Where to buy Solar Panels??

Submitted: Sunday, Aug 07, 2016 at 21:28
ThreadID: 133168 Views:4403 Replies:10 FollowUps:11
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Hey gang,
Just wondering where you all sourced your solar panels??
There are some very expensive models in bcf and the like but upon ebay search there is literally hundreds of sellers. Some models have very good reviews yet are a great deal cheaper than the in store models mentioned above.
Also can anyone reccomend what size panel I should be looking at to charge 120ah deep cycle auxiliary. (Only running 40l engel).
Many thanks.
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Aug 07, 2016 at 22:27

Sunday, Aug 07, 2016 at 22:27
Your 120Ah battery should be good for a few days running the 40L Engel. If you add 100W of panel and use it wisely, you'll be good for a couple additional days. If you want to be totally self sufficient you probably need 160W or more.
My suggestion is to buy the solar panel that is the right dimensions to store easiest with your setup. I currently have a single 100W panel that slides in under our fold up chairs - it's 1010mm x 670mm and takes up little space. I had a 120W folding previously but it was harder to store with my setup.
If your engel is in the car and you do a bit of driving then I'd suggest 100W is all you need.
I buy my panels off Ebay. The only problem I have had was a 12 month old flexible panel that failed while up in the Kimberley this year - no output, so I'm sticking with the glass panels.
AnswerID: 603164

Follow Up By: Ben01 - Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 00:28

Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 00:28
Hi mate can you recommend an eBay seller??
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FollowupID: 872837

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 00:36

Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 00:36
Yep,
"Bit_deals" is very popular for folding panels. I have also bought off "lowenergydevelopments" and most recently "easyget-au". They were all good.
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FollowupID: 872838

Follow Up By: Member - Peter H1 (NSW) - Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 07:21

Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 07:21
I recently purchased 3 x 200w from "lowenergydevelopments"
$203.00 each delivery free.

PeterH
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 19:06

Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 19:06
Just to add that I like to get the meters out and check the output from panels, and the glass panels I've bought have all been good. The flexible panel was good too when new, but it's output gradually tapered and in the 40 degree heat in the Kimberley in May it died - no amps whatsoever.
The regulators are a mixed bag and if you are purchasing a regulator, then chances are that an MPPT will do a little better than a PWM. I have both, but if the batteries are down, I skip the regulator and use the most efficient system of all - just hook the panels direct to the batteries - which is fine provided you have calculated that there is no chance they will overcharged.
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Reply By: swampy - Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 00:00

Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 00:00
hi
solar depends on usage patterns and electrical loads .
The theory and modeling suggest this ,,
never discharge battery below 50% depth of discharge DOD
A low volt cut is essential set it at 12.oovolts [50% dod] provides a reasonable batt life

This gives u 60 amps usable

Consumption is around 1 amp per litre per in hot weather
cool weather less and bloody hot as a freezer more
eg av. consumption 40 ah by the fridge
20 ah by all the other items recharger lights etc etc
60ah consumed

Peak sun hours look it up on google
varies 4hr to 7 hr depends upon location and season
PSH 5.5 hrs per day solar available
say 5.5amps per 100watt
120w = harvest 6.6 amps /hr x 5.5 psh = 36.3 less 20%
150w = harvest 8.25a /hr x 5.5psh = 45.4a '' ''
200w = harvest 11a/hr x 5.5 psh = 60.5a '' '''
solar system are around 80% efficient
All of a sudden 150 watt as an absolute minimum setup is where u would start .
Try to get tri folds as they can be easier to carry especially in the 200w unit
[ in saying that 6mtrs from camp is not far] .Depends upon your ability .

vehicle to van battery charge set up [so u arrive fully charged ] Small cable means way way longer charge time
240 volt charger 20amps plus and generator if needed

swamp
AnswerID: 603167

Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 07:20

Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 07:20
I run two 120W Redarc solar panels to charge a 150amp auxiliary battery. Never have to think about power usage with the set-up, which runs a 60 litre Engel and other bits and pieces.

I chose Redarc as it is a great Aussie company making quality products, more expensive, but I back the local product and they have never failed me...

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
AnswerID: 603169

Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 07:25

Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 07:25
Hi Ben

As you will be aware, there are solar panels, and then there are solar panels.

Do not be conned into thinking those cheap eBay deals can be a bargain......totally wrong, many as they say are just crap and a complete waste of money.

Go for a quality panel that will produce the power that is stated. One brand that I have two of and will blow you away on the power they produce is the Kick Ass brand from Australian Direct from up on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.

They are not cheap by all means, but when you see the quality you get, the type of cable they supply, these guys win hands down. We are on the road at the moment and our Ultimate has a power hungry Waeco inbuilt fridge and the 150w Tri fold panel keeps the battery fully charged and will get the battery up to 14 volts when positioned correctly.

Happy hunting, and do not cut yourself short on a cheap panel.


