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On the topic of adding insulation- I ended up buying the drop-in unit with the attached compressor (it is attached to the bottom of the box). I'll have lots of dead space around the unit when I install it. Any ideas on how to improve the insulation (without "insulating" the compressor and retaining the heat)? Also, wouldn't adding foam around it create an environment for condensation and risk damaging the unit from corrosion?
It looks like the fan on the bottom of the drop in unit will keep air circulating around in side of the area and should help with any condensation issues. Though you might want to add a vent soffit somewhere to allow any heat build up to escape. Though there is not a lot of heat with the stand alone units since they don't need a fan.
 

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I keep my boat out on a mooring and run the freezer/refrigerator all season with the boat unattended. I have a single 290W panel feeding a MPPT controller and have 460AH of batteries (they probably are only really 400AH now due to age). Batteries rarely go below 90% SOC.

When I did my instal a few years ago the single larger panel with the better MPPT controller was only slightly less expensive than using 2 140W panels and a cheaper controller. Probably once the extra mounting hardware for 2 panels get figured in both would be the same price. The only problem with the big panel is that it is BIG and you need 2 people to safety mount/unmount it.
 

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Kyoceria warranty PDF says in section C sub section 2h defects and/or failures caused by use on a mobile unit including, but not limited to, vehicles, vessels and any other such mobile unit; here's the PDF link to their warranty KYOCERA Solar 禄 Warranties
So it appears just mounting these on a boat will void the warranty and I have found this same statement in the warranties on all of the panels I have researched
So, isn't it just a bit fraudulent to sell a marine boat solar kit and exclude such use in the warranty?
John
 

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So, isn't it just a bit fraudulent to sell a marine boat solar kit and exclude such use in the warranty?
John
been this way for decades now...it is what it is...:D

doesnt stop boaters from using them

Im a non fan of any warranty on stuff that is used the way its intended...

:laugher
 

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Selling a product for marine use, and then burying a tidbit about the warranty being void in said marine use, could be a blessing in disguise.

I think the FTC and some other federal agencies would find a way to construe that as violating the Magnusson Moss Act, and tolling federal warranty provisions possibly including the Uniform Commercial Code, which establishes a FOUR YEAR warranty, sometimes longer, when the warrantor (Kyocera) hasn't properly sorted their p's and q's.

Unca Sam like to spank companies don't follow the warranty laws. The states do, too. The voters tend to applaud, and everybody except the sloppy warrantor is happy. Heck, sometimes they're happy too, as long as you spell their name right. (As they say on Broadway.(G)
 

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Outside of a panel that is DOA or otherwise defective out of the box, I鈥檓 not sure a lot of boaters would file a warranty claim on a panel once it is installed and in use anyway. By the time you demount the panel, ship it back (probably on your own dime), wait for it to be repaired or replaced, wait for return shipping (possibly again on your own dime), and finally remount it you may be looking at several months downtime and some hefty shipping charges not covered under the warranty. At today鈥檚 panel prices, one may conclude it鈥檚 not worth the hassle and potential expense, especially if in a situation where extended downtime is not acceptable.
 

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We sell Go Power flexible panels in Victoria. One customer installed 2 panels on his bimini and during a trip to California in a gale one eyelet ripped out of a panel. This allowed the panel to loosen and since it was attached to the other panel as well they were both destroyed. Carmanah (Go Power), after seeing the pictures shipped 2 new panels to my customer in California from Victoria at no cost to the customer.

The destroyed panels did not have to be shipped back - the pictures were sufficient. Total time from damage reported to new panels arriving in California was about 3 weeks.

I have found the solar companies I deal with to be excellent in customer service. Genasun, Carmanah (Go Power), and Morningstar have all been exemplary. Neither Carmanah nor Morningstar needed to physically see the defective product and paid all shipping costs - between 2 different countries.
 

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x2 they are great point being its the panel thats worth it at whatever price range you deem good

they are all being used outside a warranty range...so if you do decide to add warranty some way or form make it with a company that standsby by their product good or bad...
 

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"Carmanah (Go Power), after seeing the pictures shipped 2 new panels to my customer in California from Victoria at no cost to the customer."
Way to go!
And whatever it cost them, there's no price you can set on that kind of good PR. OK, start at Sailnet's $100/month for a one inch ad slug...(G)...

