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Old 05-17-2017, 10:03 PM   #1
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THOR #7515
Solar Panels - Harbor Freight

I note the 45-watt panels are on sale in my city for $129.99. Is there a reason not to buy a set? Is there a clearly better solution?
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:07 AM   #2
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This is a good panel ($125 for 100 watts) - I have 2 renogy panels:

https://www.amazon.com/Renogy-Watts-.../dp/B009Z6CW7O
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:38 AM   #3
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or try HQST Solar on amazon - 100w panels around $120, or 200w 2 panel kit with wiring and 20a controller for $280 - shipped free if a prime member
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:49 AM   #4
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Yes, don't buy the Harbor freight panels. They are amorphous cell material which tends to separate from the glass. Home Depot has 100 watt panels for $109 with free shipping. Have to order on line. The HD panels are poly crystalline.
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:26 AM   #5
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Thanks. That is a much better panel. I have a Thor Citation 24SR and need some way of charging the battery without resorting to the generator. First solar panels, then a beefy inverter and finally lithium batteries should allow me to dry camp off the grid for a few days at a time. Thanks for the link to the panels at Amazon.
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:07 PM   #6
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Agreed, don't buy the Harbor Freight panels... I got the 400W Renogy Solar kit from Amazon and coupled with our 4 house batteries, we can stay off grid for a while without using the genset (unless we need AC or the microwave!)
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:34 PM   #7
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Lithium batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmihalk View Post
Agreed, don't buy the Harbor Freight panels... I got the 400W Renogy Solar kit from Amazon and coupled with our 4 house batteries, we can stay off grid for a while without using the genset (unless we need AC or the microwave!)
Four batteries and can't use the microwave, interesting. If the four batteries were replaced with lithium batteries, I wonder if you would then be able to use the microwave? As you add solar power and improve storage, I suspect less LP will be needed and more electricity means an increase in its use to cook and use electric devices.

I have also noticed others are installing flexible solar panels that stick to the roof. I haven't compared pricing, but the downside is you can't tilt the panels to increase power generation.
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Old 05-19-2017, 01:10 AM   #8
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I'm sure lithium batteries would make a difference. It would also create some other requirements like needing a bigger and better charger (in addition to the solar.) I think the microwave just requires too many start up amps to be useful off of the batteries, not to mention that it currently isn't wired to the inverter circuit.

Someday I see an upgrade to AGM batteries, but lithium batteries are a ways off.
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