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Old 07-08-2018, 15:30   #1
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SolarTech solar panels... any experiences

I have mostly settled on two SolarTech 85w / 24v panels because they will fit on my stern rail well and they are 24v which I prefer with an MPPT controller, and they are rated for marine use:
https://www.ecodirect.com/ProductDet...P%2DF&CartID=1
(anyone shopped from ecodirect? they seem to get decent seller ratings, depending on if you believe in that sort of thing or not)



But I can't find a lot of reviews of them (the panels, not ecodirect)... anyone have any experience with them (good or bad) that they're willing to share?


Anyone have another good source of smaller panels? I can't find much by Sunwize (recommended by MaineSail), so many other panels out there are just too big for the location I have to work with.


As always, thanks in advance.


-- Bass
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Old 07-08-2018, 15:43   #2
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Re: SolarTech solar panels... any experiences

I'm sure others will have first hand knowledge, but my neighbor installed some grape solar 100W panels (only 12V though, He had them in parallel) and has been very happy with them. Purchased through HomeDepot so no shipping. I purchased my panels through alte store, but I wanted larger panels since I had plenty of room.


I have no experience with the panels you are looking at. Good luck with your project.
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Old 07-08-2018, 17:17   #3
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Re: SolarTech solar panels... any experiences

Ecodirect appears to be "some guys who do solar" so the real question is who are SolarTech, and who would be around to support or warranty their product?
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Old 07-08-2018, 17:39   #4
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Re: SolarTech solar panels... any experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Ecodirect appears to be "some guys who do solar" so the real question is who are SolarTech, and who would be around to support or warranty their product?
Agreed... I have seen SolarTech panels for sale elsewhere so it's not just Ecodirect's "home brand" of unknown provenance, but your point is still legit. Unfortunately I'm really coming up blank on other options in these smaller sizes...


And I have already had problems with panels and struck out on getting any support (my fault), hoping not to go through that again...
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Old 08-08-2018, 09:15   #5
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Re: SolarTech solar panels... any experiences

You need to go shopping, those look a little pricey... you don't say how big a battery bank you have..I know when I asked how much solar & how big a battery bank nobody could help me establish some parameters. The magic question is how much do you use and how much do you need? In my case I had one 100w panel and two trojan 105s as a house bank & a 12v engine start...well its not enough of either, so will double the house bank & up the solar as much as my space will alow & current controller cuz it's new...thinking about 300 watt....I'm still not sure if my 40 amp controller will handle it, but if not well,,,it's only money. ...
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Old 08-08-2018, 09:37   #6
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Re: SolarTech solar panels... any experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by basssears View Post
I have mostly settled on two SolarTech 85w / 24v panels because they will fit on my stern rail well and they are 24v which I prefer with an MPPT controller, and they are rated for marine use:
https://www.ecodirect.com/ProductDet...P%2DF&CartID=1
(anyone shopped from ecodirect? they seem to get decent seller ratings, depending on if you believe in that sort of thing or not)



But I can't find a lot of reviews of them (the panels, not ecodirect)... anyone have any experience with them (good or bad) that they're willing to share?


Anyone have another good source of smaller panels? I can't find much by Sunwize (recommended by MaineSail), so many other panels out there are just too big for the location I have to work with.


As always, thanks in advance.


-- Bass
I bought my solar panels (4 x 140W) from eMarine Systems in 2015 and happy with the project outcome. Your boat is smaller than mine and I don't know your sailing plans but would encourage you to go as large as you can in the amount of wattage you install. I did a lot of research for my setup and found others cruising saying to put as many watts onboard as you can fit/afford...that was good advice. The thrust of those recommendations was to put up a fixed bunch of panels and then you don't have to worry about them as one or more will be pulling in power all day. On my roundtrip to Hawaii my battery monitor rarely saw my batteries below 80% which should extend their life, of course it all depends on what your daily load is.

Good Luck.

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Old 08-08-2018, 12:44   #7
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Re: SolarTech solar panels... any experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kita View Post
You need to go shopping, those look a little pricey... you don't say how big a battery bank you have..I know when I asked how much solar & how big a battery bank nobody could help me establish some parameters. The magic question is how much do you use and how much do you need? In my case I had one 100w panel and two trojan 105s as a house bank & a 12v engine start...well its not enough of either, so will double the house bank & up the solar as much as my space will alow & current controller cuz it's new...thinking about 300 watt....I'm still not sure if my 40 amp controller will handle it, but if not well,,,it's only money. ...

They are pricey, but I've been burned on lesser priced panels so trying not to mess myself up again.


My battery bank is currently pretty set at 225ah (3 interstate combo start/deep cycle batts, not great but they're in good shape and they're there). Not trying to live forever with no other power input (coastal cruising, plenty of engine with stock alternator, marinas every once in a while) just trying to extend how long I can go without needing external charging.


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Old 08-08-2018, 12:48   #8
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Re: SolarTech solar panels... any experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJH View Post
I bought my solar panels (4 x 140W) from eMarine Systems in 2015 and happy with the project outcome.

Thanks. Do you recall what brand they are?


I am having so much trouble with finding reliable reviews of brands, I guess maybe I just go with a reliable store? eMarine seems to be pretty well thought of here... mostly have SolarLand panels, can't find any info on THEM either...



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Old 08-08-2018, 13:57   #9
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Re: SolarTech solar panels... any experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by basssears View Post
Thanks. Do you recall what brand they are?


I am having so much trouble with finding reliable reviews of brands, I guess maybe I just go with a reliable store? eMarine seems to be pretty well thought of here... mostly have SolarLand panels, can't find any info on THEM either...



-- Bass
They are Kyocera 140W panels which had been recommended to me.

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Old 08-08-2018, 14:13   #10
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Re: SolarTech solar panels... any experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJH View Post
They are Kyocera 140W panels which had been recommended to me.

Damn. It seems for quality people recommend Kycocera and nothing else, but Kyocera doesn't make anything that will fit my limited installation space.


Thanks for the reply though.
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Old 09-08-2018, 19:04   #11
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Re: SolarTech solar panels... any experiences

The 85 watt SolarTech panel seems expensive, especially for a poly panel that is only 12.6% efficient.

I think you could do better.
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Old 09-08-2018, 20:50   #12
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Re: SolarTech solar panels... any experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
The 85 watt SolarTech panel seems expensive, especially for a poly panel that is only 12.6% efficient.

I think you could do better.
Agreed (although I do expect to pay slight premium for 24v)... was maybe hoping paying more would get me more known brand & support... now leaning toward SolarLand 85w 24v:
https://www.wholesalesolar.com/9433231/solarland/solar-panels/solarland-slp085-24u-silver-poly-solar-panel
... similar dimensions, heck probably same manufacturer just rebranded, better price... of course no legit reviews of SolarLand either... sigh...
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