HardKorr 170 watt Solar Panels

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 15, 2023 at 07:50
ThreadID: 145417 Views:2778 Replies:6 FollowUps:13
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Good morning, I have searched the forum for answers, but the last post was in April 2021 and the search function won't let you submit the word HardKorr. Has anybody used these panels and if so, good, so so or don't bother? Hard Korr Panels
John and Jan

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Reply By: Briste - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2023 at 08:53

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2023 at 08:53
HK is a brand where you will find mixed reports.Mine is one of the negatives. You may find a post here by me around the middle of last year where I reported that my HK 200W folding mat's output declined rapidly from new, and was eventually replaced under warranty.

Well the replacement went the same way and I got a refund. One of the four panels had lost 75% of its output and another lost 15% compared to the best performing two panels. There is a more detailed report on Caravanners Forum. I'm still looking for a replacement, but have become a bit wary of the longevity of these semi-soft folding panels / mats.

I can't fault HK on their handling of the warranty claims. However I have seen other reports of multiple failures, including one on my CF thread. HK have a good reputation, but I get the impression that something has slipped.
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Follow Up By: Member - John - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2023 at 09:04

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2023 at 09:04
Briste, thanks for the reply, not sure why that post didn't come up in my search of the forum. It is a bloody mine field when it comes to solar. Cheers
John and Jan

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Follow Up By: Briste - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2023 at 09:24

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2023 at 09:24
In case you hadn't found it, this is the thread . My post on CF is in the RV Electrics Discussion area - not hard to find,
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Reply By: AlbyNSW - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2023 at 09:22

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2023 at 09:22
I have that panel John. I bought it for its weight saving and low profile. Only had it for twelve months and haven’t performed any tests other than it works and keeps my lithium battery charged
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Reply By: Member - wicket - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2023 at 09:30

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2023 at 09:30
John
These people have a pretty good reputation, might be worth a look.https://www.solar4rvs.com.au/
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Follow Up By: Member - Racey - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2023 at 14:07

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2023 at 14:07
I also recommend Solar4RV.
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Reply By: Member - Healso - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2023 at 19:51

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2023 at 19:51
Hi John
I have 2 of these, one for the camper and one for the tug. Both have 200AH batts in them and the solar panels keep both of them charged up. The camper has a 75l fridge, lights, fans, etc and the tug has a 65lt fridge, lights, chargers, etc. Haven't had any problems with them. Cheers.
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Reply By: Gronk - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2023 at 20:08

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2023 at 20:08
I’m looking around for a couple of 150W (approx) semi flexible panels…for their lightweight .
Not for mounting , but to stand on the ground.
One thing to keep in mind is their rated output. Lots of makers are making rubbish claims about outputs.
I’d like to buy one in person so I can do a short circuit test on it before buying.
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Follow Up By: Peter J4 - Thursday, Mar 16, 2023 at 07:09

Thursday, Mar 16, 2023 at 07:09
Another vote for Solar4RV's, might be more expensive but you get what you pay for and they will also advise what is best for your situation.
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Friday, Mar 17, 2023 at 07:33

Friday, Mar 17, 2023 at 07:33
You have to remember that the majority of the claimed output is from “laboratory” testing in perfect conditions, not “real world” testing. Just like the fuel economy claims made by vehicle manufacturers.

There is a formula for calculating the output of most solar panels, I can’t remember it at the moment, someone else may know it.

Macca.
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Follow Up By: Peter J4 - Friday, Mar 17, 2023 at 07:54

Friday, Mar 17, 2023 at 07:54
Typically in my experience for my panels mounted flat on the roof and across varying conditions like vehicle position re north etc I work it out in ideal conditions as about 70-75% of rated conditions .
Start factoring in occasional shade and dirty panels its not hard to get down to around 50% especially the further south you go along with shorter winter days etc etc.
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Saturday, Mar 18, 2023 at 22:45

Saturday, Mar 18, 2023 at 22:45
I have a semi flexible 100W panel……rated output of 5.5A…get approx 3A out of it..
Also have a fixed 140W panel…rated at 7.7A….get approx 6.5 to 7A out of it ??
Same day, same angle to sun.

I like the idea of semi flexible for weight advantages, but finding solar panels that produce somewhere near claimed ratings is a nightmare !!
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Follow Up By: Briste - Sunday, Mar 19, 2023 at 08:46

Sunday, Mar 19, 2023 at 08:46
That's the conclusion I came to as well. My post earlier in this thread wasn't specifically to bag out one particular brand, I've become wary of all semi-soft folding panels. Some seem to get close to spec when they're new, but you don't often see reports after prolonged usage. Take the Bluetti SP200 for example. There are countless Youtube videos showing its good output when new, but Mr Overland Exposure recently did a video reporting on it after some months, and its output had declined a lot.

I've ordered a rigid folding panel from Solar4RV. It's not going to be as convenient to carry, but it takes up less space when set up, seems to produce close to spec, and it's relatively inexpensive. If Solar4RV are good for advice, then it's interesting to note that they don't sell the semi-soft folding panels.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Mar 19, 2023 at 12:50

Sunday, Mar 19, 2023 at 12:50
.
Solar4RV certainly do sell "semi-soft folding panels". But they are listed under the heading of "Flexible Solar Panels".
These are not 'roll-up' but are intended for being attached directly to curved van roofs.
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Allan

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Follow Up By: Briste - Sunday, Mar 19, 2023 at 17:50

Sunday, Mar 19, 2023 at 17:50
I omitted the word "portable", but even then I overlooked the Sunman.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Mar 19, 2023 at 18:04

Sunday, Mar 19, 2023 at 18:04
.
They have eight "portable, folding" panels listed here.
Are we both looking at the same website?
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Allan

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Follow Up By: Briste - Sunday, Mar 19, 2023 at 18:34

Sunday, Mar 19, 2023 at 18:34
Yes we are. The Exotronic, which is their main portable folding offering is definitely _not_ semi-soft. It's a rigid folding briefcase style. Solar4RVs refer to it as "a strong but small form-factor foldable glass solar panel". Nothing semi-soft about glass.

I was incorrect in my earlier statement, as there is one and one only semi-soft portable folding model offered by Solar4RVs - the Sunman.

My point still stands - if semi-soft portable folding panels performed up to spec and maintained that performance over time, you'd expect Solar4RVs to offer more than just one model. It's the semi-soft characteristic that I've become rather wary of.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Mar 19, 2023 at 22:04

Sunday, Mar 19, 2023 at 22:04
.
The description keeps changing. The Sunman is a "fluorine polymer" panel.
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Allan

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Reply By: Member - Markthemilko (WA) - Friday, Mar 24, 2023 at 00:25

Friday, Mar 24, 2023 at 00:25
I've had 2 HK panels replaced under warranty and now my 3rd one is a poor performer. Not going to bother returning them under warranty - waste of my time.
Happy 4WDriving
Mark

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