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Old 04-02-2018, 10:32   #1
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Thoughts on REC Solar panels???

HI

I'm about to fit my 44' lancer motorsailor with a solar system and would like y'alls (yes, that IS a word here in the American South) input on these panels. I was originally looking at Kyocera 265w panels, but Kyoceras are suddenly unavailable - possibly because of Trumps recent 30% tariff announcement. Anyway, I have a 12v system and will have 900-1000 Ah of storage. What I would be looking at here is 3 of these 290w panels, each through its own victron 100/30 controller.

the Panels are made by REC and the specs are as follows:
Vmp 32.1 VDC
Imp 9.05 A
Voc 38.8 VDC
Isc 9.58 A

They are priced at $195 ea.

I would just like to make sure that I'm not about to waste $600 on useless panels.
AND
These are not marketed as "MARINE" panels and I'm wondering if there is any real difference (other than price) between so-called "marine" panels and non-marine.

TIA
Gary in Arkansas

P.S.: here's a link if you need more info http://www.solarhome.org/recrec290tp...lackframe.aspx
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Old 04-02-2018, 11:56   #2
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Re: Thoughts on REC Solar panels???

Gary-
Kyocera do have a name and reputation. Who the heck is Rec? Dunno.

Very few panels carry ANY warranty for "marine" and "vehicle" installation. In the fine print, most warranties are voided if the panels are installed on any moving vehicle, or for marine use. So panels with a warranty, or at least from a known reputable vendor, may be worth finding.

A "marine" grade panel will have different and better sealing and bonding all the way through, in theory.
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Old 04-02-2018, 12:11   #3
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Re: Thoughts on REC Solar panels???

No idea about that brand name! However..

Our boat has 300W of Renogy panels that have surpased their output rating almost daily in our last 2 years of cruising. They are definately NOT marine grade.

We also have 300W of "el cheapo" strange brand panels we bought from Amazon. They also surpase their rated output often.

In fact the Renogy and cheapo panel almost look identicle in construction. I'm guessing they are made in the same factory, or are at least a copied design. At the price you quoted, I don't think you can really go wrong.

As to the MPPT controllers.. We have 2 victron 100/30s aboard and they are FANTASTIC controllers (we also have a 75/15). However, I'm a little turned off by the costs of the accessories (Bluetooth module, remote display, ect). Because of that high price, I actually did a DIY of a remote display with an Arduino and LCD. I will be doing a blog soon with info and source code if you are interested.
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Old 04-02-2018, 12:24   #4
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Re: Thoughts on REC Solar panels???

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Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
I will be doing a blog soon with info and source code if you are interested.
Idk about the OP, but I am most definitely interested.
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Old 04-02-2018, 12:42   #5
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Re: Thoughts on REC Solar panels???

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Gary-
Kyocera do have a name and reputation. Who the heck is Rec? Dunno.

Very few panels carry ANY warranty for "marine" and "vehicle" installation. In the fine print, most warranties are voided if the panels are installed on any moving vehicle, or for marine use. So panels with a warranty, or at least from a known reputable vendor, may be worth finding.

A "marine" grade panel will have different and better sealing and bonding all the way through, in theory.
REC seems to be mostly European manufacturer that is seeing a growing market in the U.S. From what I read, their panels get good reviews although they may not be the most efficient. Their website is https://www.recgroup.com/en

Also, their warranty makes no mention of marine installations.

I would have preferred the Kyocera panels but good luck finding any. They seem to be off the market and I cant find any published reason.
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Old 05-02-2018, 00:15   #6
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Re: Thoughts on REC Solar panels???

Yep REC are widely available in Germany, but All the panels I've seen have polycrystaline not mono.

Not a whole lot cheaper than Benq panels which are 20% efficient or LG Neon R panels which are 21.1% efficient
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Old 05-02-2018, 22:02   #7
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Re: Thoughts on REC Solar panels???

One thing worth remembering before you spend a lot of money on expensive panels with 20 year guarantees - you will be pleased to have an excuse to dump whatever you buy now in five years time. New panels then will produce much more electricity for the same area and probably be much cheaper.
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Old 05-02-2018, 23:42   #8
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Re: Thoughts on REC Solar panels???

REC is well known in Europe and is one of the best solar manufacturers . But as all the mainstream manufacturer for home and commercial solar plants doens't have any cert. for Marine use (it's not their core business). The only thing that I suggest you is to check in their warranty policy if that cover the marine or vehicle use. But in terms of quality is good as Kyocera (even better in my experience with big commercial plants)
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Old 06-02-2018, 04:28   #9
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Re: Thoughts on REC Solar panels???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Velanera View Post
... check in their warranty policy if that cover the marine or vehicle use. But in terms of quality is good as Kyocera (even better in my experience with big commercial plants)
Kyocera does NOT warrant:
“... h) defects and/or failures caused by use on a mobile unit including, but not limited to, vehicles, vessels and any other such mobile unit;”
http://www.kyocerasolar.com/pdf/warranty.pdf
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:33   #10
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Re: Thoughts on REC Solar panels???

So I guess my recent quote for 3 installed SunPower panels, 360W each, for $6,000 really ISN'T a good deal??

I didn't think so, that's why the vendor still has them sitting on his shelf.
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:37   #11
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Re: Thoughts on REC Solar panels???

Wow. Three LG Neon R 365w panels, second only to sunpower in terms of efficiency would be around €1300
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Old 07-02-2018, 19:53   #12
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Re: Thoughts on REC Solar panels???

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Kyocera does NOT warrant:
“... h) defects and/or failures caused by use on a mobile unit including, but not limited to, vehicles, vessels and any other such mobile unit;”
http://www.kyocerasolar.com/pdf/warranty.pdf
yes.. I never said thay kyocera does.. as I said few times in this forum the main producers of solar rigid panels doesn't allow marine use because they don't care to spend money on marine test. It's not their core business.
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