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Adam
    Massachusetts
    Vehicle:
    2018 Tundra 1794 MGM

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