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1L243

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Posted: 08/20/19 01:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looking for input on Harbor Freights 100 watt solar kit. A question I have is each kit comes with a controller if you put two kits together could you get by with one controller?


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Sam Spade

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Posted: 08/20/19 02:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Get a look at the "manual" that comes with the kit.
Some panels and controllers are made to be "chained" with a single controller and some are not.

Note: Since there are some losses involved, a 100 watt panel likely will produce only about .7 amps at 12 volts.

EDIT: As several nice folks have pointed out, the above note is WAY off base. Please disregard.

* This post was edited 08/21/19 08:26am by Sam Spade *


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time2roll

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Posted: 08/20/19 03:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

look here


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RobWNY

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Posted: 08/20/19 04:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sam Spade wrote:

Get a look at the "manual" that comes with the kit.
Some panels and controllers are made to be "chained" with a single controller and some are not.

Note: Since there are some losses involved, a 100 watt panel likely will produce only about .7 amps at 12 volts. Barely enough to float a fully charged large battery.

Two together will get you about 1.5 amps IN FULL SUN, which still really isn't much.

What? My 200W Zamp Solar suitcase (2-100w panels) pumps out 11.4 amps in ideal conditions. Most of the time, I pump in 7amps to 9amps More than enough to replace the 50-60 amp hours I use over a 24hr period. Hard to believe the Harborfreight solar kits are that bad!


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 08/20/19 05:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you do solar right, you’ll be very happy. If you don’t, such as a 100 watt HF system, you won’t be happy.


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KD4UPL

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Posted: 08/20/19 07:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sam Spade wrote:

Get a look at the "manual" that comes with the kit.
Some panels and controllers are made to be "chained" with a single controller and some are not.

Note: Since there are some losses involved, a 100 watt panel likely will produce only about .7 amps at 12 volts. Barely enough to float a fully charged large battery.

Two together will get you about 1.5 amps IN FULL SUN, which still really isn't much.

You're math is way off. Likely by a decimal place. A 100 watt panel likely has a Imp of around 5 or 6 amps.

OP, what's this kit cost? HF is know for selling over priced junk. Large solar panels sell for around 50 cents a watt. Smaller ones like you're looking at are usually about $1 a watt. If this panel is much over $100 it's too much. What kind of controller? I'll guess a small PWM model with no adjustable set points and not monitoring or display. You can buy one of those for $40 ish from a good manufacturer like Morningstar.
If the panel is rated Imp 6 amps and the controller is rated for at least 20 amps it should handle 2 panels. Anything less than 20 amps and you may be wasting power or burning out the controller on a clear cold day when panels put out more current.

D.E.Bishop

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Posted: 08/20/19 08:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In a recent post someone suggested looking at Amazon they have a 100 watt kit for $158.98. It is fully compatible with the standard connectors and controllers, the HFT is not. you would have to only buy stuff from them. With the Windy Nation kit you can add equipment from almost any mfg.


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MrWizard

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Posted: 08/21/19 05:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

EXAMPLES

7 amps at 12v = 84 watts

0.7 amps at 120v = 84 watts

5 amps at 23v = 105 watts

so 5 amps at 14.4v charge = 72 watts charge max


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red31

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Posted: 08/21/19 05:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

With the universal connector you can connect multiple kits to one controller.

https://www.harborfreight.com/400-watt-universal-solar-connector-68689.html

TomG2

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Posted: 08/21/19 06:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Do a search of YouTube videos for dozens of reviews of the HF kits. Most are positive. Some have combined up to six kits for 600 watts. Be aware that the panels are of the Amorphous variety. Larger than some others for the same output, better in cloudy conditions.

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