Folding Solar Panels

Submitted: Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014 at 12:10
ThreadID: 109297 Views:2981 Replies:4 FollowUps:4
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Can anybody give me feedback on the following Folding Solar Panels available on ebay:

160W FOLDING SOLAR PANEL FULL WATERPROOF PORTABLE MONOCRYSTALLINE COMPLETE SET http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/281162804550?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

or

BOSCH Cells 12V 180W MPPT FOLDING SOLAR PANEL Kit Monocrystalline Module Camping: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/351154912048?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

I'm looking to buy a backup to a small generator and have limited funds.
BUT I don't want to waste what funds I have
Many thank
PeteM
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Reply By: Krooznalong - Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014 at 13:07

Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014 at 13:07
Bought a 140w folding set off them a while back and have had no problems. Bit Deals have a good reputation.
AnswerID: 538220

Follow Up By: pepper2 - Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014 at 14:43

Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014 at 14:43
I bought the 160w folding panels from them about 2 years ago, no worries.

I fitted mine permantly on the roof rack in horizontal position, runs bushman fridge /freezer plus camp lights endlessly , but I fitted mppt regulator.
All the best.
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FollowupID: 822564

Follow Up By: Member - Kevin S (QLD) - Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014 at 15:47

Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014 at 15:47
I bought similar from Ebay and am happy with them. I have not upgraded the regulator and I am surprised how quichky they bring the 100 AH house battery back to the same maximum level of charge that I get with the 240V charger.
Cheers,
Kevin
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FollowupID: 822570

Reply By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014 at 18:20

Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014 at 18:20
My advice is do a search on flexible solar panels.

I had 2 x 80W folding panels. Big bulky and weighed about 15kg.

I replaced them with flexible ones. Work the same but 2.5mm thick each and weigh about 3 kg. A lot better.

Also take a look at the ones that fold up at Kulkyne campers.
AnswerID: 538230

Reply By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014 at 19:54

Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014 at 19:54
Some while ago there was a thread on another forum where several people baught these or similar panels.

The comclusion was there where in general good value for meony but they could be....improved or tuned..with a little effort and only a little expense.

Several contributers commented about the flimsy hinges and lathches typical of these items..and had easily replaced them with better items.

One well equiped poster had tested the panel as supplied for output, and found it to be below spec...then replaced only the cables with heavier and relocated the regulator close to the battery and found a much improved and more or less as speced output.

SO....it seems that it is woth a little effort to improve a cheap and cheerfull item.

cheers
AnswerID: 538231

Follow Up By: bks - Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014 at 23:00

Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014 at 23:00
I have had one off ebay for nearly 3 years. I replaced the cable and put an MTTP regulator (off ebay) next to the battery and it now charges the batteries really well. The biggest improvement was gained by moving the regulator to near the batteries. I have seen the exact panel on sale at camping shows etc for hundreds of dollars more than I paid.
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FollowupID: 822597

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Thursday, Aug 28, 2014 at 08:39

Thursday, Aug 28, 2014 at 08:39
There are a couple of Iron rules (ruls that apply always and can't be broken) that come into play here.

# Light conductors result in inefficiency in low voltage DC electrical systems.

Unfortunately the majority of manufacturers and sellers cut costs by using light cable.

fortunately most times this is easy to fix.

# Voltage regulators and filters are best and most efficient located close to what they supply.....and the closer the better.

Often regulators are mounted in less than efficient locations because it is cheaper, easier, or seems more convienient.

This too can be easily fixed and sometimes at little or no cost.


These two rules apply to a very wide range of situations and from very small electronics to huge electrical systems.

You can improve the efficieny of just about every item in your DC elecrcal system by applying these rules.

bks testifies to this.

cheers
1
FollowupID: 822602

Reply By: Member - Peter M (QLD) - Thursday, Aug 28, 2014 at 06:20

Thursday, Aug 28, 2014 at 06:20
Thank you all
This has helped me a lot.
Though before I buy I will have another look at the flexible ones. Though last time I looked at them they were beyond my budget.
Once again thank you
Stay well and stay safwe
PeteM
AnswerID: 538240

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