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Post Info TOPIC: Light weight flexible panels


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Light weight flexible panels


Are these panels any good? Efficient? Only 1.4kg I want something light weight to plug into my van Anderson plug. Anderson plug goes direct to the 120Ah AGM & the controller is just a cheapo.

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/124058054594?hash=item1ce26fafc2:g:e9oAAOSwk8hhOs-r&frcectupt=true

 

Currently have 150w on the roof.

 

flexible solar panel.JPG

 

 

 

panel specs.JPG

 

 

Controler.JPG



-- Edited by oldbloke on Sunday 5th of June 2022 10:35:38 PM



-- Edited by oldbloke on Sunday 5th of June 2022 11:23:54 PM

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I don't think they will produce 200W, the photocell area of my 200W five year old ex house panels is 1.2sqm, these have an area of 0.66sqm.



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So that works out at 303 watts per square metre. Ridiculous!

 

150 watts per square metre if you are lucky out of flexible panels. So x 0.66m² = 99 watts would be a more realistic figure.



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Yeh, seemed a lot.

But 100 watt would perhaps be enough, size and weight is ok.

I'll give it some thought. The blanket type aren't cheap and from what I understand not very efficient.

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oldbloke wrote:

Yeh, seemed a lot.

But 100 watt would perhaps be enough, size and weight is ok.

I'll give it some thought. The blanket type aren't cheap and from what I understand not very efficient.


I would avoid those EBay lightweight panels.

I bought a couple of Kings 160W semiflexible panels a few years back for testing and they give a good output but of course not 100% and I expected that.  I cant remember the figures but I bought one for testing and was impressed so I promptly went back and bought another.  They have since been damaged with a car running over them but are still going.  If I get some sun today I will run another test.  Kings also do a 110w semiflexible which I will buy and test next week.

I just bought and tested a BCF XTM 200W solar blanket and angled to sun it produced 8.84A as opposed to the stated 11.02A.  Laying flat with sun at 35 degree altitude it produced 5.74A.  With the product having the largest area of a number of solar blankets i guess I expected more out of it.

 

 

 



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I have a staditional 120w folding glass panel.
But bit large to transport and on the heavy side. So,, just looking at alternatives.

 

I was thinking just transport on the van bed, very light. Van is close to its weight limit.



-- Edited by oldbloke on Monday 6th of June 2022 09:56:28 AM

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My 120 watts (6 x 20watts) via MPPT typically charge at 9 amps & they are not efficient panels, but being glass panels they will keep going.

 

One could argue, that if looking to buy a 200 watt blanket, then doing the calculations it basically can't produce 100 watts.

Then why not buy a 100 watt glass panel, which is smaller, from a respected company knowing that you have a known quantity.

 



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Maybe people should be looking at how many amps they need & work back.

 

9 amps from top quality glass panel option & then work down to the no name blanket option. Needing 3 or more times the surface area.



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oldbloke wrote:

I have a staditional 120w folding glass panel.
But bit large to transport and on the heavy side. So,, just looking at alternatives.

 

I was thinking just transport on the van bed, very light. Van is close to its weight limit.



-- Edited by oldbloke on Monday 6th of June 2022 09:56:28 AM


https://www.4wdsupacentre.com.au/kings-160w-semi-flexible-solar-panel-pet-construction-monocrystalline-ip67-rated.html

 

https://www.4wdsupacentre.com.au/kings-110w-semi-flexible-solar-panel-etfe-construction-monocrystalline-cells-ip67-rated.html

 

These are very light but the larger one may be a little awkward for you.  The small one is only 780 mm x 760 mm so very easy to place on your bed. Two of those will give you 220W and you can prop them up to give you better production.  I cut the MC4 connectors off mine and fitted an Anderson plug.

As I said I just bought one of the larger ones for testing and was so impressed I went out and bought another.  They were on special at the time of $120 but now just on a 50% price increase.  If you can wait a few days I will buy a smaller one and test it.

My apologies but you will have to copy and paste the links as for some reason it will not allow me to make them hyperlinks.

 

 



-- Edited by TimTim on Monday 6th of June 2022 10:27:30 AM

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Whenarewethere wrote:

My 120 watts (6 x 20watts) via MPPT typically charge at 9 amps & they are not efficient panels, but being glass panels they will keep going.

 

One could argue, that if looking to buy a 200 watt blanket, then doing the calculations it basically can't produce 100 watts.

Then why not buy a 100 watt glass panel, which is smaller, from a respected company knowing that you have a known quantity.

 


 I bought the solar blanket simply to do a test on it knowing full well the limitations.  For some people they are very handy whilst others would prefer something else.  Great to hear what you are using works for you.

The solar blanket although nice quality was promptly returned biggrin



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The problem, most people say "the product is brilliant", basically because it is delivered. Not helpful.

 

Not many people test the delivered product to see actually how well it works. Rarely is there any real world useful data. Would be helpful.



