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Discuss High efficiency PV panel source (one-off qty) in the Solar PV Forum area at ElectrciansForums.co.uk.

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  1. happybeing
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    happybeing Guest

    I'm doing an off-grid install on a narrowboat requiring a small no. of panels (e.g. 5 x 100W or 2 to 3 larger panels - aiming for 400Wp to 600Wp with a 450Ah battery bank).

    Solar payback for this setup is high because its solar or diesel generation only (rough estimate 5p / Ah at 12v). So I don't mind paying a premium for high efficiency panels, but sourcing these is hard. Best appear to be SunPower at 20% STC efficiency, but also in real world conditions - correct me if you know otherwise - but I am unable to obtain these as you probably know.

    So what do you installers do for small quatities of decently specified panels? Can you recomment panels and suppliers?

    Thanks,

    Mark
    Rumi, A canal in, Derbyshire or when ashore: A House in London
     
  2. Pascaleto
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    Pascaleto EF Member

    Location:
    London
    On the market is a lot of different PV panels, it's deepens on art design that you imagine. Not only standard panels with frames.
    The most important thing is to take care about the voltage of the panels and the voltage of the batteries.
    And the power output of the inverter compared to the capacity of the batteries.
     
  3. Gavin A
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    Gavin A Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Leeds
    Business Name:
    Leeds Solar
    you need to determine what voltage you're going to be running your batteries at, then work from there really.

    also what are the dimensions of the space you're wanting to mount them into?
     
  4. Worcester
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    Worcester Forum Mentor

    Location:
    Worcestershire
    Solarfred is the expert on these systems around here :)
    The panels will be the least of your worries, you need to consider the costs of the deep cyclee batteries.
    #2 what is your estimated daily power consumption (kWh)
    #3 what proportion of that do you want to generate from solar.
    #4 your batteries will need to store at least twice that.

    Then you can size your battery store, charge controller and pv panels, bearing in mind that a 200 w panel only outputs 200w an incredibly small amount of the time.
    Will the panel(s) be flat on the roof, or on an angle mount orientated to face the sun?...

    #1 WHAT'S YOUR BUDGET !!!!!
     
  5. happybeing
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    happybeing Guest

    Please everyone stop assuming I haven't done my research and that my questions are somehow ignorable.

    I'm posting a simple request for information to help me source the kind of panels I need for my application. I am not in this post asking for advice on how to assess my requirements or design my system. I have done that.

    Thank you for your input, but please keep responses relevant to my post!

    Mark
     
  6. Gavin A
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    Gavin A Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Leeds
    Business Name:
    Leeds Solar
    If you'd just answered my questions I could then have advised you on the most suitable panel available, but seeing as you're going to be an idiot about it you can go an work it out for yourself instead. I'm now done with this thread.
     
  7. happybeing
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    happybeing Guest

    I'm not the idiot you assume, and if you the time to understand the request before you post, you'd realise that I don't require advice on panels for my application. I'm asking for refs to suppliers of high efficiency panels who deal in one-off quantities.

    If I need advice on suitability, I'll ask for it, and without being abusive.
     
  8. Marvo
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    Marvo Admin and gender confused Staff Member Admin

    Location:
    South Africa
    C'mon guys please no handbag swinging.
     
  9. Gavin A
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    Gavin A Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Leeds
    Business Name:
    Leeds Solar
    what would be the point in me giving you details of manufacturers and suppliers of randomly selected high efficiency panels, then you going off checking them out, and coming back to say they were the wrong size / voltage?

    better to cut to the chase and supply the details needed to actually give you the relevant information in the first place.

    someone might then decide to answer your question.
     
  10. happybeing
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    happybeing Guest

    well i now have several panels from three suppliers from my own efforts. if you are game let's see if you can them :)

    batteries: 12v so no restrictions there
    space: max 100 x 590 cm.

    ideally I'd like the width less, maybe 80cm to make walking the roof easier. on this other hand I'd like to maximise yield. I'm torn between up to five 100W or three 200W panels, as i said in my first post.

    using up to 1m wide panels i can achieve 3 x 290Wp from Bimble which is both best harvest and exceptional value regardless of efficiency. will still consider more smaller panel solution, but have not found much in this area.

    any smaller width options (than 1m) would be interesting, or reasons not to go for the Bimble Hosun 290W.

    Am in better mood than yesterday, and sorry for not just answering your questions. You may tho see that the supplementary info was no so important, but you have it now. i do appreciate your offering to help, and anyone else who wants to chip in.

    thanks, fingers now used up for the day ;)

    Mark

    Edit - corrected Hosun to 290Wp (from 270Wp) - oops!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2013
  11. Gavin A
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    Gavin A Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Leeds
    Business Name:
    Leeds Solar
    it'd help if you supplied a link to the panel you're talking about, neither Bimble, nor Hosun list a 270W panel on their website.
    Standard silicon solar module - Hosun

    if you want a high efficiency 80cm wide panel though, then Panasonic HIT 240Wp panels are going to be the most efficient option I'd have thought, at 19% module efficiency - as long as you buy an MPPT controller that's capable of handling the higher voltages.

    If you're looking at 100cm wide panels, then the LG Neon series is probably your best bet, with 285 or 290Wp panels available in the UK.

    Pricing on those options is probably going to be higher than chinese panels, but for 3 panels the price difference isn't going to be that significant really.
     
  12. jason121
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    jason121 Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Lincolnshire
    Midsummer solar might have some HIT 250WATT left
     
  13. happybeing
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    happybeing Guest

    jason121 - thanks, had not found Midsummer solar and will look at their range

    Gavin A - thank for the suggestions. I meant Hosun 290W sorry. I have found and liked the Panasonic but later found the Hosun, which would give me greater harvest regardless of efficiency, and much lower price. Don't know the LG Neon series. Can you offer pricing or know other one-off qty suppliers for those? I would be willing to pay more for a system that used narrower panels, or other technical advantages so would be interested.

    Before I go for a 1m width panel I'll need to go an take a careful look at my boat roof to make sure it will work, so I'm still undecided about panel size.

    Thanks again,

    Mark
     
  14. Gavin A
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    Gavin A Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Leeds
    Business Name:
    Leeds Solar
    I assume you're aware that the 290Wp Hosun panels are 1956mm in length? so if you're planning to use standard mounting clips, the ends of the rails will stick over the length you gave?

    Might just squeeze them in if you were able to bolt them in from below with no gaps between the panels, which might be less prone to theft on a barge anyway, but it's going to be very tight.
     
  15. solarfred
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    solarfred Solar Guru

    Location:
    margate
    If you use large 290wp modules you may find you have insufficient room between your mushroom vents. (Plus they will be a handful to manoeuvre). If you are going to over sail the vents then the modules will be a long way off the deck at the outer edges and you will have a problem working out how to fix them. Narrow boat roofs are curved. I just feel that "wide" modules and "narrow" boats do not go together either practically or aesthetically. There are no fixings on the market that allow you to fix solar panels onto any curved roof except my own design (unless I am mistaken). My mounts can be fixed to any curve without drilling or screwing.They are really good on 100wp modules which can sit nicely between vents across the roof. If you want to have walking room then you would need to run modules long ways along one side which again means you would need adjustable mounts to maintain the horizontal aspect.
    I maintain getting a well design system and decent batteries is far more important than looking for super high efficiency modules which may not work well in poor conditions which is what they will get on a boat. We don't know what controller or batteries you have but as you are now looking at the cheapest modules on the market I suspect you may be concentrating on the wrong end of your installation for a long term reliable system.
    IMG_8938.jpeg IMG_8943.jpeg
     

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