Looking for small, powerful solar panels. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-25-2012, 04:30 PM   #1
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Looking for small, powerful solar panels.

Not a lot of room on a 13' scamp for panels, but I'd love 100+ watts. That may be overkill since I can't tow too many batteries around. Looks like I could fit 3 16/32" panels on the roof, in front of, between and behind the two top vents. The closest thing I've found are these panels. The weight and thickness looks fantastic, but they are not the most powerful panels for their size/area.


Amazon.com: HQRP 30W Flexible Solar Panel Power 30 Watt 12V Mono-crystalline PV Module w/ 4 Stainless Grommets for RV Boat Yacht plus HQRP UV Chain / UV Radiation Health Tester: Patio, Lawn & Garden


HQRP Flexible Solar Panel plus UV Chain / UV Radiation Health Tester;

Rated Power: 30W; Maximum Power Voltage: 18V; Open Circuit Voltage: 20.7V;

Maximum Power Current: 1.667A; Short Circuit Current: 1.783A;

Dimensions: 850x400x2.5 mm;

High-efficient solar cells construction; Light and Durable; Laminated for Weather Resistance; Junction box is protected by silicone from ingress of moisture.

1 Year Full Quality Warranty! 3 years limited power warranty: designed to produce over 90% of rated power.
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:38 PM   #2
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Kind of expensive per watt. I'd check eBay, Solar Blvd, Sun Electronics, etc.

I bought a 60 watt for $120 including shipping on eBay.
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Old 05-25-2012, 05:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Thomas G. View Post
Kind of expensive per watt. I'd check eBay, Solar Blvd, Sun Electronics, etc.

I bought a 60 watt for $120 including shipping on eBay.
Indeed, not great price per watt, but they are small and under a few lbs per 16x32 panel. How large is your 6 watt panel and more importantly how much does it weigh? The cheaper panels I'm seeing all are huge and weigh literally 10 times as much per watt.
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Old 05-25-2012, 05:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dylanear View Post
Indeed, not great price per watt, but they are small and under a few lbs per 16x32 panel. How large is your 6 watt panel and more importantly how much does it weigh? The cheaper panels I'm seeing all are huge and weigh literally 10 times as much per watt.
If weight is that important, maybe the Amazon ones would be better for you.

My 60 watt weighs 18# and is 31" x 27" x 1".

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...E:L:OU:US:1123
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:50 PM   #5
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Dylan... I think most interested in solar are Looking for small, powerful solar panels. I think the secret is to match the solar panel to your NEEDs, rather than just output. You MAY be buying overkill and that's expensive and really not good for your battery(ies).
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:01 PM   #6
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I bought one of these and installed on my Lance, installed on top of the utility tool box on the tongue, puts out 18 v in sun and keeps the battery fully charged. Really light weight and you can screw thru the aluminum frame for attachment points or use VHB tape.
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Old 05-26-2012, 03:10 PM   #7
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I'm pretty sure I'll never have as much power as I'll WANT and I'm sure I can make do with whatever I make. But I do want as much panel as I can fit practically on the Scamp roof. I may supplement that with another panel that I'd carry as cargo and set up on the ground when camping. But I want my primary power always pointed up and working even while on the road.
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Old 05-26-2012, 03:12 PM   #8
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How are people mounting their panels? Or are they just setting them up on a rack once making camp?
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Old 05-26-2012, 04:05 PM   #9
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I set up in camp. It keeps the panel clean. Let's me put the trailer where I want and the solar where I want when I need it. I can also set the panel on the rear bed to charge while travelling if I'm not connect to a charge from the tow vehicle.
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Old 05-26-2012, 05:27 PM   #10
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For those not mounting on the trailer, do you ever have issues with wind knocking your panels over? Do you stake them down? Use weights? Any issues with security, theft?

Perhaps a roof mount that will unbolt and freestand on the ground?

I don't want to bungie the panel to the outside for travel and I don't want it taking up space in the trailer. Seems like it would be a pain and in the way. But I do see advantages.
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:15 PM   #11
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I only bring them when I will need them. If it is windy enough to tie down the camp the panels come in. They come in at night. Theft? I don't worry about someone stealing my camp stove that is left out.

Search ebay and others for Ramsond. A 50 watt panel with controller can be had for $140. They are less than 25x21" and less than 9 lbs. A 100W panel is 47x21 and 16.5 Lbs for $190. The controller is $20 more. Keep your eye out on their ebay prices since they change the same product can be found listed at different prices.
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Old 05-28-2012, 01:31 PM   #12
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At this point I'm leaning towards flexible monocrystalline panels for the roof. I just want at least some power that I don't have to set up, adjust, worry about. If that doesn't keep my battery charged much, then I might add an additional movable panel.

Super expensive monocrystalline flexible panels for high end boat installations:
SHOP ON LINE

Much more affordable monocrystalline flexible panels, these are what I'm seriously considering and are recommended by another member here:
Sunflex Solar and Alternative/Renewable Energy - About us

These are cheap and all over the internet, I suspect they are the newer printed monocrystalline technology:
Solar power :: Flexible Solar Panels - HQRP.com Best store to buy ac power adapters, laptop chargers, power cords and batteries
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:29 PM   #13
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OK, I've been all over this topic and after weeks of absorbing information I think I have a better picture of my options. The Sunflex panels look great, but don't sound like I can get them quick and they are pretty lousy communicators.

I think I've found a super deal on a set of these, much MUCH cheaper than the advertised price listed here.

6 of these 20 watt panels.

20W Monocrystalline Portable Solar Panel

They claim they are very high tech, top efficiency monocrystalline cells. Stiff fiberglass backing. They are factory seconds with visible flaws that won't affect the performance. I'm waiting on some images to see exactly how bad they look.

And if not those, perhaps these. 3 will fit on the roof easy.
Everbright 35 watt solar panel

But those are polycrystalline, made in china, probably actually under 35 watts. Much heavier. In contrast, they say the 20 watt super light panels are actually underrated.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:12 PM   #14
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Someone asked what I ended up getting, I think I said in and another topic. But this is what I find when I search, so....

I did end up getting the Everbright Solar units mentioned above. I got factory seconds with creased and bubbles in the covering for a fraction of the normal price. They have yet to be installed since I have not been boondocking.

20W Monocrystalline Portable Solar Panel
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