Topics

Recommended solar panel brand

David Crisp
 

I've been scouring this group and the web looking at what solar panels to get. The various brands appear to all offer very similar specifications yet the price variance is huge.
For example an LG 330 NeON 2Black panel is UK£223 vs. the Trina Solar, 335W Half Cut Mono Solar Module at UK£109 (all exVAT). 
The only significant difference between the two brands that I can see is in the warranty performance after 25 years: LG warranty is for 90% of initial spec'n vs. the Trinasolar's 81%.
I see some of you have bought LG, someone else has gone for Watts/£ and Bisol. Has anyone discovered any major difference between the brands? Any recommendations?

--
David Crisp
SV Wilna Grace
Amel 54 #58

Ryan Meador
 

We've had good experience with SunPower.  We were looking specifically for flexible panels for our bimini because we didn't want to add an arch, so maybe what we found isn't quite applicable to you.  There is a huge variance in the quality and price, as you discovered.  My wife, Kelly, has a background in solar power and did all the research for our installation.  She decided on SunPower E-flex 100W panels which have very high efficiency and low cost (now they're 110W in the same size and price).  We bought them through Sun Powered Yachts.  We've been very happy with the performance -- our 500W of panels meets over 90% of our demand while at anchor (and probably exceeds demand in northern latitudes, but we haven't collected as much data outside the tropics).  Kelly wrote up a detailed article on our installation which was published in January's issue of Sail Magazine.  Unfortunately it's not online yet, so I can't give you a link.

Ryan and Kelly
SM 233 Iteration
Boston, MA, USA


On Mon, Feb 10, 2020 at 10:46 AM David Crisp <david@...> wrote:
I've been scouring this group and the web looking at what solar panels to get. The various brands appear to all offer very similar specifications yet the price variance is huge.
For example an LG 330 NeON 2Black panel is UK£223 vs. the Trina Solar, 335W Half Cut Mono Solar Module at UK£109 (all exVAT). 
The only significant difference between the two brands that I can see is in the warranty performance after 25 years: LG warranty is for 90% of initial spec'n vs. the Trinasolar's 81%.
I see some of you have bought LG, someone else has gone for Watts/£ and Bisol. Has anyone discovered any major difference between the brands? Any recommendations?

--
David Crisp
SV Wilna Grace
Amel 54 #58

Matt Salatino
 

Years ago, when manufacturing techniques were highly variable, different manufacturers had a big impact on panel reliability. These days, the solar cell is the main differentiator, and mostly based on improved efficiency. If you’re satisfied with size vs output, Trina is a fine manufacturer.
We used SunPower (a premium brand) and Trina (less expensive, lower efficiency cells), but had better reliability from the Trina panels. Our SunPower was down to 55% of rated output after 4 years. They also would not honor warranty, as it wasn’t a home installation made by a professional installer. They refused to warranty on a boat. The replacement Trina’s were at 100%, 5 years later. Given the choices today, if the output and size of the Trina panels met my requirements, I’d happily go with them.

~~~⛵️~~~Matt

On Feb 10, 2020, at 10:46 AM, David Crisp <david@...> wrote:

I've been scouring this group and the web looking at what solar panels to get. The various brands appear to all offer very similar specifications yet the price variance is huge.
For example an LG 330 NeON 2Black panel is UK£223 vs. the Trina Solar, 335W Half Cut Mono Solar Module at UK£109 (all exVAT). 
The only significant difference between the two brands that I can see is in the warranty performance after 25 years: LG warranty is for 90% of initial spec'n vs. the Trinasolar's 81%.
I see some of you have bought LG, someone else has gone for Watts/£ and Bisol. Has anyone discovered any major difference between the brands? Any recommendations?

--
David Crisp
SV Wilna Grace
Amel 54 #58

Mark Erdos
 

Some of the newer technologies offer better charging with lower angles of the sun. This is the reason for the primary difference in price. Also, flexible panels can run a lot more money. Of course, there are those manufacturers who like to have higher margins. So, it pays to look closely at the specs. We installed two LG panels and are very happy with the performance.

 

LG 315W Solar Panel LG315N1C-G4 Mono (33.2Vmp,9.5A 60 Cell) Black frame

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Galapagos

www.creampuff.us

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io [mailto:main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io] On Behalf Of David Crisp
Sent: Monday, February 10, 2020 11:46 AM
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: [AmelYachtOwners] Recommended solar panel brand

 

I've been scouring this group and the web looking at what solar panels to get. The various brands appear to all offer very similar specifications yet the price variance is huge.
For example an LG 330 NeON 2Black panel is UK£223 vs. the Trina Solar, 335W Half Cut Mono Solar Module at UK£109 (all exVAT). 
The only significant difference between the two brands that I can see is in the warranty performance after 25 years: LG warranty is for 90% of initial spec'n vs. the Trinasolar's 81%.
I see some of you have bought LG, someone else has gone for Watts/£ and Bisol. Has anyone discovered any major difference between the brands? Any recommendations?

--
David Crisp
SV Wilna Grace
Amel 54 #58

Matt Salatino
 

We had good luck with Trina’s on our previous boat. Installing 3, SunPower 390’s, 1.7 X 1 meter, on the new boat. They make a 400 in same size, but we’ll save €110 for 30 watts less...... I’m good with that.

