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  #1  
Old 11-08-18
06PAJ 06PAJ is offline
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Default Solar panels

Anyone using kings (4x4 supercentre) solar panels
Was looking to purchase 2 and run them in series with my camper trailer
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Old 11-08-18
Billy500 Billy500 is offline
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Yes, had the 160W for two years now and am very happy for the price
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Old 11-08-18
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I have had there 160W panel for 3 year's now, and there 250W panel for 1 year. I am very happy with it also...
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
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If you're looking to hook them up in series just make sure your controller can handle a higher voltage input.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Many of the cheap panels are like cheap AGM batteries....there is a lot of wishful thinking with the outputs!!! Buy the cheaper panels by all means but my advice would be to buy a quality mppt regulator so you are getting the best from the panels. I use a Victron 100/30. Its bluetooth enabled so I can keep an eye on its performance and gets the best out of the panels I have. The output stated by the panels is normally under perfect test conditions , with a little wishful thrown in. If a panels says 10 amps then expect around 7-8 on a good day. I,m not saying you will never see , say 10 amps from a 200watt panel, but normally only with the more expensive, quality celled ones.
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Old 1 Week Ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dicko1 View Post
Many of the cheap panels are like cheap AGM batteries....there is a lot of wishful thinking with the outputs!!! Buy the cheaper panels by all means but my advice would be to buy a quality mppt regulator so you are getting the best from the panels. I use a Victron 100/30. Its bluetooth enabled so I can keep an eye on its performance and gets the best out of the panels I have. The output stated by the panels is normally under perfect test conditions , with a little wishful thrown in. If a panels says 10 amps then expect around 7-8 on a good day. I,m not saying you will never see , say 10 amps from a 200watt panel, but normally only with the more expensive, quality celled ones.
Got some links/examples for what is cheap AGM? I'm not convinced there is much difference in a hot climate.

In my experience there is actually very little quality difference between cheap panels & the top brands. The cheap ones are near indestructible bodywise, I know after smashing them up & throwing them out. The problem with ALL panels is they have poor leg systems lacking quick set positioning with a wide range, so I have a hard time accepting the top brand price. By the looks of things the problems with cheap panels is quality control-sometimes a dud panel with low voltage for example.
The rated output of the cheap panels I have played with were right on the money, minus 20-25% losses due to being in victoria at the time. I have compared them to top grid tie panels & the losses were consistent.

A lesson I have now learned before buying panels is take the listed dimensions & use the area formula to see if it's really the advertised wattage. Most cheap I saw are inflated.
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Old 1 Week Ago
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Originally Posted by Bru9 View Post
Got some links/examples for what is cheap AGM? I'm not convinced there is much difference in a hot climate.

In my experience there is actually very little quality difference between cheap panels & the top brands. The cheap ones are near indestructible bodywise, I know after smashing them up & throwing them out. The problem with ALL panels is they have poor leg systems lacking quick set positioning with a wide range, so I have a hard time accepting the top brand price. By the looks of things the problems with cheap panels is quality control-sometimes a dud panel with low voltage for example.
The rated output of the cheap panels I have played with were right on the money, minus 20-25% losses due to being in victoria at the time. I have compared them to top grid tie panels & the losses were consistent.

A lesson I have now learned before buying panels is take the listed dimensions & use the area formula to see if it's really the advertised wattage. Most cheap I saw are inflated.



Cheap AGM..EXAMPLE KICK ASS 120 AMP/HR AGM $299...WEIGHS 31KG
X-CELL 135 AMP/HR $290 WEIGHS 26KG



QUALITY BATTERY..FULLRIVER 120 AGM WEIGHS 36.5 KG $425
FULLRIVER 105 AMP/HR 30.5KG

How can 2 batteries that supposedly put out 120/135amp/hours be the same when one is 40% lighter and the other 15% lighter? Heavier the battery means more lead, means more power.
THE 135 AMP/HR EXAMPLE IS TOTAL ADVERTISING BULLSHITE. Even the 105 amp/hr Fullriver weighs 15% more than the supposed 135amp/hr.

I have mucked around with solar panels for decades (working on solar installs for remote radio towers). Named quality panels give more output, sturdier and last longer. Same as quality regulators. The regs supplied on many chinese panels are shite....I have 3 sitting here as proof. I use Victron MPPT with bluetooth for monitoring.



By all means buy cheap if you want but I prefer to head off with peace of mind knowing my gear should serve me well with little hassle. In a hot climate like the NT I got 7 years from my Fullriver agm,s. Heat is the enemy of all batteries. Thats why I prefer a quality battery over an el-cheapo.


Couple of panels with SunPower cells, which are industry leading cells for price and performance...
https://www.vicoffroad.com.au/200w-1...rging-kit.html


https://www.vicoffroad.com.au/160w-f...g-camping.html


I think the lightweight fold up panels are the future for traveling. They are very portable, weigh less and can be draped over a windscreen, car roof, on ground or hung from a tree without damaging them or the thing they are resting on. Great windscreen shades too!
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Last edited by Dicko1; 1 Week Ago at 05:11 AM.
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Old 6 Days Ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dicko1 View Post
Cheap AGM..EXAMPLE KICK ASS 120 AMP/HR AGM $299...WEIGHS 31KG
X-CELL 135 AMP/HR $290 WEIGHS 26KG



QUALITY BATTERY..FULLRIVER 120 AGM WEIGHS 36.5 KG $425
FULLRIVER 105 AMP/HR 30.5KG

How can 2 batteries that supposedly put out 120/135amp/hours be the same when one is 40% lighter and the other 15% lighter? Heavier the battery means more lead, means more power.
THE 135 AMP/HR EXAMPLE IS TOTAL ADVERTISING BULLSHITE. Even the 105 amp/hr Fullriver weighs 15% more than the supposed 135amp/hr.