Cheers


Stephen
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AnswerID: 603170

Follow Up By: Ben01 - Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 09:46

Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 09:46
Gday Stephen cheers for the reply.
I've just had a brief look at these products and they seem very impressive.
There is a video of a guy jumping off a car onto one of these panels, and using a high pressure hose all over the panel and controller. That's insane.

$400 for the 100w kit looks like the goods.

I gotta say the carry bag also looks awesome quality.
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 10:44

Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 10:44
I bought 160w and 60w panels from Marsol Industries a few years back and they've performed okay, Ben.

Bought a 120w folding panel in Longreach, cost about $290, for a trip and it seems okay. Included a PWM regulator and stand, with a bag.

Recently bought a 200w Rich panel from Bit Deals and have it mounted flat on roof of our canopy. Quite pleased with it, though being flat all the time it doesn't produce optimum power, except maybe at midday for an hour or so. Cost $203, with free freight. Prompt dispatch and only about a week delivery to western Qld.

I'd buy the highest wattage panel that you can fit in your vehicle, or afford. IE 160w plus. You can never have too many panels..........within reason. :-)

Bob
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Can't remember most of it.

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AnswerID: 603177

Follow Up By: Member - Ross N (NSW) - Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 11:59

Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 11:59
I bought Rich panels from Bit Deals. I am not impressed with the quality of the wiring as I have had to solder connections as the connections being pressed in only have parted.
A friend bought Kick Ass panel and although dearer as miles ahead in quality.
Ross
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 16:37

Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 16:37
Thanks for that info, Ross.

Might check my panel and upgrade the connections.

Bob

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

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Follow Up By: Member - Trevor_H - Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 20:23

Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 20:23
Another vote for Marsol. 2 x 120 AH batteries and 2 x 90W folding panels give me all the power I need for 90 litre Evakool plus lighting.
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Reply By: Echucan Bob - Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 14:02

Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 14:02
I bought a 260W house panel for $150.

An MPPT regulator will set you back between $150 and $499.

Do your own wiring - I use offcut Codan radio cable which is designed to carry 30A to a radio, so should handle 260/12 A from the panel without too much loss.
AnswerID: 603185

Reply By: swampy - Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 14:17

Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 14:17
hi
Aussie batteries and solar
Brand name cells Sharp and Kyocera
Its panels efficiency in low light is what you want
I have Kyocera multi crystaline on the roof and Sharp monocrystalline as the portable .

They are good on warranty , they were used as a football during transport
They sent a new set immediately .
The wires were loose in the crimp terminals [always check these ] Try to get them to solder joints???.....

DONOT get there alloy case its garbage
There soft bag is great
You can specify the
solar regulater
Connectors [always use Anderson not chinese type ]
The option of being able to bypass regulator
U can order panels without a regulator
not cheap not to costly ,yes I would buy from them again but you need to be aware of the traps .

Try Bit deals
Sunyee
Victorian off road ????
Kickass
.........Caution some warrantees require u to pay return post .......

swamp
AnswerID: 603186

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 15:25

Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 15:25
Aussie Batteries and Solar here as well, 150 w trifold, Bosch cells. Never seen more than 6.8 amps out of them. Got bashed around by the courier too. Hinge rivets and latch screws are failing. Wouldn't recommend them if you planned long dirt roads in the outback.
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Follow Up By: chaz r - Thursday, Aug 11, 2016 at 17:00

Thursday, Aug 11, 2016 at 17:00
I brought mine from vicoffroad and so far it works good. The only thing I am not impressed is I got my first one arrived shattered in pieces....

To me, there are always problems on eBay purchases, but it totally depend on how the stores reply and offer solution.

Again, always problem... Major or minor, sooner or later...
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 16:02

Monday, Aug 08, 2016 at 16:02
Bought my 100W folding kit online, from Lowe Energy Developments (Preston, Vic.). Delivered quickly...all good...had it for years now...still doing a fine job. Came with a HD quality carry bag and quality regulator. Was not the cheapest 100w kit online at the time but to me it is good value for the $. Beware of flimsy folding kits and el-cheapo regulators !
AnswerID: 603190

Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, Aug 11, 2016 at 20:29

Thursday, Aug 11, 2016 at 20:29
Darian - That would be Low Energy Developments, not Lowe?

Seems like a comprehensive supplier with quite a good website, and a shopfront as well.

Low Energy Developments

Cheers, Ron.
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FollowupID: 872945

Reply By: Lindsaydi - Saturday, Aug 13, 2016 at 15:07

Saturday, Aug 13, 2016 at 15:07
Mate call Michael Oke dual battery systems Seaton Adelaide.The panels he sells are not cheap ,however, his panels are designed to work in all types of light. I use his panels on my van.
AnswerID: 603361

Reply By: Batt's - Wednesday, Aug 17, 2016 at 20:55

Wednesday, Aug 17, 2016 at 20:55
Just fitted a Bit Deals 170w panel to my canopy $169, & delivery was very fast looks to be well made. I chose Bit Deals because they have been getting positive comments on other 4WD sites.
AnswerID: 603475

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