Portable solar panels

phs

Well-Known Member
Hi,

looking at upgrading our portable solar panel kit currently have a 120w projecta which has been very good, we bypassed the reg and crimped on an Anderson as we are using it with our redivision system ( on camper trailer ) ,

noticed it has started playing up after resetting direction it can rapidly fluctuate the incoming watts I assume it’s an panel to panel wiring issue but it is 5-10 years only now so I guess that happens

so looking for something compact and 150w +

any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
I’d suggest the rapid fluctuations might be an MPPT running its search algorithm for a partially shaded panel after you’ve moved it. Perhaps run a few checks on the panel prior to ditching it?
 

phs

Well-Known Member
Thanks Cam,

perfect conditions, full sun no shade I noticed it would fluctuate after changing direction slightly to follow the sun orientation

it would go say 70w, 84w, 105w and just cycle until I move it around again.
 

Petunia

Well-Known Member
I had one play up, it would not work, unplug replug and it would, traced the problem to the fuse holder [the sealed section] they are just clamp spiked to the wire then set in plastic, replugging was enough to move the fuse holder/wire. Hence you may only need source a fatigued joint? not buy new? most are 20 year 80% performance on the panels, but the wire is jiggled every time..day..trip.
 

phs

Well-Known Member
^ accessible joins and fairly new ( 2 years old ) we ditched the regulator as it wouldn’t work with the redivision system.
It’s just Anderson to Anderson’s crimp
 

Petunia

Well-Known Member
^ ok, huck it in the bin, simples :cool:

I live 85klm from the nearest town, i investigate and fix it if i can, i cant just go buy a new one this afternoon, and i can't buy 97 spares for just incase.
 

phs

Well-Known Member
cable lead is good, redivision system is good

what’s left internal wiring… should I cut the canvas open and perform open heart surgery?
10 years old I guess it’s just a pup even if I found which internal cable it was ( there are a fair few ) it then needs to be stiched back up to be functional in the field

not saying it can’t be done but it’s a lot of work for a panel that has seen its day…

Happy to post it to you though just shoot over your address
 

phs

Well-Known Member
It’s a pretty simple affair to test a solar panel with a multimeter. They either work or they don’t. There is no mechanism that I know of that allows voltage to jump about unless it is via the controller. They last 25 years plus.

There are 6 panels connected in a canvas fold out case, one of the connecting wires must be partially broken hence the fluctuating W input for no particular reason after moving the panel set orientation, one or more of the panels are dropping out
 

Laingy

Member
Because of their price I purchased a Kings 160W fold-able panel about 3 years ago and it works very well. I added an Andersen Plug to the front of my roo bar (connected to the battery) and just plug it straight in without opening the bonnet. If I recall it cost about $230 back then, and well worth the money. It provides all our lighting and power needs for days on end when out in the sticks.

Stay safe

Laingy
 

shaun0

Well-Known Member
I got a redarc 190w blanket but the bloody thing must have a break in it as I only get about 2 or 3amps out of it now. So anyway I bought this one seems to get decent reviews so ill see how it goes. Me and a mate are doing to road trip from Perth to Darwin starting around July 27 after car gets serviced and new tyres etc.

 
I have just received delivery of an itech world 200w solar blanket..., comes with basic solar controller and various leads and couplings.
The new iTech is very well made, comes in a very heavy duty hi-vis orange(with sealed pocket).., it takes up much less space and weighs less than my previous Voltec 140w witch is bulkier and has rigid alloy framed, fold out panels. Yes, iTech are more expensive but they're well made.
Been trying it out in the yard..., so far the new blanket seems to keep the 120X LifePO well topped up every day. I've been running the fridge(freeze mode) from it, but I'm yet to try it out in a real base camp setting.
Ideally, I'd like a more precise controller..., I have previously used a Plasmatrognic PL20 on the old gel battery. Anyone know if they are still made..., or if there is a more modern, up to date equivalent of the older PL20 ?
 
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