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Old 07-07-2014
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Re: solar recommendations

I had two 215W Kyocera panels on my last boat (a Beneteau 423) with a simple solar charge controller. I lived on the boat for 5 years and never had a problem with any part of the solar system so I can definitely recommend Kyocera for reliability.

Buying at $1 a watt leads you to the bottom of the barrel in quality in most cases. $2 to $3 a watt is more normal I think, maybe $4 a watt for flexible panels like those from Go Power.

The above comment is no longer true. Prices have come down drastically in the past few years, especially on the fixed panels.

Check out Marine Solar Panels For Sale - e Marine Systems and Panels. I have dealt with both companies and been very satisfied.

On the new boat, I didn't want to have to mount fixed panels on an arch so I went with flexible panels. They are more expensive but are zipped to the top of the bimini so it's a cleaner looking installation. It's only been a couple of months but they seem to work well so far.

For anything but a very simple system, go with an MPPT controller. That is the only way to extract the maximum power from the panels.
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