UNI SOLAR

Has any one had experience with uni solar adhesive modules you stick them on to your roof,thinking of getting one,but would like to know if there is any problems with them first.
hoping to hear from some one.
hamo
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Reply By: Maîneÿ . . .- Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 11:49

Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 11:49
A direct comparison tells the story:

#Uni-Solar PLV panels are about 2 mtrs Sq and will put out just 4.1 Amps

#Sharp Solar panel same physical size would put out in excess of 14 Amps

Uni-Solar 136 Watt flexy PLV panel

Maîneÿ . . .
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 13:05

Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 13:05
How can you compare Currents in this case when they are hugely different Vmp's?

Andrew

(i recognise that the uni-solar will still not win in the final electrical comparison)
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Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 14:31

Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 14:31
Andrew,
You first ask a question, ( "how can you compare Currents in this case when they are hugely different Vmp's ?" )
then say; you "recognise the uni-solar will still not win in the final electrical comparison"

I believe 4.1 Amps and 14(+) Amps, available from each system is correct :)

The nominated output is only to give a comparison, I'm not saying one system/panel is better than the other, just that the Amps produced and available to charge the battery, is a MAX of 4.1 Amps from system and at least 14 Amps from the other system.

If you are drawing 10 Amps, then you will never have to replace more than 10 Amps when the sun is shining.
However if your drawing the same 10 Amps with a maximum replacement of only 4.1 Amps, you will *never ever* be able to fully recharge the battery.
But you may save some money -> to spend on the extra batteries you will need :)

Maîneÿ . . .
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Follow Up By: bruce - Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 15:44

Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 15:44
Whilst I will agree that the Sharp panels for the same area put out more power...what also maybe important for the user is a few other small facts that are being over looked ?, the Uni-Solar are lighter, they are flexible , unbreakable , they are" shade tolerant"...I have had an 85w glass panel (Suntech) and on an average day with a bit of cloud around the 64w Uni-Solar(non-flexible) that I now have would put out more power over the full day....cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 15:52

Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 15:52
Whilst i don't profess to know much about solar systems, my electrical background gives me an understanding of power theory. To think that some people profess to know solar technology when they cannot understand simple power equations and principles of regulation is beyond me.

Someone shoot me!

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 18:38

Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 18:38
Bruce,
I was comparing the available *panel output* nothing else, after all the only reason to buy a solar panel is to recharge a storage battery system.
If you can do it with just 4 Amps then the battery system is not getting a lot of use at all, however in a camping situation 14 Amps is a more realistically required panel capacity, it equates to (about) 3 x 80 Watt or 2 x 130 Watt panels.
I'm sure your aware some panels, and not others, will give excelent service on those "a bit of cloud around" days, actually some of the more efficient panels will even increase their output in some overcast conditions.

Andrew,
we are not talking about any "power theory" or even "principles of regulation" here, only the available technical specification numbers that can be read on the manufacturers website.
As I don't want to see you unhappy or your request go unfulfilled
Please consider yourself.... 'shot' :-)

Maîneÿ . . .
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Follow Up By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 20:38

Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 20:38
The Uni-Solar strips quoted on Mainey's url might only deliver 4.4A, but the loaded output voltage of those strips is 30.8V (48v o/c), so they might not be suitable for 12V applications without a suitable PWM regulator. With a PWM regulator, the regulator output current will theoretically be about twice the panel output current.

Gerry

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Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 20:52

Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 20:52
Hamo's question is: "Has any one had experience with uni solar adhesive modules you stick them on to your roof"
if you google "uni solar adhesive modules" you get this link: unisolar solar adhesive modules

Maîneÿ . . .
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 22:29

Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 22:29
whats a Vmp?
.
Time is an illusion produced by the passage of history
.

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Follow Up By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 23:03

Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 23:03
Mainey,
I was making technical comment about the panels in first link you provided.

Gerry

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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 23:09

Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 23:09
The Voltage at Pmax.

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Member - Ed C (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 at 02:28

Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 at 02:28
That 136W (@ Vmp 33V) Uni-Solar panel, when connected to a 12V battery via a MPPT charge controller (as it should be w/- 46.2Voc) will deliver 9.75A (@ 13.6V) to the battery/load, taking into account the modest 2.5% efficiency loss typical of any half-decent MPPT controller...
Into a battery which has been discharged to 11.5V, it will deliver 11.5A

The claim that it outputs a MAX of 4.1 Amps, when taken in the context that the question was asked, is at best deceptive and misleading...........

;-)

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

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Follow Up By: ModSquad - Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 at 14:36

Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 at 14:36
Come on fellas, its unfair to have a power theory debate in this post.
Moderation is just rules

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Reply By: ChrisK - Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 15:53

Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 15:53
I have 2 x 64watt stick-on panels on the roof of my van and they work a treat. They are charging 2 x 100a/h gel batteries through a sunsaver duo controller which has been setup to charge the batteries. All the work was completed on-site in my driveway by Glen from www.powertobefree.com.au here in Melbourne.
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Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 18:59

Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 18:59
Chris,
Who makes these "64 Watt" *stick on* Panels ??

I ask, because the only "64 Watt" panels I'm aware of are rigid framed Unisolar panels, however they do have a PLV 68 flexable panel that I've seen glued to van roof.

