Solar Panel Open Discussion/Debate/Review | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

Solar Panel Open Discussion/Debate/Review

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Viking1204

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Ive used all of the better panels renorgy , AIMs power Zamp and the best unit by far is Merlin Solar. I have a 140AMP flex panle mounted on top of my al cab now and it actually makes real power even in very low light.
140 Amp or 140 Watt Merlin Panel? I don't think I've heard of a single panel that can produce 140 amps, would have to be huge for today's standards....
 
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Viking1204

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Viking, I found this video on solar systems and thought it was good enough you might want to view it.

Finally watched it all the way through, he does a really good job of explaining things but his system is a lot smaller then the one I eventually plan to build. My goal is by the time I build my own home off grid and retire is I'll be able to install the whole house off grid solar system myself. Building smaller solar systems now for Overlanding is a small step in the right direction.
 
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Lanlubber

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Finally watched it all the way through, he does a really good job of explaining things but his system is a lot smaller then the one I eventually plan to build. My goal is by the time I build my own home off grid and retire is I'll be able to install the whole house off grid solar system myself. Building smaller solar systems now for Overlanding is a small step in the right direction.
The size of the system will not change the basic installation of the system. It's all easier to understand when you start with the basic info and expand is all I'm saying. Every video I have watched has taught me something that the others have left out. I'm just thankful that it is starting to sink in to this old thick skull thanks to the many video's on utube.
 

SteveC-Pro4X

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I am a newbie Overlander (65 years old) and ready to invest in my first lithium rechargeable battery. The Jackery 500 in what I am looking at on Amazon. It's $500 and full-featured. Any thoughts from experts on this forum?

Here is the amazon link:
 

MiamiC70

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I’m in same boat been looking at this one too.

Based on several reviews including this one:

 
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Lanlubber

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I am a newbie Overlander (65 years old) and ready to invest in my first lithium rechargeable battery. The Jackery 500 in what I am looking at on Amazon. It's $500 and full-featured. Any thoughts from experts on this forum?

Here is the amazon link:
Not an expert but I don't buy expensive batteries at my age. I buy the Walmart 135 ah Marine batteries, two at a time for $70 each. They will give you 4-7 years of service if you keep them charged at more than 50%. I only have a 100w solar and 10a charger controller but the 2 batteries are more than enough to last nearly a week without recharge. Depending on what your needs are of course.
 

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MiamiC70

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Not an expert but I don't buy expensive batteries at my age. I buy the Walmart 135 ah Marine batteries, two at a time for $70 each. They will give you 4-7 years of service if you keep them charged at more than 50%. I only have a 100w solar and 10a charger controller but the 2 batteries are more than enough to last nearly a week without recharge. Depending on what your needs are of course.
And what do those each weigh?
 

Lanlubber

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And what do those each weigh?
I think 45-50 pounds. I'm 84 and with the built in carry handle I can carry and lift them one at a time. They are just like car batteries, sealed etc. They hold a charge longer than a car battery because they are not for cranking. I have them set up similar to the Viking post two or three above your post. Go back and read all the post on this forum. There is lot of info and videos here that helped me.
 

Lanlubber

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And what do those each weigh?
I use to have a golf cart that would get me around the subdivision to read meters (about 20 miles of driving) over 2 hours on a single charge with these same batteries. There were 8 batteries and I drove that cart for 4 years without any problems.
 

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I am a newbie Overlander (65 years old) and ready to invest in my first lithium rechargeable battery. The Jackery 500 in what I am looking at on Amazon. It's $500 and full-featured. Any thoughts from experts on this forum?

Here is the amazon link:


I have the new Jackery 500, and it’s worth every penny. I don’t go crazy with it, but running my CPAP and charging my phone, I got 5 days out of it and was still about 15%. With my fridge and CPAP, I still got 40 hours out of it. It weighs like 14 pounds, so easy to carry around compared to my lead acid goal zero.
It was on sale when I got mine, if you can find an active code it goes down to $400. Even at full price, it’s a good value.
 

