Go Power Solar AE-4 All Electric Solar Panel System Review

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Review of the Go Power Solar AE-4 All Electric Solar Panel System

Adding solar to your RV is going to be a bit of an expensive investment, but in the long run of having it on your RV, you're gonna see so many benefits. It's going to help cut costs and fuel if you want it to run your generator as often. And there's going to be plenty of locations out there that you may travel where you're just not going to have a place to plug in to get that power. And you may be on an area where getting fuel, even for your generator may be quite a bit of a distance out. Having solar on board is gonna keep those batteries topped up so you can enjoy all the luxuries that you have in your motor home without the need of those alternative fuels. I like these kits from Go Power because you get the rigid aluminum panels.

It's going to be strong and durable, lasts a long time. Adding a few of these panels together. You can easily operate some of the heavier loads in your RV without that need of alternative fuels. And since you have all this extra real estate on top of your motor home, that's not going to use this is a great way to make use of it. You can pick these up as either a single panel kit a quad panel kit, or a six panel kit.

We're currently using the four panel kit on our RV today. A solar panel system is gonna be great for your RV. If you like to do off the grid camping, if you go to a campsite where they don't have any power they have insufficient power, or if you just live in your RV all the time and you have a lot of components you're constantly using and you can help minimize your costs by getting power from the sun. And each of the kits the solar panels that come included will be 190 watt panels. Each panel has a maximum output of 9.3 amps on optimally sunny days.

The larger kits like our four and six panel are especially useful if you do spend a lot of time around the campsite and you want to run the items in your RV throughout the day you may be going a little adventurous, come back. If you want to use it more often, the more panels, the more you're going to be able to use your system without worrying about your batteries going fully discharged. Each of the solar panels is going to be a monocrystalline panel which is going to be a higher efficiency. Each of our panels is going to be a monocrystalline panel which offers higher efficiency over your polycrystalline panels. To give you an idea of how large the panel is and how much real estate it's going to take up on top of your roof.