~~~⛵️~~~Matt

On Feb 10, 2020, at 1:44 PM, Mark Erdos <mcerdos@...> wrote:

Some of the newer technologies offer better charging with lower angles of the sun. This is the reason for the primary difference in price. Also, flexible panels can run a lot more money. Of course, there are those manufacturers who like to have higher margins. So, it pays to look closely at the specs. We installed two LG panels and are very happy with the performance.

 

LG 315W Solar Panel LG315N1C-G4 Mono (33.2Vmp,9.5A 60 Cell) Black frame

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Galapagos

www.creampuff.us

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io [mailto:main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io] On Behalf Of David Crisp
Sent: Monday, February 10, 2020 11:46 AM
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: [AmelYachtOwners] Recommended solar panel brand

 

I've been scouring this group and the web looking at what solar panels to get. The various brands appear to all offer very similar specifications yet the price variance is huge.
For example an LG 330 NeON 2Black panel is UK£223 vs. the Trina Solar, 335W Half Cut Mono Solar Module at UK£109 (all exVAT). 
The only significant difference between the two brands that I can see is in the warranty performance after 25 years: LG warranty is for 90% of initial spec'n vs. the Trinasolar's 81%.
I see some of you have bought LG, someone else has gone for Watts/£ and Bisol. Has anyone discovered any major difference between the brands? Any recommendations?

--
David Crisp
SV Wilna Grace
Amel 54 #58

 

Probably all of the poor performance and poor value solar panels are Chinese-made and not all Chinese-made is poor value.

Also, probably most of us have had experience with one brand, some of us two. Experience with one or two brands can't result in a reliable recommendation of one brand over all the others.

The technology and manufacturing process changes so quickly that what was great yesterday can be not so good today. 

Be careful!

Best,

CW Bill Rouse
Amel Owners Yacht School - www.AmelOwnersYachtSchool.com
720 Winnie St
Galveston Island, TX 77550
+1(832) 380-4970


