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Old 07-09-2016, 07:03   #61
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Re: Solbian Solar Panels

My 50W panels from china are going on 3 years. They still perform as expected, but the clear coating is starting to delaminate. They have been on my bimini top the entire time so now they have hardened and permanently curved to the shape of the bimini. I'll continue to use them until they die. As an alternative, I have been watching the new ETFE coated Chinese panels hit the market around the same price as the old version. Google GreeSonic ETFE.
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Old 07-09-2016, 09:06   #62
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Re: Solbian Solar Panels

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Originally Posted by GoingWalkabout View Post
The following is from the results of my research. I have nothing to with the company and I'm not a vendor. There could be better deals out there. It certainly pays to shop around.

From what I've learned it looks like SunPower are selling their cells in bulk to Chinese fabricators who then manufacture end solar panel products.

There are also new thin film cells 1.55mm thick out there and new even thinner and tougher than silicon materials being worked. I seriously don't think the time is far off where we will see affordable solar cells on sails themselves.

The website this came from is:

300w/36v Monocrystalline Flexible Thin Film Solar Panels Light Weight, Ultra Thin 3mm Thickness. Waterproof Junction Box With Diodes Industrial Solar Panels Installation Of Solar Panels From Flexsolar, $441.51| Dhgate.Com

300W Semi flexible panel

panels light weight, ultra thin 3mm thickness. waterproof junction box with diodes

US $441.51 - 489.29 / Piece
Min.Order: 3 Pieces




Flexible Solar Panel 300W /36V

Our flexible solar panel range boast one of the highest efficiency cells in the World from the USA with efficiency levels up to 21.5%, meaning higher power generation of between 25-30% more than conventional PV modules of the same size. The high performance monocrystalline cells are encapsulated between EVA & TPT giving excellent durability under harsh outdoor conditions. Thin, light and when fitted to the roof of a caravan or motor home very aerodynamic. Light weight design combined with high efficiency cells and solar panel flexibility makes our latest Solar Curve range also perfect for marine use and many more applications where a rigid framed solar panel is not an option.
Features
· Ultra flexible(up to 60%) ,ultra lightweight
· Coated surface which can be walked on in deck shoes.
· Highly efficient sunpower "back contact"cell
· Can be conveniently placed on curved solid surfaces
· Fastening points to fix it everywhere
· Low voltage-temperature coefficient allows higher power output at high-temperature condition
Specifications
·Max Power Pmax: 300W
·Maximum power current ( Ipm): 5.5A
·Maximum power voltage(Vpm):55V
·Short circuit current(Isc): 6A
·Open circuit voltage(Voc): 66V
·C-Eff: 20.5%
Size: 1850mm x 920mm x 3mm
Weight: 6.8kg
I think you are asking for problems mounting these big flex panels on sailboats. They need a lot of mechanical support and from my experience overall quality isn't that great. It's better to use 2 smaller panels. Less stress on the panels from the mounts and a fall back if one panel fails.
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Old 07-09-2016, 09:33   #63
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Re: Solbian Solar Panels

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Originally Posted by jseas View Post
My 50W panels from china are going on 3 years. They still perform as expected, but the clear coating is starting to delaminate. They have been on my bimini top the entire time so now they have hardened and permanently curved to the shape of the bimini. I'll continue to use them until they die. As an alternative, I have been watching the new ETFE coated Chinese panels hit the market around the same price as the old version. Google GreeSonic ETFE.
Very useful information. With the much lower price one could almost look at the new panels as almost disposable after a few years. Also I believe the Chinese made products have improved their products greatly.

Who knows what improvements we will have in another 3 to 4 years. I would much rather have a lower price high power solution now and look at upgrading with the latest tech panels in a few years. Kind of like what I now do with my phone. One thing is for sure with the number of manufacturers now involved in solar panel production the commercial competition will drive forward even more rapidly greater innovation. IMHO
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Old 07-09-2016, 10:09   #64
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Re: Solbian Solar Panels

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Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
I think you are asking for problems mounting these big flex panels on sailboats. They need a lot of mechanical support and from my experience overall quality isn't that great. It's better to use 2 smaller panels. Less stress on the panels from the mounts and a fall back if one panel fails.
I'm looking for flex on the cabin roof of a cat. Still not sure about the panels on the stern extending from the cabin roof over the Davis. I think a light plastic sheet material from Home Depot will be a good reinforcement and still be lighter than the aluminum frames.

The Chinese seem to be mostly quoting their panels in $ per W.

On average the $ per W for flexible is running between 0.70c and $1.00

The cost for rigid in a frame is averaging between 0.40c and 0.50c per Wat
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Old 07-09-2016, 10:13   #65
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Re: Solbian Solar Panels

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Originally Posted by GoingWalkabout View Post
I'm looking for flex on the cabin roof of a cat. Still not sure about the panels on the stern extending from the cabin roof over the Davis. I think a light plastic sheet material from Home Depot will be a good reinforcement and still be lighter than the aluminum frames.

The Chinese seem to be mostly quoting their panels in $ per W.

On average the $ per W for flexible is running between 0.70c and $1.00

The cost for rigid in a frame is averaging between 0.40c and 0.50c per Wat
Exactly, using multiple smaller panels doesn't cost much more and gives you more flexibility and shadow tolerance.
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Old 07-09-2016, 10:22   #66
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Re: Solbian Solar Panels

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Originally Posted by jseas View Post
My 50W panels from china are going on 3 years. They still perform as expected, but the clear coating is starting to delaminate. They have been on my bimini top the entire time so now they have hardened and permanently curved to the shape of the bimini. I'll continue to use them until they die. As an alternative, I have been watching the new ETFE coated Chinese panels hit the market around the same price as the old version. Google GreeSonic ETFE.
Looks like they have ETFE coating with either aluminum or fiber backed availablehttps://www.aliexpress.com/item/MXSO...9-5c2e04fd0e21
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Old 07-09-2016, 11:03   #67
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Re: Solbian Solar Panels

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With the much lower price one could almost look at the new panels as almost disposable after a few years.

