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new solar panel- which one?

PostPosted:Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:14 am
by johnaye
Hi i am in the market to install a 100-130 w solar panel on my 12v 4 berth ex maui merc. I run a 12/240 fridge,gas water heater,water pump and a 15" lcd tv sparingly (mainly for the news etc), and various lights (at any one time3 max).
My question is: Can the forum recommend brands that live up to expectation and have warranties and those brands that i should shy away from ?
We tend to mix our trips away from overnight to 3+ months and prefer to freedom camp when we can

Regards John

Re: new solar panel- which one?

PostPosted:Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:34 am
by The Flying Tortoise
I would recommend the BP brand. It is a most reputable brand and one that I have used for the last twenty years... most brands come with a 25 year warranty... Kycera, Sharp and Siemans are good brands too but I would not recommend Uni Solar. Suntech is a Australian/Chinese brand that is popular because of price. But I would go for the biggest panel you can fit or even two smaller ones, and as I said, BP. You realise that you will need a regulator too... always get the larger amperage model... 30 amps to allow for any additional panels in the future.

Re: new solar panel- which one?

PostPosted:Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:26 pm
by don.robinson
Have spent some time chasing prices / availability for a 125 watt panel. Would have prefered BP as I have had good experience with them.
However like BP fuel, they are more expensive than any other brand!!!
Add to that, they seem to have few agents or dealers and those that they do, don't seem to stock panels at the 125 watt size. It is all a bit unfortunate.

Mitsubishi (125 watt) seem to be available at a reasonable price and with a good name.

Interested to read other comments before I purchase. I have no money or business interest in any particular panel.

Don Robinson

Re: new solar panel- which one?

PostPosted:Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:28 pm
by The Flying Tortoise
You might try www.ablesolar.co.nz for BP solar panels... As importers, I'm fairly sure they have the 125watt panels in stock. Phone 09 837 2212. They are located in Henderson, Auckland.

Re: new solar panel- which one?

PostPosted:Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:36 pm
by technochicken
I don't know about their relative quality, but I've just purchased two 80W panels from Jaycar. They have an "August special" and the panels are $839 each, some $200-odd dollars cheaper than regular price. They're poly-crystaline type. They also have 120W panels, for about $1200 each.
Sorry I can't be of more help, but thought you might like to know of the affordable price at Jaycar. Mind you, gotta keep your wits about you, as it is cheaper to buy heavy-duty cable for the panels at Dick Smith ($5/m) rather than Jaycars ($10/m).
Cheers,
Henry

Re: new solar panel- which one?

PostPosted:Wed Aug 19, 2009 5:11 pm
by don.robinson
New BP 125 watt available at various prices (depends on seller) but around $1500 each panel.

Re: new solar panel- which one?

PostPosted:Wed Aug 19, 2009 5:39 pm
by The Flying Tortoise
Someone said 'Nobody ever regretted buying quality'! It's true especially with any sort of product you put on a motorhome or yacht... you don't want to be trying to get back to a city somewhere to get something fixed... reduce the incidence of Murphy's law happening to you and buy the best... and in the case of solar panels in particular... get the biggest that will fit the available space or that your budget will s t r e t c h to! Don't scrimp with Solar!

Re: new solar panel- which one?

PostPosted:Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:28 am
by SteveC
If your wanting to buy solar panels it does pay to shop around. Jaycar do have specials on at the moment.

Interestingly if you look at the ZM-9097 12v80w its available for $700 plus freight, they advertise that its RRP was $875.

Now if you look at Electus.co.nz, the same solar panel has a RRP of $715+ GST which is $804

Electus and Jarcar are the same company…

I have always used BP panels for work but here is a snippet from the Electus web site.

===SNIP===
When BP Solar offer polycrystalline solar panels why are we switching to a new technology? Solar panel technology has been fairly static in the last 10 years, however incremental improvements still occur.
To answer the question, we have found a very large manufacturer of both poly and monocrystalline products. The monocrystalline product is slightly more efficient than the polycrystalline but the monocrystalline has been historically more expensive. Our supplier is the first one we have ever seen who can offer monocrystalline panels at a comparable price to a polycrystalline. They make 90% monocrystalline to 10% polycrystalline, ! why.
So we are proud to offer this brand new range for 2008. The product is similar in quality to BP and we have no qualms about offering the same 20-year warranty on this product!
====Snip=====

SteveC