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Old 06-24-2013, 08:12 AM   #1
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Solar Panel Help

My Blue Sky 2000E controller is just displaying the status of my house batteries and is not indicating any voltage (or amps) coming in from my two Solara 60W panels on top of the roof. I realize the Solara panels often quit after a few years, but when I climb up on the roof and disconnect the power cord and probe it with my multi-meter I'm getting around 8.4 volts on a sunny day.

Just checking for any advice where to trouble shoot further.

If my panels are dying, wonder if this peel & stick 60w panel from Powerfilm would be worth getting:

http://californiapc.com/index.php?l=pro ... il&p=10638

Thanks for any advice
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:59 AM   #2
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Re: Solar Panel Help

8.5v is not enough to charge a 12v battery. The controller cannot amplify low voltage. Typically low voltage panels put out 15v-25v. Those Powerfilm panels put out 15v.
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Old 06-24-2013, 01:46 PM   #3
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Re: Solar Panel Help

My old panels did not come off very well. I just figured it was time to re-coat the top rather than leaving it roughed out. If the top needed to be resurfaced, my view was to get rid of the gel coat and go with the raptor type roof. It also gave me the chance to add a roof rack and add lighting. If you don't want to spend that kind of money perhaps this thread will help.
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9211

You might want to look at the specs between what jwintersteller used compared to the Power Film.
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:32 AM   #4
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Re: Solar Panel Help

Thanks for the replies.

I have been looking at the Aurinco 58W solar panels. They are not cheap but browsing through some of the "cruiser" marine forums they seem to be highly regarded. They are very thin, semirigid, can bend slightly and are mounted on anodized aluminum.

The panels are mainly sold for marine applications, but if you browse their installation pictures, you will find a picture of some on a SMB. I like the size, would fit in between the mounting bolts on top I think.

I was thinking of just splicing into my old Solara wire and running through my Blue Sky 2000 controller, but not certain that it is compatible?

Here is a link to their website if you are interested (Anacortes, WA):
http://www.aurinco.com/solar-electric_us.html
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:26 AM   #5
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Re: Solar Panel Help

Those seem like some very high stated efficiencies for solar panels, but maybe I haven't been keeping up with the latest gains.

Something I don't like is that there's a cost premium compared to other panels, but the warranty is worse than most other panels (only 10 years).

One thing to be careful of regarding flexible panels. If they're not well secured, the small flexing of the panels as you drive down the road will eventually degrade the metal depositied onto the surface of the panel that connects each individual cell, negatively affecting the ability of the panel to put out the stated power, and eventually it will fail. If securely mounted, there's probably not much risk.


Herb

[EDIT: I did find it interesting that for some of the panels, you can have the panel sewn onto Sunbrella or canvas. Not good for a roll-up awning, but prmising for stake-out sun shade. ]
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