EBay Solar Panels

Submitted: Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 00:07
ThreadID: 96800 Views:3104 Replies:8 FollowUps:10
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Hi everyone,
am currently in Kununurra, in my caravan with twin 105 amp AGM batteries.
I think I will need to buy a 120 amp folding solar outfit. Those offered on E bay are around $230, which seems very cheap. My question to those that have purchased these panels, do they do the job & is the regulator with them OK. Do they need any modifications ??
Any hints on the better E bay shops appreciated.
Thanks Daz
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Reply By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 06:36

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 06:36
Hi Daz. I bought the Ozplaza one, my brother bought the Bit deals one. Both panels are very good but the regulators are only cheap. we both upgraded to this regulator and put heavier wiring on them. With the regulator you can see quite a bit of information including battery state of charge. Also allows for extra panels if required later. We paid $260 about 4mths ago so they are good value at the moment. The ozplaza one has a heavier stand than the other. Both weigh around 15kg. Cheers,Bob.
AnswerID: 490621

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 08:22

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 08:22
If you have a Ctek dual 250s DC-DC charger do you still use a regulator like this or are they not required?
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Follow Up By: Athol W - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 10:16

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 10:16
AlbyNSW
If you have the Ctec 250S then it has facility for solar panel input, and then it operates as a multi stage battery charger, better than having just a voltage regulator (normally only a voltage limiter) fitted.

Whilst the Ctec has the ability to supply up to 20 amp charge to the battery it is quite happy to operate on a lesser input and convert this lesser input to the 14.8 volts required to charge your batteries at a lesser amperage. I have only a 125watt solar panel permenantly fitted to the roof of my caravan charging 2x 125ah AGM-VRLA batteries via the Ctec 250S and this system generally keeps the batteries fully charged by late afternooon (weather permitting).

With the Ctec 250S there is no requirement for any further voltage control to be used.

The other advantage of using the Ctec 250S is that you overcome the voltage drop caused by the length of wiring from the car alternator and therefore supplying a full charge to your van batteries whilst towing, and also there is no further requirement for any form of isolator between the car and van batteries.

I have no affilliation with Ctec or any of their suppliers, just a satisfied customer.

Regards
Athol W
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 10:40

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 10:40
Thanks for the heads up Athol. The retailer briefly told me about the solar side of things when I purchased the Ctek but was not considering it at the time as it was voltage drop that I was more interested in and I too am happy with the product.
With the price of panels these days I think I might set one up as an additional supply

Thanks again
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FollowupID: 765981

Follow Up By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 19:52

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 19:52
The only disadvantage with the Ctek is that it has no readout so you can't see what it is doing without adding a meter into the system. Bob.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bucky - Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 04:31

Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 04:31
too true

Panels are on a par

Regulators are the cheap type.

Go to ThreadID: 89551

Cheers
Bucky
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FollowupID: 766076

Reply By: racinrob - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 06:58

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 06:58
Daz, I bought a 130amp panel on eBay from a seller in Melbourne for which I paid $430. It has a German regualtor, all stainless fittings like hinges, extra leads with Anderson plugs and alligator clips a padded bag, a much better panel than many I've seen. The seller was AntEnergy.

rr VKE237 6678
AnswerID: 490622

Reply By: escapesilv - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 07:18

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 07:18
Hi Daz

I picked one up from Ebay , its a 100 Amp (by memory) from a seller in Seven Hills Sydney, and am very happy with it, but having said that I believe there are better ones, but this does what I want/need.

Cheers
Rob
AnswerID: 490623

Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 08:21

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 08:21
If it is the seller I am thinking of then they have a long history of supplying undersized panels.

Member Ed C has further info on this.


Cheers Kev
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Reply By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 08:27

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 08:27
Daz,

I got one of these panels off E Bay a couple of months ago and used them on our Central West Qld Trip a couple of weeks ago.

The output I got through the supplied regulator was 15.6v and 7.4 amps into the battery, so I was very happy with the panels.

Delivery was very quick ie within 4 days to regional QLD from Melbourne, which was quicker than the Air Freight packages sent from EO :(

HTH

Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: daz (SA) - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 10:55

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 10:55
Hi there Sir Kev

Had a look at your panels, Is the stand reasonably secure, & did you use the regulator supplied ? , They all seem much of a muchness to me.
When traveling I do not seem to be getting enough charge back to the two batteries through the Andersen from the vehicle (Cruiser). I do have a Honda 2.0 but you can not use it everywhere to top up the battery bank. I am also wondering if I should run some heavier wiring back to the batteries.
Thanks

Daz
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FollowupID: 765983

Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 11:01

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 11:01
Daz,

I used the regulator supplied with the panels but changed thier battery connection wiring to some heavy gauge wire with an Anderson plug connected So I could connect directly to the anderson plug on either the Camper or the back of the cruiser.

The stad seemed to work ok even with a fair amount of wind around.

Cheers Kev

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Follow Up By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 19:50

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 19:50
This is the Bit deals one my brother bought. The stand is a bit light on compared to the Ozplaza one but so far his has withstood the use as well. Bob.
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Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 13:56

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 13:56
Hi Daz,
My cousin and I got a 160 watt folding panel from the same mob Kev did, namely Bit Deals, and we both are very happy with them. The guy was very helpful when I encountered a problem which was partly my fault and partly theirs. Someone forgot to pack the Y connectors so in my ignorance I coupled them in series and sent 24 volts into the 12 volt regulator. He sent the connectors and a new reg without any hassles, just a little coaxing, but a nice guy.

I upgraded the regulator that comes with them to a bigger capacity than the 10 amp unit which came with the panels. My cousin has done likewise.

I have upgraded to the reg in this link below as it has a very easy to see tank gauge like display so that you can see, from a distance, the state of the battery
Solar Regulator
This regulator supplier was good also

My van, which I upgraded to recently, has an 80 watt panel already fitted to the roof permanently and that keeps the 2 110 AH AGM batteries topped up all the time.
Even after 8 hours of telly a night.

(I get my best sleeps watching the telly. LOL)
Usually wake up around 1:30 and turn it off and go back to sleep.

Cheers, Bruce
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AnswerID: 490648

Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 14:00

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 14:00
should have added that the stand, while a simple design is more than adequate.

I use the panels at home here to charge up an AGM battery to run LED lighting in the house and it is out in all sorts of weather sometimes.
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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Reply By: Gronk - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 19:36

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 19:36
The most important thing to remember ( and especially with the cheaper type setups ) is voltage drop....

Have the regulator as close as possible to the battery...NOT the panel..

Reasonable size wire from the panel to the reg .. min 6 mm2.

I have a cheap folding setup, and after doing the above, the reg was a bit suspect, so I bought a 20 A Steca......which is great as it allows you to see how many amps are going into the batt..
AnswerID: 490678

Reply By: bks - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 20:28

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 20:28
I bought an 80 watt from Ozplaza (ebay) and it does everything I need
AnswerID: 490683

Reply By: daz (SA) - Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 14:59

Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 14:59
Thank you to all contributors.

still in Kununurra, warm to hot day, warmest night last night for awhile

Cheers to all

Daz
AnswerID: 490729

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