VanProjectsSolar Upgrade

project status: complete
time: ~2 days
price: ~$800

i have 2x 100W renogy solar panels. they produce 10-14a at peak hours. my consumption is around 10a for ~8-12 hours per day. i must upgrade my solar system to accommodate my electricity usage.

update: i have completed this project using 3 new panels. i mounted all of them on top of my van using some scrap unistrut that my dad had lying around - we have 2 long pieces running lengthwise, mounted to the van via roof mount adapters. 4 thinner pieces run horizontally so that the panels may be mounted to them.

when figuring dimensions, i didn't account for the unistrut cross bars, so only 3 panels fit instead of the 4 i originally planned on :(

i mounted the panels to the unistrut via self-tapping screws, drilling straight through the unistrut. i mounted the unistrut together using unistrut channel nuts + bolts.

van roof dimensions: 108x64


panels connected in series
max pv voltage: 92V
max pv current: 11.05A
[200w panel]-[200w panel]-[200w panel]
     |                          | <-- 10AWG (30a)
      \__________               |
                 \___    ______/
                     \  /
                   [breaker] <-- rated 16a
                      || <-- 10AWG
      [100/50 mppt solar charge controller]
                      || <-- 6AWG (74a)
                      xx <-- 60a inline fuse
                [battery bank]


  • 3x renogy 200W solar panels

dimensions: 58.7x27.5
Max Power at STC: 200W
Open Circuit Voltage: 23V
Short Circuit Current: 11.05A
Optimum Operating Voltage: 19.2 V
Optimum Operating Current: 10.42 A
Operating Temperature: -40°f~194°f
Maximum System Voltage: 600 VDC UL
Maximum Series Fuse Rating: 20A
Output Cable: 13 AWG (2.6 ft long)
Junction Box: IP65
  • breaker

chtaixi 16a DC breaker (any 16a breaker would do)

  • 100/50 victron mppt solar charge controller

rated charge current: 50a
nominal pv power (12v): 700w
nominal pv power (24v): 1400w
maximum pv open circuit voltage: 100v
max. pv short circuit current: 60a