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NEWPOWA Solar Panels

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On 7/12/2018 at 10:22 PM, Alex said:

I am thinking about purchasing two Newpowa 175W panels as well. @gypsydan - what has been your experience so far? How is the build quality of the panel? Have you been able to do any output measurements?

So far no problems. I’ve not done any power measurements, as I’ve not seen the need - yet. I’m using a small 400w inverter for just my laptop.  For the price/watt ratio I’m happy with it. It might be one of those situations, though, where it will take time before I will really know if it was a “truly” good buy.

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After researching solar for my roof for the last 5 months I finally pulled the trigger yesterday.   Around late July I decided I wasn't going to do rigid panels, mostly due to possible liability issues from one of them flying off the roof at speed.  

I settled on flexible panels once I found Global Solar, which makes peel and stick panels, there US headquarters are near Phoenix.  Their panels are long and thin, I really fell in love with their 300w panel.  18'x20"  Two of which would be perfect for my 600w needs.   But after finishing the research on the company I went up and measured my roof.  What a let down.  I couldn't even fit enough of their 200w 13'x20" panels due to all the immovable "stuff" up there.  I really wanted the fewest connections up there to minimize issues due to potential corrosion.  I could easily fit 6 of their 100w peel and stick panels but there would be so many cable connections I begrudgingly passed.  Moving forward I started looking at "traditional" looking flexible panels.   Most had almost no warranty, maybe one year except Go Power and Renogy.   The pricing for the GP panels seem crazy expense to me, like $5 a watt retail.  Even the Global Solar were only about $2.80 a watt retail, and if you have a resale tax number they are about $1.80 a watt.   Then really started looking close at the Renogy 160w flexible s.  They have a 5 year materials warranty and 25 year output like most company's rigid panels.   They also have a 600v max, where most of the others were around 40v, not even allowing two in series, that included the Grape Solar model I looked at. 

The 160w panels were back in stock on Monday.  And the "salesman" told me they got in 100 of the 160w model.  That doesn't sound like much to me.  I pulled the trigger so I could try to get them mounted before heading out the the Balloon Fiesta in a couple weeks.   They cost $299 each, but if you give them your email address they take 10% off your order so they actually cost about $1.70 per watt shipped.   They recommend using Sitkaflex 252 to glue them down. 

The panels should be here today and probably tomorrow,  I will do a "sidewalk" test.   That's where I connect them all up the same was as they will be mounted on the roof and see what they generate laying flat on the ground similar to the roof mount angle. 

Keeping my fingers crossed this all works out! 

-Bill

 

 

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2 hours ago, bigbillsd said:

After researching solar for my roof for the last 5 months I finally pulled the trigger yesterday.   Around late July I decided I wasn't going to do rigid panels, mostly due to possible liability issues from one of them flying off the roof at speed.  

I settled on flexible panels once I found Global Solar, which makes peel and stick panels, there US headquarters are near Phoenix.  Their panels are long and thin, I really fell in love with their 300w panel.  18'x20"  Two of which would be perfect for my 600w needs.   But after finishing the research on the company I went up and measured my roof.  What a let down.  I couldn't even fit enough of their 200w 13'x20" panels due to all the immovable "stuff" up there.  I really wanted the fewest connections up there to minimize issues due to potential corrosion.  I could easily fit 6 of their 100w peel and stick panels but there would be so many cable connections I begrudgingly passed.  Moving forward I started looking at "traditional" looking flexible panels.   Most had almost no warranty, maybe one year except Go Power and Renogy.   The pricing for the GP panels seem crazy expense to me, like $5 a watt retail.  Even the Global Solar were only about $2.80 a watt retail, and if you have a resale tax number they are about $1.80 a watt.   Then really started looking close at the Renogy 160w flexible s.  They have a 5 year materials warranty and 25 year output like most company's rigid panels.   They also have a 600v max, where most of the others were around 40v, not even allowing two in series, that included the Grape Solar model I looked at. 

The 160w panels were back in stock on Monday.  And the "salesman" told me they got in 100 of the 160w model.  That doesn't sound like much to me.  I pulled the trigger so I could try to get them mounted before heading out the the Balloon Fiesta in a couple weeks.   They cost $299 each, but if you give them your email address they take 10% off your order so they actually cost about $1.70 per watt shipped.   They recommend using Sitkaflex 252 to glue them down. 

The panels should be here today and probably tomorrow,  I will do a "sidewalk" test.   That's where I connect them all up the same was as they will be mounted on the roof and see what they generate laying flat on the ground similar to the roof mount angle. 

Keeping my fingers crossed this all works out! 