Maîneÿ . . .
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Follow Up By: ChrisK - Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 at 08:51

Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 at 08:51
Mainey,
For my panels my origanl contact was all about 12 volt here in Melbourne. They then put me on to Glen who did the install. Here is a link from their web site for the panels I had installed. http://www.allabout12volt.com.au/indexcat.html
It shows them as 64watt....
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Reply By: Navara Navvy - Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 21:44

Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 21:44
The panels work a treat and because of their low profile do not catch on branches and twigs, although you still need to be careful. They are on top of the slide on camper and have preformed admirably. The manufacturer has them on his own camper and he reckons they are the "bees knees". Have we had experience - yes...... are there any known problems - no. Not sure about all the technical stuff but I just wante something that works well and these panels do.
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Reply By: REV'S - Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 23:26

Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 23:26
Hi Hammo,
Getting back to your question. Yes we have been using 2x64 watt stick on Uni-solar panels for the past 2yrs mounted on the roof of our slide on camper. I'm not sure of the technical stuff, but everyone that asks my hubby what he thinks of them he always answers "brillant' Touch wood we haven't had any probs. We do a lot of remote travel on dirt tracks and stones are regularly thrown up by passing vehicles. One thing about the panels is that not like the glass panels if damaged by flying rocks etc they don't stop working & also charge under fluro lights. We run a fridge,TV, stero and led lights and theres always plenty of charge. The only time that the battery ran low was we were camped in rainy overcast condition for a few days, so we took the vehicle for a drive to charge up again. Solar is the best way to go. hope this helps with your decision. Cheers
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 at 01:24

Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 at 01:24
There are various ways to choose solar panels.

Max Watts per $1.
Max watts for the area available.
Best warranty.
Toughest.
Lightest.
Lowest wind resistance.

Unisolar self adhesive panels loose the first 2 and win the last 2, hands down and are no slouches for #4.
What do you need?

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome
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Follow Up By: Member -hamo (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 at 08:27

Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 at 08:27
Thanks guys and girls for all your answers all helpful,the panel I was looking at was a uni-solar 64 watt,quoted price $760+installing,the output in the shade impressed me,I don't need a lot of amps because I run a gen when needed
hamo
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Follow Up By: Best Off Road - Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 at 09:11

Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 at 09:11
Hamo,

I've had a US 64 watt panel (not the stick on variety, but I assume the technology is the same) for over 5 years. The output in shade or overcast conditions is so minute as to be near enough to useless.

At the money I'd be more inclined to get an 80 or 100 watt folding kit from someone like Mandrake (who advertises on the forum). This allows you to move the panel around to get maximum sun/light. It also allows you to park the van in the shade and stick the panel out in the sun.

Just something to consider.

Regards,

Jim.

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Follow Up By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 at 13:57

Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 at 13:57
No panels work all that well in the shade - don't believe the hype. The laws of physics determine this.
One good thing about the amorphous panels is their better performance when hot (which they will get in the sun). My polycrystalline panels drop about 25% in output current when hot. (don't ask me for figures, but a friend's Uni-Solar amorphous panels dropped much less output in a parallel observation).
Panels fixed flat on the roof will lose a bit of performance, since they're not facing the sun at right angles, but worth it for both mechanical rigidity and more security against theft.
A folding kit lets you follow the sun during the day, but is ripe for theft if you're not around.
The downside of a roof fixture is that you can't park the van in the shade if you want power.
Gerry
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Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 at 15:08

Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 at 15:08
Comparing two panels, with known outputs, for example;
# 64 Watt Unisolar panel
# 123 Watt Sharp panel
Both panels have the *exact same* one square metre surface area

Using the manufacturers Amperage numbers, the very *best* performance you can get is 3.9 Amps from 64w Unisolar and 7.3 Amps from 123w Sharp panel.

Worst case scenario the comparison would be;
Sharp, 7.3 Amps, less 40% = 4.4 Amps (would be 5.5 Amps @ only 25% loss)
which is still higher than Unisolar even at their peak performance of just 3.9 Amps, which would possibly also drop to some degree anyway.

If someone bought a solar panel and left it under the bed it would not work at all, if it was left it in a shed it still probably would not work either, however I've seen them work inside a tent :-)

However, if a solar panel is put out in the sun it would give the desired result, so why not put it where it is designed to go, is a bit like having a gererator and expecting it to run with-out adding any fuel, in the case of Solar power the sun is their fuel.

Maîneÿ . . .
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 at 15:33

Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 at 15:33
There is another solution option and that is to use a semi flexible panel at about 1/2 the cost.

These mould well to the small curve in a cars roof.

In some ways its better , as heat can be taken out of the panel and its actually thinner than Uni-solar.

It is sort of the insert to a normal panel i.e. a sheet of aluminium on which the cells are placed and then covered in clear heavy duty plastic film (about 1mm thick).

I have a 60watt version which I play with , no cross diodes so pretty poor in shade but sizzles when in the sun on a car roof.

E.G.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250562868321&ssPageName=ADME:X:AAQ:US:1123






Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: ChrisK - Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 at 15:36

Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 at 15:36
I think the point that most people are missing with this discussion is that the Uni-Solar panels are a different type of panel to most of the rigid panels on the market. People have eluded to their performance in shady conditions where normal panels stop working if any part of the panel is in any shade as they are an amorphous panel. See this link for descriptions;- http://www.solarquotes.com.au/types-of-solar-panel.html
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 at 15:38

Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 at 15:38
Forgot to add , that this option wins all of Peter points , except warranty I guess , and shade performance.

It is much smaller in area than Uni-solar think my 60w unit is only around 800m X 600 (don't quote me) , and even then its construction is such that I trimmed the corners with an angle grinder.
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 at 17:51

Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 at 17:51
Hi Chris

While the mono panels are poorer in shade performance the information given to you by that site is incorrect.

Using the 60watt typical 36 cells panel that I have as an example it delivers about 16w with a sunangle of about 60 degrees.(late afternoon)

If you fully cover one of the 36 cells that output power will drop to 1/4 (4 watts).

If you hold a piece of wood a meter from it and create shade over 2 or 3 cells
its output is more at about 8 watts.
This case the shade which simulates a tree branch etc which still allows some remanent illumination.
Robin Miller

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