On Mon, Feb 10, 2020, 1:59 PM Matt Salatino via Groups.Io <helmsmatt=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
We had good luck with Trina’s on our previous boat. Installing 3, SunPower 390’s, 1.7 X 1 meter, on the new boat. They make a 400 in same size, but we’ll save €110 for 30 watts less...... I’m good with that.

~~~⛵️~~~Matt

On Feb 10, 2020, at 1:44 PM, Mark Erdos <mcerdos@...> wrote:

Some of the newer technologies offer better charging with lower angles of the sun. This is the reason for the primary difference in price. Also, flexible panels can run a lot more money. Of course, there are those manufacturers who like to have higher margins. So, it pays to look closely at the specs. We installed two LG panels and are very happy with the performance.

 

LG 315W Solar Panel LG315N1C-G4 Mono (33.2Vmp,9.5A 60 Cell) Black frame

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Galapagos

www.creampuff.us

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io [mailto:main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io] On Behalf Of David Crisp
Sent: Monday, February 10, 2020 11:46 AM
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: [AmelYachtOwners] Recommended solar panel brand

 

I've been scouring this group and the web looking at what solar panels to get. The various brands appear to all offer very similar specifications yet the price variance is huge.
For example an LG 330 NeON 2Black panel is UK£223 vs. the Trina Solar, 335W Half Cut Mono Solar Module at UK£109 (all exVAT). 
The only significant difference between the two brands that I can see is in the warranty performance after 25 years: LG warranty is for 90% of initial spec'n vs. the Trinasolar's 81%.
I see some of you have bought LG, someone else has gone for Watts/£ and Bisol. Has anyone discovered any major difference between the brands? Any recommendations?

--
David Crisp
SV Wilna Grace
Amel 54 #58

Paul Dowd and Sharon Brown
 

We just installed 3 x LG335 Neon 2 black and have not had to use the generator since. I have seen up to 35A and the sun won’t get directly overhead for another month or two yet. I got them from Solarflexion in California and they cost USD1290 for the three.

 

Cheers,

Paul

S/Y Ya Fohi - Amel 54 #98

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> On Behalf Of David Crisp
Sent: 10 February 2020 09:46
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: [AmelYachtOwners] Recommended solar panel brand

 

I've been scouring this group and the web looking at what solar panels to get. The various brands appear to all offer very similar specifications yet the price variance is huge.
For example an LG 330 NeON 2Black panel is UK£223 vs. the Trina Solar, 335W Half Cut Mono Solar Module at UK£109 (all exVAT). 
The only significant difference between the two brands that I can see is in the warranty performance after 25 years: LG warranty is for 90% of initial spec'n vs. the Trinasolar's 81%.
I see some of you have bought LG, someone else has gone for Watts/£ and Bisol. Has anyone discovered any major difference between the brands? Any recommendations?

--
David Crisp
SV Wilna Grace
Amel 54 #58


--
Cheers
Paul
Ya Fohi - Amel 54 #98

Peter de Groot
 

I recently installed a 400W "bifacial"  panel from LG on a solar arch In theory the "bifacial" feature allows reflected light from below to contribute (or actually exceed the panels rated output). Since the panel is suspended over highly reflective water it seemed like a good idea.

 

It's too early after installation to know if the benefit is real.  It might be worth considering.

 

Peter de Groot

La Querida SM207

Moss Landing, California

Matt Salatino
 

Let us know how that works. It’s certainly an interesting concept.

~~~⛵️~~~Matt

On Feb 10, 2020, at 9:42 PM, Peter de Groot <pandmdegroot@...> wrote:

I recently installed a 400W "bifacial"  panel from LG on a solar arch In theory the "bifacial" feature allows reflected light from below to contribute (or actually exceed the panels rated output). Since the panel is suspended over highly reflective water it seemed like a good idea.

 

It's too early after installation to know if the benefit is real.  It might be worth considering.

 

Peter de Groot

La Querida SM207

Moss Landing, California

David Crisp
 

Thanks for all the feedback.
Bill Rouse's comment is kind of where I thought we might end up. That is few people have been through enough brands to be able to make a fair comparison, plus the technology has been evolving fast as have the manufacturing techniques. 
Good to hear the positive reports on Trinasolar. The supplier I spoke to sells LG, Trinasolar, Panasonic and other brands as well and when asked recommended Trinasolar on the basis of there being little difference between them and LG to justify the price difference.
--
David Crisp
SV Wilna Grace
Amel 54 #58