Agreed... I think I'll be going with two 100W panels from China pretty soon, attached to the top of my bimini with grommets.

A couple questions, though... on my last boat I connected 4 panels of various sizes with backflow diodes on each and ran them through the same Genasun Controller. But in people's installation pictures now I generally see a different controller for each panel. Is that a big advantage?

Also, at one point I shorted the circuit momentarily while plugging something in and killed the controller. Is there a way to protect the controller or is it always extremely vulnerable to shorts?

Last, does anyone feel the need to wire a cutoff switch for the entire solar setup, or do people just leave it connected to the battery at all times?
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Old 07-09-2016, 12:49   #68
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Re: Solbian Solar Panels

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Originally Posted by OrangeCrush View Post
Agreed... I think I'll be going with two 100W panels from China pretty soon, attached to the top of my bimini with grommets.

A couple questions, though... on my last boat I connected 4 panels of various sizes with backflow diodes on each and ran them through the same Genasun Controller. But in people's installation pictures now I generally see a different controller for each panel. Is that a big advantage?

Also, at one point I shorted the circuit momentarily while plugging something in and killed the controller. Is there a way to protect the controller or is it always extremely vulnerable to shorts?

Last, does anyone feel the need to wire a cutoff switch for the entire solar setup, or do people just leave it connected to the battery at all times?
On your last question a good MPPT set with an auto cut off and auto on. I'm still undecided if a master cut off switch is necessary. Particularly if I leave the boat for any length of time.

The switches and fuses depend greatly on what battery bank you are using. LifePO4 batteries require MPPT devices as well as other circuit and power management protection.

As far as the controller in each pannels I believe this helps greatly in shading. Which raises the whole issue of how you wire your pannels. In series or parallel. Or for your cabin top under the boom each side wired separately in series. I also understand that monocrystalline performs better than polycrystalline in respect of shading.

Love to hear from others in this.
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Old 07-09-2016, 13:12   #69
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Re: Solbian Solar Panels

I installed a breaker between the battery and the controller. Allows you to turnoff charging, say to get a better handle batt voltage. It also protects on a short that overloads the batt to controller wires.
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Old 08-09-2016, 22:35   #70
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Re: Solbian Solar Panels

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I installed a breaker between the battery and the controller. Allows you to turnoff charging, say to get a better handle batt voltage. It also protects on a short that overloads the batt to controller wires.
It would be interesting to have a thread where BO put up schematic drawings of their solar panel and electrical battery system. Pretty easy to do. Hand draw on a piece of paper, photograph it with your mobile and then post as a pic on the thread. Just a thought.

Chaya
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Old 18-09-2016, 19:31   #71
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Re: Solbian Solar Panels

If it seems that cheaper panels seem like a good idea, how highly do people rate a reputable name brand MPPT controller? This $360 bundle on aliexpress is hard to beat for two 100w panels and a controller.

If people think a better controller (or two) is needed then which one is the best value?

Also, what is or how important is ETFE?

Thanks
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Old 18-09-2016, 21:18   #72
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Re: Solbian Solar Panels

I am generally a proponent of Chinese panels if you can get them cheap... BUT the one thing I think you will find is that the Chinese panels come with very poorly made MC4 connectors. The don't make great connections, the wires are small, and they are not completely waterproof - so they let the weather get to the wiring inside. Worse yet, good luck finding exact match connectors in the future.

Sure, a kit may come with 2 extra but when you need to change wires out good luck finding matches.

FYI - I bought some extra MC4 connectors from Coastal Climate control and they are much higher quality than the ones I bought in bulk from Amazon.
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Old 19-09-2016, 10:14   #73
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Re: Solbian Solar Panels

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Originally Posted by OrangeCrush View Post
If it seems that cheaper panels seem like a good idea, how highly do people rate a reputable name brand MPPT controller? This $360 bundle on aliexpress is hard to beat for two 100w panels and a controller.

If people think a better controller (or two) is needed then which one is the best value?

Also, what is or how important is ETFE?

Thanks
Here's what DuPont says about ETFE
https://www.chemours.com/Teflon_Indu...o_compare.html

The controller in the package you referenced is pretty low end. You can buy them on Amazon for us$20. I installed one in a friend's RV a few months ago. It may have already failed. I'll check it out when they get back from their trip.

One thing nice about the cheap Aliexpress flex panel vendors is that they will make you a custom configuration that might fit your installation area better. I just ordered 2 ETFE flex panels in a 5 column by 8 cell configuration, 120 watts.
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Old 20-09-2016, 09:12   #74
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Re: Solbian Solar Panels

I know little about solar panels but I wonder how these cheap panels can be a bit smaller than the Solbian SP100 and a lot smaller than the Solbian SL90L.

Too good to be true or a different way of defining output?
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Old 20-09-2016, 10:16   #75
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Re: Solbian Solar Panels

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I know little about solar panels but I wonder how these cheap panels can be a bit smaller than the Solbian SP100 and a lot smaller than the Solbian SL90L.

Too good to be true or a different way of defining output?
I just checked the listed sizing for the Solbian sp100 1109x546mm vs the Mxsolar on Aliexpress 100watt 1100 x560mm. Essentially the same. I don't see a 90l Solbian listed at the US distributor.
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