|Item Weight||17 pounds|
|Product Dimensions||32 x 29 x 2.5 inches|
|Item model number||KIT-STCS60D|
|Size||60W w/ Controller|
|Item Package Quantity||1|
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Renogy 60 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Foldable Solar Suitcase
|You Save:||$35.00 (15%)|
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- Compact design makes it very portable and versatile. Folded size: 13.8 x 25.6 x2.9 inches. Ideal output: 300 watt hours per day (depends on sunlight availability).
- German made solar cells perform excellent in weak light environment and yield better energy over the long run.
- 10A built in negative grounded charge controller with LCD display and fully adjustable parameters setting provide overcurrent protection, reduce fire risk.
- Comes with adjustable corrosion resistant aluminum stand, heavy duty handle, latches for longevity, and protective casing.
- Alligator clips for easy and direct connection to battery.
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Renogy 60 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Portable Solar Suitcase is a whole system in one! This foldable suitcase comes equipped with two 30W Monocrystalline Solar Panels, a 10A Viewstar charge controller with LCD display, a 10ft tray cable and a protective casing for safe portability. With its adjustable aluminum stand, latches and heavy duty handle, Renogy's 60W Solar Suitcase will make solar on the go as easy as 123!
Top Customer Reviews
While I have other high-end solar components, I needed something portable, and my mechanical skills are not exactly the best. I chose the preassembled 100W solar suitcase charger and after a single trial run, I am impressed.
Build quality is generally good, the panels performed to specifications (I don't blindly trust specs, so I test them upon receipt), and the pwm controller is highly configurable to really dial in voltages for the various battery chemistries I use.
One thing I noticed that is not mentioned elsewhere, is that the charge controller is mounted on a dedicated plate that can swing outwards from the panel in case of replacement or if you prefer a controller from another manufacturer. The plate that supports the controller is attached to the backside of one panel via industrial-grade velcro - and lots of it.
While I had the panel fully angled out to about 45 degrees, seeing and manipulating the CC controls was difficult. In addition, the higher heat generated by the underside of the panel itself so close to the controller made the temperature-compensation a bit too agressive, and did not bring my battery up to the required voltage during boost. Measured temps on my own IR thermometer here were 90F ambient, yet directly underneath the panel, the CC was measuring 43C / 109F. This wasn't surprising since the front panels of all makes can easily get to 150F in full sun.
The fix here was to GENTLY pull the CC controller plate away from the panel itself so that it would hang vertically. DO NOT use anything to pry the plate away from the panel - just SLOW, steady handheld force to overcome the velcro without breaking the panel. Now the CC hangs vertically. This way I could see and manipulate the controls easier, and also provide cooling to more accurately reflect the ambient temp. Now the temperature-compensation feature of the CC was close enough for me. I'll be modifying my plate to have less velcro to make pulling it away easier without risking panel damage. In the meantime, when storing the unit, I just don't push down too hard on the velcro making it easier to pull away next time.
I like the tangle-free cabling, and also the connector setup. While the system worked, when I took a look inside the junction boxes, I felt the need to touch-up the soldered connections a little bit. Also inspect the cable input / output leads from the controller itself for any rogue "frog hairs" that might short later due to hurried construction of jamming the stranded wires into the sockets. Mine weren't shorting, but I cleaned it up a tiny bit.
I also carry a medium-sized towel with the kit inside the case. I use this not only to keep the panel clean, but also use it when setting up to ensure that the charge controller starts perfectly - ideally one should always connect the battery first to wake up the CC, and THEN connect the panel. Since I setup in full sun usually, what I do is drape the towel over the panel to reduce any output from it, connect the battery, and then whip the towel off the panel matador-style. The included CC is supposed to be smart about this, but connecting the battery first, and the panel LAST is an old habit to break.
What really sold me on Renogy was that is seemed like ALL of their products proudly have their specifications stated and easy to obtain! That means they are not afraid of guys like me who will not only verify the specs on paper, but actually use my own test equipment to validate - this isn't my first solar-rodeo!
I also loved the fact that the quick-start sheet that accompanies the manual for the CC, shows the importance of selecting your battery chemistry, ie Gel, Sealed, or Flooded. That one is important. I use "flooded" for my Optimas, and "sealed" for nearly all other agm's since the voltages as listed in the charge-controller's manual match up to the battery manufacturer's specs the best that way. I choose the best voltage, and not necessarily blindly follow the default designations. Of course you can manually override those default setup voltages.
I will have no problem ordering more gear from them for upcoming projects. The generally good build, and most importantly the openly-displayed specs that are actually relevant and not just fluff - impressed me a great deal.