Matt Salatino
 

I have a friend in “the business”. His company installs solar panel systems on homes, businesses, and municipal buildings in New Jersey.
He feared, and had lots to complain about the tariff wars, claiming his business would be ruined, because no one would afford Chinese panels, as the prices would skyrocket. 
The tariffs had the opposite effect.
Tariffs squelched the Chinese demand and economy. Chinese installations went down, as the local economy was effected by the tariffs. The factories either had to shut down, or build a surplus. They continued to build, and prices dropped. Wholesale panel prices before tariffs were $0.42/watt. They dropped to $0.32/watt.
It turns out that my friend’s business improved, as he was able to enjoy a lower material cost.
He installs several brands, but mostly Trina Solar.

~~~⛵️~~~Matt

On Feb 11, 2020, at 5:04 AM, David Crisp <david@...> wrote:

Thanks for all the feedback.
Bill Rouse's comment is kind of where I thought we might end up. That is few people have been through enough brands to be able to make a fair comparison, plus the technology has been evolving fast as have the manufacturing techniques. 
Good to hear the positive reports on Trinasolar. The supplier I spoke to sells LG, Trinasolar, Panasonic and other brands as well and when asked recommended Trinasolar on the basis of there being little difference between them and LG to justify the price difference.
--
David Crisp
SV Wilna Grace
Amel 54 #58

Joerg Esdorn
 

Amel installed Victron panels on the A55 as an option.  I have 400W which work well.  Those panels have blocking diodes which are supposed to improve performance in shaded locations.  This is a potentially big benefit.  They are also marinized.  See attached specs.  I believe that they are more expensive than panels made for house installations.  You might check them out.

Cheers. Joerg 

Joerg Esdorn
A55 Kincsem

Matt Salatino
 

Joerg,
Keep in mind, that the marketing claims made by Victron (a very good company, by the way) fit most panels on the market today.
They all have to be “Marinized”, or waterproof, as they all exist in our ambient environment. No panels are designed for “indoor only” applications.
Another thing to keep in mind:
Higher operating voltage panels are better.
Most higher output panels operate at about 35-40 volts. This makes a much more useable panel, for a few reasons. One, the panel reaches a useable charging voltage earlier in the morning. An 18 volt panel might be able to charge batteries by 11:00 am, when it’s voltage is finally higher than the battery charging voltage. A 36 volt panel will be able to reach a chargeable voltage, maybe by 8:00 or 9:00 am.
Second, moving watts through a wire at 18 volts, requires a larger wire gauge than moving those same watts at 36 volts. At 36 volts, the wire can be half the diameter. This saves weight, and money, and makes for an easier installation.
This makes the job of the solar controller important. A simple PWM controller will waste much of the energy from the panels. Always go with a good MPPT controller. They cost a bit more (Victron makes good, economical units), but are more than worth it.

~~~⛵️~~~Matt

On Feb 11, 2020, at 10:41 AM, Joerg Esdorn via Groups.Io <jhe1313@...> wrote:

Joerg

Ryan Meador
 
Edited

"Higher operating voltage panels are better" is an overgeneralization.  You need to factor in the desired performance, costs of the other parts of the system, topology of your charge controllers, and your battery bank voltage.
 
  • Buck controller
    • converts panel voltage down to charge voltage
    • required if your panel voltage is ever higher than your maximum charge voltage
    • sacrifices power in low light conditions (morning, evening, or when shaded) because the panel voltage is below the battery voltage
  • Boost controller
    • converts panel voltage up to charge voltage
    • collects all the power in low light conditions
    • will not protect from overcharging if your panel voltage exceeds the maximum charge voltage
  • Buck-boost controller
    • A combination of the two, always ensures you have the correct charge voltage
    • More expensive than either of the others
As you can see, a panel with a maximum voltage that is below your battery maximum charge voltage can achieve maximum performance with a cheaper boost controller.  A high voltage panel is forced to choose between lower performance with a cheaper buck controller, or higher performance with a more expensive buck-boost controller.
 