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A little bit of testing on my 120 watt setup:

 

https://thegreynomads.activeboard.com/t65231112/custom-6x20-watts-solar-setup-with-mppt/



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Mmmm,,, starting to look like I will just stick with the traditional 120w folding glass panel that I have. Not a lot to gain buying another panel/blanket.

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oldbloke wrote:

Mmmm,,, starting to look like I will just stick with the traditional 120w folding glass panel that I have. Not a lot to gain buying another panel/blanket.


 My suggestion to make life easier humpin' the ackward folding portable panel about, is to remove the hinges and separate the two panels and fit a cord and plug so you can handle them individually. That is what I did to a set years ago and it made getting them in and out and placing them much easier for this old fella. We only had a camper van then.

Indeed later I made a set of 4 individual panels of 80W and a plug and socket box on a long lead to use them in 2 x 2 in-series into a MPPT reg back at the batteries in the HM. Worked a treat.hmm

Jaahn    



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Whenarewethere wrote:

A little bit of testing on my 120 watt setup:

 

https://thegreynomads.activeboard.com/t65231112/custom-6x20-watts-solar-setup-with-mppt/


Thank you for the link and a real nice set up. 

Unfortunately, the majority of my equipment is sat 800 kms away so the best I could do was take a reading straight from the solar blanket.  I only had a cheap PWM controller available to use and would have been able to squeeze a little more out of an MPPT but do not have one here.

Although I did just a quick test with the blanket angled to the sun and laying flat I probably should of done a test with the blanket angled the same as my roof pitch.  I could of then made a comparison with the output of my rooftop solar.  Interestingly on the day there was not a cloud in the sky and my home system was producing 7.13kW at 11.00 am, 6.19kW at 11.45 am and then back up to 7.24kW at 12.05 pm, so there were non visible atmospheric conditions affecting the panels at 11.45 am. 

 

 

 

 



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If you are at your solar setup on a really hot day, it would be interesting how much extra wattage you get hosing it down.

 

My 120 watts puts out usually 125 watts square to the sun in summer. If I spray it with a water trigger bottle I can get it up to 136 watts.

 

If one has water it might be worthwhile dripping water down the panels. The extra wattage should be less than a small pump.



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For anyone that is interested Kings have knocked $40 off their large semi flexible solar panels.

www.4wdsupacentre.com.au/kings-160w-semi-flexible-solar-panel-pet-construction-monocrystalline-ip67-rated.html

www.youtube.com/watch



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Look at Renogy,  I have 2 X 100 watt Flexibles, Consistantly 97 watts output, they are not that dear, but are very reliable. Renogy have a warehouse in Australia.



-- Edited by Bicyclecamper on Tuesday 7th of June 2022 03:33:15 PM

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oldbloke wrote:

Mmmm,,, starting to look like I will just stick with the traditional 120w folding glass panel that I have. Not a lot to gain buying another panel/blanket.


 

Ok I bought a Kings 110W semi-flexible solar panel the other day for testing.

Specified output is 5.63A.

Angled to the sun at 12.00 using a cheap PWM controller it produced 4.71A which is 83% of specified output.

My home solar system at the time was producing 88% of the output it generally achieves.  This was due to non visible atmospheric conditions.

Therefore expected flexible panel output would be 4.95A given the atmospheric conditions.

Actual output achieved was 4.71A therefore 95.15%.

Not bad if you want something light smile

 



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TimTim wrote:
Angled to the sun at 12.00 using a cheap PWM controller it produced 4.71A which is 83% of specified output.

 Agreed: not bad.



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TimTim wrote:

For anyone that is interested Kings have knocked $40 off their large semi flexible solar panels.

www.4wdsupacentre.com.au/kings-160w-semi-flexible-solar-panel-pet-construction-monocrystalline-ip67-rated.html


Why can't suppliers/manufacturers get their terminology right?

"Produces up to 8.75A [per hour] in full sunlight"

 

 



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Mike Harding wrote:
TimTim wrote:
Angled to the sun at 12.00 using a cheap PWM controller it produced 4.71A which is 83% of specified output.

 Agreed: not bad.


 Given that my home solar system showed a drop in output at the time I was testing the panel I thought it best to do a comparison with my home system so I calculated the figure of 95%.  My domestic system saves readings at 5 minute intervals and of course I can do a live reading from the inverter.

It was interesting to watch, with not a cloud in the sky, the system drop from producing 7.37kW down to 6.6kW and then climb back up again all within a matter of 20 minutes.  When I get time I will do a test at noon when I know that my domestic solar system is at or on about its peak.

 

 

 

 

 



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TimTim wrote:
oldbloke wrote:

Mmmm,,, starting to look like I will just stick with the traditional 120w folding glass panel that I have. Not a lot to gain buying another panel/blanket.


 

Ok I bought a Kings 110W semi-flexible solar panel the other day for testing.

Specified output is 5.63A.

Angled to the sun at 12.00 using a cheap PWM controller it produced 4.71A which is 83% of specified output.