The panel measures at 59 and one eighth inch long 26 and five /16 inches wide and one and a half inches deep. Now you'll want to keep in mind that it does sit up a little higher than that due to the mounting brackets. Panel placement can be very important in getting the most out of your solar panels and also giving them the longest life. You want to keep them away from the front of your RV or trailer due to the wind that goes over the front. It can cause pulling up motion on our panels which could eventually cause them to come loose potentially damage the panels by placing them further back on our RV. The air likes to go over top of it which prevents it from yanking up on the panels. You also want to place them in locations where they're gonna be close together and they're not going to be obstructed by some of the items on your roof. So that way it's getting optimal sunlight. At all times, you can see here, we've placed all of ours right here in the middle as close together as possible to capture as much sun throughout the day. One of the coolest features of these panels is that each panel uses MC4 connectors. What's nice about MC4 connectors is it's becoming a new industry standard and a lot of your RVs are going to be pre-wired to be able to hook solar panels directly to it. You can see here on the top of our motor home, this was already pre-wired in and it has MC4 connections on it. So our panels simply hooked right to it. And all the wiring was already inside of our RV for everything to work. We we're able to just go down there and put the controller in and plug it into the existing pre-wired. Now, if your RV isn't pre-wired Go Power is hooked you up and give you a roof Mount and connection point that looks just like this one here. So you can install it yourself to get your own RV ready to go. So if you're considering solar, one of the first things I would suggest is hopping on top of your RV and seeing if you have one of these connectors. Here's a closeup of our MC4 connectors, so you can see if you have those on yours. We've now set our RV up outside got it fully opened up and clear open skies so we can start charging our batteries. Let's take a look inside at our controller and see what's happening. Inside your motor home, Your panels are gonna connect to your disconnect switch from your disconnect switch, it's going to go to your solar controller. Our disconnect switch gives us a nice, easy safe way to remove our solar panels from the circuit. This is important if you need to make any repairs adjustments, you know you can just quickly turn that off. With our four panel kit you'll receive one, with our six panel kit you'll receive two separate disconnect switches. And with the single kit, there is no disconnect switch with it due to the lower power that it has. A lot of the maintenance can just easily just disconnect the wire on that single one and not have an issue. From our disconnect switch, the solar panel wires are gonna go to our controller here and this is where it really all the magic happens. Your controller takes that stored energy from the sun and directs it to the batteries but it doesn't just send it straight there. It uses strategies in the side to appropriately charge the battery depending on its battery type and its current state of charge that prevents overcharging of your batteries. And it also prevents undercharging. And when you're not charging the batteries for an example when it's nighttime and there is no sun it also isolates your solar panels from your batteries. So that way they're not back feeding and discharging the battery at night. To take things even further, our 40 amp controller here has a temperature sensor on it that monitors the temperature of the batteries that are being charged. So it can adjust its strategies appropriately for those temperatures to get the optimal amount of charge to have the longest life out of your batteries as well as having the most state of charge in that battery. With our four panel kit here we'll receive one 40 amp controller, with the six panel kit you'll receive two 40 amp controllers, and this is due to the six panels producing more than 40 amps potentially. So that way the solar panels are going to split it between the two and the two will be hooked into parallel. So that way they'll still both go to your batteries and charge them. Here's our controller panel. And this is going to give you all of the information on how your system's operating. With our foreign six panel kits, this is going to be a remotely mounted unit that uses an ethernet cable that plugs into the controller that we just saw. And with our single panel kit instead of having a 40 amp controller that's separate from our panel here, it's gonna have a 30 amp controller that's inside of this. So all of your connection points that we looked at earlier are going to be on the backside of this module. And that's due to the single panel. Only being able to put out a maximum of about 9.3 amps. So the 30 amp controller is going to be plenty and even give you room to expand and add another one or two panels. The A and B buttons here allow you to cycle through the display. If you hold down the A button it will change it from an auto mode where it cycles through automatically and to a manual mode. I've currently got it in the auto mode. So you can see it going through there. Shows us our current state of charge, our voltage, the indicator here at the top shows a quick look at the battery state of charge. And at the top left here, you'll see that it is a sun symbol indicating that we're currently harnessing power from the sun. There'd be a moon there, if it was nighttime or there was insufficient light in order to provide the output to charge our batteries. Down in the bottom, right, it'll show the type of battery that you've currently got selected. This will work with either your liquid or flooded batteries, your sealed gel batteries, as well as your AGM batteries. These can be adjusted using the dip switches on your controller. The max boost button on the controller when held down for three seconds, we'll place it into boost mode. When in boost mode, the controller will ignore its battery charging strategy and just do a maximum charge. And you don't want to do boost charging more than twice a day, cause you could potentially overcharge the batteries doing so but it's useful if you know, later on that evening that you're going to be using the electricity a lot in your motor home, potentially during the batteries you can hit the boost and that later portion of the day you can maximize the charge on your battery. So you have a little bit extra potential later on that night. Once you put it into boost mode it'll be in boost mode for a specific amount of time depending on the amount of sunlight that's available under maximum sunlight, it would run for about 30 minutes. If you have a little bit less than perfect sunlight it may run for a little bit longer in boost mode. AC button over here is designed to work with Go Powers inverters. Now we don't have a Go Power inverter installed today but if you did there is a cable that would run from our controller over to our inverter to allow us to enable and disable that. So we can get that AC power from our inverter to run your typical wall outlet loads. So this can be handy if you don't want to fire up your generator, but you want to turn on your inverter to run your refrigerator or other wall outlet style component. Now our RV here already had an inverter installed in it but if you needed an inverter for yours you can pick up the full kit here at etrailer.com. This kit will include three panels as well as a 3000 watt inverter. And then lastly, we have our connection at our battery. Now, if your motor home was pre-wired for solar you may already have wires going from your solar connection point inside to your batteries. If not, you may need to run your own. These go from our solar controller and our negative just connects to the negative at our batteries. And you'll also see here that we have a small ring terminal on there. This is the temperature sensor that plugged into the control unit it goes on your negative battery post as well. And this allows the controller to monitor that battery temperature, to adjust its strategy to ensure it doesn't over undercharged the battery. The positive wire going into the battery does have a circuit breaker that is inline with it. This comes included with our kit and just provides us with an extra level of circuit protection from our batteries in the event that there we're any shorts in the future. I also like this because the circuit breaker here does have an on off switch. So you can turn it off if you need to make any repairs. And that completes our look at Go Powers Solar panel kit with solar controller..

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