Exceptional service is by definition the exception to the norm. But there are still a number of companies that know it pays off in the long run. Many will advance ship or cross-ship replacements, or have a local dealer take back the failed goods, or settle for photos. They know it gets them lifelong customers, and that's way cheaper than trying to find new ones.
 

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I have a 2 Kyocera panels that have been on the boat for 15 years. No issues. Good product for the marine environment. Maybe some of the best quality panels on the market.
 
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We sell Go Power flexible panels in Victoria. One customer installed 2 panels on his bimini and during a trip to California in a gale one eyelet ripped out of a panel. This allowed the panel to loosen and since it was attached to the other panel as well they were both destroyed. Carmanah (Go Power), after seeing the pictures shipped 2 new panels to my customer in California from Victoria at no cost to the customer.

The destroyed panels did not have to be shipped back - the pictures were sufficient. Total time from damage reported to new panels arriving in California was about 3 weeks.

I have found the solar companies I deal with to be excellent in customer service. Genasun, Carmanah (Go Power), and Morningstar have all been exemplary. Neither Carmanah nor Morningstar needed to physically see the defective product and paid all shipping costs - between 2 different countries.
As a recent, already satisfied GoPower buyer, I'm very pleased to see this!
 

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I as well.

There was another minor issue with a Go Power panel - the ground connection was intermittent where it attached to the panel. They replaced the panel which I had already exchanged for the customer and said to recycle the defective panel responsibly - it's now a store display.

And as I posted Morningstar did the same. A customer bought their 15 amp MPPT controller and it was defective (lower than 12 volt output) from the beginning. After emails to Morningstar they sent a new one from the US and didn't charge a nickel - including shipping and customs brokerage. They said to recycle the defective unit - they didn't want it back. Also now a store display.

This is in contrast with what many manufacturers do and it's interesting that both are solar companies.
 

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Brian.. that's one thing I do worry about.. we mount/demount the panel between trips and stow it below (it's just held atop the dodger with bungees and not very secure theft-wise)

I'm thinking of drilling an extra couple of holes near the edge and using zap straps to secure the leads in addition to the glued-on wire block. Should be OK?
 

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There are actually many companies out there with good warranties and no hassle return policies. What is important is that they also take care of the retailer so that he can be the good guy and take care of the issue right there without a drawn out process. It is sometimes hard to find them by reading their written policies.
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #78 ·
I thought I'd post a short update on my new fridge and energy consumption. I installed the new Engel fridge, but haven't yet installed the new solar panels and battery. I'm still using the two 45w panels and cheap controller charging my 160a house battery (for the time being!). After 5 days on the boat I have found that the panels and battery seem to be powering the fridge fine. I have 12.8v at sunset and wake up to 12.4v or 12.5v in the morning. Our autumn sun is still fairly high and the panels are putting out juice OK. When winter arrives they won't be so efficient. In conclusion, I think my original plan to add two 140w panels and a 220a battery will work out very well. I'll keep the 160a battery for a starter/reserve battery.
As for the Engel fridge, all I can say is it is FANTASTIC! Very low power consumption (it sips juice), doesn't frost up like the old one and things are very cold on the lowest setting. It is absolutely silent when running and is very well made. No relation with the company, just a very satisfied customer.
 

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Nice to read your update. You should have plenty of power with those new solar panels. I've run my Engel for over ten years with just two 75 watt solar panels and two group 27 batteries. Last year I added a second Engel unit and a 100 watt flexible panel into the mix and things are working well too.

I thought I'd post a short upde on my new fridge and energy consumption. I installed the new Engel fridge, but haven't yet installed the new solar panels and battery. I'm still using the two 45w panels and cheap controller charging my 160a house battery (for the time being!). After 5 days on the boat I have found that the panels and battery seem to be powering the fridge fine. I have 12.8v at sunset and wake up to 12.4v or 12.5v in the morning. Our autumn sun is still fairly high and the panels are putting out juice OK. When winter arrives they won't be so efficient. In conclusion, I think my original plan to add two 140w panels and a 220a battery will work out very well. I'll keep the 160a battery for a starter/reserve battery.
As for the Engel fridge, all I can say is it is FANTASTIC! Very low power consumption (it sips juice), doesn't frost up like the old one and things are very cold on the lowest setting. It is absolutely silent when running and is very well made. No relation with the company, just a very satisfied customer.
 
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