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Discussion Starter #1
anybody have experience with them?

thanks
 

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Yes, we pay the mods a lot of money and it seems they don't do jack for us. The least they should do is continually comb through old threads looking for ones like this.

I'm warning them - if they don't start working for their money, I'm going to stop paying them!

Mark
 

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Freedom isn't free
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I personally (don't laugh) bought my 50watt panel from Home Depot, brand was "grape solar" so far its worked well, and was priced right (shipped direct to my house)... Came with a basic controller (yeah its junk, but it works), whole deal was under $120.00

Looks like they are designed for off grid, or campers, but so far quality seems on par or better than most of the stuff I've seen purpose built for boats (not saying much as a lot of that stuff is poorly built).

Obviously mine is a much smaller installation than what you'd want or likely need.
 

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I won't laugh at your Grape Solar if you don't laugh at our Renogy and Graphene panels.

We are starting to have our original 16yr old Kyocera 120W panels fail ($650/ea back then!), and have been replacing them with cheap panels that cost $1/W. These panels are now more efficient and smaller footprint than our old Kyocera's, but the "quality" may be less - to be determined.

So far, they have been exemplary. If we only get half the life out of them, then they still cost as much or less than the "high quality" panels.

This isn't something we routinely do, but in this case it seems to be working well.

Mark
 

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Threads this old with no responses.... Mayhaps they should be deleted?
First, since I'm thinking about adding a solar panel, thanks for kicking the dust because the replies helped.

Second, in answer to your question: No. It isn't costing the owners anything to have those abandoned threads out there and if they want them removed, they can enlist the people on their payroll to do it. My volunteer mod time is better spent moving threads into the correct forums when people don't pay attention to where they are when they open a new thread.

But, thanks for making the suggestion to try to make a better forum. Always appreciated.
 

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I'm in the market for a 50 watt solar panel. I'll probably get a Renogy or Grape. $80 for a Renogy vs. $500 for a Solbian or Aurinco? I could have five failures and still come out ahead. I'll spend the money on a quality controller instead.
 

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If I recall correctly, the warranty my Grape was 10 years on the panel and 25 years on the output. Just checked the Home Depot site and confirmed it. Hard to go wrong with that kind of warranty.

Good luck,

Gary
 

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I'm happy on my 26 footer to have the extra watts. We aren't allowed power at our slips, and the solar tops off my batt enough to keep my bilge pump working, and allows me to use my VHF, wind, depth, knot, and tiller pilot all I want, and the battery will be topped off again for the next day. My panel is only connected while I'm away. I sail about 3-4 times a week too :)

So works for me, and I'm happy to hear others have used the Grapes... I thought they were some obscure brand.
 

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Weird thing about solar panels is the silicon sold cells are always well made. They are made by professionals in fancy factories. It is the frame and wiring that are shoddy. Engineered and built by uneducated people who couldn't handle the rigorous standards of the motorhome industry...in my opinion.

Look for proper fit and finish. Solar is a great way to power a boat. Ugly though. I keep mine below when not needed.
 

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Aloof, the frame on my Grape is pretty rugged. I've banged it against pier pilings while docking a half dozen times, no problems, though I must admit I was worried that something would break. The frame is made of anodized aluminum, reinforced and I think it will hold up for longer than I will.

All the best,

Gary :cool:
 

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Threads this old with no responses.... Mayhaps they should be deleted?
Yes, we pay the mods a lot of money and it seems they don't do jack for us. The least they should do is continually comb through old threads looking for ones like this.

I'm warning them - if they don't start working for their money, I'm going to stop paying them!

Mark
First, since I'm thinking about adding a solar panel, thanks for kicking the dust because the replies helped.

Second, in answer to your question: No. It isn't costing the owners anything to have those abandoned threads out there and if they want them removed, they can enlist the people on their payroll to do it. My volunteer mod time is better spent moving threads into the correct forums when people don't pay attention to where they are when they open a new thread.

But, thanks for making the suggestion to try to make a better forum. Always appreciated.
Who cares how old the thread is?
Except for the good hearted ribbing my initial comment had the desired effect, it brought this thread back to life.

This thread came up in a search,
I'm trying to learn as much as I can before I start outfitting Windy with some solar power and was hesitant to start a new thread because in some forums the first responses are "Go do a search" not saying I would get that here just tried the search first, but looking for up to date info is taxing on some topics.
 

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Partly based on the recommendations of SHNOOL and travlin-easy I have ordered a 50 watt Grape solar panel from Home Depot. I'm pairing it with a Genasun Boost 24V solar controller. It probably seems odd to tie a $70 solar panel to a $140 controller, but I think for my situation it makes sense.

I have a 24 volt system on my boat, so with most controllers I'd need either a 24 volt solar panel (which limits my choices) or I'd need to run two 12 volt panels in series (which would be a pain, especially since I plan on stowing the panel below when sailing). The Genasun Boost will let me use a 12 volt panel to charge my 24 volt system.

Also I wanted a controller that I felt confident would take good care of my batteries. Two group 27 batteries ain't cheap, so if by spending a little extra on the controller I can extend the life of the batteries by a year or two it comes out worth it in the end.

The stuff shows up Monday, so I should have it installed by next weekend. I'll report back.
 
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