You're correct that a higher voltage means you can use a smaller diameter wire, but you need to weigh that against the other factors.    Kelly and I settled on a boost-only topology for our installation, since the 24V battery voltage is high enough that the wires aren't huge.  On a 12V boat, we would probably go the other way.
 
Blocking diodes are a very good idea if your panels can ever be shaded, but they come with a tiny performance cost.
 
You also want to consider how many charge controllers you need.  To get the best performance, you need a charge controller for every angle of solar panel you have.  If they're all flat on top of an arch, you can get away with a single controller for all of them, but if they're curved on a bimini, you probably want one controller per panel.  Additionally, more controllers gives you more performance when the panels are partly shaded because the panels can each find their own MPP.
 
For what it's worth, a recent issue of Professional Boatbuilder magazine considered the SunPower Maxeon cells to be the best on the market right now.
 
Ryan and Kelly
SM 233 Iteration
Boston, MA, USA

On Tue, Feb 11, 2020 at 11:28 AM Matt Salatino via Groups.Io <helmsmatt=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Joerg,
Keep in mind, that the marketing claims made by Victron (a very good company, by the way) fit most panels on the market today.
They all have to be “Marinized”, or waterproof, as they all exist in our ambient environment. No panels are designed for “indoor only” applications.
Another thing to keep in mind:
Higher operating voltage panels are better.
Most higher output panels operate at about 35-40 volts. This makes a much more useable panel, for a few reasons. One, the panel reaches a useable charging voltage earlier in the morning. An 18 volt panel might be able to charge batteries by 11:00 am, when it’s voltage is finally higher than the battery charging voltage. A 36 volt panel will be able to reach a chargeable voltage, maybe by 8:00 or 9:00 am.
Second, moving watts through a wire at 18 volts, requires a larger wire gauge than moving those same watts at 36 volts. At 36 volts, the wire can be half the diameter. This saves weight, and money, and makes for an easier installation.
This makes the job of the solar controller important. A simple PWM controller will waste much of the energy from the panels. Always go with a good MPPT controller. They cost a bit more (Victron makes good, economical units), but are more than worth it.

~~~⛵️~~~Matt

On Feb 11, 2020, at 10:41 AM, Joerg Esdorn via Groups.Io <jhe1313@...> wrote:

Joerg

 

 

Matt Salatino
 

Basically, we are in vehement agreement. A buck converter is normally a component in an MPPT controller. 

~~~⛵️~~~Matt

On Feb 11, 2020, at 1:31 PM, Ryan Meador <ryan.d.meador@...> wrote:


"Higher operating voltage panels are better" is an overgeneralization.  You need to factor in the desired performance, costs of the other parts of the system, topology of your charge controllers, and your battery bank voltage.

If your panel voltage is higher than your maximum charge voltage, you'll need a buck controller to convert it back down (and you're sacrificing the power when the panel voltage is lower than the battery voltage, as you said).  A boost controller will convert the panel voltage up to the charging voltage needed, so it's producing power from sunrise to sunset, including when shaded.  If you want low-light performance and have a high panel voltage, you need a buck-boost controller that can do both (more expensive).  You can get full performance from a boost-only controller for a low voltage panel.  Or you trade performance for cost and go with the buck-only converter with your high voltage panels, sacrificing a bunch of power in sub-optimal lighting conditions.
  • Buck controller
    • converts panel voltage down to charge voltage
    • required if your panel voltage is ever higher than your maximum charge voltage
    • sacrifices power in low light conditions (morning, evening, or when shaded) because the panel voltage is below the battery voltage
  • Boost controller
    • converts panel voltage up to charge voltage
    • collects all the power in low light conditions
    • will not protect from overcharging if your panel voltage exceeds the maximum charge voltage
  • Buck-boost controller
    • A combination of the two, always ensures you have the correct charge voltage
    • More expensive than either of the others
As you can see, a panel with a maximum voltage that is below your battery maximum charge voltage can achieve maximum performance with a cheaper boost controller.  A high voltage panel is forced to choose between lower performance with a cheaper buck controller, or higher performance with a more expensive buck-boost controller.

