Review: Solar Power

My Article Rating: My Rating 1/5

I purchased 18 X 35 watt ApolloFLEX Mono solar panels form Euro-Line Solar in late November 2013. They deaerated in 3 months to a fraction of their 30 amp capacity and now in July 2014 they do not work at all. I travelled 20,000 km in a round trip from Jabiru NT down the Queensland Coast over to Tasmania and back to Darwin
I live in Jabiru, Northern Territory, Australia. On the 29th. July, 2014 Blueridge Engineering in Jabiru (who installed them) finally had a chance to get up on the purpose built sunroof on my motorhome to have a look.
We inspected three panels to discover extensive corrosion, and in one a terminal broken away from its connection.
We stopped looking after that as it became obvious all the other non-working panels would be in the same condition.
The electrician tested the panels to see if there was life in the panels themselves and only the one with the broken terminal showed signs of life.
The terminal box is not water tight. The cable wires are held in place by the solder on each wire and water has made its way into the terminals and corroded them. They are rotten with rust.
The cables as described by Blueridge Engineering are house cables. That means cable used in static buildings not a moving vehicle.
The terminal box is not water tight or solid state to prevent movement. There are no diodes fitted.
They are permanently fixed as per your specifications to the roof of the motorhome. No one has walked on them and they have only been looked at three times. One when installed, then in Maryborough, Queensland when we realised we had a problem and now seven months after they were installed.
Euro-Line Solar do not reply to my emails and they are not answering their telephone as the answerphone says they are on holidays. Their last email said that” I have spoken at length the manufacturer and they require the panels back (to Berlin, Germany)in order for them to be replaced. Please send them to us so I can get you new panels.”
Matthew Aloise ApolloFLEX Mono - Customer Service / Kundenservice
We will be removing the panels and replacing them with old fashioned solid solar panels. I cannot imagine what you will do with them. They are glued to the roof of the motorhome and they will more than likely get damaged in the process of removal.
I am now waiting Euro-Line Solar GmbH or the manufacturer to organise for the postage of the wiring, bits of dried glue and the panels back to Germany. I suspect they expect me to pay the cost. This project has cost me $5,000 at least. Thirty five years of savings in fact.
It is obvious that these panels do not work as specified on Euro-Line Solar GmbH web page. They did not last more than three months. They are not suitable for the outdoors.
• The connections move,
• The polarity of the wiring was mixed up
• They are not water tight,
• There are no diodes on the 35 watt panels
• They are not up to the job Euro-Line Solar claim in their advertising
• They are shoddy and cheaply silastic(ed) together.
• And when put to the test failed catastrophically.
• Customer service is non-existent once they have your money. They just lead you on asking for;
o a circuit diagram at first,
o then a report from the Solar electrician in Maryborough Queensland
o then photographs of all the panels (which means climbing up on a 3.4 m roof)
o then they want you to remove the panels which are permanently stuck to the RV roof as per specifications.
o Then they do not reply to my emails or answer the telephone.
I do not want Euro-Line Solar to send me more panels because they are not capable of doing what you say they can do. They will fail too. I want my money as by European Law.
It has been and expensive decision and now I have to install standard 480 watt solar system. Apolloflex Mono solar panels should not be let outside of a garage in Germany in case it rains.
I had the panels installed by experienced engineers. They built a tropical sunroof to fit the panels. All the specs, design was approved by Euro-Line Solar. I bought all their fittings and equipment.
Moving parts was top of the list of potential issues. We did not see what was holding the wiring together under the terminal box until we had a look in Maryborough. The cable is held in place with a metal bracket screwed down with two screws. With a blob of silastic over the contacts. There are no diodes. The cables side to side enough to allow moisture trough the silastic/panel interface. Allowing the rust to set in.
I might as well have put laminated cardboard connected with string on the RV.
Jcar have semi flexible solar panels. The terminal box has diodes and is set in a solid resin block.
Be warned.
Deeply disappointed and injured
David Norton

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