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Old 21-08-2013, 16:40   #1
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Which Kyocera panel?

Hello!

I've heard many good things about Kyocera and decided to go with them.

Kyocera KD140SX-UFBS 140-watt solar module

I currently live in Seattle so not much sun but will be headed off to mexico in a year.

I'm looking at getting 2 of these panels but want to get your feedback before I purchase.

Thoughts?


Thanks!
-Jared
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Old 21-08-2013, 17:13   #2
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Re: Which Kyocera panel?

Mine is still producing the same output as the first day, the Aluminium frame still looking good, i pay attention when i installed about disimilar metals, the cells also looking good, no discoloration , i will rate this panels hig in the score, good quality... just take care with ss screws in the frames, i use plastic washers...
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Old 21-08-2013, 19:34   #3
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Re: Which Kyocera panel?

We use Kyocera solar panels and are quite pleased with them. Tough units.

Have you considered the 245 watt size? Only about 50 bucks more than the 140 watt unit. So, two of them... I know real estate is an issue on boats, but...

Reason I ask: We installed 4 X 85 watt panels. Since the inboard genset died we've relied on those panels plus an Air Breeze turbine to run our boat for, oh, years now without dock power. Only concession is NOT using the built in 120 volt AC fridge and freezer but instead a smaller Engel 12 VDC unit. Understand, we do fine with that but if we had more watts up there on the stern arch we could run that big old freezer! Or at least the fridge side for beer...

It's a case of if-I-knew-then-what-I-know-now, I'd have installed more wattage to begin with. But at least with a Morningstar MPPT 60 controller down below, we've capability to expand the solar array - when funds allow.

Just saying....
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Old 21-08-2013, 19:43   #4
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Re: Which Kyocera panel?

With solar you want to do it right the first time, so go big or go home.
I would go with the 245 watt panels
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Old 21-08-2013, 19:47   #5
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Re: Which Kyocera panel?

I would go with the new 'black' monocrystalines. Something like 22% efficient or thereabout. Not bad.

b.
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Old 21-08-2013, 19:47   #6
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Re: Which Kyocera panel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by svmariane View Post
It's a case of if-I-knew-then-what-I-know-now, I'd have installed more wattage to begin with.
Spot on there...and that said, why not think about SunPower panels? Kyocera are indeed good panels, but at 140W per sq m they should be compared to ~50% more wattage with SunPower's 200W per sq m for the same, precious real estate on the vessel. SunPower also rate very highly in non-lab (low sun, high heat and overcast) conditions which, in our experience, are just as important as the 'official' lab-rated outputs, especially on a vessel.

We installed 2 x SunPower E20's (327W@) and, after a few thousand sea miles with them, we are constantly amazed by their output.

Click image for larger version

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Just saying...
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Old 21-08-2013, 20:06   #7
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Re: Which Kyocera panel?

I am also interested in these panels. Has anyone mounted the larger panels on the stern rails?
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Old 21-08-2013, 20:18   #8
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Re: Which Kyocera panel?

the e20 panel look nicer than the Kyocera. I can't find any prices on then anywhere though? What do they run?

thanks
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Old 21-08-2013, 20:49   #9
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Re: Which Kyocera panel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jared1048 View Post
the e20 panel look nicer than the Kyocera. I can't find any prices on then anywhere though? What do they run?

thanks
jared
Our (Australian) listing for the E20's is the link below FYI, but it seems highly unlikely it would be worthwhile to ship them from OZ to Washington! The SunPower USA website (Solar Panels, Photovoltaic Systems, Solar Solutions for Home, Business & Utility-Scale — SunPower) suggests 3 SunPower Dealers around Seattle/Olympia...or you can enter your own Zip to find another Dealer elsewhere? Anyway, our link is...

SunPower E20 327W Panel, Floating Impressions

...or perhaps we could grab this as an excuse to visit relatives who live in Seattle!
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Old 21-08-2013, 21:12   #10
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Re: Which Kyocera panel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zboss View Post
I am also interested in these panels. Has anyone mounted the larger panels on the stern rails?
The larger ones? No. But I tried it with a couple of my 85W units and wasn't happy at all. Convinced me to install a rear arch.

First, it's a pain in the.... I'm assuming you mean the mountings where they flip up when in use? If so...

Can't leave the leeward unit(s) extended when underway for fear of a wave or broach ripping them off. That cuts down on the free power they were intended to provide.