-Bill

 

 

I wish you luck with your flexible panels.  It (at least from your description) seems they may have made some improvements on the ones you ordered.  I personally have not found any that live up to my standards for solar and haven’t known anyone who was happy with their flexible panels after about a year or so.  I like the idea of them for RV use and hope that improvements are made to make them a more viable option.

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8 hours ago, bigbillsd said:

...due to possible liability issues from one of them flying off the roof at speed.  

Moot at this point, but for future reference... properly secured... I have never known of anyone having an issue with detached panels under normal driving conditions. Trees with sticky fingers or hurricane/tornado run-ins... yes. Even among those using recommended adhesives (vs. screws) random detachments have been extremely rare and, IMHO, likely more attributable to user failure during installation. Ie., not cleaning the surfaces properly prior to installation or using an inadequate amount of adhesive and/or top layering.

6 hours ago, Chad Heiser said:

I wish you luck with your flexible panels.

I personally have not found any that live up to my standards for solar and haven’t known anyone who was happy with their flexible panels after about a year or so.

X2.

They have their place. Ie., installation where rigid panels would not be practical and/or on curved or unusual surfaces... however, they come at a cost. Increased cost of energy production, rapidly diminishing performance and a much higher level of regular maintanence is required. In higher ambient temps they are also quite suseptible to drops in rated performance due to the inherent lack of heat dissipation.

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I have seen a high of  550 watts being produced here in Albuquerque this week at solar noon and no clouds.   Way more than I expected this time of year with flat mounted panels.  So far my 640 watts of flexible panels bring my batteries from 68% SOC to 95% SOC by about 4pm.  It would probably be 100% if I turned off the Inverter and a few loads constantly running on those.  Network switches, DVR and digial tuners plus an MR1100 hotspot running 24 hours a day. 

 

I do see the voltage drop to about 64 volts from the panels from around 78 volts when they are cool.  Now that it has gotten a bit cooler here they are producing close to 90 volts in the morning as they are still cold.  -Bill

Screenshot_20181008-131401.jpg

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Re: panels flying off the roof.

I installed a pair of residential panels, 325 watts each on my roof in Feb 2014. These panels measure 66" x 52".  I mounted them at an angle, 2" above the roof on the drivers side and 4" on the passenger side so the water & dirt wouldn't pool and reduce the power output.  I mention the height above the roof, since the wind can get under the panels, unlike if they were mounted about 1" above the roof.

The panels are mounted on 4 posts, one near each corner.  The posts are screwed and glued (using self leveling Dircor) to the fiberglass roof.

I put over 40,000 miles on the RV in all sorts of conditions, including a trip to Alaska with a side trip 230 miles up the gravel, pot holed Dalton Hwy (the Alaska Pipeline haul road). 

I just removed the panels to move to our new-to-us RV.  No evidence that the panels have loosened, or were in any danger of coming loose as I removed them from the roof. 

I will be mounting the panels on the new RV in the same manner.

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Bill - I wish you the best of luck on the new panels. Once you get some time on them, please update with how things are going:)!

And for other's reading this post in the future, I too have X's 5 residential 240W Panasonic 48V panels mounted to conventional Stick & Brick mounting racks. Also screwed and glued, I used 3M 5200, for the racks. I also had fabricated for front and back of the rack, angled pieces of aluminum mental strips. These are 3M glued down to the roof. Their job is to help guide any small tree branches up and over, vs getting caught under, the rack of panels. 

Also over 45K miles of travel over 6 years, and also a trip to Alaska and back. I do a yearly inspection of all mechanical components as far as connection to the roof. All have never budged. And, we rode out a Microcell South in North Dakota, that toppled several trailers and well over 100 trees, in the campground above the Missouri River. (Slides in, power unhooked, coach a rocking and a rolling, park ranger said gust into the low 90's before their station was knocked out.).

Back to the flexible solar panels, I've seen that Airstream is including what looks to be roof hugging flexible panel(?), with a border around, in the top of some of their trailers. And I know many boater's that used flexible panels. 

I think each type of panel has an appropriate application, but wind movement/loss of hard panels - is not a major issue that I'm aware of:)!

Best to all,

Smitty

 

 

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I have no idea if what you are buying will meet your needs and are quality items.  Personally I would not skimp on a solar system.  Personally I want a system that is efficient, reliable and will hopefully last for many, many years.  I also had no concern about panels flying off the roof of my RV.  Mine were installed with heavy aluminum brackets bolted into the roof.  The planels have worked flawlessly for 8 years.  I did have to replace the cheap controller I started with.

Edited by JimK

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