Lanlubber

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I have the new Jackery 500, and it’s worth every penny. I don’t go crazy with it, but running my CPAP and charging my phone, I got 5 days out of it and was still about 15%. With my fridge and CPAP, I still got 40 hours out of it. It weighs like 14 pounds, so easy to carry around compared to my lead acid goal zero.
It was on sale when I got mine, if you can find an active code it goes down to $400. Even at full price, it’s a good value.
I guess it just depends on how deep your pockets are. When my batteries are not out in the boonies, they are here at the house providing me with power for my storage building and tools. They last longer when being used. I never buy single purpose items that may sit in my garage for months before I do out again. Especially $500 batteries. Will your Lith battery do that ?
 

NV Ranger

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I’m using mine the same way. On the odd weekends when I’m not out somewhere, it’s in my garage supplementing power to my fridge, fan and the lights. It’s all charged off my existing solar. No point in a $500 paperweight. In the meantime, gives me extra weight allowances for anything else I want to bring.
 
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Lanlubber

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I’m using mine the same way. On the odd weekends when I’m not out somewhere, it’s in my garage supplementing power to my fridge, fan and the lights. It’s all charged off my existing solar. No point in a $500 paperweight. In the meantime, gives me extra weight allowances for anything else I want to bring.
Just shows there is more ways to skin a cat than one, HUH ?
 
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bmwguru

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I guess it just depends on how deep your pockets are. When my batteries are not out in the boonies, they are here at the house providing me with power for my storage building and tools. They last longer when being used. I never buy single purpose items that may sit in my garage for months before I do out again. Especially $500 batteries. Will your Lith battery do that ?
Lithium batteries will out last, out power and out value any lead acid battery in the long run, by a lot. Just sayin.
 

Lanlubber

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Lithium batteries will out last, out power and out value any lead acid battery in the long run, by a lot. Just sayin.
I'd like to see a scientific report based on what it cost for lithium batteries verses lead acid over a 10 year period of time.
I would bet there isn't that much difference in cost when you compare apples to apples. It's easy to say it but it's much harder to prove it.
I base my buying power on my pocket book at the time of need. Not every one can shell out $500 for a single battery of $60,000 on a new SUV or P.U.
I don't have $500 in my 100w solar set up and it produces just as well as your $1000 one (if you have one). I don't go for the BS that says more cost is better or last longer. I've been there and done that ! The same applies to automobiles. I've seen $3000 S - - - bucket go 100,000 miles while friends have paid $40,000 for the same thing. To each his own...I can buy a lot of things for that $37,000 difference.
 
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NV Ranger

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There’s way too many variables that would go into that kind of study, but go watch Will Prowse on YouTube- he breaks it down pretty well.
Lithium doesn’t handle high heat or freezing temperatures very well, in fact they should shut down in freezing temps... but they’re still more efficient than lead batteries power-wise. Traditional batteries are much more inefficient, have less overall capacity on rating, and last 1/2 as long if you’re lucky. But lead will operate above and below the operational temperature limits of most lithium cells, even if only at a 40% efficiency. Lead acid batteries are generally considered dead after 500 cycles, but lithium generally only falls to 80% capacity after 1000-2000 cycles, so you can continue using them for 10+ years. Because of all the factors, Lithium is usually overall cheaper, but that’s assuming you treat both types with kid gloves in comparison.


I use both, and they both have their purposes. For instance, my garage is off grid, and my air compressor runs on an SLA built system because it pulls 16 amps for 10 minutes each time it kicks on. I usually use it in the day time, and it was over 100* today in there. It’s easy to recoup on my panels, and that temperature, while inefficient, won’t do as much damage to SLA as it would my lithium packs. At night, either type will handle the temps, but I run lights and a fan off my lithium packs because it can hold much more power in 1/5 the weight, and I can move it around when I’m working a project.

It’s not a competition. As with all things, buy within your means.

You can read up more here: https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/discharging_at_high_and_low_temperatures