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Old 02-09-2016, 11:29 AM   #15
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This is just an observation, but if that is part of the intention of this thread, so far it's not working.
I am finding it useful...
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Old 02-09-2016, 11:59 AM   #16
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I have the Zamp 200 folding panel purchase last year for my Utah trip to the parks. Seems to work fine. They are a little heavy, almost 50lbs. The support legs seem flimsy but once on the ground the panels don't wobble unless on a slick surface. Price is $859-$879. Seems expensive but comes out cheaper than installing 200w on the roof.

As regards to quality of solar panels aren't most manufactured in Asia. I looking at adding 200w of roof solar. 1st choice is AMSolar since they package everything. I could probably do it cheaper if I scoured the internet looking for every piece.

Have no idea who AMSolar's solar panel source is nor Zamp which sells complete roof solar but I don't like the Zamp controllers as well. I want a battery monitor panel that interfaces with the conroller. I could go with Zamp 100w panels on my roof but I like the mounts and combiner box from AMSolar better and they sell the Blue Sky and Bogart products. Either the AMSolar GS100 or SF100 is a close electrical match to my Zamp Mono-Crysalline panels. The GS100 is a mono-crystalline panel but don't know about the SF100. Could be poly-crystalline since its a $100 cheaper. Not sure if I should mix poly and mono panels together.

Kelvin
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Old 02-09-2016, 12:13 PM   #17
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I am finding it useful...
It is getting better.
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Old 02-09-2016, 12:15 PM   #18
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Zamp panel are Bosch, according to my call to them.
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Old 02-09-2016, 12:20 PM   #19
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I believe in

AM Solar in Oregon. They do nothing but RV Solar, and will do as much or little as you want. In our club (WBBCI WI) I for example did not feel like I knew enough to do it myself, so I had them do the entire installation. Another member had a fair amount of electrical skill, so he ordered parts from them, they will sell you anything from the inverter alone to the whole package, and provide recommendations and advice. great people and great products.
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Old 02-09-2016, 12:21 PM   #20
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Just compling some information for our WanderSlack.com group - curious about folks opinions on these lists, would you add anything? I think I have charge controllers down, but really curious on others opinions/experience of who makes the best panels, to steer newbies towards and what to avoid. Thought I would crowd source the minds/opinions of this group.


Best quality solar panels?
  • Grape Solar
  • Kyocera
  • Renogy - Best discount

Best quality solar charge controller?
  • Blue Sky
  • Morningstar
  • Magnum
  • Victron
  • Outback
  • Midnight Solar

Plus this thread can act as a reference post for newbies on this site too.
AM Solar, Springfield OR installed Grape Solar panels (Eugene OR) and Blue Sky controller on my 23D. The panels seem to work well. The Blue Sky controller is feature packed and relatively easy to use.

AM Solar provides their product in kit form to installers and end users.

I would trust Lewster's assessment of solar products.
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Old 02-09-2016, 12:32 PM   #21
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Has anyone else tried Rogue Technologies? They are in Ashland Oregon. I've had luck with them, also good tech support
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Old 02-09-2016, 12:33 PM   #22
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I've had great results with Renogy panels and controllers. I've installed them on my house, my shop, my '82 Excella 34' and several other installations. I've never had a failure and Renogy has great tech support. If you plan to DIY, you can buy a three or four panel kit on Amazon for well under $500. I just buy their MPPT controller separately because they are a lot more efficient than the PWM controllers that come with the kits.

The instruction manual that comes with their MPPT controller is a lesson in solar power. There are easy to understand wiring instructions that make installation simple for anyone. Basically you run positive and negative wiring from your battery bank to the controller and then connect the two wires from the panels. That's it. Anyone can do it. Their 40 amp controller will easily handle four 100 watt panels.

I have no connection to Renogy other than being a very happy customer.
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Old 02-09-2016, 01:12 PM   #23
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Just a note, while many have good experience with AMSolar, they are just a reseller/installer. They don't make anything. So it would be good to not confuse people by mentioning installers/resellers and stick to brands only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
As regards to quality of solar panels aren't most manufactured in Asia.
Yes/No - Panels are a lot like LCD TV's. A few companies make the solar cells, those are the black squares on the panel. And then a larger number of companies connect these into panels. Some do it here in the states, some do it overseas.

I found a half way ok video about High Tech Solar and how they buy the cells and make panels here in the US, if you want to learn more about that. (Do yourself the favor and fast forward to the 1 minute and 55 second mark to get to that)

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Old 02-09-2016, 02:08 PM   #24
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rogue is a manufacturer of solar controllers. They are not widely known ,American made.http://www.roguepowertech.com/index.htm
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Old 02-09-2016, 03:04 PM   #25
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I went to the Grape Solar website and their only monocrystalline panel close to 100w is 105w and it is about 5" wider than AMSolar's GS100. I guess AMSolar's GS100 is custom made and not available from other Grape Solar resellers. Grape Solar has a 100w Polycrystalline panel but its dimensions don't match the SF100 size at AMSolar.

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Old 02-09-2016, 03:13 PM   #26
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I can attest to long-term flawless performance of the Blue Sky system at my off-the-grid cabin. In addition to the above comments, it has treated my battery bank very well.

I agree, Blue Sky flawless so far, 2 years.
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Old 02-09-2016, 03:36 PM   #27
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Although not in the same output category, GoalZero portable / folding works well for us ...
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Old 02-09-2016, 03:57 PM   #28
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You are correct, the GS series were custom made. That's why they don't have the 135's anymore either. I do not know if the SF is made by Grape though. Lew might know. I do know the GS is Grape Solar since that's the sticker on the back of all my panels.

For some reason, Grape Solar seems to always have more discounted panels than others. Not sure what that is about. \_(ツ)_/
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