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post #2 of Old 06-05-2013
Maine Sail
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Re: Best per $ solar panel suppliers?

I have specifically stayed away from buying panels on the $$ to watts scale....

I know the race to the bottom of the price market often results in less quality and it now appears the issue has taken hold on the solar market. Through this period of low cost, elcheapo, source unknown solar panels I have held fast to known brands such as Kyocera, Sharp etc. that have a known and quantifiable track record in a marine application...

Unfortunately the race to the bottom has seen known quality brands like Kyocera drop many of the small panels we often use on boats leaving us potentially holding the bag of goods by forcing us to buy brands with little to no track record in marine environments..

As I have mentioned many times before Kyocera, Sharp, Siemens/Shell/Solarland have a track record in marine applications, and I feel very comfortable installing them in the marine environment. I am certainly glad I decided to stay with a known quantity, even when tempted by low prices.. I have now seen three or four defective no-name Chinese eBay panels with outright damage and many more not put out anywhere near their ratings. Was working on a boat the other day in beautiful blue sky with the 40W eBay panel aimed directly at the sun and 0.90A - 1.10A was all she could muster and the panel was not very warm either so performance should have been excellent.....

While buying a brand name panel is no guarantee at least I know how a company like Kyocera stands behind an issue, if there ever is one.

This article is pretty sad, especially considering our tax dollars that were spent buying this stuff. The sad reality is that we often do get what we pay for....

Solar Industry Anxious Over Defective Solar Panels

-Maine Sail / CS-36T

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 06-05-2013 at 09:14 AM.
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