QUOTE(pianotuna @ Jun 22 2008, 11:02 PM)
960 watts of solar?? wow! What make of solar panel?
I'm not the poster with 960 Watts, but we have 1050 Watts. Six panels, 175 Watts each, made by Sharp and ordered over the internet from Wholesale Solar.
The four at the top of the photo were our first batch, and we added two more a year later just so we wouldn't have to be so frugal, plus they were going up in price anyway. One nice trick is that we wired ours so that when the batteries are full (which happens in the early afternoon in sunny locations), the excess solar output goes to the electric water heater--free hot water!
You have to make sure the panels don't have shadows on them no matter which way you're pointing. Our motosat dish was the primary offender. One tip is to lay out the roof as if you were going to blanket it with panels, keeping in mind the shadows and maneuvering space around the panels, and then install them in designated spaces. That way you don't have to move any if you get more. On ours, the four farthest to the front were original, and the two behind that were added.
When we installed these, the tiltable mounts were really expensive. Plus our coach is really tall, and the less time spent up there the better. For the same money, we added an extra panel to account for the loss of output with flat-mounted. However, I would like to be able to clean under them, so I might do it differently if we were starting from scratch.
Also, this is a 40-foot motorhome, and according to our calculations, one of the 175-Watt panels goes pretty much just to parasitic loads if we don't bother to cut the power to things like satellite receivers, the microwave, etc. These things are incredible power hogs.