100 w solar at costco - Fiberglass RV

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Old 09-15-2013, 06:23 AM   #1
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100 w solar at costco

100 watts, 20 lbs, $140 delivered to store!

Grape Solar 100 Watt Polycrystalline PV Solar Panel

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Old 09-15-2013, 07:03 AM   #2
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That link is for the mobile app. Here is the standard link:
Grape Solar 100 Watt Polycrystalline PV Solar Panel

Note that they recommend the use of a charge controller (not included or offered) to optimize output and protect batteries being charged.

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Old 09-15-2013, 07:15 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Note that they recommend the use of a charge controller (not included or offered) to optimize output and protect batteries being charged.
Right. This is just the panel. I am looking at two of these mounted transverse across my Scamp roof. Then feed the wires down the front to my new battery box. Place the charge controller in the box with the batteries and the meter.
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Old 09-15-2013, 07:49 AM   #4
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How did this work for you? Do you have pictures?
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Old 09-15-2013, 11:02 AM   #5
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The Costco panel from Grape Solar is a 36 cell polycrystalline panel that sells for $139. A similar 36 cell Grape Solar 100w MONOCRYSTALLINE panel is available from Home Depot for $10 more ($149) SPECS - 100W MONO GS-S-100-Fab36 .

Monocrystalline panels are usually more energy and space efficient than polycrystalline. For a discussion of the differences and the costs/benefits of each type of panel see Which Solar Panel Type is Best? Mono-, Polycrystalline or Thin Film?

You might find that the 100w Monocrystalline Grape Solar panel from Home Depot will better fit your space and energy needs.
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Old 09-15-2013, 03:04 PM   #6
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I've been watching solar technology for quite a few years now, and had bought only mono panels when I added solar to our Scamp 5th wheel and made a portable, folding 40w setup from two 20w panels. Recently, however, I ordered a 100w poly panel for our Surfside project trailer. It arrived last week, and I set about the process of testing it and comparing it to our 40w mono panel.

It used to be that poly panels had a faster, steeper fall-off for energy production as the sun came in at steeper angles than mono panels did. I found that wasn't the case with the new acid-etching and coating process they use on poly cells. The poly cells actually outperformed my mono panel at steeper angles of the sun, though not by much.

Where mono panels still rule the roost is in their thermal performance. Solar panel performance is at its optimum when the panels are at or around room temperature. When they get cooler, their performance degrades somewhat, and when they get warmer, their performance degrades somewhat, right until they hit about 113F/45C degrees. At 45C, their power output falls by about 10%, but starts to fall rapidly, by about 4% per degree Celsius/1.8 degrees Farenheit for poly panels and about 3.8% per degree C for mono. Solar panels get hot in the sun; if you're flat-mounting your panel on the roof, that can make a big difference on a sunny day.

Power output on our new 100w poly panel fell from 100w to 28w when I put it out in the sun on a 95F/35C day tucked neatly into its cardboard packing box so air couldn't move underneath. The panel was so hot when I took it back inside that I needed gloves to handle it, and gave myself a minor burn where it came into contact with the skin of my forearm for several seconds as I moved it inside.

You can compensate for the heat problem to some extent by providing an air gap under your panel so air can circulate freely and cool it from underneath. Better yet, use the contours of your trailer to help move the air around, ramping your solar panel at an angle and creating a somewhat larger gap toward the top/centerline of your trailer so the hot air will naturally rise and expand up as it follows the line of your trailer shell.

One of my failings when I installed my mono panels on the roof of our Scamp was I didn't provide for adequate air circulation under the panels to help keep them cool. This time I plan to make sure there's a 1"+/25mm+ gap at the top edge of my panel, and I'll tilt the panel with the natural curvature of the trailer so hot air is encouraged to escape.

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