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Old 04-30-2011, 09:59 AM   #1
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What is the latest on Solar Panels?

So I have a little over a month to get a solar panel added for Moab. I'm thinking 125W or larger, one panel, not too expensive. Problem is Google is just overflowing with information, most of which even I can tell is outdated.

What is the latest greatest in solar panels for the SMB? Is it worth it to save a buck and go a little outdated, or should I buy as tech-forward as possible? Is it worth and inexpensive 250W panel over a "better" 125W panel?

Light and durable would be great, but this is waaay expensive for my needs: Aussie 125W flexible
and made me realize I'd need a beefy lock and separate alarm system just for the panel.

I don't mind mounting something, or going portable- but it's got to be relatively easy- I've got a little over a month and several other large projects... and now I'm starting to freak out a little too.

So, what should I buy, and where should I get it?
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Old 04-30-2011, 10:06 AM   #2
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Re: What is the latest on Solar Panels?

I'm really happy with my Kyocera 135W panel. I would have been even happier if I had gotten it for this price:

http://www.affordable-solar.com/kyocera ... string,p:1

I put a new Blue Sky Controller in my van. I still have the working original controller if you want to save some more money. I'd rather give it away than throw it away.

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Old 04-30-2011, 10:27 AM   #3
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Re: What is the latest on Solar Panels?

I haven't checked solar panels for a few years now, but some definitely work better in hot conditions then others. Around ten years ago, BP panels were the best in hot weather. I checked the outputs of several types myself, and BP was the best then. Now?????
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Old 04-30-2011, 10:43 AM   #4
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Re: What is the latest on Solar Panels?

Already got a panel* and "pre-wire", so I guess I want the junction box option?

*Edit: meaning "charge controller panel"... oops.
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:37 AM   #5
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Re: What is the latest on Solar Panels?

Are you looking for a 2nd panel? I would think you would be well off to get the same panel manf. and output so one panel is not working harder than the other. If the output curves aren't matched (I don't know that they differ from manf. to manf.) then one panel would do most the work.

You could junction at the panel or at the controller or anywhere inbetween. As long as they wind up in parallel.

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Old 04-30-2011, 11:59 AM   #6
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Re: What is the latest on Solar Panels?

I read you have the panel already but if itís too small the Kyocera Solar KD185GX-LPU 185 Watt is on sale for $415.00 from Northern Arizona sun and wind. Donít know if it will fit. I also have the 135ís.
http://www.solar-electric.com/kyocerakc170gt.html
http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/wind-sun ... nstall.pdf

I like the Blue Sky controller but the old original worked OK. Maybe you should take Mike up on that offer. The Blue Sky seems to work better in low light conditions and overcast days. I carry a portable panel but rarely use or need it. I guess if I were a person that stays in camp it would be used a bit more. The Blue Sky solar boost 2000 is rated for 25 amps if I remember correctly so if you have a smaller panel already you could add more later if you need to. Here is a link but donít know if itís a good price.
http://www.solar-electric.com/sb2000.html
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Old 04-30-2011, 12:07 PM   #7
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Re: What is the latest on Solar Panels?

Edited, unfortunate choice of words for the Blue Sky Controller "panel", not a solar panel... still can't think of what else to call it. Up to now it's been a fancy voltage meter.
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Old 04-30-2011, 12:47 PM   #8
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Re: What is the latest on Solar Panels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
I read you have the panel already but if itís too small the Kyocera Solar KD185GX-LPU 185 Watt is on sale for $415.00 from Northern Arizona sun and wind. Donít know if it will fit. I also have the 135ís.
http://www.solar-electric.com/kyocerakc170gt.html
http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/wind-sun ... nstall.pdf

I like the Blue Sky controller but the old original worked OK. Maybe you should take Mike up on that offer. The Blue Sky seems to work better in low light conditions and overcast days. I carry a portable panel but rarely use or need it. I guess if I were a person that stays in camp it would be used a bit more. The Blue Sky solar boost 2000 is rated for 25 amps if I remember correctly so if you have a smaller panel already you could add more later if you need to. Here is a link but donít know if itís a good price.
http://www.solar-electric.com/sb2000.html
the kyocera 185 is the one sportsmobile is now using according to their website
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Old 04-30-2011, 01:23 PM   #9
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Re: What is the latest on Solar Panels?

Make sure that your wire run from the controller back to your batteries is of sufficient size for the length. Any significant voltage drop will make a huge difference in how the system works.
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Old 04-30-2011, 01:35 PM   #10
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Re: What is the latest on Solar Panels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
I read you have the panel already but if itís too small the Kyocera Solar KD185GX-LPU 185 Watt is on sale for $415.00 from Northern Arizona sun and wind. Donít know if it will fit. I also have the 135ís.
http://www.solar-electric.com/kyocerakc170gt.html
http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/wind-sun ... nstall.pdf

I like the Blue Sky controller but the old original worked OK. Maybe you should take Mike up on that offer. The Blue Sky seems to work better in low light conditions and overcast days. I carry a portable panel but rarely use or need it. I guess if I were a person that stays in camp it would be used a bit more. The Blue Sky solar boost 2000 is rated for 25 amps if I remember correctly so if you have a smaller panel already you could add more later if you need to. Here is a link but donít know if itís a good price.
http://www.solar-electric.com/sb2000.html
the solar boost 2000e will work up to maximum of 210 solar panel.
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