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Old 30-01-2010, 12:45   #16
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Originally Posted by rreeves View Post
Thanks gents.

Any recommendations on brands? Can I get a much better deal than Sharp 80 watt's at about $400 each w/out sacraficing quality? Are Sharp panels as good a quality as I'm thinking? Is there that much difference between major brands?
If you have the room, a 135 watt panel is about the same or cheaper than many 85 watt panels. They come with MC4 cables, not a junction box, so you would also need a pair of extender cables Kyocera KD135GX-LPU 135 Watt 12 Volt Solar Electric Panel

The junction box version is more expensive, but you can use standard wire - don't need the extra cables. In theory you can cut the cables off of the MC4 leads on the panel, but that will void the warranty.
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Old 30-01-2010, 15:10   #17
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Location: Western Caribbean & ocassionaly inCanada
Boat: Mesqua Ukee, Buccaneer 40 (Salar 40)
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If you use an MPPT controller you will probably increase your charging current by 10 or 15%. If you don't have an LED tricolor (or running lights) do consider it. This is can have a huge impact on your under-sail power budget.
.
Spent the day reading about MPPT's.
I was suspicious at first about all the claims but as incredable as it first sounded they do increase the amount of energy going into the battery.
for a fully discharged battery it increases the current by 30%
for a battery at around 13-14 volts it adds 10-20% more amps.

It acts like a transformer, it converts the 17.4 volt output of the panel (5.02 amps)to a lower voltage 14 volts giving 6.0 amps.
Using a MPPT controller means a 85 watt panel does not have to be down-rated to 65 watts.
Another way of looking at it is an array producing 20 amps of current now produces 24 or more amps!
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Old 03-02-2010, 18:45   #18
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Boat: 1981 Endeavour 37 & 1990 MacGregor 26 Classic
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Originally Posted by rreeves View Post
..Any recommendations on brands? Can I get a much better deal than Sharp 80 watt's at about $400 each w/out sacraficing quality? Are Sharp panels as good a quality as I'm thinking? Is there that much difference between major brands?........
We bought a 40 watt Solar Cynergy ...................



Macgregor 26S Outside Mods page 22

.............from these guys ...................

Solar Cell, Solar Panel, Solar PV, Solar Products, Charge Controllers, Solar Trackers - Individual Solar Panels

...........last summer along with a PWM controller and we have been real happy with them. A few weeks ago we ordered an 80 watt panel and if I can find room we will get one more 40 watt. I have no idea how Solar Cynergy panels rate, but they seem well made to me. Note our boat isn't out 365 days a year.

If you look at the link above you will see that right next to the 80 watt Solar Cynergy is an 80 watt Sharp, so they sell both. They have been good to deal with and I'd feel they would give you an honest opinion as to the differences between the two. I was going to get a bigger controller for the 40 watt and they talked me out of it saying I was wasting money and it cost them some profit. That impressed me.

Wouldn't hurt to call them and ask their opinion about the Sharp and your application.

Good luck,

Sum

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