Renogy solar panels

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 02, 2021 at 23:50
ThreadID: 141038 Views:1382 Replies:5 FollowUps:13
Has anyone used these and are they reasonable efficient please any info would be appreciated
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Reply By: Banjo (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2021 at 09:07

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2021 at 09:07
Have only heard positive comments on Renogy.
AnswerID: 634954

Follow Up By: marron - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2021 at 10:13

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2021 at 10:13
Thank you
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Reply By: Member - Bigfish - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2021 at 09:21

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2021 at 09:21
I,ve used their lithium batteries and chargers. All good so far.
AnswerID: 634955

Follow Up By: marron - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2021 at 10:14

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2021 at 10:14
Thank you bigfish
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Reply By: RMD - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2021 at 11:17

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2021 at 11:17
marron,
I think Renogy panels are quite ok. Seeing you asked for any info, I have two Renogy solar chargers a 20amp MPPT and a 40 amp Elite mppt with bluetooth addition. While the panels work well and so do the chargers, the Bluetooth they have has poor range, typically 80 ft stated, in reality around 20ft or less. The bluetooth is problematic and stops connecting using the BT2 app which requires LOCATION data to be switched on in your viewing device. The Renogy DC Home app, a newer version, also uses LOCATION data to be able to load and use the app for solar monitoring. Of course we all know a direct Bluetooth connection does not require monitoring of you via the internet, but Renogy claims it is so it can provide after sales support to customers. However, the data IS definitely harvested and allegedly sent to USA, but the programming and production of gear is CHINA. Who do you think also sees data from your device/s?
Be aware, if not just using any Renogy charger by itself, monitoring of you can be happening if device bluetooth is used.

Anyone CAN register with Renogy site if they wish to, I have with my purchases, and if bought from their site they have your info etc, for any after sales issues or info which is the way it should work. Not hidden in the background without you ever knowing or providing permission to be monitored. ONLY in fine print somewhere will you find what they really do with Device/Bluetooth connections. Comprehensively READ their PRIVACY section is VERY informative. Most don't and they do their thing. When communicating with them over the issue they will try to bamboozle you or ignore what you complain about. There are plenty of unhappy people in the world regarding Renogy Bluetooth use situations. Mostly good in chargers, but be aware of Bluetooth and their data harvesting.

I was directed to use the DC Home app, because they know the BT2 app is very troublesome and while my phone is still compatible, my newer tablet suddenly isn't compatible with the DC Home APP, it seems because they have not included a slightly older version of Android in the programming. So now my tablet, my main monitoring device is useless for this function. Thanks Renogy! the costs go up for the customer IF they still want bluetooth.
So, unless you meticulously check ALL devices and their compatibility with the Renogy APP "BEFORE" purchase you may get zapped out.

I will not buy Renogy anymore.

Cheers
RMD
AnswerID: 634958

Follow Up By: kgarn - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2021 at 15:31

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2021 at 15:31
I believe Android 6.0 and above require location services to be enabled for Bluetooth to work.
It is an Android requirement and Renogy and others (eg Victron) have to accept the requirement if they want to use Bluetooth apps.

The following quote is from a Victron manual:

"Notes for Android 6 and later
No known issues, when Access to Locations Services are enabled.

Why is Access to Location Services required?
Android 5 and later requires access permission for VictronConnect to the (coarse) Location Services. Otherwise it can not scan for the Bluetooth products.

Besides permitting access to its data, the Location Services also need to be enabled in many (but not all) cases.

Note that after enabling Location Services, the GPS itself, can be switched off again: the Android Location Services are more than GPS. Bluetooth, and WiFi-, scan results can technically also be used to approximate the phone's location; hence these requirements.

Despite the above, you can be sure that Victron is not interested in, nor tracking your location.
Being sensitive to privacy issues at Victron ourselves, we are not happy with this requirement. But there is nothing we can do about it, unfortunately. "

Ken
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Follow Up By: RMD - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2021 at 17:53

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2021 at 17:53
Renogy want to know when buying what the installation type is. Mobile vehicle/small home/ hut in the scrub etc. Many of those situations means you can't even install their app let alone be able to use it OFF grid away from wifi etc if bluetooth requires location to connect. It become useless it it won't connect the bluetooth when asked and there is no Network connection out there.