You're correct that a higher voltage means you can use a smaller diameter wire, but you need to weigh that against the other factors.    Kelly and I settled on a boost-only topology for our installation, since the 24V battery voltage is high enough that the wires aren't huge.  On a 12V boat, we would probably go the other way.

Blocking diodes are a very good idea if your panels can ever be shaded, but they come with a tiny performance cost.

You also want to consider how many charge controllers you need.  To get the best performance, you need a charge controller for every angle of solar panel you have.  If they're all flat on top of an arch, you can get away with a single controller for all of them, but if they're curved on a bimini, you probably want one controller per panel.  Additionally, more controllers gives you more performance when the panels are partly shaded because the panels can each find their own MPP.

For what it's worth, a recent issue of Professional Boatbuilder magazine considered the SunPower Maxeon cells to be the best on the market right now.

Ryan and Kelly
SM 233 Iteration
Boston, MA, USA


On Tue, Feb 11, 2020 at 11:28 AM Matt Salatino via Groups.Io <helmsmatt=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Joerg,
Keep in mind, that the marketing claims made by Victron (a very good company, by the way) fit most panels on the market today.
They all have to be “Marinized”, or waterproof, as they all exist in our ambient environment. No panels are designed for “indoor only” applications.
Another thing to keep in mind:
Higher operating voltage panels are better.
Most higher output panels operate at about 35-40 volts. This makes a much more useable panel, for a few reasons. One, the panel reaches a useable charging voltage earlier in the morning. An 18 volt panel might be able to charge batteries by 11:00 am, when it’s voltage is finally higher than the battery charging voltage. A 36 volt panel will be able to reach a chargeable voltage, maybe by 8:00 or 9:00 am.
Second, moving watts through a wire at 18 volts, requires a larger wire gauge than moving those same watts at 36 volts. At 36 volts, the wire can be half the diameter. This saves weight, and money, and makes for an easier installation.
This makes the job of the solar controller important. A simple PWM controller will waste much of the energy from the panels. Always go with a good MPPT controller. They cost a bit more (Victron makes good, economical units), but are more than worth it.

~~~⛵️~~~Matt

On Feb 11, 2020, at 10:41 AM, Joerg Esdorn via Groups.Io <jhe1313@...> wrote:

Joerg

Scott SV Tengah
 

David,

I have experience with LG Neon2 320w panels and that's it. I have 3 of them wired IN PARALLEL on my aft custom arch and run through a Victron BlueSolar MPPT into Victron LiFePO4 batteries and have averaged around 200-225 amp hours a day of production. I'm pretty happy with them.

I know I sound like a lithium preacher, but consider lithium if you don't have it. I believe it's Porter McRoberts who has a similar solar setup as me but outputs far less because his AGM(?) batteries can't take full charging current at high states of charge. And when you add in 25-30% charging inefficiency for lead vs. 2-3% for lifepo4, my 960w array would be the equivalent to a 720w array if I had AGM/Gel/Flooded Lead.

--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com

Porter McRoberts
 

Exactly correct Scott. Next power investment will be lithiums. 
Porter
A54-152

Excuse the errors.  
Sent from my IPhone 
Www.fouribis.com

On Feb 17, 2020, at 7:34 PM, Scott SV Tengah <Scott.nguyen@...> wrote:

David,

I have experience with LG Neon2 320w panels and that's it. I have 3 of them wired IN PARALLEL on my aft custom arch and run through a Victron BlueSolar MPPT into Victron LiFePO4 batteries and have averaged around 200-225 amp hours a day of production. I'm pretty happy with them.

I know I sound like a lithium preacher, but consider lithium if you don't have it. I believe it's Porter McRoberts who has a similar solar setup as me but outputs far less because his AGM(?) batteries can't take full charging current at high states of charge. And when you add in 25-30% charging inefficiency for lead vs. 2-3% for lifepo4, my 960w array would be the equivalent to a 720w array if I had AGM/Gel/Flooded Lead.

--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com

Paul Dowd and Sharon Brown
 

Scott,

 

