2018 Jeep Rubicon Recon Ursa Minor J30

It truly cracks me up when I see a super expensive rig like this and then see the two solar panels with a roof bar directly across both. That single flaw means they're going to get a fraction of the 200 watts of solar power... partial shading is a very real thing.
 

Jensen

New member
It truly cracks me up when I see a super expensive rig like this and then see the two solar panels with a roof bar directly across both. That single flaw means they're going to get a fraction of the 200 watts of solar power... partial shading is a very real thing.
Yeah, it consumes roughly 9% of the panels; or 18 watts over the two. In reality, no panel performs at full capacity, so with the bar in it performs @ roughly a peak of 160w. The good news is, the bar is key/quick release and can be removed in all about 3 seconds. The idea is: haul your kayak, storage container, whatever, to camp and in the event that you need the extra 18 watts (typically you don't unless you are running high power stuff like an electric blanket), you unload and remove the bar. These things are built for versatility and this gives you options. For example, bar in, with two panels, you can run all accessories and the fridge full time. Overlanding is all about modularity and options; especially in a small form factor like a JKU.
 

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Yeah, it consumes roughly 9% of the panels; or 18 watts over the two. In reality, no panel performs at full capacity, so with the bar in it performs @ roughly a peak of 160w. The good news is, the bar is key/quick release and can be removed in all about 3 seconds. The idea is: haul your kayak, storage container, whatever, to camp and in the event that you need the extra 18 watts (typically you don't unless you are running high power stuff like an electric blanket), you unload and remove the bar. These things are built for versatility and this gives you options. For example, bar in, with two panels, you can run all accessories and the fridge full time. Overlanding is all about modularity and options; especially in a small form factor like a JKU.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but from everything I know and my personal experience, the issue isn't the percentage of the panel that is covered. Solar panels are made of individual cells that are connected in rows - power runs from one end of the panel, through all of the cells and to the other "end" of the panel. Shade blocks this connection, along the lines of a clog in a drain pipe. Therefore the shade negatively affects the output of all of the cells positioned before the shaded area in the connection. Eg. when I put my arm across a 100w panel under full sun, the outlet drops from 5amps to 1.2amps (roughly).

I know some higher-end solar panel manufacturers have developed panels with different cells wired in smaller groups to mitigate the effects of solar shading.

Not trying to distract from this post or talk negatively about it... just interested in sharing info/learning if I'm missing something.

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Jensen

New member
Correct me if I'm wrong, but from everything I know and my personal experience, the issue isn't the percentage of the panel that is covered. Solar panels are made of individual cells that are connected in rows - power runs from one end of the panel, through all of the cells and to the other "end" of the panel. Shade blocks this connection, along the lines of a clog in a drain pipe. Therefore the shade negatively affects the output of all of the cells positioned before the shaded area in the connection. Eg. when I put my arm across a 100w panel under full sun, the outlet drops from 5amps to 1.2amps (roughly).

I know some higher-end solar panel manufacturers have developed panels with different cells wired in smaller groups to mitigate the effects of solar shading.

Not trying to distract from this post or talk negatively about it... just interested in sharing info/learning if I'm missing something.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
Yeah it depends on the panel. I'll pop it up, angle it south, and post a picture of performance on versus off. Honestly, I used to have the rack cross beam out 90% of the time and only locked it in when I needed it (Wasn't very often, we overland more than doing active water sports / Hauling Skis - Rock climbing gear easily fits in the Jeep). I had it out exactly for the logic you surfaced here. I put it in to test, and have had such little real world impact; I reach full charge everyday. So now I leave it in so that I can easily toss sports gear on top if I need to. And no joke, at camp, if it's an issue, I can remove it in 3 seconds; just hasn't been a problem.
 
Yeah it depends on the panel. I'll pop it up, angle it south, and post a picture of performance on versus off. Honestly, I used to have the rack cross beam out 90% of the time and only locked it in when I needed it (Wasn't very often, we overland more than doing active water sports / Hauling Skis - Rock climbing gear easily fits in the Jeep). I had it out exactly for the logic you surfaced here. I put it in to test, and have had such little real world impact; I reach full charge everyday. So now I leave it in so that I can easily toss sports gear on top if I need to. And no joke, at camp, if it's an issue, I can remove it in 3 seconds; just hasn't been a problem.
That's cool - I've never experienced a roof rack that's that easy to take off/put on. And yeah, with only a small 12v draw I can imagine it wouldnt end up being an issue. Anyways, enough of my distractions - cool rig and best of luck with the sale! I appreciate the willingness to chat.

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Jensen

New member
So.. Interestingly enough, in almost full sun, I was pulling in 66 watts bar in and 136 watts bar out. Roughly a ~50% reduction. I'd probably leave it out for winter camping. The rack bar comes out with two keys and 4 Allen bolt (once loosened, the bar slides out). Being realistic, and at camp speed, it takes about 3 minutes.
 

Thehaymon5

New member
I will swap my hardtop and AEV rack for your Ursa Minor and you will never have to worry about solar wattage again.
 
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