good deal on solar? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 21 Old 09-13-2010 Thread Starter
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good deal on solar?

ive got an advert with a 149.99 price on this

45 Watt Solar Panel Kit

with an additional 20% off... no inverter... is this reasonably priced/does it look like a good cantidate for a foray into the solar realm?
thanks

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post #2 of 21 Old 09-13-2010
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Yes, that's a pretty good deal. I've got one of the Chicago Electric panels, a 30 watt, that I use for winter charging of my batteries. Its been pretty reliable, even though it is exposed to salt water and such. However, I have a single panel, rather than the three smaller panels you'll have. Mounting them might be an issue.

You'll want to get some 3/8" cable loom to protect the wiring from UV damage.

BTW, solar panels don't need an inverter... Depending on the size of your battery bank, you may need a charge controller.

BTW, a 45 watt panel will probably yield about 15 amp-hours of battery charging per day on average. This is based on 3 amps at 14.4 volts times five hours of full output on average per day.

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post #3 of 21 Old 09-13-2010
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15 Watt Solar Battery Charger Kit - 8500020 | Tractor Supply Company
I'm planning to get this 15amp one to keep a charge on my batteries over the winter. It comes with a 7amp Charge controller for $129

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post #4 of 21 Old 09-13-2010
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Matt
It is 15 watts, not 15 amps. That is barely over 1 amp at full output.

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post #5 of 21 Old 09-13-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickMick View Post
ive got an advert with a 149.99 price on this

45 Watt Solar Panel Kit

with an additional 20% off... no inverter... is this reasonably priced/does it look like a good cantidate for a foray into the solar realm?
thanks

I wish someone would answer Q's question. I'm gearing up for a mini cruise and there's a HF nearby.
I would also like to know if this is a good deal.

Would getting one of these go very far in making up for the draw of one of those 12 volt travel coolers I was considering?
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post #6 of 21 Old 09-13-2010
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45 watts is almost 4 amps at full output. For maybe 5 hours a day I'd guess. And 149 is a good price as far as I know.

Brian
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
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post #7 of 21 Old 09-13-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickMick View Post
ive got an advert with a 149.99 price on this

45 Watt Solar Panel Kit

with an additional 20% off... no inverter... is this reasonably priced/does it look like a good cantidate for a foray into the solar realm?
thanks
Hmmmm.....Harbor Freight usually sells very low quality stuff from China. am Not saying Chinese do not know how to make quality stuff. It is the merchant dictates the quality of the items that want to sell.

I would shy away getting it, especially for electronic stuff from HFT. YMMV


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post #8 of 21 Old 09-13-2010
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In looking at the unit and looking at and looking at the Manufacturer Warranty Detail OR lack OF Warranty i would worry about the units connections and wire quality on a boat in saltwater

100% Satisfaction Guarantee! If for ANY reason you are not satisfied with this item, you may return it within 30 days for a full refund or replacement.

BUT in reading the reviews the customers seam happy and this review
Quite Curious » Boris Gets New Solar Panels
Really shows what you getting

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post #9 of 21 Old 09-15-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickMick View Post
ive got an advert with a 149.99 price on this

45 Watt Solar Panel Kit

with an additional 20% off... no inverter... is this reasonably priced/does it look like a good cantidate for a foray into the solar realm?
thanks
So that would be $120? The link shows the sale price as $199.
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post #10 of 21 Old 09-15-2010
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HF sends around circulars weekly (usually with Sunday coupons and it can be found online). This solar kit shows up at $149.99 almost every month. The $149.99 price does not appear to start until tomorrow, goes until 9/19 and then will be offered again 9/30 to 10/3. I'm not sure where the extra 20% off the OP mentions is coming from.

I've been tempted by this kit several times though I have yet to pull the trigger. I figure it would be a cheap way to start experimenting with solar. Just haven't figured out the best way to mount the things.

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