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Old 07-06-2010, 06:08   #1
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What Type of Solar Panel Should i Purchase ?

Good Morning!

My genset (Fischer Panda, 220 V, 50Hz) is giving me sufficient headaches to concider purchase of solar panels on my 40ft Sailing Cat.

I am trying to understand the varios types of panels currently on the market (poly chrystal, mono, thin film... etc etc) and through the trees i cant see the wood anymore.

So, i turn to this esteemed forum for help.
Pls concider the following:
* My consumption is aprox 100 ampH/day
* I am in Brazil (and here we are using 4,5 hours sunlight/day average)
* I am concidering to purchase 4 panels (brand: Mitsubishi, 70 Wp) which should give me just over 100 AmpH/day.

I understand that changing from fossile fuel electricity generation to solar power on a AmpH basis probably is not the cheapest way, but especialy over here in Brazil, it seems the right thing to do.

I would appreciate any comments and or conciderations of the above.
Best rgds to all,

Pieter Kommerij
SV Onda Boa - Angra dos Reis - Brazil
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Old 07-06-2010, 06:24   #2
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go for it! for 100 amps/day youll need to make 20 amps from the panels at full output, so figure atleast 300 watts of solar panels...

i dont think it matters what kind of panel you get, as long as they work you will be very happy with them (but isnt that true about everything)
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Old 07-06-2010, 06:43   #3
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My recommendation would be for rigid, mono or poly-crystal cells--not the cheapest, but more compact and longer lasting than other types. Open circuit voltage should be about 18 volts for direct connection to 12v batteries, but you can use other types with an MPPT regulator, which will also improve efficiency. If you want to generate an average of 100 amp-hrs/day, you will probably need on the order of 4-500 watts worth of panels.
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Old 07-06-2010, 06:54   #4
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We have 2 x 120 watt Monocyrystaline pannela and they are sensational!!!!!

I wouldnt get smaller and if I was wanting 100amps/day I would get an extra.

You don't say where you are in Barzil, but if you are in the north even think cloud cover will get you more electricity that you can believe


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Old 07-06-2010, 07:49   #5
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We've got two 130-watt Kyocera rigid panels with an MPPT charger and they keep up with the frig and other needs--close to 100 ah's a day, I'd wager. We had two 150's on the old boat, and they kept everything topped up nicely with over 100 amp hour days. Pressuredrop is right on with the 300 watt system to get your amps. More is better!

Another thing to consider is that some manufacturers --Sharp comes to mind--specifically void their warranty if the product is used with a marine application. I would highly recommend the Kyoceras, and I know they have a presence in Brasil.
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Old 07-06-2010, 07:59   #6
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Here's a couple of vendor websites that have some great info. I realize that you're in Brasil, but the Arizona Sun & Wind folks are great and will do email "chats" to help you figure out the system. Nice people.

Solar Electric Systems

Kyocera KD-185-GX-LPU $2.48/Watt 180 Watt Solar Panel
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:06   #7
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We had good luck with two 130-watt Kyocera rigid panels with an MPPT controller on our previous boat. Bad luck with a Panda generator on an older boat. Solar is a good option and if you have the room the more panels the better IMHO.
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:59   #8
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Hi Pieter,
I'm on a similar journey, looking for the right panels. My boat is quite power hungry so I'm looking at a minimum of 200 ah/day. I found these panels Thousand Suns - Solar Panels - MCS approved 185 watts Monocrystaline solar panel and wonder what the list thinks of them? I'd need at least 4, though I have space for 6 or more.

A question for the list, if there is a long cable run to the batteries from the controller, will that be a problem?

P.
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:39   #9
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Fishwife: The specs on that Thousand Suns module look pretty good for the price. I'm not sure who actually manufactures their cells. An important point: check the warranty (20 years at >80% output is typical), and make sure your supplier will honour the warranty if the panel is used at sea.

At the moment, I'd lean towards recommending medium to high efficiency monocrystal cells (or some of the better polycrystal ones) in hefty, well-sealed modules for marine use. (The last solar car I worked on had Sunpower A300s, great cells and I'd use them again in a heartbeat). With space at a premium, the cost-per-watt advantage of cheaper panels is not nearly as big an advantage as it would be if you had unlimited roof/yard space.
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Old 07-06-2010, 16:28   #10
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Solar Panels

Good evening,

I would like to thank all of you with yr valuable comments.
As it seems, i will decide for 3 panels 130Wp (Kyocera). I will make sure to have enough space that if need be i can easily add another without too much hassle.

Now, i have to find a good mppt charger, and again, i would like to hear from the forum, what are the opinions (brands, types etc etc).

Thanks and very best rgds
Pieter Kommerij
SV Onda Boa - Angra dos Reis - Brazil
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Old 07-06-2010, 22:27   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pieter View Post
, i will decide for 3 panels 130Wp (Kyocera).
good choice. I don't think you can go wrng with them. I think the prices are dropping quickly too. We certainly couldn't afford Kyocera when we bought ours, however I think they are now more affordable
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Old 09-06-2010, 18:15   #12
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"An important point: check the warranty "
I'd also consider that "TwoGuysFromChina" may offer a great warranty, but might not be around to service it. While an established firm like Kyocera is more likely to be here.
OTOH I read elsewhere that Kyocera have chosen to drop out of the retail solar panel market entirely, concentrating on industrial/commerical orders that deal in thousands of panels at once.
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Old 09-06-2010, 19:51   #13
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we're happy with a pair of 130-watt Sunsei panels. Pricey, but truly "marine grade." And the most aesthetically pleasing panels we looked at, which on our boat was an important consideration.
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Old 10-06-2010, 06:20   #14
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I was looking at getting two Sanyo HIT 215-Watt panels for the "xtra juice." They fit the place I have to mount them perfectly. Their warranty has an exception that reads it is invalid if panels are taken 500 meters from the coast! Anyone have any experience with the Sanyo panels?
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Old 10-06-2010, 06:33   #15
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my panel is the sunelectric 130 "house brand" panel, made in china... i ask them if it is warrantied for marine use, they said, yes, for 20 years, no i dont have it in writing, but theyve been around for 20 years and i think theyll be here for 20 more... and i paid $1.98 per watt...

check out Solar Panels - Sunelec : Solar Panels $1/W, PV Systems $2/W, you will not find panels cheaper anywhere. no affiliation, nothing but a satisfied customer
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