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Old 01-09-2010, 07:26 PM   #1
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Portable solar suggestions

I am looking for a 60-80 watt solar panel setup that can be set up on legs and tied into my system. Not ready to mount panels. I'm having problems finding simple systems that we can just stow and then set up when needed.

Any suggestions on suppliers? I've done a lot of web searching but mainly find flexible panels or kits with mounting equipment etc. Thanks.
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:58 PM   #2
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Solar Panels : Solar Panels Direct $1.74 per watt

Keep watching the website, their stock rapidly changes. Go in with a friend to beat their minimum orders - or craigslist/ebay off the extras; they have two or four piece minimums usually. Inspect panels completely on receipt, I have friends that were allowed to keep shipping damaged panels as well as getting free replacements.

If you purchase their house brand "Sun" line that use the dark, almost black colored cells you're purchasing the highest efficiency cells at 18% conversion - meaning more power per square foot. I own two of their 50w panels that exceed their label ratings by 15%!

A silicon foundry makes the dark (not light blue) PV cells for their own panels that are only available as professional install packages - sunelec is the only place I've seen selling them to the DIY crowd!!

If you are doing mobile panels 1) think cable locks to keep them from walking and 2) sand bags or gravel boxes to ballast the frames down as just one errant gust of wind can/will ruin the panel(s)...
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:33 PM   #3
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I bought an 80 watt panel, about 3 by 4 feet built a simple aluminum stand. Bought a small charge controller. Works great, I can set it up away from the trailer in the sun and has keep my batteries at full for a good 4 or 5 day trip.
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:49 AM   #4
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I have used these for the last 4 Seasons to HELP keep the AGM's topped-up while boondocking. If you plan to stay under 100w they may be an option you can consider.....flexible solar panels - Google Product Search

I have also mounted them on the TV roof, the front and rear window protectors, on the ground, draped over the generator tent, very adaptable.

They also roll up real good and store in the front overhead.
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Old 01-10-2010, 06:13 PM   #5
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Here is a link from a few years ago describing our portable solar system. We bought the panel from a distributor in Miami in 2002, and purchased the controller and batteries locally in Vermont in 2007. We don't have records with us here in Florida, but we remember the controller coming from a solar business in either Waterbury or Cabot???

Would be glad to show ours off, or assist you in setting yours up when we return in the Spring.
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Old 01-10-2010, 06:51 PM   #6
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gosolar

I almost bought an Airstream from this guy a few years ago. I've been to his house and seen his installation. Heard later that he might be the contact for Colin Hyde for flexible solar panels.

The Solar Energy Specialists
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