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Post Info TOPIC: ALDI 160 Watt Folding Panel Query.


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ALDI 160 Watt Folding Panel Query.


Hi,

    I am totally clueless about solar and just bought the 160 Watt folding panels from ALDI. It has a MODEL: GP15A Solar Charge Controller. PWM Platinum Series 15A Regulator. 

Does anyone know if this thing is waterproof? In an older forum somebody said they are Velcroed on. But I am not too sure about that. This thing could be glued on and I don't want to chance wrecking the warranty if I break it off. I can see holes for screws but can't see any screws as such.

Can I mount the panels on the roof? I only have a HIACE Van and didn't realise how big the panels are when unfolded. I have virtually no room to store the damned thing and it's pretty weighty to keep lifting in and out.

I hope I've given enough information and thanks in advance for any help.

Frank



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Any change of a photo where the controller is attached to the panel? For it to work efficiently the controller needs to be as close to the battery as possible, so the back of the panel is not a good position as far as working well goes. They generally attach the controller to the panel to make it look like a simply fold out and clip on the battery item. Looks are everything, they don't really care if it doesn't work very well.

 

T1 Terry



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Hi Terry,

             The controller is connected about 6 inches away from the 2 feeder boxes on the back of the panel with a 5 metre lead from the controller with an Anderson Plug to connect to the battery. So from what you are saying, the controller is way too far away from the battery?

Regards

frank



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Franglen wrote:

Hi Terry,

             The controller is connected about 6 inches away from the 2 feeder boxes on the back of the panel with a 5 metre lead from the controller with an Anderson Plug to connect to the battery. So from what you are saying, the controller is way too far away from the battery?

Regards

frank


For it to work well the controller needs to be close to the battery. The reason, as the solar starts to push current to the battery through the 5 mtrs of cable, the resistance in the cable will cause the voltage at the solar panel end to rise much faster than the voltage at the battery terminals. The controller being mounted at the solar panel end of the cable sees this higher voltage as the real battery voltage so adjusts the amount of current flow accordingly. Often the result is charge starts, the voltage goes up, the controller senses a high voltage and stops the charge. The charge stops, the voltage goes down and the controller then starts the charging again .... and the cycle repeats.

If the controller is close to the battery and suitable size cable is used then the controller sees the actual battery voltage and will not stop the charging until it sees the higher voltage it is aiming for resulting in a much more efficient charging regime from the same size panels.

 

T1 Terry 



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T1 Terry wrote:
Franglen wrote:

Hi Terry,

             The controller is connected about 6 inches away from the 2 feeder boxes on the back of the panel with a 5 metre lead from the controller with an Anderson Plug to connect to the battery. So from what you are saying, the controller is way too far away from the battery?

Regards

frank


For it to work well the controller needs to be close to the battery. The reason, as the solar starts to push current to the battery through the 5 mtrs of cable, the resistance in the cable will cause the voltage at the solar panel end to rise much faster than the voltage at the battery terminals. The controller being mounted at the solar panel end of the cable sees this higher voltage as the real battery voltage so adjusts the amount of current flow accordingly. Often the result is charge starts, the voltage goes up, the controller senses a high voltage and stops the charge. The charge stops, the voltage goes down and the controller then starts the charging again .... and the cycle repeats.

If the controller is close to the battery and suitable size cable is used then the controller sees the actual battery voltage and will not stop the charging until it sees the higher voltage it is aiming for resulting in a much more efficient charging regime from the same size panels. 

T1 Terry 


 yes, well said Terry smile

Frank read some of the other threads about the topic. It has all been said before.

Jaahn



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Thanks for that information. Much appreciated. Just have to see if I can remove the controller from the back of the panel without stuffing it up and losing my warranty.

I would certainly prefer to have the controller inside the van than out in the weather.

Once again, thanks for everyting.

Regards

Frank



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Franglen wrote:

Thanks for that information. Much appreciated. Just have to see if I can remove the controller from the back of the panel without stuffing it up and losing my warranty.

I would certainly prefer to have the controller inside the van than out in the weather.

Once again, thanks for everyting.

