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Old 12-04-2015, 17:13   #16
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Re: Cheap chinese solar panels

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They do look good how long did it take him to build them?
It was probably a 1 month project at an easy pace but this guy took 4 months. It was painful.
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Old 12-04-2015, 17:18   #17
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Re: Cheap chinese solar panels

Should have been no more than two weeks to make them and that's mostly on the weekends
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Old 12-04-2015, 17:20   #18
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Re: Cheap chinese solar panels

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No dig on the Chinese, I like them. Dig on the companies that charge 4X the price. I'd rename the thread but it's not allowed. Should be "Low cost Chinese solar panels"
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Old 12-04-2015, 17:49   #19
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Re: Cheap chinese solar panels

The wires on top of the solar panels are less efficient cells than the others, which have the wires on the backside of the cell.
This is why they need less cells for 100 watts.

What controller are you using for these panels? Have you tested the output of each individual panel?
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Old 12-04-2015, 20:06   #20
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Re: Cheap chinese solar panels

Did I understand you correctly that you have a total of 800 watts in 8 panels at a cost of $1,765? That means you paid $2.20 per watt. If I did understand correctly, that is not "cheap or less expensive" at all. Prices are coming down everyday but in July 2014 I purchased in Florida 4 panels of 250 watts each (1000 watts total) for $815. That is $0.81 per watt and I get normally 1.6Kw to 2Kw per day (cloudy every day). Prices per watt are less than $1 in the USA. In the country of Panama, where I am at this time, you can also purchase 250 watts panels for $300, it is a little more than in Florida but people here don't have to pay the shipping.
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Old 12-04-2015, 20:42   #21
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Re: Cheap chinese solar panels

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Did I understand you correctly that you have a total of 800 watts in 8 panels at a cost of $1,765? That means you paid $2.20 per watt. If I did understand correctly, that is not "cheap or less expensive" at all. Prices are coming down everyday but in July 2014 I purchased in Florida 4 panels of 250 watts each (1000 watts total) for $815. That is $0.81 per watt and I get normally 1.6Kw to 2Kw per day (cloudy every day). Prices per watt are less than $1 in the USA. In the country of Panama, where I am at this time, you can also purchase 250 watts panels for $300, it is a little more than in Florida but people here don't have to pay the shipping.
These aren't big heavy glass panels, these are semi-flexible lightweight panels. I went to strictly sail oakland in 2014 and they were selling 100w semi-flexible panels for $1000-$1300 each. So figure I paid $1765 versus $8,000-$10,000 at boat show prices.

Consider weight, a 250w glass panel weighs 40lb. Figure 1000W = 4 X 40lb = 160lb
a 100w semi-flex panel weighs 4lb. Figure 1000W = 10 X 4lb = 40lb
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Old 12-04-2015, 21:41   #22
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Re: Cheap chinese solar panels

You are correct, the regular solar panels weight a lot more. Mine are 41lbs each so, yes I am carrying 164lbs of solar panels!! I never thought much about the weight of a solar panel... always looked at the cost per watt...
I hope you get good performance out of them!
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Old 12-04-2015, 22:09   #23
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Re: Cheap chinese solar panels

Just checked and the cheap 100 watt flex panels are about 180 and the renogy 100 watt panels are 220 each.
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Old 13-04-2015, 01:28   #24
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Re: Cheap chinese solar panels

I installed 1000w of ' household' panels 4 yr ago. Ex China @ $1 a watt. Still a powerful set up , but considered expendable . But when ?
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Old 13-04-2015, 06:48   #25
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Re: Cheap chinese solar panels

I purchased 4 x 100 watt panels from Solbian and after 12 months had major issues with them, Replaced under warranty but after another 12 mths they are starting to glaze over. Tried polishing the surface ,looked good for a month but back to how they where.Now these panels are not cheap at $900.00 each so you would think they should last at least 5-10 years.