I have mucked around with solar panels for decades (working on solar installs for remote radio towers). Named quality panels give more output, sturdier and last longer. Same as quality regulators. The regs supplied on many chinese panels are shite....I have 3 sitting here as proof. I use Victron MPPT with bluetooth for monitoring.



By all means buy cheap if you want but I prefer to head off with peace of mind knowing my gear should serve me well with little hassle. In a hot climate like the NT I got 7 years from my Fullriver agm,s. Heat is the enemy of all batteries. Thats why I prefer a quality battery over an el-cheapo.


Couple of panels with SunPower cells, which are industry leading cells for price and performance...
https://www.vicoffroad.com.au/200w-1...rging-kit.html


https://www.vicoffroad.com.au/160w-f...g-camping.html


I think the lightweight fold up panels are the future for traveling. They are very portable, weigh less and can be draped over a windscreen, car roof, on ground or hung from a tree without damaging them or the thing they are resting on. Great windscreen shades too!
I don't take AH to seriously, because the battery hasn't achieved it's full capacity until many cycles & it varies, batteries are incredible inefficient sources of energy. They slowly loose capacity anyway. I just know you can never have too big a battery & always try to keep consumption down as possible.
By the sounds Fullriver might be better value for money over the crazy priced lifeline, which is what I have been eyeing.


I'am well aware of the toy regulators that come with solar panels, but as I said all portable folding panels come with slapped up aluminium legs that are crap, just a rip off. Have brought 3 dirt cheap ebay panels and they are tough even the hinges & latches, they put out what their area & cell efficiency reads. Dunno about cell longevity, from what I know it diminishes anyway year after year. The thing about solar is in many places you always need far more than you can carry like over 400watts incoming to controller for measly 130AH AGM, that is one of the main reasons for AGM to have a quick recharge time. Unless you got hours of cloud free sky & like spending your time constantly moving panels to follow sun. Set & forget setups require massive panels so the actual cells of cheap vs quality is mostly not important. Winter time you will need alot more wattage again. Cell conversion is overrated. If your in an area with clouds present anymore than 20% of the time your in for a rough ride no matter what.
The bluetooth monitoring is more a gimmick, really the only use I have ever had with it is to easy change a charging setting once in a blue moon because victrons usb cable is an absolute rip off. In reality it has no use to a proper setup. My setup I do not need to check anything as I know it all works because of proper design & placement of panels. Placement of panels is the single most important thing for any useful power & varies from place to place, after a while it becomes 2nd nature. Basic voltage & amp monitoring at battery terminals & status LEDs on a device to let you know when somethings wrong. I don't see how monitoring & logging has any use to me, it won't help me extend my battery life.

I'm old fashion, for me its glass & aluminium fold panels. They are tough & reliable even the cheap ones. And can stay outside in the rain & hold up to wind well. However if your traveling in a 4wd alone I agree the lite fold are a necessity, I can't even fit a single 200W folding glass panel in the pajero.
cheers.
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  #9  
Old 6 Days Ago
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Judging by your replies and attitude I,m gunna guess your only a young bloke with a lot to learn. You say there is no point buying quality panels and yet you state that there is a difference between the actual and advertised price on cheap panels.....I worked on small and large solar systems in remote areas for many years. I know the difference between good and poor quality equipment. A good quality panel differs from a cheaper one in the sealing materials used such as backing sheets, the soldering and the efficiency of the solar cells. Rated output on cheap ones is normally very optimistic. Difference between cheap and quality can be 15% efficiency to 23.5% efficiency. I want my panels to work everytime I get them out for action. I use Victron regulator, 6 b&s wiring, anderson plugs and quality panels. 400watts of cheap panels for a 130 amp/hr battery suggest to me that you,d be better off with two 130 amp agms if you need a steady 15-18amp/hrs being put into your battery. Thats roughly 80amp/hrs on a good day. On a shitty day you may only get 20 amp hrs yet you need more to recover battery. I have 360 watts for 3 x 120 amp AGM,S RUNNING 2 X 40 LITRE ENGELS, RADIO, LIGHTS ETC...NEVER HAD A N ISSUE AND BATTERY NEVER BELOW 12.2 UNDER LOAD. It takes time and experience but one day you,ll get there....A smart man buys once...


I take a batterie amp/hour rating very seriously...its what makes me choose the right battery for the application. According to your statements I should be using a 130amp/hour battery in my boat to power a sounder that uses about 6 amp/hrs a day! I use a 15amp/hr agm as it is a hell of a lot lighter, is easier to fit in a plastic , waterproof box and easy to charge up at night or even during the day. I also dont understand your logic on saying a battery doesnt achieve full capacity until it has done many cycles. So if an agm battery is good for say, 4000cycles at 60%,...your telling me that until it has done 2000 cycles it wont have full capacity? The older a battery gets the weaker it gets....or am I missing something?
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Last edited by Dicko1; 6 Days Ago at 08:50 AM.
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