Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Thread: Solar Panel Differences?? Teach Me!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Irvine, CA
    Posts
    536

    Default Solar Panel Differences?? Teach Me!!

    So - I have a location where I can fit either of these solar panels (but not anything larger), but just wondering, why is there a big discrepencey between the two specs of these units? They are approximately the same size - I am a newb on this stuff, so and help is appreciated - but I always though size was important in solar panels.

    This HQRP one is (47x21 inches): "80 watts" - Maximum Power Voltage: 17.6V; Open Circuit Voltage: 21.8V; Maximum Power Current: 4.83A - [ame="http://www.amazon.com/HQRP-Mono-crystalline-Anodized-Aluminum-Coaster/dp/B002OSAB28/ref=sr_1_21?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1283881003&sr=8-21"]CLICK HERE[/ame]

    and this Bruton one is (42x15 inches): # "15 Watts" - Output Voltage: 12V; Maximum Power Current: 1000mA: [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Brunton-Solarflat-15-Solar-Amorphous-Protection/dp/B001NG0WVW/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1283881441&s r=8-10"]CLICK HERE[/ame]

    So - why the big different in specs?

    I am looking to run a Engel MT040. I have two small (space issues) 35AH batteries that I want to keep charged via solar.

    Thanks for your help!
    Hiding behind my username
    2003 Range Rover HSE - the plushmobile - 2" Lift on Air, PowerTank, Custom Rear Bumper with Spare Tire, Jerry Can, Ax, Shovel and Hi-Lift Mount, Sliders, Cobra, Hella 4000's - Currently TRAILERLESS!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Auburn, WA.
    Posts
    4,421
    Solar can be quite confusing.
    I have a thread in this section on my installation from last year.

    I went with a 60 watt panel on the recommendation of Martyn at Adventure Trailers, also where I bought my panel and cables from.

    I use mine to keep the stock battery charged up while running the ARB fridge and the tents 12v light.

    60 watts is also enough that it could power the fridge all by itself if the panel was getting full sunlight, but I bought the panel to just keep the batteries charged full all the time.

    There should be lots of informative threads in this section.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Irvine, CA
    Posts
    536
    Right, but I can't fit the 60 watt panel that AT sells! I need to know about these two.

    How can two panels of approximately the same size produce far different specifications?

    Also, why is one 50% of the other in cost? I imagine the higher cost one uses a different technology that improves power generation, but is it real? Or just smoke and mirrors from flawed testing, or marketing hype?

    Thanks!
    Hiding behind my username
    2003 Range Rover HSE - the plushmobile - 2" Lift on Air, PowerTank, Custom Rear Bumper with Spare Tire, Jerry Can, Ax, Shovel and Hi-Lift Mount, Sliders, Cobra, Hella 4000's - Currently TRAILERLESS!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    1,758
    http://sunelec.com/index.php?main_pa...page=1&sort=3a

    Picking obscure items from amazon and asking about prices isn't asking an answerable question. Or rather the answer is that they cost what they do because that's what the seller decided.
    The link above is to Sun Electronics, a major discounter. All the panels they sell are from major suppliers. Pick a panel with a Vmp of 15-18, pick an appropriate size inexpensive Morningstar or Blue Sky controller, talk to the vendor about wire and mounting and you're done. (Blue Sky you would need to buy elsewhere).
    Last edited by dzzz; 09-07-2010 at 06:28 PM.
    Don

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Guest of the northern barbarians Aberdeen
    Posts
    2,431
    Solar panels.....I spec and use panels at work for remote monitoring stations

    1 there are many technologies
    2 china does not make reliable or efficient panels
    3 stick to the major manufacturers BP/Shell/TOTal (all oil companies but also manufacture panels)

    more watts per size usually means a higher spec and higher cost.

    Bruton make camping gear, their solar stuff is just a sideline

    Buy once buy right, I have installs coming up to 10 years old functioning fine with zero input.

    here's a site with good prices and no odd name panels, good quality- you have to pay for !


    If a big name professional company makes a 60w in 0.5 meters square for example

    and kyyusun kitchen ware and solar inc china has a 150w with the same dimensions.........buyer beware !

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Irvine, CA
    Posts
    536
    Quote Originally Posted by dzzz View Post
    http://sunelec.com/index.php?main_pa...page=1&sort=3a

    Picking obscure items from amazon and asking about prices isn't asking an answerable question. Or rather the answer is that they cost what they do because that's what the seller decided.
    I didn't and don't know enough to know that I was asking about an obscure item.

    Thanks for the link!
    Hiding behind my username
    2003 Range Rover HSE - the plushmobile - 2" Lift on Air, PowerTank, Custom Rear Bumper with Spare Tire, Jerry Can, Ax, Shovel and Hi-Lift Mount, Sliders, Cobra, Hella 4000's - Currently TRAILERLESS!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Irvine, CA
    Posts
    536
    Quote Originally Posted by UK4X4 View Post
    Solar panels.....I spec and use panels at work for remote monitoring stations

    1 there are many technologies
    2 china does not make reliable or efficient panels
    3 stick to the major manufacturers BP/Shell/TOTal (all oil companies but also manufacture panels)

    more watts per size usually means a higher spec and higher cost.

    Bruton make camping gear, their solar stuff is just a sideline

    Buy once buy right, I have installs coming up to 10 years old functioning fine with zero input.

    here's a site with good prices and no odd name panels, good quality- you have to pay for !


    If a big name professional company makes a 60w in 0.5 meters square for example

    and kyyusun kitchen ware and solar inc china has a 150w with the same dimensions.........buyer beware !
    There wasn't a link in your message - what is the site with good prices and no off name panels?
    Hiding behind my username
    2003 Range Rover HSE - the plushmobile - 2" Lift on Air, PowerTank, Custom Rear Bumper with Spare Tire, Jerry Can, Ax, Shovel and Hi-Lift Mount, Sliders, Cobra, Hella 4000's - Currently TRAILERLESS!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    nomadic man
    Posts
    232
    Of the 2 you mention, the Brunton won't do much more than trickle charge your batteries. It doesn't have enough power to run the Engel.

    Big difference between 80 watt and 15 watt panels, even though similar in size.

    What is the size of the space you have available? With that, I can help better with a panel.

    Also, might want to consider some of the portable suitcase style panels out there now.
    80 watt ones are priced pretty reasonable and include a charge controller.
    Many to choose from, most made in China so have to be careful on the quality.
    Able to be placed where the sun is without having your rig in the sun.
    Last edited by jkam; 09-07-2010 at 11:25 PM.
    Jay

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    West Coast, USA
    Posts
    272
    crystalline silicon (c-Si) vs. amorphous thin film silicon (a-Si TFPV): much higher watts per unit area is the difference you're seeing.
    For mobile application, you pretty much want to stick with c-Si since space is at a premium. Some people like the roll-up CIGS cells which fall somewhere in between c-Si and a-Si...but price is quite high.
    Sanyo, Kyocera, Sharp are some of the best c-Si panels, though they do not make very low-wattage panels...maybe 40W at a minimum? Yeah, check for Kyocera KC40T...it's a pricey but high-quality panel..$200-$300.
    Also, better panels will have better weather sealing and less power drop over the life of the cell compared to most Chinese manufactured panels.
    Having said all that, do your DD...I suggest at least a few hours research for every $100 you plan to spend.
    Good luck!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Guest of the northern barbarians Aberdeen
    Posts
    2,431

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •