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Old 15-06-2012, 14:34   #1
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Why is YOUR Solar Panel a Piece of Junk ?

A few of us here are trying to get a handle on QUALITY Solar Panels and so while we would like to hear about panels that have stood the test of time in saltwater conditions, we also realize that you can learn a lot from the horror stories as well.


So if you bought a lemon... if your solar panel is corroding away in front of your eyes... if the water is creeping in... if, after a few years, you have found yourself with an expensive sunshade... we would like to hear about it.


And you geeks out there, we love you but all of the comparison numbers, the formulas, the colorful graphs have all been presented and disputed on another thread so please, let's stay with the durability issue here. Thanks to everyone...


Bryan
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Old 15-06-2012, 15:11   #2
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Re: Why is YOUR Solar Panel a piece of junk?

I have two Shell solar panels, SQ 85P - 85 watts, made in USA
I have two BP solar panels,SX50M -50 Watts Made in China,

Combined with my Rutland 913 wind generator, I am totally self sufficient with power and they all do work perfectly,

Been on the boat for years, Dont know how long, but the PO used the boat as a floating office continously for 8 years before I got it,
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Old 17-06-2012, 14:16   #3
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Re: Why is YOUR Solar Panel a piece of junk?

Thanks Mr. B.
I think that's a couple of votes for Shell panels. Not quite sure from your post of the age of the panels. Would appreciate knowing...

Bryan
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Old 17-06-2012, 14:36   #4
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Re: Why is YOUR Solar Panel a piece of junk?

I have two Trina panels at 220W each. Only 2 years old but no signs of deterioration yet!
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Old 25-06-2012, 14:16   #5
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Re: Why is YOUR Solar Panel a piece of junk?

Sorry for the delay, jram...

What were your reasons for going with the Trina panels? Had you heard good things about them? Or was the pricing competitive? They are from China, right?
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Old 25-06-2012, 14:36   #6
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Re: Why is YOUR Solar Panel a piece of junk?

I've got a 15 year old Siemens 55 watt panel that is still going strong. I also have a 2 year old 80 watt Ramsond panel that has some discoloration across the cells, it looks like veins on a leaf, So far the power output is still in the 4-5 amp range at high noon, but I don't have high hopes for this one to last like the siemens panel has. Beyond the cells on the Ramsond though the frame and junction boxes are not the least bit bothered by the salt environment yet (and the cells are not damaged by salt or water, there is no evidence of moisture under the glass).
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Old 25-06-2012, 15:35   #7
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Re: Why is YOUR Solar Panel a piece of junk?

To be honest they were the right panel at the right price when I needed them. They're of German manufacture and have been great so far!
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Old 25-06-2012, 16:02   #8
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Re: Why is YOUR Solar Panel a piece of junk?

Why so negative about solar panels ? They are built to last at least 20 years ? And if the frame starts to fall apart, you can move the cells into a new frame.
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Old 25-06-2012, 16:43   #9
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Re: Why is YOUR Solar Panel a piece of junk?

We been cruising for almost two years with Kyocera four 135w and three 85 watt panels...

No problems all.
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Old 25-06-2012, 17:08   #10
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Re: Why is YOUR Solar Panel a piece of junk?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcripps View Post
Thanks Mr. B.
I think that's a couple of votes for Shell panels. Not quite sure from your post of the age of the panels. Would appreciate knowing...

Bryan
Two were original OEM, then two were added later.
all Have been on the boat for at least 5 years,
Not sure which were OEM,
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Old 25-06-2012, 17:21   #11
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Re: Why is YOUR Solar Panel a piece of junk?

Seems the OP has had a bad experience, the rest on here seem to find theirs lasting fine. I've only had mine on the boat for a year (3x 100w panels) but they still look like new with no signs of corrosion, etc.
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Old 25-06-2012, 17:56   #12
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My 185 panel, not sure of the builder, is now 11 years old n Cookin fine. Trying to stay totally off the grid with our brand new 900ah house bank, I plan to go to a pair of Sanyo 300w HIT panels. The return is much higher than most at 19%+. The cost is reasonable for the freedom. That, a 600w wind gen that comes in @4.5kts and a 190amp engine alternator on a Balmar regulator SHOULD do the trick.

My load under way with fridge, freezer, all nav n radar, auto pilot is around 18amps. The fridge n freezer only pull about 4 amps once they hit their setting. All n all pretty efficient.
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Old 25-06-2012, 18:01   #13
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Re: Why is YOUR Solar Panel a piece of junk?

I installed two SunPower 230 watt panels 3 years ago now and all is well.

Helped six other cruisers setup the same system on their boats and all those systems are working well.

Helped two cruisers setup systems with Sanyo 225 watt panels and those are working well also.
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Old 25-06-2012, 18:12   #14
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Re: Why is YOUR Solar Panel a piece of junk?

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Originally Posted by Cruising Moxy View Post
My 185 panel, not sure of the builder, is now 11 years old n Cookin fine. Trying to stay totally off the grid with our brand new 900ah house bank, I plan to go to a pair of Sanyo 300w HIT panels. The return is much higher than most at 19%+. The cost is reasonable for the freedom. That, a 600w wind gen that comes in @4.5kts and a 190amp engine alternator on a Balmar regulator SHOULD do the trick.

My load under way with fridge, freezer, all nav n radar, auto pilot is around 18amps. The fridge n freezer only pull about 4 amps once they hit their setting. All n all pretty efficient.
We also bought SANYO HIT but the biggest we could get was 220 watts. 3 pannels. Same reasons regarding the efficiency. Morning star MPPT controler. Waiting for frame & arches to install.
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Old 25-06-2012, 18:47   #15
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I found some Sanyos at 300 but have lost the site. I'm not quite ready for them yet so I'll continue the hunt. I only have room for 2 panels so I want all I can get.
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