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Old 15-05-2013, 01:46   #1
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Renogy 100w solar panels

I am looking into solar for my Catalina 36. I figure I need about 180w total so was looking at westmarine and they have 85W (close enough) panels on sale for like $285 or something. Some research on amazon has a 100W renogy panel for $179 and similar charge controllers for $30. Looks like I can get two on the boat I stalled for under $600.

Here's the question though...

1. Has anyone used these panels before?
It seems that they were designed for rooftops but have similar size to the sunforce panels.

2. Can they be used on a sailboat?
I'm not sure if paying an extra $300-400 is worth the convenience of having an easy installation. My main concern is that they may not be as weather resistant and fail soon after installation. Having such inexpensive panels seems almost too good to be true.

3. Are there any recommendations for mounting them on 1" stainless pulpit stantions?
I don't see that there would be a pre-made sailboat mounting system but was thinking about using either grill mounts or another panel mounting kit.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

-B
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Old 15-05-2013, 04:33   #2
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Re: Renogy 100w solar panels

Have 2 X 200 watt panels on my boat which are house panels wired in series for approx 80 volts into a mttp controller. Used the roof top (house) type hardware mountings but would recommend anodizing prior to use.

You may need to degrade the expected output because of the tracking angle of the sun on your panels. Switch & fuse the wires from the panels.

Regards Bill
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Old 15-05-2013, 05:28   #3
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Re: Renogy 100w solar panels

Most of the cheap solar panels are pretty good these days.
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Old 17-05-2013, 01:10   #4
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It's weird. On amazon the whole system can be bought for $550 but then when I go to complete the order. The shipping is $350. The big shipper..... $300 for 2 $13.99 mounting bracket sets. Wtf. Any ideas on DIY mounts for 47" panels?
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Old 17-05-2013, 01:23   #5
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Re: Renogy 100w solar panels

Some couriers have a very high rate for something over a certain size with glass.
Often going down slightly in size will reduce the costs substantially as once below a critical size a special surcharge no longer applies. If you can fit 3 smaller panels of a similar total wattage you may be able to get a much better delivered price.
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Old 17-05-2013, 01:38   #6
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Re: Renogy 100w solar panels

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Some couriers have a very high rate for something over a certain size with glass.
Often going down slightly in size will reduce the costs substantially as once below a critical size a special surcharge no longer applies. If you can fit 3 smaller panels of a similar total wattage you may be able to get a much better delivered price.

I feel very fortunate to have aquired 3 X 200W panels @ $259 each including delivery on ebay!

Built a frame on top of my bimini exactly like one I photoed on a Catalina 42 in Navidad, Mexico....brilliant....30 amps per hour x 4 hours per day is more than sufficient for my needs!
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Old 20-05-2013, 17:28   #7
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Re: Renogy 100w solar panels

I wouldn't mind seeing pictures of yours or the 42 you copied. I'm getting ready to plan the installation on my Catalina 42.
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Old 20-05-2013, 17:47   #8
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Re: Renogy 100w solar panels

Screw West Marine solar panels costs. Any solar panel can handle the WX and mounting is going to be pretty much the same for any panel you buy. Panels bigger than 85watts or so are starting to get pretty big. Think about several smaller panels that you could mount in different ways to hit the sun better. China was doing a good job selling panels but the US goverment got in the way so now we need to pay more. Fair trade?
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Old 20-05-2013, 18:20   #9
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Re: Renogy 100w solar panels

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Screw West Marine solar panels costs. Any solar panel can handle the WX and mounting is going to be pretty much the same for any panel you buy. Panels bigger than 85watts or so are starting to get pretty big. Think about several smaller panels that you could mount in different ways to hit the sun better. China was doing a good job selling panels but the US goverment got in the way so now we need to pay more. Fair trade?

BIG BRUDDER also put the screws to Chinese tires. But heck, why should I mind paying over $100/tire from a Japanese company instead. Where did the Chinese get off selling tires for half the current Japanese cost?
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Old 20-05-2013, 20:22   #10
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Re: Renogy 100w solar panels

Fair Trade video on Youtube:

Fair Trade: Every Purchase Matters - YouTube

Lots of sailors are cheap. Maybe they should think about how that affects the rest of the world...
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Old 20-05-2013, 20:52   #11
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Re: Renogy 100w solar panels

Quote:
Originally Posted by bill good View Post
Have 2 X 200 watt panels on my boat which are house panels wired in series for approx 80 volts into a mttp controller. Used the roof top (house) type hardware mountings but would recommend anodizing prior to use.

You may need to degrade the expected output because of the tracking angle of the sun on your panels. Switch & fuse the wires from the panels.

Regards Bill

Not quite sure how you worked the math on that.
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Old 20-05-2013, 22:10   #12
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Re: Renogy 100w solar panels

Hello Tide Roller.
I bought two 100 watt Renogy panels (size 21" x 49") from Amazon... paid $360 for the pair, including delivery.

The quality seems the same as my 75 watt panel BUT... okay, now I do have a currently active thread about the panel and the junction box location. Basically, the junction box is (in my albeit amateur view) incorrectly placed.

Your panel, on the bottom:
6" from corner there are two screw holes
16" from corner two more screw holes
(then the center part)
Repeat from the other end.

The "problem" is that the junction box is going to be covered by the braces (cross-pieces to add stability -- not that they "need same" but this is going to be a permanent mounting and I'm expecting the two panels to stay put in gale force and stronger winds.

So, at the forward end I'll use the 6" holes for my teak brace and thru bolt into my pilothouse. At the aft end I'll use the 16" holes for the brace and then, at the 6" holes I'll add feet, thru bolting them into the pilothouse. Frankly, I think the placement of the junction box could have been right at the end and then I wouldn't have this issue -- but it's a minor one.

The wire appears fine and is 2 foot long. It has those fancy clips at the end -- I've opted to whack 'em off and will use 10-gauge butt connectors (Ancor brand of course) rather than pay $$ for the fancy removable type.
Oh, and under the teak braces (and feet) I'll add 1" starboard... I like having plenty of air circulation.

Good luck. And would I buy these again? Well, yes -- and if these two don't keep me in sufficient power for everything, I will indeed buy more.
One thing I liked is that the panels come in this foam box and the top has made a wonderful template..... Both panels came in one larger cardboard box and were shipped via UPS. I ordered on a Monday or Tuesday and they arrived in FL on Saturday.

Adding: The entire junction box won't be covered -- only about 1/3rd of it... still, I didn't want any covering so...
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Old 20-05-2013, 22:15   #13
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Re: Renogy 100w solar panels

senior mechanico; Are we talking sugar or solar panels? The US funds a solar panel a company and it fails so they kill Chinese solar panel imports. Not the same as growing coffee. How badly they screw up the enviroment is another question, how bad do we?
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Old 21-05-2013, 01:25   #14
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Re: Renogy 100w solar panels

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
Not quite sure how you worked the math on that.
A lot of the large panels have a high Voc and Vmp. Around 45v is sometimes seen.
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Old 21-05-2013, 03:13   #15
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Re: Renogy 100w solar panels

Tellie the voltage out on a house panel is 37 volts @ 5 amp min. 40 volts is very common ie 80 Volts @ 5 +amps = 400 watts degrade 50% for flat installation & sun angle gives a good honest 200 watts.

Regards Bill
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