Industrial Deals Beauty Summer Reading STEM nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Starting at $39.99 Wickedly Prime Handmade Wedding Rustic Decor Book House Cleaning gotpremiere gotpremiere gotpremiere  Introducing Echo Show All-New Fire HD 8, starting at $79.99 Kindle Oasis Nintendo Switch Water Sports STEMClubToys17_gno



There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

Showing 1-10 of 153 reviews(5 star). See all 241 reviews
on June 8, 2014
I bought this solar panel several months ago & never used it for it's intended purpose of giving me electricity while camping out in the middle of nowhere, until just recently when I camped out in the OBX of North Carolina. For those of you that don't know where that is, look at a map of the U.S. & look at the isles of land that sticks out in the ocean just east of North Carolina. It's beautiful country out there to camp at! Anyway, moving along here...

I wired this panel with 12 volt automotive quick disconnects. One on the charge controller side & the other on the solar panel for a quick connect & disconnect from a marine battery box. The marine battery box contains 2- 12 volt 9 amp hour F tab batteries wired in parallel for a total of 18 amps at 12 volts. There's also an automotive cigarette lighter plug to clamp onto the tabs of one battery. Since they're wired in parallel, it doesn't matter which battery to clamp onto. This solar panel easily charges those batteries back to full capacity within 4 to 5 hours of direct sunlight. Keep in mind that I did not discharge those batteries completely each night. I only ran a 12 volt fan rated at 0.9 amps on low, charged my smartphone several times (with a car adapter) & used an LED desk lamp that uses an AC wall power brick. I already have an automotive power inverter to make 110 volt house current when plugged into a cigarette lighter.

The thing about a Mono-crystalline solar panel is that it's really particular about the power output relative to it's angle to the sun. Measuring the power output with a multimeter (right at the quick disconnect plug) & angled perfectly with the sun's position in the sky, I see a 13.7 volt current when it's under load (connected to the batteries). If I move the panel & lay it flat on a picnic table so the sun is hitting it at an angle, I now see anywhere between 8 to 12 volts. Still good enough for charging, but not at it's full intended capacity. Remember, it's the CURRENT, not the voltage that charges your batteries. Lower voltage means lower current (amps) to the battery bank so it takes longer to reach full charge. Since my multimeter only displays voltages & not current, this is where you have to do some math to see what amperage the panel produces with direct or indirect sunlight.

Without going through all of the math, in the real world, this panel fully charges my battery bank back to full capacity (13.6 volt, 20.4 amp) that has been drained down to around 10.5 volts overnight, in 4 to 5 hours of DIRECT sunlight. I have to move the panel several times & angle it just right to charge in the quickest amount of time.

I could not tell you if this panel is completely weatherproof or not because it never rained while in the OBX after I set it up. It POURED rain as I arrived that day so I had to sit in the car for several hours until it stopped raining. But...since this panel & battery box will be used for dry camping (no utility hookups) it's not on any type of permanent installation. And at any rate, I don't believe that you could get much solar charge from your panel in the pouring down rain & dark skies overhead.

Oh & one more thing worth noting here. Since I live in hurricane country, this is a GREAT addition to my "bug out kit" when I have to evacuate inland just west of here. I can pitch my tent out in a field & still have electricity for lights, fans for hot days & nights, a small electric cooler & a smartphone (IF...there's service & the towers have enough fuel to run their generators for extended periods). It's small & lightweight enough to carry, but large enough to recharge a small battery bank as I have.

It's just smart to think ahead & be prepared! In the modern world, we all use electricity. But when that's not available during a disaster or a power outage, what do you do? You just go without until service is restored, but who knows how long that could take?!
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 20, 2012
This is a no brainer.
Some of the RV parks we go to are remote and you have to be self contained.
That means you need to generate your own power too.
This product allows us to keep the 2 - 12 volt batteries charged at all times and use them as needed without hooking up a generator or plugging the truck in to run the batteries off the truck's system.
I also purchased an inexpensive charging/maintenence system from Amazon for about $20 that works well.
We sit the solar panel next to our RV or truck during daylight hours and let it do the work "naturally".
0Comment| 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 11, 2013
I had low expectations for this product. Based on other reviews I hoped that it would at best slow the drain on our battery when we took out our RV so it wasn't completely dead after a couple days in the mountains. I have yet to test it camping, but in hooking it up to the battery for a couple hours on a partly cloudy afternnon, it was able to increase the battery charge by about 10%. Based on our battery usage while camping, which mainly consists of lights, water pump, and occasionally turning on the blower fan of the furnace, I'm anticipating that this will be able to keep the battery at 100%.

The only draw back is the charge controller. It just feels like junk. I knew that going in so I will not dock stars from the product, I wanted to confirm what other reviewers are saying. Other than that, the panel feels like quality and it does charge a battery.

