Solar Panels

Hi all,

I am in the market for a 120w folding solar panel kit to keep the dual battery charged when I cant use a generator, and I dont particullarly want to move the car for 4-5 days.

I have come across a supplier from Melbourne who seems to have what I want,at a price I am prepared to pay.

I guess I am seekinf a bit of assurance about the company, they are Bit Deals in Epping Melbourne.

Any Victorian members had any dealings with them, or does anyone know of their reputation, you cant be too careful these days.

Thanks in advance

Barry H
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Reply By: Outbacktourer - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 19:36

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 19:36
I bought their 80W unit, very happy. Quick delivery and quality product for the price.

OBT
AnswerID: 401360

Follow Up By: Member - Barry H (WA) - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 19:41

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 19:41
Thanks for that OBT, that makes me feel a little better.

Barry H
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Follow Up By: Member - Ed C (QLD) - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 23:15

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 23:15
I can confirm that Bit Deals is a reputable seller (who delivers what he advertises:))

I would also endorse the suggestion (below) to have a chat to Mandrake, though I haven't dealt with him personally....

:)

Confucius say.....
"He who lie underneath automobile with tool in hand,
....Not necessarily mechanic!!"

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Reply By: Best Off Road - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 20:10

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 20:10
Barry,

I'd be having a chat with Steve from Mandrake's Solar Panels who advertises here.

Terrific bloke, runs a home based business so his overheads are minimal and he prices his stuff accordingly.

Cheers,

Jim Best.

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Follow Up By: Member - Barry H (WA) - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 20:31

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 20:31
Thanks for that Jim I will mm him

Barry H
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Follow Up By: Mandrake's Solar Power- Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 20:48

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 20:48
Thanks again Jim !!

Cheers

Mandrake
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Reply By: On Patrol & TONI - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 20:14

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 20:14
Hi Barry
not that company, but I just purchased a 120w folding panel with carry bag for $510 inc GST (no freight paid, pick up) from a company in Sydney. For what its worth they have a 25year warranty, whatever that means!!!!

Does this stack up to your deal?

mm me for details if you want
AnswerID: 401373

Follow Up By: Member - Barry H (WA) - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 20:34

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 20:34
On Patrol and Toni.

That is pretty close to the deal Bit Parts are offering, incl 25 yr wty.

The price was $520 ( free P&H).

Barry H
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Follow Up By: On Patrol & TONI - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 21:11

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 21:11
Cheers Barry,
Probably from the same factory in China mate.
Colin
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Follow Up By: Member - Ed C (QLD) - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 21:22

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 21:22
G'day Colin,
do you have a link to a similar product (from the company that you purchased from) ?

Thanks:)

Ed C

:)

Confucius say.....
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....Not necessarily mechanic!!"

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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 21:24

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 21:24
Colin,

It wasn't from this mob on ebay was it??

Cheers Kev
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He was presented with a difficult decision: push on into the stretching deserts, or return home to his wife.

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Follow Up By: Member - Ed C (QLD) - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 21:30

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 21:30
Looks like we're on the same level, Kev

;-))

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....Not necessarily mechanic!!"

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Follow Up By: greybeard - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 22:02

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 22:02
do a quick check on the physical size of the panel you have received. that is check out several other suppliers and you will get a good idea of what size panel is required to generate a particular output power. there's some history with over specified panels that are physically incapable of generating the power output claimed.
a very rough check is to calculate the area of the panel in square M. multiply that by ~ 17% ( efficiency ).
for an 80W panel you should get a number around 110. which is about what you'd get if you multiply the Voc by the Isc. The actual maximum power would be about 80W.
stick some numbers in a spreadsheet for various panels and you'll see a pattern for the good panels and it will highlight the doubtful ones ;)
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Follow Up By: Mandrake's Solar Power- Thursday, Jan 28, 2010 at 09:21

Thursday, Jan 28, 2010 at 09:21
Greybeard ,

My 50 watt panel comes up with a figure of 63.78 ..

730mmX540mm X efficiency 16.18% ..

Is that considered good ?

Cheers

Steve
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Follow Up By: greybeard - Thursday, Jan 28, 2010 at 10:20

Thursday, Jan 28, 2010 at 10:20
steve
the efficiency i quoted is a very rough number for conversion effiency for ~1kw/m2 of radiant power to electricity.
using the calculation i've mentioned makes a lot of assumptions.
eg it uses the outside dimensions of the mounted panel instead of the actual area of solar panels. and the 17% efficiency quoted is a rough number.

the point of the calculation is to allow simple comparison between the physical size of a mounted solar panel and it's rated power.
that is to do a rough 'laughter test' between differing solar panels. in this instance the seller mentioned has a history of initially providing undersize panels that can't produce the power quoted.

similar technologies, similar size panels should produce similar power.
there are two many estimates in my method to be using it for comparisons to 4 significant digits :( sorry.
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Follow Up By: Mandrake's Solar Power- Thursday, Jan 28, 2010 at 10:47

Thursday, Jan 28, 2010 at 10:47
Just for info - Bit Deals is the "authorised" representative in Australia for Rich Solar panels and equipment .

