Solar Panel

Submitted: Friday, Jul 12, 2013 at 21:14
ThreadID: 103220 Views:2539 Replies:3 FollowUps:5
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Hi,
I have bought a 140 watt folding solar panel on ebay at $195 delivered. It is well made, well almost, and performs as per spec. The reason I said "almost" is that there was an assembly problem with one of the connectors but 30 min with a multimeter soon had it fixed.
A bit of heavier stitching on the very good, well padded carry bag was needed also but now all is well.
Seems like a good purchase even if it only ends up at 120 watts.
It was sold by ozplaza with delivery in about 4 -5 days and was very well packaged.
No affilliation.........
Ian
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Reply By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Saturday, Jul 13, 2013 at 08:24

Saturday, Jul 13, 2013 at 08:24
I have one of these as well. Just come back from 2 1/2 months on road up north where it got a good work out and generally performed very well. I'd recommend them as well. The clips that hold the catches that fasten the panels together both broke but are fine after re-attaching with pop rivets. The bag stitching at top gave way but I am going to make my own cover for it anyway. The bag is just a bit too snug and sliding the panel in was a pain. It could be done by one person with a struggle but really needed two, one to hold bag open while the other got the panels in. I will replace it with a piece of canvas that opens out flat with flaps that fold over and secure with velcro.
I have a long, lead permanently mounted to a regulator, mounted to the battery, coiled under the bonnet. I just lift the bonnet, roll out the lead to where I want it and plug the panel in. I replaced the regulator that came with the panel with a better quality one.
When travelling we found (for us) the best way to carry it was to have it standing vertically behind the drivers seat. Easy to get at and stow.
Overall, I still think this panel is a very good deal.
AnswerID: 514719

Follow Up By: Member - Ian H (NSW) - Saturday, Jul 13, 2013 at 09:23

Saturday, Jul 13, 2013 at 09:23
I can see the clips on mine are a bit loose so I will get in first and pop rivet them.
With the bag, the stitching on the handle, where it takes the strain, came loose so I cut a bit of the shoulder strap (which I will never use) and stitched it on the inside for the length of the handle with heavily stitching at the stress point. I found the best way to refit the panel in the bag is to slide the bag on from the top and just turn the whole thing over.
Generally a good buy I think all considered.
Ian
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FollowupID: 793815

Reply By: Ross M13 - Saturday, Jul 13, 2013 at 21:50

Saturday, Jul 13, 2013 at 21:50
I got this Projecta 12v 5w 400mA Amorphous Solar Panel just for $125 from mr positive. The use of a solar controller in between the battery and the solar panel delivered the best performance and reliability.
AnswerID: 514762

Reply By: The Bantam - Saturday, Jul 13, 2013 at 22:48

Saturday, Jul 13, 2013 at 22:48
Just for your information.

There was a thread on one of the 4wd forums, concerning these cheap & cheerfull folding solar panels.

The original poster...a capable bloke with suitable tools and instruments....proved that the performance of these panels could be substantially improved simply by replacing the cable that comes in the package with heavier cable and relocating the regulator that comes in the package as close to the battery as practical.

The improvement was reported to be nearly double the output of the panel.

Several, posters reported that the hinges and latches where a bit flimsy and they had replaced theirs with those that come from a hardware or marine shop.

These things are cheap as chips...and if you are prepared to do a few improvements they seem to be very good value.

cheers
AnswerID: 514764

Follow Up By: Member - Ian H (NSW) - Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 07:53

Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 07:53
Thanks for the info Bantam. I did wonder about the wire gauge being big enough. Dunno where I can put the controller under the bonnet though, it is getting a bit crowded in there!!
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FollowupID: 793882

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 11:39

Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 11:39
no need to mount the controller under the bonnet...it is after all a portable system.

just either mount it on a board or in a box, so you can proprly strain relieve the cables and put it closer to the battery than on the panel.

Ya probaly want to fit a pair of anderson plugs so you can diaconnect the cable system from the panel for pack up

cheers
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FollowupID: 793896

Follow Up By: Member - Ian H (NSW) - Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 15:51

Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 15:51
Batman, Your idea of Anderson plugs is good and spawned the idea of an Anderson plug at the front (like the back one for the camper) to connect the solar panel. I will also put an Anderson plug on the compressor so I can reach all tyres with a shorter cable.
Yeah, good idea Ian.
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FollowupID: 793901

Follow Up By: Adam H - Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 18:19

Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 18:19
Hi Ian

the anderson plug is defiantly the way to go i have 2X10 metre 6B&S cables with anderson plugs on each end so if i am in a shady spot i can reach the sun no mater where it is. Also i ditched the solar reg and the cables that came with it and with the money i saved on the cheaper panel, brought a Morningstar 30A reg which has been working great. though i have kept the cheapo solar reg just in case. these cheaper brands i find work great mine has actually over performed to the specs specified.

cheers.
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FollowupID: 793990

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