Best per $ solar panel suppliers? - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
 Not a Member? 
  #1  
Old 06-05-2013
deniseO30's Avatar
Move over Joan Rivers!
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bristol pa
Posts: 6,093
Thanks: 51
Thanked 87 Times in 77 Posts
Rep Power: 9
deniseO30 will become famous soon enough deniseO30 will become famous soon enough
Best per $ solar panel suppliers?

Just wondering who's using what. I'd like to walk in and buy at a store but that seems unlikely with so much online suppliers.

Pretty sure my needs are around 60-80 watts
__________________
Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club. New Website!
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

my current "project"!
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 06-05-2013
Maine Sail's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Maine Coast
Posts: 5,302
Thanks: 10
Thanked 119 Times in 87 Posts
Rep Power: 15
Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice
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


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




© Images In Posts Property of Compass Marine Inc.



Last edited by Maine Sail; 06-05-2013 at 09:14 AM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 06-05-2013
chucklesR's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Pasadena Md - Magothy side
Posts: 5,977
Thanks: 10
Thanked 30 Times in 30 Posts
Rep Power: 9
chucklesR is a jewel in the rough chucklesR is a jewel in the rough chucklesR is a jewel in the rough
Re: Best per $ solar panel suppliers?

Denise,
You can buy cheap and save a couple dozen dollars, but frankly I agree with MS - get marine rated panels from a known source (Kyocera for me).
Some of those cheaper ones are made for home application - they put out 30+ volts and are meant to be wired together for that use (I've sourced cheap, then threw out the idea).
I hear you say you need 60-80. Get a 125w if you have space. You can never have too much power/charging ability. You'll also see that the bigger the panel the more watts to the buck are common.
Here's a good link that shows that.
Solar Panels at Affordable Prices
__________________
Lessons learned are opportunities earned.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 06-05-2013
jameswilson29's Avatar
Senior Smart Aleck
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 2,042
Thanks: 28
Thanked 64 Times in 59 Posts
Rep Power: 6
jameswilson29 is on a distinguished road
Re: Best per $ solar panel suppliers?

I used Northern Arizona Wind & Sun: Buy Solar Electric Panels for my simple 40 watt panel with controller, which is more than adequate for my purposes. Solar panels are designed for outdoor use in exposed areas, so I am not sure exactly what the expensive "marine" designation buys ( no disrepect intended to MaineSail who is a true asset to this listserv). In any event, I can easily and inexpensively replace my panel if necessary. Last year, it survived quite a bit of abuse, including the derecho with 70 mph winds that hit me at Kiptopeake Beach.

I decided I wanted a solar set up after watching the following video (one of my favorite sailing videos) by Adrian Johnson, who won the 2010 Singlehanded Sailing Society's Transpac race in his Olson 30 "Idefix":
.

I later corresponded with Adrian Johnson and, just coincidentally, he bought his panels from the same outfit. Adrian Johnson later sailed his Olson 30 all the way across the Pacific to Austrailia or New Zealand, where he sold it, so the panels must be fairly rugged.

Last edited by jameswilson29; 06-05-2013 at 12:15 PM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 06-05-2013
Maine Sail's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Maine Coast
Posts: 5,302
Thanks: 10
Thanked 119 Times in 87 Posts
Rep Power: 15
Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice
Re: Best per $ solar panel suppliers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
I used Northern Arizona Wind & Sun: Buy Solar Electric Panels for my simple 40 watt panel with controller, which is more than adequate for my purposes. Solar panels are designed for outdoor use in exposed areas, so I am not sure exactly what the expensive "marine" designation buys ( no disrepect intended to MaineSail who is a true asset to this listserv). In any event, I can easily and inexpensively replace my panel if necessary. Last year, it survived quite a bit of abuse, including the derecho with 70 mph winds that hit me at Kiptopeake Beach.