Now it seems the original importer for Australia has pulled the pin so where does that leave the Australian guys who purchased for there warranty problems

Ok, if you only pay say $150.00 per panel I would cop that but $900.00 each and no back up, I go the Chinese panel
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Old 13-04-2015, 09:26   #26
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Re: Cheap chinese solar panels

I was cleaning mine off the other day and thought about waxing them. Would that protect them from UV? I thought it might make them easier to clean. We get a lot of nasty soot in the air from the port of LA.

I did hear somebody else post that their chinese panels had issues with glazing but it didn't seem to affect performance. Did your panels lose power from the glazing?

Our boat faces south in her slip (and we normally keep the boom amidships in the slip). So the rig shades the panels until the afternoon. We pulled down 2kw yesterday without moving the boom, which means at least 25% of the panels are shared for most of the day. That is encouraging!

I modified my Morningstar config because the settings I got from various sources seemed a little too extra conservative.
Regulation Voltage: 14.40 V (12V), 28.80 V (24V), 57.59 V (48V)
Temperature Compensation: -0.000 V/degC
Absorption Time: 2:30:00 h:m:s
Absorption Ext. Voltage: disabled V
Battery Service Reminder: disabled days
Float Voltage: disabled V
Equalize Voltage: disabled V
HVD: 14.60 V (12V), 29.20 V (24V), 58.40 V (48V)
HVDR: 13.20 V (12V), 26.40 V (24V), 52.80 V (48V)
Maximum Regulation Limit: 14.40 V (12V), 28.80 V (24V), 57.59 V (48V)
Maximum Battery Current: 60.00 A
Array Voltage Fixed Target: disabled V
LED G -> G/Y: 14.00 V (12V), 28.00 V (24V), 56.01 V (48V)
LED G/Y -> Y: 13.00 V (12V), 26.00 V (24V), 52.01 V (48V)
LED Y -> Y/R: 12.00 V (12V), 24.01 V (24V), 48.01 V (48V)
LED Y/R -> R: 11.50 V (12V), 23.01 V (24V), 46.01 V (48V)

I'm still monkeying around with the LED values... and I need to program my victron for high and low voltage alarms still.
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Old 13-04-2015, 13:41   #27
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Re: Cheap chinese solar panels

Interesting about Solbian. I am designing a new hard top/radar arch/dink davit setup for our boat that would have incorporated six of the Solbian flex panels.
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Old 13-04-2015, 14:01   #28
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Re: Cheap chinese solar panels

Cheap = poor or inferior quality
Inexpensive = low price for quality
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Old 13-04-2015, 14:10   #29
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Re: Cheap chinese solar panels

I don't own any of the solar panels yet, but intend to add them to a future boat. So pardon my ignorance in the following questions. . These are not rhetorical questions, do I hope someone with experience will be kind enough to answer them here.


The cost of the solar panels in general has fallen over time. But what else about the panels will fall or deteriorate over a few years?

I wonder what the materials lifetime projections are for the flexible (plastic foundation or casing or substrate) panels are going to be versus heavier panels that have glass fronts.

And are the typical panels sold for and used on boats today coming with real glass glazing, or with some kind of plastic (acrylic) glazing?

Do the "cheap" panels have a different kind of glazing material?

If the panels come with real glass, are the cheapest panels using tempered glass?

Will the plastic materials (especially clear glazing) suffer from the constant sun exposure and heat? Or simple "crazing?" Will they get cloudy or hazy like many plastic auto headlamp lenses do after a few years?

Do the panels sold for boating have special "marine" wiring? Or, would a cheap panel intended for land based use have inferior wiring that will corrode or fail quickly in salt marine air?
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Old 13-04-2015, 14:13   #30
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Re: Cheap chinese solar panels

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Cheap = poor or inferior quality
Inexpensive = low price for quality
The main construction difference I have found that would actually change the material construction cost is bypass diodes rich help to minimise the effects of partial shading. The rest it seems to me is branding the cheap panels from windy nation preform as well as kyoceria panels IMO and the warranty reads the same for both I installed a complete 200 watt 2 panel system with pwm controller for less than the cost of one kyoceria 100 watt panel. M2CW
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