My home solar system at the time was producing 88% of the output it generally achieves.  This was due to non visible atmospheric conditions.

Therefore expected flexible panel output would be 4.95A given the atmospheric conditions.

Actual output achieved was 4.71A therefore 95.15%.

Not bad if you want something light smile

 


 

Can you squeeze a bit more out of the panels with heavier gauge wire, depending on the length.

 



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Whenarewethere wrote:

Can you squeeze a bit more out of the panels with heavier gauge wire, depending on the length.

 


 In this case I had the battery connected right next to the panel with just the PWM controller in between.

 

I have a 12AWG 10 metre cable and previously did a comparison on some panels some time ago against a 10 metre 8AWG cable.  If I remember correctly there was only something like a 0.1V difference between the two cables but to be honest it was just a quick look to see what difference there was.

When I get all my equipment back I will take a closer look using a MPPT controller.  8AWG wouldn't fit in the terminals of the cheap PWM controller in any case and it looks like 10 AWG is the maximum.

 



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TimTim wrote:
Whenarewethere wrote:

Can you squeeze a bit more out of the panels with heavier gauge wire, depending on the length.

 _________________________________________________________

In this case I had the battery connected right next to the panel with just the PWM controller in between.

 I have a 12AWG 10 metre cable and previously did a comparison on some panels some time ago against a 10 metre 8AWG cable.  If I remember correctly there was only something like a 0.1V difference between the two cables but to be honest it was just a quick look to see what difference there was.

When I get all my equipment back I will take a closer look using a MPPT controller.  8AWG wouldn't fit in the terminals of the cheap PWM controller in any case and it looks like 10 AWG is the maximum.

________________________________________________________________

Hi smile

Just a comment seeing as you are interested in measuring things aww and others may be interested in the discussion also.

Using a PWM reg the resistance of the cable does not make a lot of difference, within reason, so long as the voltage at the battery terminals does not drop below the required charging voltage for the current. The extra panel power(voltage) is lost anyway. That is why crappy portable panels can work OK with small gauge cables and PWM regs. Just replacing the reg with a crappy MPPT reg will make no difference in this circumstance and a better reg is just wasted. 

BUT if you fit a good MPPT reg then you can use the extra panel voltage(power) to convert into extra current. So having the more efficient larger wire gauge with minimal losses, will then improve the output current by the maximum amount available.smile

jaahn 



-- Edited by Jaahn on Friday 10th of June 2022 08:44:13 AM

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Hi Jaahn,

Yep, you have read me right, I am interested in measuring things. Actually I think it was you that i said I would measure the standby current on my Giandel inverter 

Thanks for for the explanation which I did know but others might not and you explained it so eloquently. biggrin

It was just a quick look to see if there was any voltage drop in the 12AWG cable as I think most solar extension cables are 10AWG but I use 8AWG.

I have two EPEver MPPT controllers, yeah yeah I know not Victron disbelief, sat 800kms away so will be interesting when I get them back what output i will manage to get on the solar panel with one of those.  I actually think the Kings panels are pretty good for what they are, just don't let them get blown away in the wind and run over by a car no.

 



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These are available at the moment across the road from where we are staying.

$300 here but might do a deal?

 

We have 8 weeks of our trip left so should just about pay for its self.

 

BUT, how do people prop them up at an angle?

Any good?

 

Screenshot_20220615-140051_Chrome.jpg



-- Edited by oldbloke on Wednesday 15th of June 2022 02:05:07 PM



-- Edited by oldbloke on Wednesday 15th of June 2022 02:55:44 PM

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If you notice they say up to 16A and that will be to cover themselves when it doesnt produce anywhere near that.

The test on the XTM blanket from BCF only produced 8.77A when angled to the sun and 5.74A when laid flat and that had a larger area than the Kings.  The Kings does have a MPPT controller so that will increase the current a bit more than the cheap PWM controller I used.  

Probably the best way to use it is to have one set of panels flat and prop the other up with water containers or similar items.  Or even even using sticks to the canvas loops to prop it.  The blanket is cheaper here.

https://www.4wdsupacentre.com.au/adventure-kings-200w-solar-blanket-with-mppt.html

I bought and tested one of the semi-flexible 110W panels and think they are in ways better than the solar blanket as two of them propped up will produce more, are lighter and are easy to prop up against something.  See my previous post where it produced 5.63A.

https://www.4wdsupacentre.com.au/kings-110w-semi-flexible-solar-panel-etfe-construction-monocrystalline-cells-ip67-rated.html

 



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Interesting. Anywhere from
$229 to $300.
The 200w kings blanket will sit on the back seat of the ute, so that helps. But proving it up at an angle seems problematic. Sounds like broom handles might be the go.

Might see if I can negotiate the price down a bit.



-- Edited by oldbloke on Wednesday 15th of June 2022 09:16:36 PM

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oldbloke wrote:

 

Screenshot_20220615-140051_Chrome.jpg

 


 

Can't be much of a MPPT controller, my Victron 100/20 cost about $250



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