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Old 22-04-2013, 11:50   #16
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Re: How Big are Todays Solar Panels?

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I assume you're talking about the ST SPV1040 chip. I've often thought about per-cell controllers, and wondered where the price/performance factors would be. The high-quantity applications such as home and industrial solar are fairly well-served by per-panel or per-array controllers and inverters, so I doubt if we will see widespread application of fine-grain controllers in panels that would be suitable for boats. Custom designs are certainly possible though.

I think the SPV1040 would be best used with groups of (say) four cells, which would still be a big improvement over a per-array design. The efficiency really falls off at one and two-cell voltage levels, no doubt due to the on-resistance of the integrated switching pass transistor. Still, it's a really interesting device. I like it!

Low-loss per-cell bypass diodes or MOSFET switches do remain a good solution for series-connected panels. I would like to see some specs for panels like this.
Well I agree most applications simply just won't install solar if shaded.
You just don't have much choice on a sailboat.

They also make the SPV1020 which has 7v input, so does the same thing, but uses cells in series. The cost of adding the electronics looks like it will doubles the cost of a raw panel, but there is no issue with shading at all.
I like the simplicity of it. You can try to physically arrange 12v panels that will work great one time, really bad another time. If bad half the time, then the double cost is worth the expense. The 1040 has 97% efficiency.
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Old 22-04-2013, 12:22   #17
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Re: How Big are Todays Solar Panels?

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The 1040 has 97% efficiency.
As I recall seeing in the spec sheet, the single-cell efficiency is around 80%. With five cells the efficiency is around 97%.
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Old 22-04-2013, 13:08   #18
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Re: How Big are Todays Solar Panels?

Stupid question, but would be at all possible to have the flexible solar panels somehow on the sail? Or what about a sail MADE entirely out of solar panels?
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Old 22-04-2013, 13:36   #19
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Re: How Big are Todays Solar Panels?

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Stupid question, but would be at all possible to have the flexible solar panels somehow on the sail? Or what about a sail MADE entirely out of solar panels?
The sails are vertical surfaces plus they are furled away for 99% of the time...

Vertical surface only means less output: when the cells are cheap enough, it still makes sense to put them on vertical surfaces. I believe they are going to put them on windows of high rise buildings.
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Old 22-04-2013, 17:23   #20
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Re: How Big are Todays Solar Panels?

I was looking for these e20 327watt panels after reading about this. I believe a single one could probably handle all of our needs and it doesn't seem to be very big so I want to consider it. I cannot for the life of me find where to buy them or how much they cost though. Any leads?

Also if you had a panel like that, which it says is 50+vdc, I'm assuming combining it with other 12v nominal panels would be right out?
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Old 22-04-2013, 17:41   #21
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Re: How Big are Todays Solar Panels?

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Why does Jedi keep trying to spoil threads on solar panels?

As the original poster said:


I checked my expensive Solara panels which have bypass diodes and I got nearly zero out of the ones with partial shade. Jedi called my tests "flawed" - please ignore him on this subject. Bypass diodes "reduce" the problems of shade - they don't eliminate it.

It makes absolute sense to have four small panels distributed around the boat so that only one might get shade and the others produce full output.

Can anybody fault this logic?
The OP has a 40ft cat not a mono and largish panels well set up as recommended by Jedi are the way to go for him.

Check out this thread. Our Solution To Mounting 750-Watts Of Solar
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Old 22-04-2013, 17:44   #22
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Re: How Big are Todays Solar Panels?

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I was looking for these e20 327watt panels after reading about this. I believe a single one could probably handle all of our needs and it doesn't seem to be very big so I want to consider it. I cannot for the life of me find where to buy them or how much they cost though. Any leads?

Also if you had a panel like that, which it says is 50+vdc, I'm assuming combining it with other 12v nominal panels would be right out?
Hi,
We finished our install of a Sunpower E20 327W only 4 weeks ago. We were able to test it over the Easter break. The best we got from it was 130a/h for a fairly good sunny day (in the tropics). Also we have it mounted on a tilting frame on the davits & being able to face it at the sun is a huge plus early morning & late afternoon. So this is enough to cover our daily needs at this stage.

You will need a MPPT controller that can handle the voltage. We used a Morningstar Tristar MPPT 60, a 40 would have been enough but I was allowing for additional panel if needs be (both are rated to 150volts). I'm no expert but I don't think you will be able to combine 12 volt panels with it.


As I'm in Australia, I can't help you locate the Sunpowers over there. As its a primarily domestic panel just look for any solar installer who stocks them & try to talk them into selling to you.

Dave
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Old 22-04-2013, 17:54   #23
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Re: How Big are Todays Solar Panels?

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Hi,
We finished our install of a Sunpower E20 327W only 4 weeks ago. We were able to test it over the Easter break. The best we got from it was 130a/h for a fairly good sunny day (in the tropics). Also we have it mounted on a tilting frame on the davits & being able to face it at the sun is a huge plus early morning & late afternoon. So this is enough to cover our daily needs at this stage.

You will need a MPPT controller that can handle the voltage. We used a Morningstar Tristar MPPT 60, a 40 would have been enough but I was allowing for additional panel if needs be (both are rated to 150volts). I'm no expert but I don't think you will be able to combine 12 volt panels with it.


As I'm in Australia, I can't help you locate the Sunpowers over there. As its a primarily domestic panel just look for any solar installer who stocks them & try to talk them into selling to you.

Dave
Thanks Dave, we already do have a MPPT controller that should be able to handle them rated up to 40amps and 60volts. Bluesky 3024 I believe.
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Old 22-04-2013, 17:55   #24
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Re: How Big are Todays Solar Panels?

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Originally Posted by Target9000 View Post
I was looking for these e20 327watt panels after reading about this. I believe a single one could probably handle all of our needs and it doesn't seem to be very big so I want to consider it. I cannot for the life of me find where to buy them or how much they cost though. Any leads?

Also if you had a panel like that, which it says is 50+vdc, I'm assuming combining it with other 12v nominal panels would be right out?
You do have to call around. We got ours out of Boston MA. Your state may even be tax free for Solar panel purchases. Our purchase was Tax free in Connecticut.
They usually drop ship them right to your home on a pallet.
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Old 22-04-2013, 17:57   #25
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Re: How Big are Todays Solar Panels?

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Thanks Dave, we already do have a MPPT controller that should be able to handle them rated up to 40amps and 60volts. Bluesky 3024 I believe.
Hmmm ... I was considering using one of those also. But it really doesn't give any margin on the voltage especially as the Morningstar through its Liveview interface shows the Sunpower pushing just over 60 volts at times. Be careful.

Dave
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Old 22-04-2013, 18:07   #26
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Re: How Big are Todays Solar Panels?

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You do have to call around. We got ours out of Boston MA. Your state may even be tax free for Solar panel purchases. Our purchase was Tax free in Connecticut.
They usually drop ship them right to your home on a pallet.

Round about cost for one panel?
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Old 22-04-2013, 18:58   #27
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Re: How Big are Todays Solar Panels?

You will get them for 50% of what I paid a few years ago. Prices on Solar panels are really sweet right now.
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Old 22-04-2013, 19:38   #28
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Re: How Big are Todays Solar Panels?

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Originally Posted by Target9000 View Post
I was looking for these e20 327watt panels after reading about this. I believe a single one could probably handle all of our needs and it doesn't seem to be very big so I want to consider it. I cannot for the life of me find where to buy them or how much they cost though. Any leads?

Also if you had a panel like that, which it says is 50+vdc, I'm assuming combining it with other 12v nominal panels would be right out?
I recently purchased 4 x Sunpower E327’s.

Since I had a container leaving Ft Lauderdale, I did get a quote from SALT, who are near you and did Steve Dashew’s same size installation. bobw@saltservice.net SALT Service Inc - Marine, residential and motor coach alternative energy systems

http://setsail.com/?s=solar+&x=22&y=13

However their price of $1,317 each was 43% more than what I paid a local distributer in the Philippines, who were able to buy directly from the Sunpower factory that is a 3 hr dive from my Marina.
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Old 22-04-2013, 20:41   #29
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Re: How Big are Todays Solar Panels?

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I recently purchased 4 x Sunpower E327’s.

Since I had a container leaving Ft Lauderdale, I did get a quote from SALT, who are near you and did Steve Dashew’s same size installation. bobw@saltservice.net SALT Service Inc - Marine, residential and motor coach alternative energy systems

SetSail » Search Results » solar

However their price of $1,317 each was 43% more than what I paid a local distributer in the Philippines, who were able to buy directly from the Sunpower factory that is a 3 hr dive from my Marina.
You can get the ET Solar at $285 per panel. That is a lot cheaper than $1,317 for 327 watt for just a tiny bit less efficiency.
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Old 22-04-2013, 20:44   #30
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Re: How Big are Todays Solar Panels?

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Hi,
We finished our install of a Sunpower E20 327W only 4 weeks ago. We were able to test it over the Easter break. The best we got from it was 130a/h for a fairly good sunny day (in the tropics). Also we have it mounted on a tilting frame on the davits & being able to face it at the sun is a huge plus early morning & late afternoon. So this is enough to cover our daily needs at this stage.

You will need a MPPT controller that can handle the voltage. We used a Morningstar Tristar MPPT 60, a 40 would have been enough but I was allowing for additional panel if needs be (both are rated to 150volts). I'm no expert but I don't think you will be able to combine 12 volt panels with it.


As I'm in Australia, I can't help you locate the Sunpowers over there. As its a primarily domestic panel just look for any solar installer who stocks them & try to talk them into selling to you.

Dave
I am not sure what you mean by "the best we got was 130a/h" Do you mean you got 130Ah in one day? That would make more sense.
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