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Old 25-05-2014, 20:33   #1
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Good Quality Solar Panels?

So there seem to be some really cheap solar panels available these days.

The gold standard used to be the Siemens or BP, but neither are now made. I have seen used Siemens that were 10-15 years old selling on ebay recently for more than some of the new panels.

I currently have a Siemens 55 watt and would ideally like to add another 150-200 watts in 2 panels.

What brands can be recommended as a quality panel in the 75-100 watt range?
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Old 25-05-2014, 21:07   #2
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

Year end and year out, Kyocera's top the list. The Canadian Solar, Grape Solar, Samsung, Sharp, and Suntechs are all quality panels as well. Look for the best deal amongst those and you can't go wrong. That said, I installed 4 100 watt Renogy Solar panels on a friends RV 2 months ago and was impressed with their construction even considering the cheaper price. Their efficiency isn't quite that of the above, but it's not far enough off to notice. Make sure to use at least 10 gauge wire when you set it up and try to keep the run to your controller under 10 feet if possible. And definitely install the temperature wire to the controller. It really does make a difference when the panels are overheated.
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Old 25-05-2014, 22:49   #3
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

+1 for Kyocera
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Old 26-05-2014, 00:16   #4
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

I installed a 130w kyocera and never plugged in again.
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Old 26-05-2014, 02:26   #5
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

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Originally Posted by sharkbait View Post
I installed a 130w kyocera and never plugged in again.


We have 2 130W Kyoceras - rarely use shore power now.
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Old 26-05-2014, 02:42   #6
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

Haven't installed yet, but Kyorcera are the panels I will be using after much research. Land based applications as well as marine.
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Old 26-05-2014, 11:45   #7
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

Another for Kyocera... Been using them for 6 years with no problems.
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Old 26-05-2014, 14:19   #8
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

Does any one have experience with Go Power! (GP-FLEX-100) 100W Flexible Mono Crystalline panels? On our Ohlson 38 there is not much room for fixed panels, so was looking at panels that could be moved around.
Thanks
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Old 26-05-2014, 17:16   #9
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

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Does any one have experience with Go Power! (GP-FLEX-100) 100W Flexible Mono Crystalline panels? On our Ohlson 38 there is not much room for fixed panels, so was looking at panels that could be moved around.
Thanks
Just bear in mind that if you check the diagram showing the maximum bend (not sure if you've seen it or not yet but they show it on their Amazon listing - Amazon.com: Go Power! (GP-FLEX-100) 100W Flexible Mono Crystalline Solar Kit with 30 Amp PWM Solar Controller: Automotive

So while it's not a fixed panel, it's certainly not THAT flexible. But I'm sure it's definitely lighter, and easier to strap to the deck or wherever needed when you want to.

I wanted Kyoceras myself, but I actually hooked up a Renogy 100 watt kit over the weekend, just because the kit price point was just too tempting. Was very pleasantly surprised in the performance of the kit, to be honest. When I upgrade to a larger boat in a few years, I'll see what's on the market again then.
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Old 26-05-2014, 19:44   #10
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

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Originally Posted by CharlzO View Post
Just bear in mind that if you check the diagram showing the maximum bend (not sure if you've seen it or not yet but they show it on their Amazon listing - Amazon.com: Go Power! (GP-FLEX-100) 100W Flexible Mono Crystalline Solar Kit with 30 Amp PWM Solar Controller: Automotive

So while it's not a fixed panel, it's certainly not THAT flexible. But I'm sure it's definitely lighter, and easier to strap to the deck or wherever needed when you want to.

I wanted Kyoceras myself, but I actually hooked up a Renogy 100 watt kit over the weekend, just because the kit price point was just too tempting. Was very pleasantly surprised in the performance of the kit, to be honest. When I upgrade to a larger boat in a few years, I'll see what's on the market again then.
I couldn't help noticing the kit price on the Renogy as well. Did you use the 30A PMW controller that comes with? The wires looked a bit thin, but that's easily changed.
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Old 26-05-2014, 20:31   #11
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

another vote for kyocera. haven't had a single problem since i installed it about five years ago.
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Old 27-05-2014, 00:01   #12
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

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Originally Posted by Exile View Post
I couldn't help noticing the kit price on the Renogy as well. Did you use the 30A PMW controller that comes with? The wires looked a bit thin, but that's easily changed.
Yeah, figured I'd at least start with that and see how it holds up. The wires are actually not too bad, 10 ga. I don't have very far a run, and only the single panel pushing them. Used waterproof ring connectors to the battery posts, and everything fit snug as expected. But you could easily upgrade to higher gauge wire with MC4 connectors to junction to the panel, or even direct into the junction panel if you want to rewire it entirely.
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Old 27-05-2014, 08:22   #13
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

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Originally Posted by CharlzO View Post
Yeah, figured I'd at least start with that and see how it holds up. The wires are actually not too bad, 10 ga. I don't have very far a run, and only the single panel pushing them. Used waterproof ring connectors to the battery posts, and everything fit snug as expected. But you could easily upgrade to higher gauge wire with MC4 connectors to junction to the panel, or even direct into the junction panel if you want to rewire it entirely.
Good to know. Hopefully they'll hold up OK. I don't mind slightly less efficiency given the price, but would be disappointed with any corrosion or cheap wiring connections. Thus far, I like what I see.
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Old 27-05-2014, 09:03   #14
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussiesuede View Post
Year end and year out, Kyocera's top the list.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HansSolo View Post
+1 for Kyocera
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharkbait View Post
I installed a 130w kyocera and never plugged in again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavalier View Post
We have 2 130W Kyoceras - rarely use shore power now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain58sailin View Post
Kyorcera are the panels I will be using
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
Another for Kyocera... Been using them for 6 years with no problems.
I think we have a enough members to start a Kyocera Solar Panel Fan Club!
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Old 27-05-2014, 09:11   #15
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Re: Good Quality Solar Panels?

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I think we have a enough members to start a Kyocera Solar Panel Fan Club!
Who do you Kyocera fans prefer to buy your panels from? They do seem to be at the top of the heap for quality & efficiency. I'd like to check them out before making any final decision. Thanks.
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