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Seems to work - very cheap charge controller.
on August 5, 2011
Picked this up for pop-up camper and a week of dry camping in 90 degree heat at the beach. Our goal was to run two fans 8-10 hours/night and keep two iPhones charged for 5 nights, 4 days without any power source.
Product arrived as described. Controller appears to be very cheaply made, wires seem like they are undersized, and the controller unit was broken on delivery (transistor bouncing around in the box). I soldered the transistor back onto the board (night before departure, no time for a return) and it appeared to work. In full sun and aligned, the panel produced about 17.6 volts and 1.6 amps.
Started off with a new Group 27 Marine/RV deep cycle battery, fully charged. We had two days of sun and two of clouds (the last two). I set the panel on a chair next to our camper at about 45 degrees each day and did my best to keep it aligned with the sun, though most of the charging time it was not perfectly aligned. The last two days, in particular, it was very cloudy and not well aligned. I unhooked the battery from the camper completely each day so the controller was connected only to the battery - completely unhooking and storing the panel/controller at night.
Result: 5 full nights of two fans running 8-10 hours (02 12 volt, 700mA fans), 2 iphones charging each night. By my imperfect math, the battery might have delivered 3 days of fans without any charging before being dead. So - I take this to mean that the panel did the job.
PROS - panel works as described, charging controller appears to have done what it was intended to. For basic uses such as the one above, the panel could keep you running for a long time (assuming it was really working at capacity). Relatively small and easy to store. I can't speak to longevity of either daily charging performance or the panel over time.
CONS - charger is about as cheap as they come - mine was broken. Panel has very sharp edges and limited mounting options. Cable turns out to be pretty short. Charger offers no information about power being generated or battery status.