I will test it out in the Uintas this next week and update my review if it isn't quite what I expect it to be.

UPDATE:

This thing worked phenomenally well on our most recent camping trip. I was able to run the water pump liberally, and then the lights and furnace without issues during the nights. The battery would drop charge to about 60-65%, but was able to fully recover with 4-5 hours of sun. Based on its performance I have full confidence in being able to add an ac power inverter for a few lighter appliances and the occasional use of the microwave and have it recover the charge.

The only things to consider is that I'm using a brand new battery, (The highest rated marine battery from Costco) and each day was mostly sunny, so optimal charging conditions.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 26, 2015
Charges up our 12 volt battery we use for camping.
Works as expected without any issues.
Came with everything you need to get started.

We use it with a small 12 volt battery that is used to inflate our bed and to charge the electronics during our yearly 2 week camping trip. So far so good. With only medium sunlight b/c of overcast conditions and the trees the battery stays charged around 12.75~13 volts. Only dipping down to lower 11's at night when its on standalone power.
Would buy again.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 19, 2013
When I saw the size of it I thought it wouldn't be up to much. Was I ever surprised when I hooked it up and checked the voltage it was pumping out even under a cloudy sky but of course much more in sunlight.
I don't understand the problems some had with the connections on the back. First thing I did was take the cover off the black box to check that out in case it needed attention. . Connections on mine are very well soldered and clamped under a strain relief . Maybe the earlier ones were not like that. Years ago I had a 20 watt panel that was twice the size of this one and took up way too much room for transporting it in my Boler travel trailer. This compact 30 watt one fits right inside the little clothes closet for travelling and charges my battery much faster than the big 20 watt one did.
I recommend this panel as very good value and at an excellent price. I did buy a separate controller after reading the reviews of the controller being of undesirable quality in the package deal that includes the controller.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 15, 2013
i am using this with my inverter 1200 and 125amp hour marine battery, i believe i will need a few more panels at least 125 watts total to keep my battery charged,the square gray box is the charger for hook up . it has 4 wires hooked up to it and on the other end is your pos and neg wires with alligator clips for the battery hook up...this is made very solid it has a nice black frame which has a couple of pilot holes to mount to a stand that holds the panel,,should be very easy to make a solar power panel stand from pvc and glue .this is not a small panel maybe 16x24 rough guess, i cant wait to go off grid just need to learn as much as i can.i ran this in my pu truck with a cooker and tv ,lap top chargers, if the battery was drained it would take a week to charge it back to normal this is good for around 3 solid hours of my use in my truck before i leave it on just solar panel.. lucann307@yahoo.com any solar info please send, put solar so its not spam.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 22, 2012
I got this product based on the reviews of others, and the price was right. I already had a new 30 amp PWM charge controller on hand for my setup. So pure candy this panel is. As 99% of other wise advice from the reviews listed, the supplied charge controler is junk. I recommend a decent alternative. There are great reviews on them on youtube, so you can decide weather a PWM or a MPPT controler fits your application. The panel itself is very well built! It looks awesome, and performance is spot on. In the future i plan on aquiring more of these 30 watt units, and getting some of their 100 watt panels aswell. Can't beat the price people ;) just dont put faith in the supplied 36 watt controller. The money is well worth the panel alone.
0Comment| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 18, 2014
I use this setup to charge a battery in my chicken coop that feeds a fence charger that keeps varmints out of my chicken yard. I use a net fence and it has worked perfectly since construction a few years ago. It is far over powered for the fence charger. It only takes an hour or two on a bright day to recharge after a night's usage. The battery itself will keep the charger going for over a month with no input.

I did not receive an all black panel, rather the frame is aluminum and the margins between the cells are white. I don't mind though. Color was not on my list of priorities and I'd probably prefer a non-black one as it would stay cooler and therefore operate more efficiently.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 1, 2014
I got two of these to keep my boat batteries charged up instead of wasting energy with a plugin charger. I got two separate charge controllers because one battery is lead acid and the other one is gel. I think there are more expensive charge controllers that can do two batteries at the same time, that would have been better and then I could run the panels in parallel, but it was cheaper to just have them separately. No issues so far, just have to spray them down with some glass cleaner every once in a while and hose them off
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 16, 2013
I use it in conjunction with one of my grid tie inverters(GTI). Although I could probably hook it directly up to the GTI I haven't because I don't want to become accustomed to having my GTI turning on when I'm not home. So I use the panel to slowly charge up car battery. I then use the battery to run my 200 Watt GTI once or twice a week and it ranges from 1-3 Kilowatts per week. It is a small system, but I enjoy it. We have a 100 volts AC power here in Japan so 100 Watts AC equals 1 Amp of power. I could probably be more efficient in my methods, but I'm happy with the system and the Solar Panel that makes it possible.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse