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Old 22-04-2014, 11:07   #1
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Pulled the trigger on 4 x 100w flexible panels and a Morningstar TS-MPPT-60

Lensun Panels - 100W Flexible Panels cost me $247.50/ea for 4
Description:
Highly efficient monocrystalline cells
Laminated for weather resistance
laminated with oxide aluminum + EVA + Silicon cell + EVA + Tedlar
Size: 1240,570,2.5mm
peak(Wp): 100w
Open circuit voltage(Voc): 21V
Optimum power voltage(VMP):18V
Short circuit current(Isc): 6.11
Max operating current(IMP): 5.56
torrence:+_5%
weight: 4kgs
one year manufacturer warranty

Morningstar TS-MPPT-60
I'm going to be adding more panels so wanted something I can grow in to.

At least now we can start playing with how they will fit/mount, although I need to figure out what kind of cable and terminators I need to get to piece it all together, the project has begun!
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Old 22-04-2014, 14:32   #2
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Re: Pulled the trigger on 4 x 100w flexible panels and a Morningstar TS-MPPT-60

Sounds great! Keep us posted!

Something you might want to check out - I bought some Chinese solar panels from a co. that sells identical panels to the ones you bought. I tried to solder the wires to a device, and discovered that the wires were an extremely low quality copper. They turned black with residue all over them, and the solder would not stick.

I desoldered the wires from the panels and replaced them with good quality cable from Home Depot, much better output and no problems with soldering them. Check those wires out, don't be afraid to remove those and run a solid piece of quality wire from inside the junction box all the way to your solar controller, the fewer the connections exposed to the weather, the fewer potential failure points/potential future headaches you endure.

If you're in San Diego, drop me a PM, I'd love to help out, I only charge 1 beer per hour, or less! LOL
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Old 22-04-2014, 15:25   #3
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Re: Pulled the trigger on 4 x 100w flexible panels and a Morningstar TS-MPPT-60

Can't say that I have experience with them but these look like the best deal on flexible panels 180w $296: EVTV Motor Verks Store: Flexible Solar Panel 180w, Solar and Boat, 180wsolarpanel

Cells made by Sunpower

Nominal Capacity: 180watts
Length: 1302 mm / 51.26 inches
Width: 796 mm / 31.34 inches
Thickness: 3 mm / 0.118 inches
Efficiency: >20%
Open Circuit Voltage: 20.3 volts
Short Circuit Current: 11.57 amperes
Max Power: 16.8v @ 10,71 amps
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Old 22-04-2014, 17:26   #4
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Re: Pulled the trigger on 4 x 100w flexible panels and a Morningstar TS-MPPT-60

Quote:
Originally Posted by socaldmax View Post
Sounds great! Keep us posted!

Something you might want to check out - I bought some Chinese solar panels from a co. that sells identical panels to the ones you bought. I tried to solder the wires to a device, and discovered that the wires were an extremely low quality copper. They turned black with residue all over them, and the solder would not stick.

I desoldered the wires from the panels and replaced them with good quality cable from Home Depot, much better output and no problems with soldering them. Check those wires out, don't be afraid to remove those and run a solid piece of quality wire from inside the junction box all the way to your solar controller, the fewer the connections exposed to the weather, the fewer potential failure points/potential future headaches you endure.

If you're in San Diego, drop me a PM, I'd love to help out, I only charge 1 beer per hour, or less! LOL
How did you discover the copper quality? Did it react that way when you put the soldering iron to it?

Any tips for removing or rebedding the diode box?

My intention is to install them on the dodger top, 2 on each side of the boom, port 2 panels in parallel and starboard 2 panels in parallel.

I've always got cold beer but we're up in Long Beach. Next time we're down that way I'll let ya know.

Those 180W panels looked like a good deal, but I don't know how reputable the vendor is. At least with ebay you can look at their history and make sure people are happy with the product.

It's a little scary going with an ebay/china vendor, but supposedly they are shipping from LA so it's local if there's any issue. I was bummed because their was similar panels on ebay for $199/ea about a month ago, and it was from a vendor out in Chino that sold on Amazon, and I should have pulled the trigger then, but we waited to see if we got any deals at Strictly Sail and that cost us. Strictly sail panels were all a joke. I got 4 for the price of maybe 1 at show price!
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Old 22-04-2014, 18:12   #5
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Re: Pulled the trigger on 4 x 100w flexible panels and a Morningstar TS-MPPT-60

I was very pleased with the tinned wire and mc4 connectors from ebay seller podiumline1226. No need to solder anything.
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Old 22-04-2014, 23:09   #6
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Re: Pulled the trigger on 4 x 100w flexible panels and a Morningstar TS-MPPT-60

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Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
How did you discover the copper quality? Did it react that way when you put the soldering iron to it?

Any tips for removing or rebedding the diode box?

My intention is to install them on the dodger top, 2 on each side of the boom, port 2 panels in parallel and starboard 2 panels in parallel.

I've always got cold beer but we're up in Long Beach. Next time we're down that way I'll let ya know.

Those 180W panels looked like a good deal, but I don't know how reputable the vendor is. At least with ebay you can look at their history and make sure people are happy with the product.

It's a little scary going with an ebay/china vendor, but supposedly they are shipping from LA so it's local if there's any issue. I was bummed because their was similar panels on ebay for $199/ea about a month ago, and it was from a vendor out in Chino that sold on Amazon, and I should have pulled the trigger then, but we waited to see if we got any deals at Strictly Sail and that cost us. Strictly sail panels were all a joke. I got 4 for the price of maybe 1 at show price!
Yes, when I tried to solder the wires, that's when I realized they had a lot of impurities in them. As for the diode box, I'm not sure, I don't have one of those flexible panels. I'm guessing it's either glued or melted onto the flexible backing. If there's any way to keep them, I would, if they look water tight. I know the connection to the solar cells is a thin tinned strip, you can desolder it from the diode box, but I'm not sure how the box itself is attached to the backing.

Your plan on doing 2 in series and both sets in parallel sounds great, I was going to suggest that to allow slightly thinner wire with minimal loss. You're probably going to lose a bit of power from one side or the other, depending on which side is getting shaded by the boom or sail.

Good luck, keep us posted!
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Old 23-04-2014, 00:09   #7
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Re: Pulled the trigger on 4 x 100w flexible panels and a Morningstar TS-MPPT-60

Autumn Breeze, does the one-year warranty (as opposed to ten or twenty years offered by the good rigid panel makers) give you any worries?

In years gone by, the flexi panels often had longevity issues, and I wonder if these newer (and far more efficient) jobs are teh same? In many ways they are quite tempting, but I've always shunned them because of this problem.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 23-04-2014, 09:35   #8
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Re: Pulled the trigger on 4 x 100w flexible panels and a Morningstar TS-MPPT-60

Well if they fall apart I'll be sure to post it, but warranty's are a big hassle most of the time. I don't see them as having any moving parts to fail, the main concern would be delamination ie they fall apart. I'm guessing that the technology will advance much faster than a 10-20 year warranty will last, and we'll see advances in energy generation and storage in that time. So if they cost 1/4 of the high end, if they last at least 1/4 as long I'll be happy.
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Old 25-04-2014, 07:38   #9
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Re: Pulled the trigger on 4 x 100w flexible panels and a Morningstar TS-MPPT-60

So far so good for my made in china flexible panels, but it's only been 6 months.

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Old 25-04-2014, 08:58   #10
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Re: Pulled the trigger on 4 x 100w flexible panels and a Morningstar TS-MPPT-60

They arrived yesterday, took 1 day to arrive.

Mine have a connector on a short pigtail coming off the diode box, and then another short piece of wire with a connector on it. I'll have to figure out what kind of connectors these are I guess among a million other things... hope my MPPT gets here today but I'm guessing it will be Monday.
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Old 25-04-2014, 09:53   #11
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Re: Pulled the trigger on 4 x 100w flexible panels and a Morningstar TS-MPPT-60

One thing to keep in mind with chinese solar panels. Many (if not most) of them are made with what are called 'bin' components. Bin meaning the discards that did not make it into the "A" grade pile. If you compare the actual vs listed output of bin vs A grade, you will see the bin output is usually much lower.
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Old 25-04-2014, 10:09   #12
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Re: Pulled the trigger on 4 x 100w flexible panels and a Morningstar TS-MPPT-60

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One thing to keep in mind with chinese solar panels. Many (if not most) of them are made with what are called 'bin' components. Bin meaning the discards that did not make it into the "A" grade pile. If you compare the actual vs listed output of bin vs A grade, you will see the bin output is usually much lower.
While that may be true in *some* cases, the panel will still put out it's rated power.


When you see a Sanyo, BP or Sharp series of panels, and they have a 155w, 165w, 175w, 185w version, they used the highest output cells to make the 185w panels, the next highest are used to make the 175w panels, etc. So they graded and sorted the cells into 4 groups from highest to lowest, and these different groups are used to make the 4 different solar panels. All of the panels are identical in size, so the only difference is in output per cell.

They will also typically output more power than advertised initially. For example a panel rated at 100w will typically put out 103w to 105w for a few weeks, then gradually drop down to 99-101w for years, gradually diminishing to 80% of rated value 20 yrs down the road.

I think in this particular installation, the greatest factor controlling power output is going to be the solar controller, and he bought a very good one, so no worries there. The other factor will be shading, you just do what you can to mount the panels in the best position possible.
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Old 25-04-2014, 10:11   #13
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Re: Pulled the trigger on 4 x 100w flexible panels and a Morningstar TS-MPPT-60

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Originally Posted by jseas View Post
So far so good for my made in china flexible panels, but it's only been 6 months.

Attachment 79815
Can you give us more details? What is their rated power output? What solar controller are you using? How much power are you seeing on sunny days?
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Old 25-04-2014, 11:05   #14
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Re: Pulled the trigger on 4 x 100w flexible panels and a Morningstar TS-MPPT-60

The sun is pretty low today, I've unboxed all the panels. They were packed very well, but one of them still has a dimple in it, I'm going to have to contact the seller about it.

I'm testing the dimpled one (it's in a solar cell), and getting 21.6V so it's in spec there.
I tested amps and the most I can get is 5.65 amps.

The sun is still low here (it's 10am on the west coast) and there's some clouds playing peek-a-boo with the sun (it likes to go full blast while I muck with the wiring and then cloudy when I want to take a reading.

What do you think on the dimpled one? The dimple looks like somebody shot it with a bb, hit it with something sharp. No apparent damage except the aluminum it's on. If I put that on a hard dodger I'd imagine it will give me problems?

BTW I haven't tried heating it up, but the copper wire seems to be low grade just by working with it and the multimeter, but if the rest of it's good I'm ok with playing with the wires to save 75% of what the other guys charge.
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Old 25-04-2014, 13:29   #15
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Re: Pulled the trigger on 4 x 100w flexible panels and a Morningstar TS-MPPT-60

My only issues with these cells was finding a good way to hide the top mount cables on my hard tops. I am logging data on them so in a year I'll post what the average output is and whether maintain output. Http://www.deny.org
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