Maxray solar panel review

I just wanted to post some of my findings on some tests I have done on maxray solar panels. There is an earlier thread on here asking how good they are and my answer to that is that they are an incredibly inefficient panel and I would avoid them as there are much better ones out there, here is why.
Firstly I purchased the 140 watt folding panel off ebay and when I got it, visually the build of the legs and the cable sizing was on the cheap side, I then proceeded to pack my 40 lt engel with and of drink on Friday night and ran it to a space temperature of about 2-4 degrees, I have a 120 ah deep cycle battery in my vehicle. I had previously done the calculations on what size panel I should require on the redarc web page and it came out saying that a 120 watt panel would suit so you would think the 140 watt panel would handle it easily, right? WRONG I checked the battery charge at the start of the day on Saturday and after having the panel in perfect sunlight all of Saturday the battery lost charge, I did the same on Sunday and by the end of the day on Sunday my battery was flat. I sent this panel back thinking that it may have been too small in size and got their 180 watt folding panel and I had a similar result, the best amperage I got out of the panel on a good day was 5 amps when it was supposed to be able to achieve 8. I then got this bleep s with their quality and sent that back and got my money back, I now have a kickass 200watt panel and that puts out a constant 12 amps and is really well built , happy as anything with this panel I would recommend that people do not bother buying the maxray panels because you will be dissappointed with their effiency and hopefully I can save people the heartache I had with them.
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Reply By: jamesw - Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 18:23

Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 18:23
I bought Maxray 180 watt panels and got a refund. Max output on a good day was 4.5 amps. They are rubbish. I bought a 160 watt kit from Aussie Solar and Batteries and output is around 8.5 to 9.25 amps on a good day.
AnswerID: 549625

Follow Up By: Morgan W - Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 19:18

Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 19:18
Yeah there are probably a heap of people out there that think their maxrays are just normal and put up with it but I couldent see the sense in carting around a solar panel that wouldent recharge your battery on a good day ??
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 19:41

Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 19:41
Morgan,

Shoulda bought a Jee.............a Hurricane panel from Marsol Industries, who are Business Members on ExplorOz.

Hope the Kickass gives you many years of service.........200 watts, you'd be able to weld with that! :-))

Bob

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: jamesw - Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 20:54

Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 20:54
It's pretty much a fact that most people who buy solar panels don't have a clue as to what they need or worse the knowledge of what makes up a decent system. I did heaps of research and still made the biggest mistake any consumer could make. I believed the advertising. Second time around I was armed much better :)
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Follow Up By: Morgan W - Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 21:11

Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 21:11
Yeah thanks bob I am happy with the decision of 200 watts I wanted to allow for the fact that I'm usually camped in bushland not caravan parks and the size is actually great because it is just 2 x 100 watt panels rather than three of something else so it makes it easier to handle and the weight isnt a concern either. Tried doing my research on the maxray bleep panels before I bought them and didn't find much im happy that people are coming out now though
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Follow Up By: Morgan W - Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 21:19

Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 21:19
Hey James what was your biggest mistake?
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Follow Up By: jamesw - Tuesday, Mar 10, 2015 at 18:01

Tuesday, Mar 10, 2015 at 18:01
The best advice I could give is NEVER believe the flash advertising or what other say about them. Do LOTS of your own research or ask someone who is qualified to give a good technical answer.
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 21:31

Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 21:31
Hi Morgan

Did you see my reply down below?

I went the the process of getting a panel a few weeks ago, and a mate purchased the Maxray, and I went for the Kickass 200w also

As you know the Maxray a a real heap of the proverbial.....my kickass blew his out of the water.

Like you I advise anyone not to buy cheap ebay crap.


Cheers


Stephen
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Follow Up By: Morgan W - Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 21:36

Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 21:36
Thanks Stephen I hope this message gets out to as many people as possible so we save me them the headache
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Reply By: Member - rooster350 - Tuesday, Mar 10, 2015 at 10:04

Tuesday, Mar 10, 2015 at 10:04
There seems to be a lot of Maxray panels being sold and at a cheaper price than the magnificent you beaut panels that you are promoting, I would not think that a perceived relatively small difference in output by the the one that you are bagging is worth the expense involved in purchasing your "magnificent" high output panel...but..then if you are well cashed up by all means pay a lot more for that "extra?" watt or so , or are you getting something for your promotional efforts ?
AnswerID: 549707

Follow Up By: jamesw - Tuesday, Mar 10, 2015 at 17:58

Tuesday, Mar 10, 2015 at 17:58
What a mug reply, and sorry for the bluntness. I bought the Maxray 180 watt panels and got a mighty 4.89 amps out of them in full sun. The panel output was 14.99 volts. It should have been at least 19 volts. The simple truth is they are rubbish, so I got a refund too. I spent the extra on another, better quality kit and happily get 9 amps and 20 volts out of the panels. I get nothing for giving the thumbs up for the ones I bought. If you pulled your head out of the sand and learnt something about the technical side of solar panels you might be better off, instead of implying that people are being paid off in some way.
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Follow Up By: Morgan W - Tuesday, Mar 10, 2015 at 18:46

Tuesday, Mar 10, 2015 at 18:46
I agree james I am merely trying to help people so they don't have the same issue I had, I wanted a panel that worked, to me $600 on a panel that works is far better than $350 on one that doesn't, it's merely my thoughts but if you want to go for the maxrays still knock urself out. My tests done on the maxrays are the same as james the difference is massive the maxrays output was at absolute best 5 amps for the 180 watt panel, with the kickass 200watt it's a constant 12 amps, if you need me to convert that to a difference in wattage for you the "180 watt" maxray was actually producing a measly 80 watts in good sun where the 200 watt kickass would produce 190 watts in good sun.
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Follow Up By: jamesw - Tuesday, Mar 10, 2015 at 19:00

Tuesday, Mar 10, 2015 at 19:00
Just for the record "rooster350" I now a haveAussie Solar and Batteries kit and they outperform the Maxray 180 watt kit by 100%. And, I am not getting any kickbacks to say it. Just a satisfied customer.
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Reply By: bks - Friday, Mar 13, 2015 at 13:06

Friday, Mar 13, 2015 at 13:06
I'm no expert but just looking at the adds for the 2 different panels, it seems to me the difference is the cabling and regulator. Wouldn't it be cheaper to get the Maxray or similar off eBay then pay a bit extra to get decent size cable to reduce the voltage drop and a MPPT regulator. If the panels both contain the same number of cells then the out put should be close. Perhaps some gain in using better quality silicon in the cells but there is no indication they are not the same standard.
AnswerID: 549887

Follow Up By: Morgan W - Sunday, Mar 15, 2015 at 00:55

Sunday, Mar 15, 2015 at 00:55
Hey bks just wanted to update you the problem is definitely not the cabling or the regulator just a inefficient panel I was using both the El cheapo regulator on the panel as well as the redarc regulator the i have and the same problems, also the panel output voltage before it started running through the cable was woeful so save yourself the heartache and don't buy maxray, tested me kickass again today and my batteries were back to full charge after 3.5 hours of sometimes overcast conditions.
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