Regards

Frank


If you can't see an easy way to do it, either get a second controller and fit it near the battery and just bypass the controller on the panel

or

take it back for a refund and find one on EBay that has a separate or ask if you can get the controller separate rather than glued to the panel.

The other downside of the controller glued to the back of the panel is heat. The panel back gets very hot and this really effects the controllers operation and long term reliability.

Another possible method of getting the controller off, put the panel in full sun so it gets hot, then try to peal the controller off as the heat will probably effect the glue.

 

T1 Terry 



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Thanks Terry.

Might sound strange this day and age but I do not do any transactions via the internet. It's save and pay cash or nothing with the wife and I and being pensioners it takes a while. 

I don't fancy returning it for a refund. Grovelled enough to get this and doubt she will be so forthcoming again.

Will try getting the original off as suggested and see how I go.

Thanks again.

Frank

 



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Maybe strap it onto the roof rack while travelling, and unfold it when setup?
A bit of power loss will not affect things too much, and in many cases it may be easier just to get another panel...
The flexible panels are a lot lighter than fixed, and 160 watt only weigh around 3 -4 kg for a folding kit.
In my opinion, the panels will work fine with the regulator near the panels or not, just keep them clean and relax.

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Hi Woofta & Precious,

Thanks for the tip. Main reason I want it permanently up top is I've had 2 Cervical spine operations. Doc said he had to stop cutting for fear of cutting the cord. I still have pressure on the spinal cord at 2 other cervical locations. Got to be a bit careful old mate. They don't want to cut me anymore. 

Lifting the damned thing on and off the HIACE roof constantly is a nobrainer and can't afford the extra expense even if I did return it for a refund. Maybe I'm too honest as I bought in faith and there isn't anything wrong with it. So why should the store pay for my stupidity?

Kind Regards

Frank 

 

               



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Franglen wrote:

Hi Woofta & Precious,

Thanks for the tip. Main reason I want it permanently up top is I've had 2 Cervical spine operations. Doc said he had to stop cutting for fear of cutting the cord. I still have pressure on the spinal cord at 2 other cervical locations. Got to be a bit careful old mate. They don't want to cut me anymore. 

Lifting the damned thing on and off the HIACE roof constantly is a nobrainer and can't afford the extra expense even if I did return it for a refund. Maybe I'm too honest as I bought in faith and there isn't anything wrong with it. So why should the store pay for my stupidity?

Kind Regards

Frank 

 

               


As far as Aldi goes, they generally don't really care if you return the item undamaged as long as you have the receipt. It will go back on the sales shelf and walk out the door again in someone else's possession soon enough.

 

T1 Terry 



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itâll be fine . Worry too much !

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Quote fromT1 Terry: "Another possible method of getting the controller off, put the panel in full sun so it gets hot, then try to peal the controller off as the heat will probably effect the glue."

I have to keep it now, even if I didn't want to.

Tried to peel the controller off using a fine spatula and the casing broke as sooon as it started lifting. The glueis a lot stronger than thought. 

So there goes the warranty.

I've sealed it up with Silicone and am mounting the panels etc in a bracket that will help protect the controller from the weather on my spare roof rack at the back of the van.

Hoping to go fishing and crabbing next week so I'll find out how it goes.

Frank



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Quote from Aus-kiwi: "itâll be fine . Worry too much !"

Why worry? Crap happens as they say  biggrin.gif

 



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When crap happens ? Then work around it . Youâll be right though .

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I'd be looking at the solution suggested here ...
"If you can't see an easy way to do it, get a second controller and fit it near the battery and just bypass the controller on the panel"

"Should" be a matter of unplugging from the input of the controller, adding leads to the new controller and plugging in again!

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Hi
If the panels are mounted on the roof permanently the cable distance to battery is not ideal but not a deal breaker .
Mount panels on roof racks with lead attached by Velcro. Uncoil when u want to plug in.
Have a lead made up coming from relevant batteries permanently installed
Use 8mmsq cable every where ,batt lead ,replace cable from charge controller to batt connector also .
Use Anderson plugs

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Ours was attached with valcro . Simply moved controller to battery box . Easy .

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