Ford Transit USA Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

· Registered
2021 AWD Transit 350 148" Long HR
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm looking to maximize the amount of solar PV on a 148" Long (not extended) High Roof van without excessive side overhang of panels.

The best option I've found so far would be 800W total:
  • DIYVan Ford Transit Rail Mounting Brackets V2 (possibly with spacers)
  • LeMans 12V Ventilator (low profile) with DIYVan adapters that will fit under the solar panels
  • 4 * Rich Solar 200W panels (58.7 x 26.8 x 1.4 in) - either 12V or 24V
Has anyone found a different configuration that is better (gives more PV power, or same power but less roof space)?

Thanks!
 

· Registered
2019 T-350 HR 148 Extended 3.5 EB, Full time 2 person build, Chinese Heater, Victron, 525 AH Lithium
Joined
·
167 Posts
Hi all,

I'm looking to maximize the amount of solar PV on a 148" Long (not extended) High Roof van without excessive side overhang of panels.

The best option I've found so far would be 800W total:
  • DIYVan Ford Transit Rail Mounting Brackets V2 (possibly with spacers)
  • LeMans 12V Ventilator (low profile) with DIYVan adapters that will fit under the solar panels
  • 4 * Rich Solar 200W panels (58.7 x 26.8 x 1.4 in) - either 12V or 24V
Has anyone found a different configuration that is better (gives more PV power, or same power but less roof space)?

Thanks!
I use the 24v version of those panels. Really nice fit on my custom 80/20 rack. (I also have the extended van) It’s a great size if you don’t want to out past the gutters. I only have 3 as I have 2 max fans. Was a VERY tight squeeze to make it all fit. I had to rotate the fans 90 degrees.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Has anyone found a different configuration that is better (gives more PV power, or same power but less roof space)?
Uh, yes...technically.

Anyways without going crazy, I would do 3 350W residential panels. Not familiar with the vent you mention, but I have a MaxAir 4500 under my front array, and it does a pretty good job even though it's only about to open about 5cm.
 

· Registered
nothing yet, but planning on an EV van
Joined
·
428 Posts
bigger wattage panels will allow you to put more up there but the word on the street is they are not as strong, however, i've not see or heard anyone having issues with large panels. note, large watt panels normally have higher voltage [eg 30-50] so make sure your SCC can handle it
 

· Registered
nothing yet, but planning on an EV van
Joined
·
428 Posts
bigger wattage panels will allow you to put more up there but the word on the street is they are not as strong, however, i've not see or heard anyone having issues with large panels. note, large watt panels normally have higher voltage [eg 30-50] so make sure your SCC can handle it
the newer half-cut cells panels have higher density so today's 400-450 watt panels are the same size as 300-400 watt panels from a few years ago

many of the larger panels have the bifacial feature, however, i'm not sure how useful that will be if your panels are fixed flat on the roof
 

· Registered
2021 AWD Transit 350 148" Long HR
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@Stormwind Hi, where did you land with your PV design? I have a similar setup and requirements.
Thanks!
I went with my original plan:
  • DIYVan Ford Transit Rail Mounting Brackets V2
  • LeMans 12V Ventilator (low profile) with DIYVan adapters that will fit under the solar panels
  • 4 * Rich Solar 200W panels (58.7 x 26.8 x 1.4 in) - 24v version
  • Left a little roof room on the rear door a 5G antenna and Starlink flat-coverted dish.
It works but wish I had more solar in the winter. I also have a portable 200w Bluetti panel when needed for extra power.
 

· Registered
2018 Ford Transit 250 high roof 3.7
Joined
·
9 Posts
Thanks, @Stormwind. Are you happy with the LeMans? How many do you have? Do you use anything else for ventilation?

What's it like driving? I've been advised that putting fans under solar can cause, "lots
of wind resistance and loss of stability in crosswinds."

Do you have any pics? Would love to see how it came out!

Sorry for the barrage of questions. I'm super excited, but also feeling a little pressure to start making decisions.
 

· Registered
2021 AWD Transit 350 148" Long HR
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks, @Stormwind. Are you happy with the LeMans? How many do you have? Do you use anything else for ventilation?

What's it like driving? I've been advised that putting fans under solar can cause, "lots
of wind resistance and loss of stability in crosswinds."

Do you have any pics? Would love to see how it came out!

Sorry for the barrage of questions. I'm super excited, but also feeling a little pressure to start making decisions.
We have one LeMans ventilator. It seems noisy and weak to me, but I only have experience with newer computer fans so I might be expecting too much from it.

I don't know if it affects wind resistance or stability in crosswinds under the solar panels, but I have a fairing on the front of the roof rack that hopefully directs wind over the solar panels.

Here's a pic from a couple months ago, before the Starlink flat mount 12v install.

Sky Vehicle Car Mountain Plant
 

· Registered
2018 Ford Transit 250 high roof 3.7
Joined
·
9 Posts
@Stormwind, that looks great! Thanks for the info and posting a pic. I'll definitely be looking for a faring as well. Where did you score yours?

I'm nerding out on fans right now just because I won't want to mess with them once they are underneath the solar. I'm working on heavily modifying a 14in Maxx Low Profile fan with a metal Ventline replacement cover. And have the closed-lid height about 1 7/8 in. I've turned it on and it seems to get reasonable flow with the cover 1 inch open - very quiet so far. The open side will be oriented toward the rack side, where there is the most room to open.

I can't seem to embed photos right now. But I can post more photos when it's done if anyone is interested.


Re your Le Mans: I think the blade design with the ring around the outside, like Maxx and Fantastic have, are supposed to be quieter and more efficient. Maybe you could swap out with the fan blades from this product. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BWRIN72/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?smid=ANNYFJC2Y5PU4&psc=1 They are 9 inch, but I can't find too much info about the overall thickness or how the shaft attachment works.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
6,608 Posts
@Stormwind, that looks great! Thanks for the info and posting a pic. I'll definitely be looking for a faring as well. Where did you score yours?

I'm nerding out on fans right now just because I won't want to mess with them once they are underneath the solar. I'm working on heavily modifying a 14in Maxx Low Profile fan with a metal Ventline replacement cover. And have the closed-lid height about 1 7/8 in. I've turned it on and it seems to get reasonable flow with the cover 1 inch open - very quiet so far. The open side will be oriented toward the rack side, where there is the most room to open.

I can't seem to embed photos right now. But I can post more photos when it's done if anyone is interested.


Re your Le Mans: I think the blade design with the ring around the outside, like Maxx and Fantastic have, are supposed to be quieter and more efficient. Maybe you could swap out with the fan blades from this product. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BWRIN72/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?smid=ANNYFJC2Y5PU4&psc=1 They are 9 inch, but I can't find too much info about the overall thickness or how the shaft attachment works.
You might want to check out @orton's Maxxair Replacement posting.
 

· Registered
2021 AWD Transit 350 148" Long HR
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@Stormwind, that looks great! Thanks for the info and posting a pic. I'll definitely be looking for a faring as well. Where did you score yours?
The fairing is from Colorado Fairing Company. I recommend the t-slot mounting or something more secure then their default flexible straps because my fairing kept creeping up with them.

Your fan mod sounds cool - I bet it will be much better than the LeMans.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
7,158 Posts
You do not need to work around the Maxxair roof vent.

Just remove the high Maxxair vent cover and put a solar panel over the 14" square opening. Install pancake fan in the opening.

Vent is always open to eliminate the need to open/close the vent when parked/driving. Closing the vent is done with a slightly oversize 1" thick closed cell foam pad stuffed into the interior garnish frame.

Maxxair Replacement | Page 2 | Ford Transit USA Forum
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top