And dockside? The one(s) next to the pier or finger slip gets in people's way and you'll have to field the complaints. They do, however, act as great dock-pole catchers when/if the landing goes a bit awry.

A cruiser I met in the Marquesas says he ripped one right off the boat when he first tried to fly his chute after installing panels on the rails near the aft. ("Forgot" his chute sheet blocks were mounted right in the stern quarter.)

IMHO: You'd better think twice about mounting them on the rails!

EDIT: OH, HECK! You said the STERN rails! My bad. Wouldn't they get in the way of a self-steering system? Dinghy davits? Make you pay for a longer slip?
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Old 21-08-2013, 21:52   #11
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Re: Which Kyocera panel?

i installed a kyocera 135 a few years ago and haven't touched it since. i've got it in my plans to put on a second one. i've found that, for my level of battery use, i need to run the honda generator or the engine about every three of four days. with two i might never have to run them.

i added a pipe structure to the stern pulpit as a mount for the panel. see photos.
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Old 22-08-2013, 14:34   #12
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Re: Which Kyocera panel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by D&D View Post
Our (Australian) listing for the E20's is the link below FYI, but it seems highly unlikely it would be worthwhile to ship them from OZ to Washington! The SunPower USA website (Solar Panels, Photovoltaic Systems, Solar Solutions for Home, Business & Utility-Scale — SunPower) suggests 3 SunPower Dealers around Seattle/Olympia...or you can enter your own Zip to find another Dealer elsewhere? Anyway, our link is...

SunPower E20 327W Panel, Floating Impressions

...or perhaps we could grab this as an excuse to visit relatives who live in Seattle!


I've contacted a local seattle shop for prices. Thanks.

I'm working with a local bimini maker to help design a solar panel mount where a bimini would be. The panel is big enought to act as one and will add the actual canvas later If i feel its necessary.

I like those panel mounts that allow it to be adjusted towards the sun. Is there a place to buy those or they all custom one offs?

Thanks!
-Jared
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Old 22-08-2013, 14:40   #13
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Re: Which Kyocera panel?

From another thread. Looks like I wont be able to use SunPower...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
In the USA Sun Power will only sell to certified Sun Power installers and they only sell them as a complete system for on-grid use. This is not just a solar certified installer but you must be a Sun Power certified installer/dealer. They also use a positive ground system and there are very few controllers out there for positive ground panels and this is why they like to sell their system only.

I have tried to get my hands on Sun Power panels numerous times. If you can, via eBay or a Sun Power installer who is willing to sell you one, they will be considered gray market and won't have any warranty. Their certified installers are not allowed to re-sell Sun Power panels for off grid or marine use in the US. I have personally spoken with three or four legitimate Sun Power dealers and none are willing to sell me panels even at volumes of 10+ at a time. You might find a non-legit guy who will bend the rules but you will need to rely on him for warranty. Outside the US Sun Power does business a little differently but shipping back to the US is god awful expensive and you'd still have zero warranty.

I think Sun Power sells themselves short on this but it is what it is. Some other brands do use their cells.... Solbian uses Sun Power cells in some of their panels and they are available and do not utilize a positive ground.
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Old 22-08-2013, 15:18   #14
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Re: Which Kyocera panel?

[update]

Just got off phone with local dealer and they confirmed that they will not sell to me since I'm not a residential install. Looks like they are doing so well that they are just turning away business. Oh, well. There panels must not be good enough for a marine install.

So we have come full circle to 2 Kyocera 140 watt panels.
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Old 22-08-2013, 21:42   #15
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Re: Which Kyocera panel?

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Originally Posted by jared1048 View Post
[update]

Just got off phone with local dealer and they confirmed that they will not sell to me since I'm not a residential install. Looks like they are doing so well that they are just turning away business. Oh, well. There panels must not be good enough for a marine install.

So we have come full circle to 2 Kyocera 140 watt panels.
Oh well indeed, especially given that wattage per sq m and output in less-than optimal conditions are the two most important issues for any marine installation...and SunPower leads comfortably on both issues.

Our own experience and the solar-powered global circumnavigation by Turanor Planetsolar (powered only by SunPower solar panels) also confirm SunPower panels are definitely good enough for marine installations.

We're not sure what's happening with some of the SunPower USA Partners, but SunPower Australia is certainly happy to support marine installations. We will make some corporate-level enquiries to try to find out more about the US situation.

In any event, we wish you the best with your installation!
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