New Sunpower solar panel

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006 at 13:49
ThreadID: 31543 Views:3587 Replies:6 FollowUps:5
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Anyone know anything about these new panels on the market?

Sunpower

I need an 80-90w panel for the roof of the Troopy.

Have been told Sunpower 90w is fairly compact at 1030 x 530 and puts out over 5amps.

Looking for some ideas on mounting a panel on the roof in front of the rack at an angle - some pics would be great if anyone has done it - and how it was secured.

Also is there such a thing as a solar regulator and digital lcd battery monitor in one or do I need to buy the two separate to do the job right?
I want to be able to see the percentage left in the AGM battery etc. I think Morningstar has one but I can't make heads or tails of it all.

Thks
John
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Reply By: V8troopie - Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006 at 15:52

Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006 at 15:52
John, that panel sounds OK, why don't you get one and tell us how good it is,
LOL.
As for mounting it on a troopy, I had done something like your plan with a 40W panel some years ago.
Made a single bar rack that fitted across the roof as far forward as the gutter mounts would allow.
This held the front end of the solar panel, the rear end was bracketed to the front of the main roof rack. The panel angled up nicely to deflect wind off the main roof rack though it was a bit vulnerable from stone chipping, though mine lasted the whole trip around OZ after which I sold the panel - still have the single bar rack somewhere.
No photo's readily on the computer, they would be slides anyway as it was about 15 years ago.

Can't help you with the regulator cum battery monitor, there seems to be a new gadget for that on the market every month. I'm sure you find something suitable, wish I had something back then as the 40W panel proved woefully inadequate.
Klaus
AnswerID: 159328

Reply By: Nebster - Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006 at 17:02

Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006 at 17:02
Hi

I have a BP Solar Charge Controller, I think its made by steca it pretty easy to use, was about $86 , It has a LCD display telling SOC % and volts, amps in /out

I brought all my gear from the same shop so You might have to make sure that the regulator suits the type of Solar panel you get. This one is for photovoltaic Solar systems.



I am currently making a roof rack to hold our 2 40watt panels, I am looking at making it so that tables clip over the front of the panels when travelling to avoid stone ect. also gets the tables out of the way in the back.

Cheers
AnswerID: 159336

Follow Up By: Mainey (WA) - Friday, Mar 10, 2006 at 12:33

Friday, Mar 10, 2006 at 12:33
Nebster, You say "I am looking at making it so that tables clip over the front of the panels when travelling to avoid stones"

If the panels are covered then they are not charging your batteries and will only be working when you actually remove the table.
It appears to defeat the purpose of having them on the roof!!

I'm sure you will find the BP regulator will not work correctly when running on SOC because the 2 x panels will not put into the battery as much power as the accessories take out, that gives a negative reading and disconnects the fridge from the battery because the low voltage disconnect will activate.
The vehicle alternator charge going into the battery is not recognised on SOC by the BP regulator, the battery can be 12.8v and still showing as a negative SOC and the fridge will not be connected.

The best way is run on "Voltage" and it will only apply 'auto disconnect' when the battery is low.
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FollowupID: 414323

Follow Up By: Nebster - Friday, Mar 10, 2006 at 13:10

Friday, Mar 10, 2006 at 13:10
Mainey,
I hear what you're saying, my setup is a little bit different to the main thought process I suppose. I set it up to suit what I wanted.

Ok here goes.... I use the regulator as a visual aid more anything when set up in camp as to what the solar is coming in and a check on the volts in battery.

I run my fridge from another power box on a seperate set up which is on the other side and the regulator does not control.

I generally turn the regulator off by a switch you can barely see under the gray box. But if Im camped up for a while then I activate the system in question. I reset the amps in and out on the regulator and it all starts fresh from then. The top white plug on the gray box is where the solar panels plug into.

When I initially got the regulator I only wanted to see how any amps the fridge and accessories were drawing and after that I have reverted back to my current ways. Ive got more sockets then I really need cause I only run the fridge and charge a detector battery or two.

Sometimes I dont even have the solar panels with me and that box doesnt get turned on.

I'll keep this in mind thanks
"The best way is run on "Voltage" and it will only apply 'auto disconnect' when the battery is low."

Cheers
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FollowupID: 414333

Reply By: Pterosaur - Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006 at 17:46

Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006 at 17:46
You can get a 110w panel (delivered) for less than the price quoted, from this mob

Suntech
AnswerID: 159347

Follow Up By: Mainey (WA) - Friday, Mar 10, 2006 at 13:29

Friday, Mar 10, 2006 at 13:29
http://www.suntechaustralia.com.au/product_page.php?prod_code=STA110-12

Suntech 110wt panel is 1315 x 661 and delivers 6.4amp ($881.00 EXcluding GST, so that’s $969 +30 = $999)

Sunpower 90wt panel is 5.1amp, however is only 1038 x 527 and more affordable :-)
The technical specifications of the two panels are also vastly different.

The Sunpower 95wt won’t be available till later this year and will be ~$45 extra.
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FollowupID: 414348

Reply By: Steve M - Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006 at 20:49

Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006 at 20:49
This seems to be expensive for this type of panel

I have been looking at prives in WA and am about to buy 2

Sharp 80w ~$610
BP Solar 80w ~760
Sunpower 90w ~$802

The reg in the pic above is a Steca, theres good info on their web site. Lots of company's rebrand stecas. They will monitor the battery's power (AH) provided ALL the carging is done via the reg, otherwise it will screw its calculations up ie using external battery charger ( then it will give you instantaeous voltage and current use only). If you want to monitor external charging as well you will need a larger reg to handle the chargers supply.

I have heard good reports on the Plasmatronics. They are more expensive but enable you to use an external shunt (pricey) to monitor external charging that it can use in its calculations.

Steca 10A ~$165
Steca 15A ~$193
Steca 20A ~$192
Plasmatronics 20A ~$294

Sunsaver do cheaper regs but I cant remember if thet do any monitoring.

Steve M

AnswerID: 159387

Follow Up By: Mainey (WA) - Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006 at 23:51

Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006 at 23:51
Sunpower are good panels in the heat...
Sharp are also very good, the rest well there has to be a second choice LoL

90 watt Sunpower at 802 is a bit expencive for a "mates" rate deal :-)
Sharp 123watt is a good panel (7.16 amp) but has just had a price rise last week to aprox 940, as many other brands will have shortly.

Steca's are excellent prices... and a really good product, that's why many other companies rebadge them, including BP.
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FollowupID: 414036

Reply By: madmax - Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 15:56

Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 15:56
sharp panels are pretty good ... i got mine at energy matters
AnswerID: 159527

Follow Up By: Mainey (WA) - Friday, Mar 10, 2006 at 12:00

Friday, Mar 10, 2006 at 12:00
$1,065 for a Sunpower 90watt panel at 'Energy matters' :-((
Compare it with the prices quoted above.

At my "mates" rates I can source the 90wt panel below 800 :-)
(save ~300)
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FollowupID: 414312

Reply By: Flash - Friday, Mar 10, 2006 at 17:55

Friday, Mar 10, 2006 at 17:55
Have a look at:
http://www.tasmanenergy.com.au/specials.htm
AnswerID: 159753

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