Solar Panels Best Brands

Hello Everyone, I am in the market for a Solar Panel 80 or 100watt to power a some camping equipment. Can anyone advise on a good brand we should look for? Ones that work in overcast weather or shaded areas are apparently good brands. Thanks JOHNO
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Reply By: Member Boroma 604 - Friday, Apr 06, 2012 at 10:55

Friday, Apr 06, 2012 at 10:55
Gooday,
Though I am no GURU on the subject, i do a lot of listening & some reading, have recently had solar upgraded on our caravan by a bloke who really knows Solar,his 1st choice is Suntech, l, there was a thread on on this subject recently I think here about the different brands. Many claims are made by many brands and many sales people but do not believe all, get good information before parting with your money.
If you are unable to locate Suntech send me a message & I will give you the next best ,(as good).
Cheers,
Boroma604
AnswerID: 482424

Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Friday, Apr 06, 2012 at 11:49

Friday, Apr 06, 2012 at 11:49
Hi Johno,

I have gotten into solar as an experiment over the last 6 months. I have a passing understanding of electronics and decided to experiment with a view to using it on our caravan.

This is what I have found.

From all the best advice given on these pages, you need an MPPT regulator to get the best out of your panels and you also are better off with a Monocrystaline panel than a Polycrystaline panel as the Mono panels will still produce a fair amount of power even in cloudy conditions.

I got a folding 160 watt Mono panels and an MPPT reulator and can put 10 amps into a discharged battery in good sun.

The regulators act like smart chargers in that they have three stages in there charging regime, Bulk, Absorption and then float when the battery is getting closer to its full SOC (state of charge).

The panels I have are Rich Solar which are a German make I think and I purchased them off ebay for just under $400 and I am very happy with them

The regulator is a chinese made and works very well in my opinion.

I just had a look on ebay for the regulator like the two I have but could not see them. However I have provided a link for the next best which is the first MPPT reg I got.

MPPT Regulator

Hope this helps,
Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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AnswerID: 482427

Follow Up By: itsdave - Friday, Apr 06, 2012 at 15:55

Friday, Apr 06, 2012 at 15:55
Hi Bruce

When you bought the panels did you buy it as a package , i.e including regulator wiring etc or was the $400 just for the panels. I'm after a similar setup as yours.

Cheers Dave
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Follow Up By: Member Boroma 604 - Friday, Apr 06, 2012 at 20:44

Friday, Apr 06, 2012 at 20:44
Gooday,
If you go to Caravaners Forum there is a thread there running at the moment on Suntech panels, you may get some of the info you are seeking there.
Cheers,
Boroma604.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 07, 2012 at 19:30

Saturday, Apr 07, 2012 at 19:30
Hi Dave,
Sorry for the delay.
Yes I got the panels as a folding package which included a cheap regulator, about $15 to $20 dollars worth from what I have seen on ebay.

I blew the first regulator because the panels arrived minus the Y pieces to connect them in parallel and so I assumed that they connected in series. When I got back on to the guy that supplied the panels he sent me a replacement regulator. These cheap regs are PWM and are worth about what you pay for them.

I quickly bought an MPPT regulator from China for around the $100 mark with about $10 delivery. I moved onto a better reg, as I say I was experimenting in conjunction with my cousin on the central coast, and we each got a slightly better MPPT regulator for around a little more than the same money.

This is what I would advise anybody to do as the small PWM regs are OK but the MPPT are much better.

The unit I supplied a link to has been updated in its program due to my cousins input to the supplier. Previous model suffered from hysteresis.

When the light level dropped to a specific level it cut in and out and was not as effective as it could have been. The new model should be OK.

The one I posted a link to is a rather good looking regulator and I would not hesitate to buy one with the updated program if i needed another one.

Hope this has answered your enquiry.

Cheers, Bruce

Cheers, Bruce.



At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

Lifetime Member
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Follow Up By: wazzaaaa - Sunday, Apr 08, 2012 at 07:01

Sunday, Apr 08, 2012 at 07:01
I bought "Rich solar panels from china" about five years ago the company has grown in the mean time.

See below link
Rich solar
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