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Old 05-28-2020, 05:46 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Help?

So I don't speak electrical,I have a 3500watt gen but I don't want to hear that all the time. Was looking at solar as well, have a battery bank and inverters and I think that's a ta da (magic)
So does the amount of watt the solar panel is mean anything or is that just like it max power amount made to add into the bank? Is that right?if so these should be a good deal?
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Old 05-28-2020, 05:50 PM   #2
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Read the fine print on anything, but especially in regard to solar panels. They are not all created equal. They are comprised of connected individual cells -- some have them wired in parallel, others in series.

If they are wired in series, a little bit of shade in one spot can shut down the entire panel. Be sure to get panels with parallel-wired cells. A little bit of shade will reduce its power output, but it won't entirely shut it down.
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Old 05-28-2020, 05:55 PM   #3
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I hope some of our real knowledgeable solar people speak up. But for now the panel wattage is what it will produce under perfect conditions with the sun straight down on the panel, i.e. 90 degrees to it.

It would be best to know what you want to power with it, and do an energy audit.

Also need to know what size you battery bank is.

I have 400 watts of solar, and am running a 4.7 cu ft fridge, lights, water pump, and vent fans. 220ah of battery
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Old 05-29-2020, 01:54 AM   #4
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It sounds like you have a pretty functional system already, so all you would need to add to supplement your system with solar panels would be the solar panels and a charge controller.



Personally I would pass on the kit you posted. Looks like cheap no-name PWN controller and flexible panels. There isn't necessarily anything wrong with it but a more robust and efficient system can be built for about the same amount of money. An MPPT charge controller will be more efficient, and rigid solar panels are much more durable/long lasting and handle heat much better.



Also, if you think you might want to expand in the future, its probably better to spend more money now on a charge controller that gives you room to expand. 200W of solar is enough to maybe power your fridge if its efficient and charge a few devices on a good day, but not much more than that.


Watts are a measure of power. A 200W panel has a max power output of 200W in laboratory conditions, and will generate 200 Watt-hours in an hour (assuming 100% efficiency). Watt-hours are a unit of energy (what your batteries store).


But as Ronnie stated, the rated output, is in near perfect conditions, and isn't a good measure of what you will realistically produce. 50-90% of the rated output is probably a more realistic range for most normal conditions. Expect flexible solar panels to be towards the lower end of that spectrum, if its warm out.



Depending on where you live or travel you can usually estimate 3-5.5 hours of peak sunlight, more in the summer less in the winter, but its a decent ballpark estimate. Where I live, that number is 5 hours, so a 200W panel, operating for 5 hours, at say 70% of rated output, would generate about 700 Watt-hours per day.



This series of videos is a good place to start learning the basics
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Old 06-07-2020, 10:52 AM   #5
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Thank you everyone for the input, I passed on the panels and put more money in else where
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Old 06-09-2020, 12:22 PM   #6
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Second what Dzl, Ronnie, and Cheese Wagon said. Donít rush into buying solar. Do a lot of study. And donít expect $300 to cover your energy needs from solar unless you are a minimalist. If you buy oversized equipment you can keep adding panels as you can afford them. Ive never heard anyone say they have too many panels. Ive heard dozens say they are adding more panels.
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