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Old 08-10-2009, 12:35   #16
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Dang! So sorry to hear that. Well, this'll give you the opportunity to get the newest technology in Solar Panels ! What do you think, single crystal or multi?
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Old 08-10-2009, 13:29   #17
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Hi Fishman,
I did exactly as you suggested with my 5 year old 40W Sunware panel. To be sure there wasn't a cable issue I connected the 10W lamp directly to the output strips on the panel (I pried the waterproof sticky stuff away). The voltage, which was with open leads 19V, dropped immediately to 2V. So the panel is dead.

Earlier this year another sunware panel, 35W and 8 years old, was dead when I checked it. The supplier didn't even react to my mail.

Both panels are of the slightly flexible stainless steel backed type (you van walk on them); my boat is based in the Med. They were connected in parallel to the regulator.
Any suggestions to what caused the early demise?

Zoef
I am not sure if your panels are similar to my 32 watt flexible ones or not, but one of mine quit recently. I figured with nothing to lose, I'd open up the plastic box which is on one end where the wires exit. It's not designed to be opened, but I carefully pried it open. One of the wires had corroded off a solder connection. I cleaned it up, soldered the wire back in place, and filled the cover with some clear poly sealant. After a couple of days with a brick on top to keep it closed while the goop dried, it works as well as ever.

Steve B.
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Old 08-10-2009, 14:24   #18
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Hi there,
Thanks for your input. The solar panal has blocking diodes and is protected. A controller is only needed to prevent overcharging the batteries. As I am a liveaboard the batteries will never be overcharged so there you go!
It used to put out up to 10 amps at high noon. It is showing 19.7V but is putting out no amps. We tested it at the box (the direct prongs coming out the panel before the diodes) So I guess you are right about me contacting Kyocera and trying to get a replacement. I thank you again for your help!!
Marilyn
If you're seeing 19.7 volts there must be an open circuit somewhere.

If the circuits were all complete, but the panel wasn't producing, then you'd just see battery voltage, ie. around 12-13 volts.

Check the diodes too, using the ohms setting on the multimeter - there should be near zero resistance one way, and infinite the other. Faulty diodes are cheap and easy to replace.

Don't assume the wires are intact inside the insulation - I had a similar problem, and it was due to non-tinned core wire being used and it had rotted out.

Also, you really should have a charge controller. If you're away from the boat for a few days you could end up with cooked batteries.
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:04   #19
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I am not sure if your panels are similar to my 32 watt flexible ones or not, but one of mine quit recently. I figured with nothing to lose, I'd open up the plastic box which is on one end where the wires exit. It's not designed to be opened, but I carefully pried it open. One of the wires had corroded off a solder connection. I cleaned it up, soldered the wire back in place, and filled the cover with some clear poly sealant. After a couple of days with a brick on top to keep it closed while the goop dried, it works as well as ever.

Steve B.
Thanks Steve B. but unfortunately no corroded connections. The high resistance must be somewhere inside the panel. I will contact the Sunware importer in The Netherlands, maybe they react this time.

Klaas
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Old 10-10-2009, 11:30   #20
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I bought a Sunware panel from some Europeans and it is fine, but the 65 watt one was 2 years old and dead. I bought it cheap so am not worried about if it breaks or not.
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