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Thread: How do you know what is a good solar panel.

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    Geraldton WA
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    6,802
    I fitted 2x 150w ridged panels on the Jayco and 1x 150w on the 79 series about 6 years ago and they still work superbly so I also fitted a 1x 150w to the roof of the D2a last year.

    I also carry a 160w fold out ridged panel and a 120w folding mat panel for days that I need the extra amps when it is overcast or if I need to make ice or freeze a few fish fillets.

    I flirted with fitting 3 differant flexible panels on the boat but found that they all didnt work any near as well as a ridged panel of the same size and they all failed within months So I won't be wasting any more money on those.

    The folding mat panel has prooved to be a very useful bit of kit because you can drape it over pretty much anything and it folds down to laptop size for stowage, It also still pumps out enough power when only partially unfolded (due to space constraints) on a boat to run a 40l engle at -2C.

    The Only downside with the folding mats is that they dont apreciate geting too wet (the wireing that joins the panels together corrodes eventually) and they will fail so you have to take this into consideration when you deploy them.

    The ridged panels on the otherhand are waterproof and pretty much indistructable and only require the odd wipe down to remove the dust/bird poo
    You only get one shot at life, Aim well

    2004 D2 "S" V8 auto, with a few Mods
    2007 79 Series Landcruiser V8 Ute, With a few Mods.
    4.6m Quintrex boat
    20' Jayco Expanda caravan

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by trout1105 View Post
    120w folding mat panel
    Hi Trout and interesting, do you have any details about this panel?

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by drivesafe View Post
    Hi Trout and interesting, do you have any details about this panel?
    Its a Companion 125w unit it cost me a bit under $300 a couple of years ago
    You only get one shot at life, Aim well

    2004 D2 "S" V8 auto, with a few Mods
    2007 79 Series Landcruiser V8 Ute, With a few Mods.
    4.6m Quintrex boat
    20' Jayco Expanda caravan

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
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    Brisbane
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    Quote Originally Posted by trout1105 View Post
    I fitted 2x 150w ridged panels on the Jayco and 1x 150w on the 79 series about 6 years ago and they still work superbly so I also fitted a 1x 150w to the roof of the D2a last year.

    I also carry a 160w fold out ridged panel and a 120w folding mat panel for days that I need the extra amps when it is overcast or if I need to make ice or freeze a few fish fillets.

    I flirted with fitting 3 differant flexible panels on the boat but found that they all didnt work any near as well as a ridged panel of the same size and they all failed within months So I won't be wasting any more money on those.

    The folding mat panel has prooved to be a very useful bit of kit because you can drape it over pretty much anything and it folds down to laptop size for stowage, It also still pumps out enough power when only partially unfolded (due to space constraints) on a boat to run a 40l engle at -2C.

    The Only downside with the folding mats is that they dont apreciate geting too wet (the wireing that joins the panels together corrodes eventually) and they will fail so you have to take this into consideration when you deploy them.

    The ridged panels on the otherhand are waterproof and pretty much indistructable and only require the odd wipe down to remove the dust/bird poo
    While I’m still on the fence with my latest semi flex panels……although very happy with the and are still performing as they should.

    I do see a lot of yachts using semi flex glued direct to boats. Most seem to use the same brand….which I cannot think off at the moment.

  5. #15
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    Pretty much the Same as this one But mine came with legs to prop it up with.

    Companion 120w Solar Mat | eBay
    You only get one shot at life, Aim well

    2004 D2 "S" V8 auto, with a few Mods
    2007 79 Series Landcruiser V8 Ute, With a few Mods.
    4.6m Quintrex boat
    20' Jayco Expanda caravan

  6. #16
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    Queensland
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    Quote Originally Posted by trout1105 View Post
    Pretty much the Same as this one But mine came with legs to prop it up with.

    Companion 120w Solar Mat | eBay
    Hi again Trout and thanks.

    Correct me, but it looks like a number of smaller rigid solar panels with flexible connections??

    I am not a fan of any blanket type solar arrays as they all seem to have a short life span if not handled with kid gloves.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by drivesafe View Post
    Hi again Trout and thanks.

    Correct me, but it looks like a number of smaller rigid solar panels with flexible connections??

    I am not a fan of any blanket type solar arrays as they all seem to have a short life span if not handled with kid gloves.
    Yes they are rigid panels with flexible connections (wires) and you do have to take care when you deploy them But they work well and they fold up nice and compact which makes them quite useful as a backup or aditional power source when you need it and take up bugger all space when you don't.

    I have found that the stand alone rigid panels and batteries that I have permanently fitted to my van/vehicles are by far the most robust/reliable option
    You only get one shot at life, Aim well

    2004 D2 "S" V8 auto, with a few Mods
    2007 79 Series Landcruiser V8 Ute, With a few Mods.
    4.6m Quintrex boat
    20' Jayco Expanda caravan

  8. #18
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    Location
    Avoca Beach
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    To me an interesting point is that the solar blanket that I am looking at is obviously series connected as each panel only has 12modules (12x0.5 volts=6volts per panel. 4 panels =24volts) so if shaded on any part of the panel output will collapse.
    I am willing to put up with that , but buyers should be aware of it.
    Regards PhilipA

  9. #19
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    Logan
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    The caravan we have on order will have 300 watts of Enerdrive solar. Enerdrive is a quality brand.
    2009 Defender 110 2.4. ARB bulbar, Ironman winch, Safari snorkel, Steinbauer chip, AP HD clutch, Lightforce spots, larger tank, Off Road Systems drawer, Traxide 160 controller, Tekonsha brakes, Mulgo seat runners, Uniden UHF, Nuggetstuff seat corners, breathers, Polaris GPS.

  10. #20
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    Jan 1970
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    Avoca Beach
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    Warning ! boring for those not interested!
    I have been trying to work out why nowadays that all solar panels seem to be over rated enormously.
    I think I have the answer.
    The manufacturers have a rating system based on an input of 1000watts per square metre.
    It is printed on the panel as here.Trouble is that the total input of sunlight is 1360watts per square metre at the edge of the atmosphere for a horizontal surface.

    The ACTUAL daily watts input at Avoca Beach for a horizontal surface yesterday (source BOM at the Avoca Bowling club weather station) was 2800watts per square metre for the entire day midnight to midnight.

    Seeing the main sunlight is for 6 hours lets assume , then the average watts per square metre are about 450watts per square metre.

    So the output of any solar panel rated at say 200 watts will actually be less than half of that advertised if at Avoca Beach..

    I really do not know how the industry got away with such a spurious set of claims .
    Regards PhilipA

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