Solar Panels - Kickass and Aussie Solar

Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 04, 2015 at 21:48
ThreadID: 129861 Views:5994 Replies:3 FollowUps:6
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Like so many others I am looking to buy an efficient solar panel system and find it is not a straight forward process. However, my searches here suggest that both Kickass and Aussie Batteries and Solar might provide good outcomes.

Would those folks who have purchased either of these two please share their experiences with us on the forum as they have had ownership for a reasonable period of time now. Thank you.
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Aug 04, 2015 at 22:58

Tuesday, Aug 04, 2015 at 22:58
Hi Ian

Yes it is a real nightmare when you are not sure what is out there, and do they perform as good as the supplier claims.

I am the first to admit to I am no expert when it comes to solar, and took the sound advise given by those that know what they are talking about here on the forum.

A friend purchased an eBay special from Outbax camping that were selling the Maxray. From what I know and saw....do not touch them with a forty foot barge pole, as it was just pure crap. Thin cable that was a joke, panels that were out of square and when closed, there was a quarter inch gap, both hinges were broken when he unpacked it, the regulator failed, all from a brand new unit.


I have the 200 w Kickass and it is fantastic. If you watch the promotional video, it just how they are, from the heavy duty latches, ultra heavy duty cable that are very heavy compared to the ultra thin ones on the Maxray, and heavy duty bag to keep it safe.

In the full sun, it charges up my battery on the Ultimate camper with ease.

Just make sure that you compare apples with apples, as all solar panels are not created equal.

Just my thoughts from a very happy and satisfied customer of the Kickass.

Also if you need to steak to someone about your eBay special, best of luck. My mate took nealy 6 weeks to get a full refund on his Maxray. No way in the world would they give him a contact phone number to talk about his issues, just had to rely on return emails that would take days to reply.

Me on the other hand contacted Kickass about a couple of questions I wanted to know before purchasing, as guess what, you get to speak to a real true blue Aussie in Queensland. Their service is second to none, with ultra fast delivery to here in South Australia.


Good luck with what ever you buy, but just be very carefull with what you decide.



Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - IanBBrissy - Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 05:52

Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 05:52
Thanks for a quick and informative response Stephen. I had read somewhere the quality was not as advertised so appreciate your confirming it is. Seems Kickass is worth the extra. Again, thanks.
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Follow Up By: Member BarryG - Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 10:09

Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 10:09
Hi Stephen,

I too have an Ultimate and am intending to purchase a Kickass panel.
I was planning to get a panel to run the Engel in the Landcruiser (via the aux battery). Every four or five days I may need to top up the single Ultimate battery also (only lighting use).
I was hoping to get away with the less expensive and lighter 100W, or do you think I should go for a bigger one?

Barry
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 14:40

Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 14:40
Hi Barry

We are converts to the Ultimate way of camping now for the 12 months and it is fantastic. The only issue I have with it is the fridge which is a Waeco and it is very hungry on power.

We tried it out over the Christmas break last year with a borrowed 160w Maxray and in 3 days the battery was flat on the camper and not impressed at all.

Seeing just how poor the cheap eBay panel was, I purchased a Kickass 200w bi fold panel, and it is just fantastic.

Even with 4 days sitting still at Adels Grove recently, using lights as normal and the heavy power sucking Waeco in use, my battery on the camper was kept charged by the Kickass. The lowest reading on the battery was down to 12.6 volts before sunrise and during the day in full sun, the voltage was between 13.4 and 13.8 volts.

When I purchased the 200w Kickass, I wanted a panel that I knew would keep ahead of the Waeco and it has not let me down. If I had my time again, I would have either gone with the then unreleased 200w trifold panel, same output, but small to store in the front compartment of the Ultimate. Even their 150w may have been ok, but you can never have enough power to keep things fully charged.

The one great feature of the Kickass, is the quality of the panel and the regulator. The moment that the sun broke through every morning, the panel started to pump power back into the battery.

If you are not running your fridge, then yes the 100w should well and truly keep your Engel running with no problems at all. If I was in your boots, I would still go for their 150w trifold panel to give you real peace of mind.


Cheers


Stephen


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Follow Up By: Member BarryG - Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 14:58

Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 14:58
Thanks Stephen,

I think I'll stick with the 100W, as I have the Dometic 3-way (great on gas and 240v but crap on 12v!). All my lighting in the Ultimate is LED and the Engel only draws a couple of amps.
I think I have adequate capacity for now and I like the smaller size and weight.

Barry
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FollowupID: 856691

Reply By: jamesw - Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 11:52

Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 11:52
I purchased from Aussie Solar and Batteries and I am very happy with the quality. They answered all my questions and the output is pretty good, right on what they advertised. I asked for the controller to be sent not attached to the panels and for a few other mods and they were happy to do them. I did have to purchase a carry bag though as they did not have one to suit. I also previously purchased the Maxray panels and can also confirm that they are absolute rubbish. I got a refund, after they tried to stuff me around, by bullying them into submission. They came to the party when I gave them very negative feedback on EBay. Luckily I live not too far away from their offices, so once I found out the address I paid them a visit.

James
AnswerID: 588923

Follow Up By: Member - IanBBrissy - Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 12:47

Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 12:47
Thanks James, was hoping you would respond as I had seen an earlier response by you elsewhere. The mind boggles over your experience with Maxray and so glad I was not tempted to go the cheaper option. Must have been an interesting time in their office...

I have had previous business with Aussie Solar and had no problems, in fact they are good to deal with, but in the end I have decided to go with the Kickass due to feedback and verification of the build quality. Hopefully I won't be disappointed. If I am everybody here will know :-)

Thank you to all of you in your responses and private messages. It is appreciated.
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FollowupID: 856752

Reply By: geo22 - Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 18:27

Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 18:27
Ian

I've just purchased a 200W Kickass solar panel and was very impressed with the quality of the panel & the quick delivery time. The cables are also good quality with good heavy wiring.
Haven't used it in anger yet but I did set it up & it was putting out a healthy current.
I've also bought a generator from them previously, it's a chinese made one but so far it's performed well.

I bought the 200W one as my new camper is all electric & the 100W panel I had wasn't keeping up with the power demands. I considered an extra panel but didn't have room to store two panels. I still have that 100W panel if you're interested, It's a Kyocera folding panel with regulator & leads in a HD canvas bag. Top quality gear, PM me if interested, I'm in Brisbane.

Geo
AnswerID: 588938

Follow Up By: Member - IanBBrissy - Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 18:34

Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 18:34
Thanks Geo, you are offering excellent quality panels. However, like you, I have a few power requirements such as 60L Engel, lights, pumps, laptops, ipads etc that 100W would not be sufficient. So I have now ordered the 200W trifold with meter from Kickass. Sounds like I won't be disappointed. Cheers.
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