*** UPDATE *** - 27 May 2014
If you are a stickler for exact voltages like I am, then you may want to think about compensating just a little bit for voltage drop, or make up your own controller-to-battery cable with a larger gauge, like #12 to #8 or so (if they will fit!)
Mine came with 15 feet of 1.5mmSq wires, which roughly translates to about 14 - 16 AWG. With 15 feet of cable, this amounts to about a .4V voltage drop at the start of absorb. The discrepency lessens at the end of boost however.
Therefore I have taken a conservative approach of simply adjusting my controller voltage to 0.2V higher than normal in both boost and absorb to provide a bit of voltage drop compensation, ie if I want 14.4v for my battery in boost, I'll set the controller for 14.6V.
Of course temperature-compensation will make real-world voltages change, but I tested this by running dc voltage drop calculaters, and temporarily disabling temp comp to make sure I was not fooling myself.
I'm sure this thin of a gauge was for portability / weight-saving reasons, and is easily compensated for by manually programming my voltages about .2v higher than normal.
Works for me, but as always, consult your battery owners application manual to make sure of the allowed specifications.
On a side note, it you use the Duracell Powerpack 600, don't follow the manual and connect this panel to the small jack for the wall adaptor. That is for small panels that don't have a charge controller and it will charge very slowly. Instead connect through the 12V cigarette lighter socket or through the jumper cables, This will connect directly to the battery and provide full current for charging.
I ordered this suitcase solar panel to charge the chassis and house batteries in my class-b motorhome when parked at a campsite for an extended duration.
The roof of the class-b has very little room available for a solar panel. Besides, I don't have a ladder in my class-b van so it would've been hard to adjust the angle of a solar panel mounted on the roof for maximum effectiveness.
Thus, I chose this product.
It stores easily under the rear-sofa in a Winnebago ERA 170.
The case is neoprene and is useful for covering up the panel in between testing for current and voltage and if you don't want the panels to be "live" for any reason.
It is not too awkward or heavy to lift.
The stand is quite sturdy and allows various configurations.
I agree with the other reviewer that LEDs are too dim and you'll need to be really up close and/or shield the LED with your hand to see what the controller and the panels are doing.
The provided cable is long enough to allow for comfortable placement of the panels away from the RV to avoid shade and adjust the position as required.
A charge controller is included and it "downconverts" the open circuit voltage to a usable level to recharge 12V batteries without frying them.
I tested this item on a bright sunny afternoon while traveling in St. George UT.
The multi-meter showed a voltage of 14.4 volts from the charge controller (not the direct open circuit voltage).
That voltage is just fine for charging a 12V AGM battery. I was pleased.
As I was about to pack up the item and put it back in my camper, I noticed that a wire connection had come loose from the splice where it had been crimped and covered with a heat shrink filament.
I couldn't reconnect it to the same crimp but I brought it back home and re-connected it using a butt-splice.
Ever since that repair, the item wouldn't put out a voltage greater than 2.8V. I am bummed.
Even though there was a loose connection, I am not putting all the blame on the manufacturer. Stuff happens.
I returned the panel and ordered another one. I had a choice. I could've gone for the other manufacturer but I didn't see a need to spend $30 more for a cigarette lighter connector when I wasn't going to use it. Moreover, the other product is encased in plastic and most reviews say that the plastic loses shape due to being in the heat and the owners report that they can't put the cables back in the spaces provided and close the lids comfortably.
Anyway...I liked the product and its performance enough to order another one. Amazon gave a refund on my return and did its part.
When trying these out, look for items fulfilled directly by Amazon...that way you can return the product without a hassle.
I did discard the packaging so I had to pay a $20 to find a box large enough to fit the item for return shipping. But that's not Amazon's or Renogy's fault.
I think cable connections are a minor repair but one shouldn't have to crimp cables and fix things that the manufacturer ought to be responsible for.
I will update the review based on the second shipment and how it performs. I'm hoping all connections are snug from the factory.
The company offers $15 to write an amazon review but in the interest of full disclosure, I did not apply for the $15 and don't intend to do so either.
I have now used this product all summer long and I am VERY satisfied with it. I'm updating the star rating to 5 based on my continued experience with the RENOGY panel.
I have the comfort and security of have a constantly replenished house battery in my Winnebago ERA. I can be carefree when it comes to lights left on in the RV bathroom or a TV left running if I leave for a short hike away from the campsite.
I also don't have to constantly monitor my kid's power usage while camping. I know that the solar panel will keep tipping off the battery. The indicators work perfectly and let me know whether the battery is fully charged or is still charging. I have verified the output voltage with a multimeter and this product delivers! I'm happy I bought it and I have no complaints. The case is just right for protecting the panels and I have laid the zipped up case under the Winnebago ERA rear seat quite comfortably during trips. In fact, that is where the case stays without causing any shortage of storage space.