I decided I wanted a solar set up after watching the following video (one of my favorite sailing videos) by Adrian Johnson, who won the 2010 Singlehanded Sailing Society's Transpac race in his Olson 30 "Idefix":
I later corresponded with Adrian Johnson and, just coincidentally, he bought his panels from the same outfit. Adrian Johnson later sailed his Olson 30 all the way across the Pacific to Austrailia or New Zealand, where he sold it, so the panels must be fairly rugged.
You did not buy "el cheapo" panels. Norther Arizona Wind Sun sells quality products. Some panels they sell hold up better than others in the marine environment but NAWS has the good stuff compared to the eBay and fly-by-night net resellers who buy direct from China.. You will almost always pay more from companies like NAWS, eMarine, Wholesale Solar, AltE or other reputable sources than you will from companies not selling top names like Kyocera, Sharp, Solar World, Trina, BP Solar, SunWize etc...

My comments on brands such as Kyocera, Solar World (Siemens/Shell Solar), Sharp etc. are all based on real world durability in a marine application. Many panel sellers go so far as to void a warranty if used in a marine application so the buyer needs to ask these questions and get it in writing that the panel is covered in a marine application.

I have one customer right now who installed a small panel off eBay last summer and the panel looks like it is 30 years old. The aluminum frame clearly was never anodized...
__________________
______
-Maine Sail / CS-36T


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




© Images In Posts Property of Compass Marine Inc.


Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 06-05-2013
asdf38's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 683
Thanks: 1
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 5
asdf38 is on a distinguished road
Re: Best per $ solar panel suppliers?

It's good to see this here. I just installed a cheapo 20W panel from Amazon ($50, although its reviews were fine), partly for money and partly because I didn't know the good brands anyway.

It was sort of a quick decision after deciding to pull the trigger on an Genasun 4A MPPT (also $50, is it any good?).

I thought a lot about how to mount it, and made some PVC lumber rail clamps, but then settled on just zip ties. Two go through the aluminum frame. The others go through the PVC lumber piece fastened to the panel with 3M VHB tape.



Attached Thumbnails
Best per $ solar panel suppliers?-gvpyyd9.jpg   Best per $ solar panel suppliers?-yve1bxr.jpg  
__________________
1979 Contessa 26
Boston, Ma
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 06-05-2013
travlineasy's Avatar
Morgan 33 O.I. Perryville
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Maryland
Posts: 2,282
Thanks: 3
Thanked 59 Times in 49 Posts
Rep Power: 4
travlineasy will become famous soon enough
Re: Best per $ solar panel suppliers?

Denise, I purchased this one at Home Depot in Marathon, FL last January for $199 on sale. It works like a charm, keeps the house batteries charged to full capacity and during the day it can run the refrigerator.

Grape Solar 100-Watt Monocrystalline Off-Grid PV Solar Panel with Black Frame-GS-S-100-TS at The Home Depot

Gary
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 06-06-2013
pdqaltair's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
Posts: 2,147
Thanks: 1
Thanked 31 Times in 31 Posts
Rep Power: 6
pdqaltair is on a distinguished road
Re: Best per $ solar panel suppliers?

Off-brand durability? Who can say? The fit and finish on mine appears good, but I'm only 2 years in.

Capacity? Depends on how many guests. I've got 170W on a 32-foot cat; overkill for just me, a little short with the wife and 2 teenagers, and yet I don't really want to hang more panels, chewing up free space.
__________________
(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")

"Well, I just climb up to them."

by Joe Brown, English rock climber




To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 06-06-2013
deniseO30's Avatar
Move over Joan Rivers!
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bristol pa
Posts: 6,093
Thanks: 51
Thanked 87 Times in 77 Posts
Rep Power: 9
deniseO30 will become famous soon enough deniseO30 will become famous soon enough
Re: Best per $ solar panel suppliers?

I have 2, 5 watt harbor fright panels a few years now.. still making power and maintaining my batteries
__________________
Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club. New Website!
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

my current "project"!
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 06-07-2013
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 204
Thanks: 11
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 3
shanedennis is on a distinguished road
Re: Best per $ solar panel suppliers?

We ended up buying from emarineinc.com. Their prices are competitive and they are sailboat focused. They also sell mounting kits. Service was good.

Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 2
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
solar panel MarkusM Gear & Maintenance 7 02-17-2013 12:41 AM
solar panel QuickMick Gear & Maintenance 11 12-11-2009 02:56 PM
solar panel alan_21_us Gear & Maintenance 12 07-31-2008 10:18 PM
B32 & Solar Panel Dcneuro Bristol 2 07-26-2007 10:56 AM
solar panel maestro Gear & Maintenance 3 11-20-2002 11:02 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:41 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.