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Old 05-22-2008, 07:06 PM   #1
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Solera vs Kyocera- Basic question

I know this has been discussed at length but I have a simple question.

I have a manual top and want solar but would prefer something removable and possibly expandable. I'm not a fan of the flexible panels being glued and drilled through the center part of the roof into the passenger compartment.

My question is, if 1 Solera is 65W and the Kyocera is 130W, would I be OK with getting 1 Kyocera panel if I was going to get 2 of the Soleras? Or should I just spring for 2 of the Kyoceras while I'm at SMB West? Peter initially recommended 2 Solera panels.

Recommendations?
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Old 05-22-2008, 09:25 PM   #2
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We have one 130W Kyocera panel and are quite happy with it. We don't use alot of power, some lights, the 4cf refrig, a little water and maybe the news on the radio.

If you have and use a microwave or DC coffee pot or similar you will need more power than one panel can provide.

Mike
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Old 04-25-2009, 10:55 AM   #3
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Re: Solera vs Kyocera- Basic question



Lactic, did you end up with the one Kyocera, and more importantly, are you happy with it? I'm having issues AGAIN with my two marine solar panels. These panels have been the most dissapointing item with my SMB, as they've never operated properly for more than 5-6 months before having issues again. This is even after having two panels replaced with two new panels.

Since SMBw doesn't carry the marine solar panelsanymore, I may have to go with the Kyocera panel instead. At who's expense, I don't yet know....

The two marine solar panels were fine for my power usage, so a single Kyocera should be fine as well. Fingers crossed.


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Old 04-25-2009, 01:10 PM   #4
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Re: Solera vs Kyocera- Basic question

I have two Kyocera panels and one 4D battery and in most circumstances the two solar panels are overkill. If I am camped where there is a clear view of the sky and no clouds my battery is usually fully charged by 10 or 11 am. We got two panels because living in the Northwest we are often camped deep in the forest where we may only get a couple of hours of direct sun or under gray skies.

If you get the Kyocera panel it would be very easy to add an additional panel if needed. There is a junction box under the panel and to add a second panel you simple connect the panels in the junction box. If you want it to be removable you may consider mounting it to a Thule track system.

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Old 04-25-2009, 02:12 PM   #5
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Re: Solera vs Kyocera- Basic question

Thanks for the info John. I think one Kyocera should be fine for my SMB, but it's nice to know it's easy to add more if my requirements change.

The leading edges of my marine solar panels are mounted into my PH top, and the trailing edges or the panels are mounted using the Thule tracks.

It seem the marine panels have greater longevity if mounted (glued?) directly to the PH top with no space underneath, but they operate at greater efficiency with airflow underneath since they operate cooler. Part of the problem with my installation was it was raised up, but initially, flatstock was used to build a frame for the two panels and that was woefully inadequate to keep the panel/frame assembly from flexing wildly. I believe that was the cause of the demise of the first two panels. The second two panels were mounted in an angle-iron frame which helped considerably, but even that needed follow-on improvements via rubber cushions to keep the frame from flexing at speeds anywhere from 60mph on up.

If I end up with a Kyocera panel, hopefully they can reutilize the holes that were put into my PH top for the framework for the marine panels. Last thing I need are additional PH top penetrations.


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Old 04-25-2009, 05:38 PM   #6
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Re: Solera vs Kyocera- Basic question

Herb from what I've been told Solara panels are not avaliable in the US anymore. If anybody finds this not to be true I would like to know. If I loose one panel out of three I'm in trouble and will have to pull all of them off and go with what SMB uses now. Any clue to why SMB's rack mounted panel don't flex like yours or do they? Does it have to do with the panel itself?
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Old 04-25-2009, 06:40 PM   #7
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Re: Solera vs Kyocera- Basic question

Herb,
We have a single Kyro and it has worked great. I could see us adding a second some day just 'cause. DIdn't know it was plug-n-play, so adding a second is more of a reality now. We have a single 4D. Its on a tiltable mount (although I must confess, I've never tilted it).
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