Solar Roof 2nd September 2020

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Adobe Photoshop CS5 Windows
  • 2020:09:02 14:08:35
  • 10.000 s (10/1)
  • f/22.0
  • 100
  • 2020:09:01 17:30:42
  • 1.23m
  • No
  • 32.00 (32/1)

Shot Notes

Hopefully, this will answer questions from the last post. The new solar panel is 2mm thick and comes bonded to a flat flexible fibreglass sheet. Its electrical properties are too different from the other panel to be connected in series or parallel without losing power. Each panel has it’s own charge controller and battery. If I need to give the engine battery a boost I can connect it to the home battery via the control panel. Days of taxing the alternator are behind me. Water is now the limiting factor for living in the wild and I have a wood powered still to clean river water in an emergency.

To attach the panel to the van, I learned from the experiences of the solar teams on the BWSC. The easy way would be to glue the panel to a sheet of plywood and attach that to the sidewalls. As well as adding weight high up, this approach also stops the panel from dispersing heat from the sun. This increases it’s electrical resistance and reduces the power from the panel. To avoid this I made a curved internal keel to take the weight and attached the panel around the edges to minimise weight and maximise cooling. The solar panel effectively doubles as the ceiling and the structural strength comes from the sidewalls, like a Cybertruck. Like me, the old van has a bit of sag and the new roof strengthens the existing wood frame from the original conversion and straightens the vans back.

5 Responses to “Solar Roof”

  1. 1

    I like the nautical finish. When do you hope to try out the new spy holes and on what? Maybe it’s a silly question but what are the uses of a still apart from producing booze?

  2. 2
    Jason Benz:

    Thanks. The wildlife decides what I see each day. I hope to photograph the recovery from the bushfires. You can use a still to purify water instead of adding chemicals.

  3. 3
    Benz World Blog » Monthly Fossil:

    […] new solar roof has reduced my carbon footprint and solved my power shortage. As well as eliminating all reliance […]

  4. 4
    Benz World Blog » Satin Bowerbird:

    […] has a cool forest full of mountain bike trails where I can recreate the Endor speeder chase with my solar powered […]

  5. 5
    Benz World Blog » Solar Future:

    […] It has taken a decade to become independent of Australia’s fossil-fueled electricity. The solar roof provides all my power and most of my water. Until I learn to forage, one day a month is still […]

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