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Old 21-08-2019, 12:27   #16
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Re: Where to buy 300W+ solar panels in Florida?

shameless plug for santansolar.com


I just bought two Sunpower X20 250W for $90 each. The catch? These originally came with DC-AC inverters to be connected directly to 120VAC. These inverters were a booboo and the panels recalled, sold to fabtech=santansolar. The panels have a big sticker on the back that all liability is with fabtech. santansolar removed the inverters and put MC4 connectors on the end of the (short) DC cables. You can find the panels on their home page, ebay and craigslist.



The panels came as promised with a couple scratches in the anodized frame, but function perfectly!


They also have the SPR-X21-335W for $120 if you have the space.


They let you test the panels in midday sun if you pick up personally in Gilbert (Phoenix), Arizona.



Hope this also helps some cruisers finding Sunpower panels in the US...


Dirk
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Old 21-08-2019, 13:58   #17
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Re: Where to buy 300W+ solar panels in Florida?

I got LG panels from E-marine in Ft Lauderdale and have been really happy with them. The catch is there's no warranty for mobile installations. I priced SunPower panels and they were really good and really pricey. I could replace the LG panels three times for the price of a SunPower, but they did warranty a mobile installation. I had only 65 inches of space on my hard top and all brands but LG and SunPower had only 76 inch panels for anything over 300 watts.



Watch out for the for the Morningstar Tristar MPPT controllers. They have a feature called float skip which is supposed to help the batteries recover from a deep discharge by never going into float the next day but staying at absorption voltage as long as it can. The default trigger for this feature is supposed to be 11.5v, but all of the preprogrammed configurations on mine had the setting programmed for 12.5v. This was not an issue when I installed them in late December, but by the first of April my batteries were toast from overcharging. There is another problem that happens when you are plugged into shore power. The controller senses night when there is no output from the solar panels and even if the batteries are on float from a charger it will start another charge cycle forcing the batteries to absorption voltage for whatever their state of charge. The only way I found around this was to create a custom charging profile for when I'm plugged in that has absorption set to the same voltage as the float voltage. I don't know what the charging profiles are for their lower end controllers but you would think they would have better profiles and programming in their flagship line. My recommendation is to get the LG panels but find another controller brand.
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Old 21-08-2019, 16:38   #18
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Re: Where to buy 300W+ solar panels in Florida?

Amazon and with prime it will be there in two days for free..
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Old 21-08-2019, 16:48   #19
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Re: Where to buy 300W+ solar panels in Florida?

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Originally Posted by ohgary View Post
Amazon and with prime it will be there in two days for free..
Jedi is looking for panels 300W and up. I can't find a solar panel on Amazon with Prime larger than 100W. Got a link for what you found?
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Old 21-08-2019, 17:30   #20
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Re: Where to buy 300W+ solar panels in Florida?

I have LG panels on my roof--they seem to be OK--but on a vessel I would be using smaller ones if I was in a hurricane area, because when closing up for a storm, these have to be taken below decks--and a 300 watt panel is a BIG mother.

I used 100 watt panels mounted in rails of 10mm aluminuim angle, bolted together using stainless 316 bolts and washers with self-locking nuts of the same. The small area of alloy between each panel is peanuts--and the wiring runs along in an openable conduit mounted beneath the frame and fastened to it using the black UV resistant zip ties farmers use to fasten electric fences. Dismantling it (I left the frames in place--they do not stop enough wind to dislodge them) took only the time it took to unplug the Anderson plugs I fitted, undo the over-centre adjustable latches, and stow the panels below decks.\
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Old 21-08-2019, 18:29   #21
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Re: Where to buy 300W+ solar panels in Florida?

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Originally Posted by LeaseOnLife View Post
Jedi is looking for panels 300W and up. I can't find a solar panel on Amazon with Prime larger than 100W. Got a link for what you found?
If you search 300w solar panel, several 300watt options come up.

I purchased the Renogy 300w 24v from Amazon and am very happy with the purchase.
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Old 21-08-2019, 18:33   #22
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Re: Where to buy 300W+ solar panels in Florida?

I purchased 4 295W Canadian solar panels a couple of years ago that work just fine. Suggest that you strongly consider higher Vmpt panels over lower Vmpt to enjoy the benefits of lighter gage wiring. I found my source using Google. Other search engines most likely will work just as well
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Old 21-08-2019, 19:45   #23
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Re: Where to buy 300W+ solar panels in Florida?

All boats are limited in space to put panels, thus you want the highest density panels available.
Sunpower
LG Neon R
Everyone else

https://www.solaris-shop.com/brands/LG-Solar.html

Look at the LG Neon R. Not the Neon or Neon 2. Get the Neon R panels. Only thing better is Sunpower but at a much higher cost IIRC. The NeonR 350's are a good deal right now. We have 4 of the 360s. I've seen over 420 watts out of each of them at times. They routinely exceed their rating.

Shipping is on truck, flat rate $150. Order the good Staubli MC4 connectors while you are at it.
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Old 21-08-2019, 20:03   #24
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Re: Where to buy 300W+ solar panels in Florida?

Yes to e-Marine. I used them 3 years ago and they were very knowledgeable and competitive.
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Old 22-08-2019, 01:53   #25
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Re: Where to buy 300W+ solar panels in Florida?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Banks View Post
I have LG panels on my roof--they seem to be OK--but on a vessel I would be using smaller ones if I was in a hurricane area, because when closing up for a storm, these have to be taken below decks--and a 300 watt panel is a BIG mother.
I thought about that when buying the four 327w Sunpower as we live in the Typhoon prone Philippines.
Then I realized that as the panels are rated at 245kg/sqm (2400 Pa) wind load, the key issue was more to do.withClick image for larger version

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Gone thru about 3 typhoons without any issue as each panel frame is mounted inside a 4mm alloy frame and bolted down with 8 insulated fasteners to a heavy duty stainless Bimini rack

Probably overkill, but the large panels offer higher voltage for simpler wiringClick image for larger version

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