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Old 02-13-2010, 02:30 PM   #15
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Make sure when you get a solar panel that you spend a few extra dollars on a quality charge controller. Key to getting the most from your panels is a Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) charge controller. This uses an converging algorithm to adjusting between varying voltage and current levels to get maximum power output.

I've heard from a co-worker (in the solar industry) that this is a pretty good one:

Morningstar Corporation SunSaver MPPT

But I'm sure that there are many others out there of equal or better quality.

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Old 02-13-2010, 08:01 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
for boondocker lighting try candles !!!

no foolin thayz good!

The Humphery Gaslinght works better than candles and will not use up your coulombs.

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Old 02-15-2010, 08:17 PM   #17
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Flexible Solar Panels

Has anyone had experience with flexible/foldable solar panels? I'm sure a controller is essential, but if they perform as expected, just one 50-60 watt panel would meet our needs. Here's the link to just one example: Brunton SOLARIS 52 CIGS Foldable Solar Panel (Black/Silver, 12 Volt): Sports & Outdoors
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:49 AM   #18
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Flexible is essentially disposable - for every satisfied customer there is two wishing they'd not gone that route. Someday they will be printing solar panels like newspaper and for not much more cost than a fine fabric costs but its not happening yet. For that kind of money we could hook you up with five times the power and the panels would last five times as long.

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Old 02-16-2010, 10:13 AM   #19
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You can get a 208 watt panel from Sharp for the same cost as the 52 watt foldable one.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:18 AM   #20
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A SunPower panel of the same size puts out 315 watts

Only problem being that for maximum performance, the panel is built utilizing a positive ground... fine for home installations where you go through an inverter, but no good for mobile applications. I hope one of these days SunPower makes a negative ground panel for mobile/RV applications.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:40 AM   #21
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shade tolerant?

what happens when it's REALLY HOT outside?

double layer?

life span vs output?

wiring schemes?


controllers and meters?

it really ALL begins with calculating usage and WHERE/when one will collect the magic of the sun...

robert cross uses a flex panel and has been VERY satisfied with what it does...

but he also uses GENsets for real juice when boondocking.

u can see pics of his panel and read his reports in SEVERAL of the topic specific threads, here's a pic...

the FLEX issue is coved in these 30 threads...

some of those are VERY specific on the issue and with much detail.

generally the OLDER threads or threads with moe's wisdom on this are most useful...

but as a FIRST starting point 4 the basics this thread may be helpful...

and don't forget the sunsceen...


all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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