Why do you use parallel - Is it to do with partial shading? Mine are in series to minimise loss in the cable as I have no space for thicker cables.

 

Cheers,

Paul

S/Y Ya Fohi - Amel 54 #98

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> On Behalf Of Scott SV Tengah
Sent: 17 February 2020 20:35
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Recommended solar panel brand

 

David,

I have experience with LG Neon2 320w panels and that's it. I have 3 of them wired IN PARALLEL on my aft custom arch and run through a Victron BlueSolar MPPT into Victron LiFePO4 batteries and have averaged around 200-225 amp hours a day of production. I'm pretty happy with them.

I know I sound like a lithium preacher, but consider lithium if you don't have it. I believe it's Porter McRoberts who has a similar solar setup as me but outputs far less because his AGM(?) batteries can't take full charging current at high states of charge. And when you add in 25-30% charging inefficiency for lead vs. 2-3% for lifepo4, my 960w array would be the equivalent to a 720w array if I had AGM/Gel/Flooded Lead.

--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com


--
Cheers
Paul
Ya Fohi - Amel 54 #98

Scott SV Tengah
 

Paul:

Exactly right. I saw a test where they wired multiple panels parallel and serial and saw that partial shading from booms/sails really dropped output on serially connected panels. I was able to obtain the same results when performing the same experiment.

Where do you have your MPPT? I have all six wires running from the arch to two switches (pos/neg) in the starboard side of the lazarette. With the short run and only one panel per pair for this section, I don't need super thick cables. Then I run a single pair of 13mm2 wires to the MPPT located near the boat's main switches. That fit in the conduit with room to spare and I believe the calcs showed very acceptable voltage drop even at the max 960watt output.

There is some argument that the higher voltage with serial will turn on the mppt earlier since it requires (battery voltage+5v) to startup, but frankly, I am fine missing out on a few minutes of early morning sun. I'm also thinking that 35-40 volts on the parallel panels might be safer in the event of a catastrophic event. 120-130v DC could hurt.

--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com

Paul Dowd and Sharon Brown
 

Scott,

 

The problem I have is that I use a VSAT which has three thick cables taking up most of the conduit space. I am told that by putting schottky diodes between the panels the loss due to uneven shading across panels is significantly mitigated, although I have not tried it yet, and indeed would be interested to hear from anyone who has. Having said all that, we are extremely pleased with the performance of these panels, and now find that we only need to run either the engine or generator to get hot water! We have 4 year old AGMs.

 

Cheers,

Paul

S/Y Ya Fohi - Amel 54 #98

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> On Behalf Of Scott SV Tengah
Sent: 18 February 2020 12:24
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Recommended solar panel brand

 

Paul:

Exactly right. I saw a test where they wired multiple panels parallel and serial and saw that partial shading from booms/sails really dropped output on serially connected panels. I was able to obtain the same results when performing the same experiment.

Where do you have your MPPT? I have all six wires running from the arch to two switches (pos/neg) in the starboard side of the lazarette. With the short run and only one panel per pair for this section, I don't need super thick cables. Then I run a single pair of 13mm2 wires to the MPPT located near the boat's main switches. That fit in the conduit with room to spare and I believe the calcs showed very acceptable voltage drop even at the max 960watt output.

There is some argument that the higher voltage with serial will turn on the mppt earlier since it requires (battery voltage+5v) to startup, but frankly, I am fine missing out on a few minutes of early morning sun. I'm also thinking that 35-40 volts on the parallel panels might be safer in the event of a catastrophic event. 120-130v DC could hurt.

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Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com


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Cheers
Paul
Ya Fohi - Amel 54 #98