Cheers

Steve
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Follow Up By: Member - Ed C (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 28, 2010 at 11:06

Thursday, Jan 28, 2010 at 11:06
Steve, in case you've misunderstood, the seller that GB was referring to is the one shown in Kev's link...

:)
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....Not necessarily mechanic!!"

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Follow Up By: greybeard - Thursday, Jan 28, 2010 at 11:11

Thursday, Jan 28, 2010 at 11:11
thanks Colin.
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Follow Up By: Mandrake's Solar Power- Thursday, Jan 28, 2010 at 11:20

Thursday, Jan 28, 2010 at 11:20
Hope this makes it past the "squad" ....

I was just curious about the product that I sell - whether or not it was "efficient" by utilising greybeards " rule of thumb " - Its always good to know that sort of thing as I am a very newbie to this Solar caper and every piece of info / knowledge that I manage to latch on to helps me get more confident about the products I sell and helps me answer questions from prospective buyers with confidence even though I have no formal training / qualifications in the field ..

Cheers to all

Steve
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Follow Up By: greybeard - Thursday, Jan 28, 2010 at 11:52

Thursday, Jan 28, 2010 at 11:52
solar panel effiency = generated power from solar panel / irradiated solar power.

So you will need to know the actual irradiated solar power/square meter, the actual size of the solar panels ( not the frame size but the actual area covered by the solar cells ) and the power output from the solar panel.
I'm not aware of any simple way of calculating panel conversion efficency with a high degree of accuracy without doing the above.

All I was using was use an estimate of 1kw/sqm for irradiated power with the panel size to produce a 'magic number'.

In my case it was to prove that it was impossible for the panel I was supplied to produce the output power claimed.
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Follow Up By: greybeard - Thursday, Jan 28, 2010 at 12:07

Thursday, Jan 28, 2010 at 12:07
all sorts of info on solar panels here wikipedia
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Follow Up By: Johnny boy - Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 09:03

Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 09:03
Hi Greybeard and Steve,
My wife and 2 young kids have just started our journey around OZ for the next 9 months we are at Mystry bay near Narooma at the moment and will be heading into Victoria Via the great ocean drive from SYD and would like to find someone knowlagable in solar power to look at my set up and make sure all is right we have an 80W BP and a brand new 125W BP running through a 20 Amp plasmatronics (dingo) reg which is feeding 2X 120 AH AGM 12 volt batts,Im not all that confident on how I should be monitoring? reading the the info on the reg and we are having issues with running our dometic 3 way on gas so Im trying to use the solar which I dont think seems to be helping,so if you guys can steer me in the right directions or if you guys are in the area with your own busnesses please drop me a line .

Kind regards John.
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Follow Up By: Mandrake's Solar Power- Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 09:23

Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 09:23
John,

You can pop in to my place any weekday after 6 pm or on a Sunday and i'll run a multimeter over the system for you .. Just remember that a 3-way fridge is very very demanding when running on 12 volt only !! Usually 2 to 3 times more power required than an equivalent 12/240 v fridge ..

Pop this in your GPS and come in if you want to ..

44 Pedder Street
Wyndham Vale
Victoria , 3024

Cheers

Steve
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Follow Up By: Johnny boy - Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 09:35

Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 09:35
Thanks Steve, I will have a look where you are and if it is on our travels I will most defenitly take you up on that .

Kind regards John.
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Follow Up By: trainslux - Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 11:08

Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 11:08
Of note for those looking at ebay panels.

80w = 4.8amps if you short them across an amp meter 4.4amps operating current 634x534x70 folded

100w = 6 amps shorted, 5.5amps operating current 770x534x70
Before mentioned seller of undersized panels also ships 100w with dimentions of 810 x 53x70, the cells are more spaced out compared to 120w units of the same size.
120w 7.2a 6.7amps operating current 810x53x70, cells take up all the space on the panel, very little gap between cells.

150w 9.35a 8.5amps operating current 1196x534x70

Hope that helps.

operating current amps are the amps it puts out when connected to a battery/ load etc, and not short circuit amps.
Short circuit amps handy to quickly test a panel.


Hope that helps.

Trains
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Follow Up By: greybeard - Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 11:40

Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 11:40
hi john
sorry, whilst i do run a business it's with industrial control systems and i'm in WA.
i think steve's got you sorted out ok.
rod
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Reply By: Maîneÿ . . .- Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 10:31

Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 10:31
Barry,
Yes, I will recommend Bit Deals and Rich Solar panels :-)


Image Could Not Be FoundMaîneÿ . . .
AnswerID: 401879

Follow Up By: Mandrake's Solar Power- Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 11:27

Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 11:27
Yes Rich Solar panels are highly recommended ..
Even if you buy them from the "omauthorised" dealer in Melbourne ..

Cheers

Mandrake
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Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 11:34

Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 11:34
Steve,
is "omauthorised" meant to be 'un' authorised ??
(yes, it's a question)

Maîneÿ . . .
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FollowupID: 671309

Follow Up By: Mandrake's Solar Power- Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 11:40

Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 11:40
I'm not even authorised to type unauthorised !! LOL

Its dark in here thats my excuse !!

Cheers

Steve

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