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Old 28-05-2014, 11:40   #31
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

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Originally Posted by deckofficer View Post
Thanks Exile. Good to know if I find a higher price they will match it. lol
Ha! I missed that!

The 180w looks too large for where I contemplated installing on my own boat, but maybe they'll come out with a smaller 100w panel which is about as big as I can fit right now. I'm thinking about a deck mounting and the Aurinco & Solbian panels claim they have nonskid and you can walk on them. Very expensive, however. Probably just a matter of time before lower-priced competitors surface here too.
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Old 28-05-2014, 11:52   #32
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

"We have an Internet price match guarantee - if you find a higher price anywhere on the Internet, we'll match it."

That's funny...

On the other hand, when retailers reduce their margin, internet or brick and mortar, service seems to go out the window. Lowest price - not always the best choice.
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Old 28-05-2014, 20:38   #33
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

I'm also curious where people are sourcing their panels? I've found the same panels vary nearly 3x price depending on vendor. That comment also holds true with charge controllers, inverters, bat mons. etc.

I found 250W Kyocera panels for $257 at altestore.com, which has the added plus fir me that they are in MA, close enough to pick up and avoid the outrageous freight charge (~$250). Oddly enough, the same vendor sells Kyocera 140W panels for $277, nearly double $ per watt... i just don't understand that. No min buy for these prices either. They have an easy to use page that you can sort by $/W, make, etc. Several larger panels for under $1/w (for the OP, their 100W panels are ~$1.50/W) Free local pick up. altestore also sells Xantrax C-40 charger for $111. I've seen it for triple that!

Pays to spend some time shopping! Where have you guys found good deals??
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Old 28-05-2014, 21:17   #34
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

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From the vendor (e-mail address on website):

We have an Internet price match guarantee - if you find a higher price anywhere on the Internet, we'll match it.

SNIP
It sounds funny, but anyone who has seen some of the translations of products from China on ebay might think this is not the silliest translation they have seen.

I hope someone posts about their experience with these. They look like the best price I have seen for a flexible panel.
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Old 28-05-2014, 21:38   #35
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

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They look like the best price I have seen for a flexible panel.
Best price I've seen on a flexible and light (180 watts for 6.6 lbs) panel, and we know how all you cat folks are on a strict diet.
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Old 28-05-2014, 23:23   #36
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

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another vote for kyocera. haven't had a single problem since i installed it about five years ago.
Who has good prices on these?
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Old 29-05-2014, 05:01   #37
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

Flexible panels are appealing due to their low profile and weight savings but the jury is still way out on whether the cheaper generic flexibles are actually “good quality”. The only thorough review I've found of a generic flexible is here. On a boat I wouldn't be as concerned about the cell cupping they observed since the panels are generally mounted on fabric instead of a metal roof but the scratching is a major concern to me. Imagine them getting repeatedly covered in salt crystals. If plastic dodger windows eventually scratch and haze, I don’t see why that wouldn't happen to the plastic surface coating on these panels.
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Old 29-05-2014, 05:38   #38
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

We have been using the SunPower 230watt panels for 5 years now.

33lbs each 31 inches X 61 inches X 1.8 inch

No worries. They just work and you forget where all the power comes from.

They now make a 345 watt panel called x21
41lbs each 41 inches X 61 inches X 1.8 inch

http://us.sunpower.com/cs/Satellite?...&ssbinary=true
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Old 29-05-2014, 10:02   #39
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

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We have been using the SunPower 230watt panels for 5 years now.

33lbs each 31 inches X 61 inches X 1.8 inch

No worries. They just work and you forget where all the power comes from.

They now make a 345 watt panel called x21
41lbs each 41 inches X 61 inches X 1.8 inch

http://us.sunpower.com/cs/Satellite?...&ssbinary=true
I recall a lot of chatter/complaints on another thread that, while they are considered to have the highest quality & efficiency, they are difficult to purchase (at least in the US) at the retail level. Apparently, Sunpower markets more towards the wholesale, e.g. building construction industry. That's why I'm a bit dubious when I see inexpensive, Chinese made panels claiming they contain Sunpower cells (e.g. the ones here). Hard to say if these concerns are justified w/o first-hand reviews.
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Old 29-05-2014, 15:11   #40
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

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...

I found 250W Kyocera panels for $257 at altestore.com,
...
altestore also sells Xantrax C-40 charger for $111.
...
The C-40 is PWM, that means it does not "transform" the voltage from the panel. The Kyocera 250 specs show maximum power Voltage/Amps of 29.8V at 8.39A.
That would translate with a MPPT controller to about 14.9V and and 16.8A, or 13.5V at 18.5A, depending on the state of charge of your battery. With the PWM it will remain at 8.39A, (only the voltage is reduced) so you are getting a maximum of about 120W out of your 250V panel. With the large panels and sub-sequent higher voltages you need a MPPT controller. Otherwise you have too go to so called 12V panels, which deliver about 17.4V and are PWM-ed down to the require charge voltage of about 13.5-14.5V. Even here you lose right off the top 17-22%.

A good controller that properly utilizes the available power is not cheap.
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Old 30-05-2014, 08:03   #41
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

Good point roetter!
You would definitely want a MPPT charger for a large panel like the 250W Kyocera. I'm personally not in PWM for my 400-500W system. I don't think the savings is worth the loss in power or the extra panel topside to make up for it. So I'm not suggesting matching the 2 in a system, just pointing out a few good deals I saw at the AltEstore.

Any other good places to buy Solar equipment? If you now locations, that would be nice info too, since freight is expensive. thnaks
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Old 06-06-2014, 06:52   #42
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

I have two Kyocera KD140W panels mounted over Atkins Hoyle davits (in addition to a smaller panel and wind generator). Off the grid and loving it.
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:46   #43
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

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Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
May want to check these out if your looking for high output solar panels and light weight.

Flexible Solar Panel 180w at 6.6 lbs

EVTV Motor Verks Store: Flexible Solar Panel 180w, Solar and Boat, 180wsolarpanel
You do know these are 32 volt panels right?
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Old 06-06-2014, 17:29   #44
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

Getting ready to move aboard my Pearson 28 and am looking for a good source to purchase some Kyoceras. Whose got a reasonable retailer or discount options?
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Old 06-06-2014, 18:13   #45
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

I've had UL Solar for 3 years; not long, but still perfect, still right on the watt numbers. And the price has dropped! ($179 for 80w).

Sail Delmarva: Solar Panels

Part of the reason was I needed an odd size.

----

I see a Chinese panel for $58. Makes you wonder.
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