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Fresno Tundra Driver

Fresno,Ca. USA

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Posted: 06/19/19 02:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So my question is two fold. Do solar panels age/degrade while in storage the same as if they are in constant use? We camp maybe 25-30 days/year and the rest of the time the panels would be inside my dark garage so will they loose the same .5-1%/year efficiency as panels in constant use?
Secondly, I'm looking at the Renogy suitcase(Two 50 watt panels)with 20 amp charger controller and the alligator clips. Do any of you fellow campers have experience with this company or product good or bad? All I'm really hoping to do with this is assist with my two group 27 battery charging needs...


E.Lee Galik

Lwiddis

Lone Pine, CA

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Posted: 06/19/19 03:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Portable solar...set them up every morning. My roof mounted panels are already working. Move them as necessary and watch for theft. Take them in for lunch in town. Mine keep working. Return from lunch and set up panels again. Move them as necessary and watch for theft. Sundown, store panels. Repeat tomorrow and all that for two, three times the cost of roof mounted panels.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2019 Chevy Silverado LTZ Z71, 300 watts solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL pole for flags. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.


Sandia Man

Rio Rancho, NM

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Posted: 06/19/19 03:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have solar panels on our RV roof but we did purchase a Renogy 100 watt suitcase 5 years ago as we often find ourselves in shaded sites. Our Renogy solar suitcase is solidly built and has endured all kinds of extreme weather over the years, although the original controller gave up the ghost during a monsoonal downpour a couple of summers back. It was not water proof, went to their website and purchased another controller from Renogy with water resistance capabilities.

Can not comment on solar panel efficiency degradation while in use versus stored, we use our Renogy solar suitcase sporadically as well, have not noticed much deviation in panel performance as it pertains to output voltage or amperage. Does a great job supplementing our rooftop solar, or all by itself as we can track the sun all day for maximum efficiency. Lent solar suitcase out to a few friends and family members, they were impressed and have since purchased their own.

GordonThree

Northern Michigan

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Posted: 06/19/19 03:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fresno Tundra Driver wrote:

So my question is two fold. Do solar panels age/degrade while in storage the same as if they are in constant use? We camp maybe 25-30 days/year and the rest of the time the panels would be inside my dark garage so will they loose the same .5-1%/year efficiency as panels in constant use?
Secondly, I'm looking at the Renogy suitcase(Two 50 watt panels)with 20 amp charger controller and the alligator clips. Do any of you fellow campers have experience with this company or product good or bad? All I'm really hoping to do with this is assist with my two group 27 battery charging needs...


Depends on the construction.

The semiconductors won't degrade in storage, since they're not being bombarded with radiation.

Some of the plasticy materials may yellow or fog, with or without sun. I have a 10w panel stored in my back shed, out of the sun, been there for years. I notice the plastic is yellowing already, and becoming less clear. I also have a much older mostly glass and metal panel, 5 watt, and it looks brand new.


2013 KZ Sportsmen Classic 200, 20 ft TT
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2oldman

Ca

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Posted: 06/19/19 03:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I can't directly address the shade v. sun issue. I can tell you I've had one panel 'burn out', that is, develop hot spots in the foil and burn through. I've had another lose about 50% capacity for reasons unknown. This was at about 8 years and 15 years, respectively. BP lived up to its guarantee and replaced panel 1. Just let the other one go. My panels were hardly ever in shade.

100 watts isn't really much solar if you do any serious power use.

CA Traveler

The Western States

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Posted: 06/19/19 06:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm not sure it matters since panels like mine have a 25 year performance guarantee and because they will likely be obsolete due to advancing technology.

In 2014 24V panel production ramped up for homes, business, etc and they became half the price of 12V panels with less footprint. My 2014 cost with an expensive MPPT controller was only $100 more than the equivalent 12V panel watts. For me the choice was a no brainer. Since then there are many more lower cost MPPT controllers.

But I'd guess that if your garage isn't destroyed by fire or earthquakes they will last longer especially if you never use them!

The point being 10 years from now current panels will work and be obsolete and statistics indicate I won't be around when my panels are 25 years old.


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naturist

Lynchburg, VA

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Posted: 06/19/19 06:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Answer depends. Everything degrades just due to time, the entropy of the universe at work and all. I doubt solar panels would degrade as fast in the dark as in sunlight, but know of no studies on that.

For what it is worth, Renogy seems to have a good reputation. But 100 watts is likely going to prove too little for as much battery as the OP has. If he has more battery than he actually uses, it might be plenty. If he routinely draws his batteries down maximally, he’d do better with 400 watts or so.





time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 06/19/19 07:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I believe solar panels will degrade slower when out of the direct sun.
However by the time it matters the panels will probably be obsolete and new panels half the cost.


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Fresno Tundra Driver

Fresno,Ca. USA

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Posted: 06/19/19 08:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you all for the replies. Several good points were made. I know 100 watts isn’t much but I’m really just looking to offset my daily drawdown. I’ll keep my Honda generator handy but have come to realize I really don’t like running it all that much especially if it's
mostly to charge my batteries. Thanks again...

* This post was edited 06/19/19 08:54pm by Fresno Tundra Driver *

Johnny G1

Clearwater, British Columbia ,Canada

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Posted: 06/20/19 12:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

15 yr. old 120 watt Keyocera,s still putting out the same, 4 of them have been under a carport roof since new and 2 out in all weather, checked 1 on the fw yesterday in the shade, over 17 - 18 volts to check a meter that was going bad, broken cable.


98 Mountain Aire 34' 210 Cummins Puller and 2001 dodge dully with all the toy's, 400 + hp pullin a 28' 5th wheel Travel Aire. Lots of fun.

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