Very strange, without altering anything, both my phone and tablet became "can't connect" status on the same afternoon.
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Reply By: marron - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2021 at 16:01

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2021 at 16:01
thank you . I am only interested in the panel as the ones I have at the moment stop charging with the smallest amount of shade on them .
AnswerID: 634961

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2021 at 17:11

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2021 at 17:11
What makes you think these panels will be any different to the others?
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Follow Up By: RMD - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2021 at 17:43

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2021 at 17:43
Peter is on the issue, all panels will not charge if partially shaded, especially if the slight shading is affecting all the panel sectors at the same time. So Renogy efficiency can be as good as others and if in same shade = zilch. Efficiency may not be the issue at all.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Thursday, Feb 04, 2021 at 08:50

Thursday, Feb 04, 2021 at 08:50
RMD..Wrong to say all panels will not charge if partially shaded. Mine still work but output is lowered considerably. Same as most panels. They do not suddenly go from say 8 amps to 0amps as soon as a small shadow is cast on the panel.
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Follow Up By: RMD - Thursday, Feb 04, 2021 at 10:25

Thursday, Feb 04, 2021 at 10:25
Bigfish
I see your point but any panel will stop. It is just there are multiple sections within the panel unshaded to continue through diodes and at a far lower level as you mention. If ALL sections are affected by the shade he is experiencing, then they stop, as there is nothing to bypass. Renogy panels won't fix that. Maybe I should have said, all panel sections to be clearer.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Thursday, Feb 04, 2021 at 10:41

Thursday, Feb 04, 2021 at 10:41
No problems. Its just that he said the smallest amount of shade so obviously the panels he ha at the moment must be very low quality. Buying good quality can be hit and miss. I went through 2 sets of Sunyee panels bfore getting my money back. However I have had excellent lighting products from Sunyee in the past. With the chinese flooding every possible market with some good and heaps of crap it is indeed a minefield trying to get the best bang for your dollar.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Feb 04, 2021 at 15:53

Thursday, Feb 04, 2021 at 15:53
I have not seen the style of panels that are on my van on sals for quite some time. The individual cells run the full length of the panel. That means that if you shade one end of the panel the other end keeps charging. If you shade one half the panel you only drop to half the panel. If you can find panels constructed like that then go for them.

All the panels I have seen lately have cells that are nearly square. If you shade a few of those cells then you effectively knock out the whole panel. If you want to cut down the effects of panel shading then use small panels in parallel. Spread them around the top of the van. If one end of the van gets shaded you only lose the charging from those panels. Also, install more panels than you need if you think you are going to suffer some shading from your panels on a semi regular basis.


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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Feb 04, 2021 at 22:10

Thursday, Feb 04, 2021 at 22:10
.
The problem of losing output when shade falls on part of a panel is because the shaded cells present a high resistance to current flow and the output from the remaining illuminated cells is unable to pass. It is rather like a broken link in a chain.

To overcome this, bypass diodes can be placed in the panel construction to allow the current to continue by passing around the shaded section. Even the shading of an just one cell can stop the entire output if no diodes are fitted. In an ideal panel, a diode would be fitted to each individual cell but for manufacturing economy it is usual to fit a diode only across a string of several cells. In cheaply manufactured panels there may be no by-pass diodes at all, or perhaps just one across the panel output terminals. This would only be of benefit when operating panels in series connection.

Even when diodes are fitted across groups or strings of cells, the loss of contribution from a shaded string will reduce the panel's output voltage and this may be sufficient when solar contribution is low to cause the panel output voltage to fall below the charge threshold and cease current flow altogether. An MPPT controller is more able to cope in this situation albeit with reduced charge current.

So the answer is to purchase panels that contain an adequate number of by-pass diodes. The problem is determining which panels on offer contain an adequate number. Manufacturer's technical specifications may contain this information, but it is unlikely. I can only suggest that cheaper panels are more likely to omit them. And I offer 'good luck' of obtaining a reliable answer from asking a supplier as to his diode population.

Do not confuse by-pass diodes with "blocking diodes". The latter are fitted to panels to prevent current flowing back from the battery when the panel is shaded or at night. Every panel would be fitted with a blocking diode.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: RMD - Thursday, Feb 04, 2021 at 22:32

Thursday, Feb 04, 2021 at 22:32
Doesn't each shaded section and active bypass diodes passing current add 0.6v drop to the panel system for each shaded/active bypass diode, ie, 2 shaded strings and 1.2v approx drop in output voltage? which also reduces the now lower flow.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Feb 04, 2021 at 23:44

Thursday, Feb 04, 2021 at 23:44
.
Yes, as I said, the loss of contribution from a shaded string will reduce the panel's output voltage. This will be further reduced by the 0.6v silicon diode drop.
You can soon run out of effective system voltage.

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: marron - Saturday, Feb 06, 2021 at 10:27

Saturday, Feb 06, 2021 at 10:27
Thank you for your information. It's really helpful it's given me a better understanding of how the panels work . Thank you once again
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