Zamp versus Renogy

Semi-Hex

Enfant Terrible
Right now, I have a three panel Harbor Freight solar panel setup. Seriously, it works very well at 45 max watts (I have gotten a high of 2.87 ap) and for what I use it takes about three to four hours to recharge my 105 ah agm battery.

My issue, you ask? well, it is too big to fit on the top of my Jumping Jack easily (approximately 43x42") whereas I have 35" on each side to easily place a panel while traveling, so it charges while on the road.

In comes Renogy and Zamp. They both look like they would fit, both durable, waterproof, shock resistant both would put out more power than I could ever use. But the cost difference? (About $400 more for the Zamp) am I missing something while reading the specs? I honestly don't see the reason for the difference in price.

Any insight? Thank you.

http://www.zampsolar.com/rv-solar-kits/portable-rv-solar/
http://www.renogy-store.com/Camping-s/1867.htm
 

AndrewP

Explorer
The best way to look at solar panel output is $ per watt. 12 volt panels are close to $1 per watt, and 24/36 watt panels may be less. Here is about $1 per watt for a 160 watt panel. Not bad. Folding panels are a bit more.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-160-Watt-12-Volt-Battery-Charger-Solar-Panel-Off-Grid-RV-Boat-160-watt-total-/272008199222?hash=item3f54f3bc36:g:SLMAAOSwVL1WFCik

For your specific question, I don't know Zamp Solar. But I do have a Renogy folding 100 watt panel and it is excellent. Close to $2 per watt so you need to decide what it's worth to you.
 

Hilldweller

SE Expedition Society
I've had a Renogy 100w suitcase for a couple of years and it performs better than I had hoped.
I maintain two group 31 marine batteries with it --- running an ARB fridge and LED lights in a trailer.
 

Semi-Hex

Enfant Terrible
As I had thought. I think some people are saying "oh I need a portable solar panel" and go out and buy whichever they find .he specs certainly don't justify the extra costs.
 

mikekey

Deplorable
Renogy is a great company, even though the panels are made in China, they are a US based company with great products and service. Zamp is a bit over priced, IMO for the qaulity of panels.

The new Eclipse is a great panel, considering the efficeny and size of the panel. I have one of the orginals made by Grape Solar. Greg Holder designed the panels and sourced the Sun Power cells that Grape Solar used in the GS-100 and GS-135 modules. Prior to that, Grape only dealt in the residential market. What was to be an AM Solar exclusive soon began showing up at Hope Depot, Amazon, etc. Sort of a sellout I would think. They both have been discontinued since Sun Power has stopped making the high efficiency cells. These cells required a back-contact assembly process which was also more expensive to apply so that no silver wiring is visible across the cell faces.

The Eclipse panels are the same as the ones that were orginally produced by Grape Solar but with a stronger glass. Mine actually weight less. I have three of the 135 watt panels and one 100 watt on my roof. You can pick out the 100 watt below. I prefer high performance panels over many more low performance panels.



I average 40 amps every day out of my roof system. I have another 300 ground deploy built using the new Eclipse panels.
 

Semi-Hex

Enfant Terrible
^^ how are they doing with all the rattling and shocks of driving? I'm also not sure if Renogy or who sells these. Thank you for the info.
 

mikekey

Deplorable
^^ how are they doing with all the rattling and shocks of driving? I'm also not sure if Renogy or who sells these. Thank you for the info.
Considering they've been on my roof for a year and I travel full-time and 98% of my camping is boondocking, fine. Although I do get nervous about hail.
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
The rigid renogy panels are tough.

I wouldn't worry about any damage by driving off road, or hail.
 
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