solar

am looking at solar panels about 100 watts,interested in roll ups ,and flexible flat ones,preferably without a regulator,any thoughts good or bad,thanks for future replys bye barry
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Reply By: mountainman - Friday, Feb 26, 2016 at 20:10

Friday, Feb 26, 2016 at 20:10
Go the biggest you can afford.
Soo you wont be left short when recharging.
everything requires a regulator or the box on the back of the solar panel otherwise your just not doing the right thing with solar.
from memory its like a one way valve soo your solar panel doesnt drain your battery at night
im no expert
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Friday, Feb 26, 2016 at 20:28

Friday, Feb 26, 2016 at 20:28
Hi

You can run something direct from a solar panel without regulator if max voltage below limit of appliance e.g. engel. Agree a complete setup without one is not ideal but maybe OP already has one or doesn't want an inbuilt one ?

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Greg
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Reply By: Member - ACD 1 - Friday, Feb 26, 2016 at 21:25

Friday, Feb 26, 2016 at 21:25
Barry
I have 2 Powerfilm foldable panels. 1 x 90 watts 1 x 120 watts. They are similar to the Redarc and Engel foldable panels.

They fold up a bit bigger than an a4 piece of paper. They Don't have a regulator and plug straight into my bc-dc charger - which has a built in MPPT regulator.

They are milspec construction for the US Military (they have tents covered in them up to 5kva).

You can throw them over the bonnet or roof or even use them as an awning extension.

They are pricey, but good piece of kit. I am really happy with them and their performance.

Cheers

Anthony
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 00:03

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 00:03
Hi Anthony

The Powerfilm was the original and are still made in the USA, while the Redarc are a copy and made in China, so I have been told.



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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 00:19

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 00:19
Yep! That's correct Stephen.

There is also a pretty big difference in performance as well.

A friend has the same vehicle setup as me (model, batteries and bc-dc etc) and we have very similar 12volt usage. But, he has a Redarc 90watt panel and he gets about 30% less input than my 90watt. Daisy chain the 120 and the 90 watt and that is some serious input.

Some one did a lab based comparison and the figures were impressive. The big number difference is in the price. As they haven't let me down and perform exceptionally well in dappled sunlight - I think it is money well spent.

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Anthony
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Follow Up By: Joe G2 - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 06:28

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 06:28
Hi Anthony,
I just looked on the Power film web sites both Aussie and USA and the max wattage I could find was 60 watt panels. Where did you get your panels from or are you able to join them?

Joe
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 13:02

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 13:02
Here you go Joe.

http://www.engelaustralia.com.au/upload/data_sheets/o20121114163523643.pdf
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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 14:08

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 14:08
Hi Joe

I imported them direct from a dealer in the US.

Below is link to Powerfilm website (Insert Link not working).

I couldn't find an AUS dealer at the time who was asking a reasonable price. 90 watt was over $2000 in AUS. I got one landed in AUS for under $1000. I went back for another and ended up geting the 120 watt for approx $1300 landed in AUS.

I can join the 120 watt and the 90 watt together if I want to, but generally, I use the 120 watt on the LC via the bc-dc and the 90 watt to suplement the 120 watt I have on the roof of the trailer.

The good thing about these is - they still produce extremely well in dappled light - dont need "sunsoaking" - will still work if the cells are punctured - can be used as an awning - hung from a tree - laid on the roof, bonnet etc.

They are a different "chemistry" than normal Solar Panels which is why they are so expensive (but they are getting cheaper - then I will be Pi33ed that i payed so much). I bought a cheap regulator (under $30) to use with the panels if I need too or someone else needs to use them. Because of the way the work and the amount of energy they spit out an MPPT was hardly worth it - but they would perform better with it. But hell, why should I pay top dollar for others to use my gear?

http://www.powerfilmsolar.com/products/?foldable_solar_panels&show=category&productCategoryID=6579&productCategoryIDs=6578,6579

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Anthony
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Follow Up By: Ross M - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 18:12

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 18:12
ACD1
Daisey chaining is a series connection, and additive of voltage, while paralleling is adding 120 w + 90 w so the amps are increased and not the input voltage.
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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 20:12

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 20:12
Hi Ross M

One of us must be reading it wrong!

Below is link to the actual Power Film website and the Daisy Chain Accessory.

http://www.powerfilmsolar.com/products/?ra6__daisy_chain_accessory&show=product&productID=271560&productCategoryIDs=6574

The following product description is copied directly from the actual Power Film website!

RA-6 - Daisy Chain Accessory

Maximize your charging power. The RA-6 allows you to connect several PowerFilm chargers in parallel for increased current output (amps). By connecting multiple panels, you can achieve a combined output of up to 20 amps.

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Anthony
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Reply By: Michaeljp - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 17:29

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 17:29
I have a Projecta 120w folding panel. When folded i keep it in the pocket behind the drivers seat. I connect it to my Arkpak with its alligator clips and it has a built in regulator. works great.
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