WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel Off-Grid RV Boat Kit with LCD PWM Charge Controller + Solar Cable + MC4 Connectors + Mounting Brackets
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- The kit includes: (1) 100 Watt WindyNation Solar Panel, 30-Amp (user adjustable) WindyNation P30L LCD Display Solar Charge Controller with Battery Temperature Sensor, 40 feet of UL Listed 12 AWG Solar Cable, all necessary MC4 Connectors, solar panel mounting hardware and Installation Manual.
- Designed for RVs, cabins, homes, boats, back-up and remote power use
- Kit will provide on average 350 Watt Hours (Wh) or 33 Amp hours of charge per day (depends on sunlight availability). Add more solar panels in the future! The included charge controller can handle up to 4pcs 100W solar panels (12 volt system) and 8pcs 100W solar panels (24 volt system)
- 100 Watt solar charging kit provides up to 100 watts of clean, free, renewable power
- PWM Solar Charge Controller has user adjustable settings! LCD Screen shows system amperage, voltage, amp-hours, temperature and DC load draw. See Image in photo gallery for all LCD Screen readouts.
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The Windy Nation 100 Watt Complete Solar Charging Kit allows you to start producing free, clean power from the sun! Perfect for RV's, boats, cabins and back-up power! WindyNation's 100 Watt Solar Kit includes what you need to get started: (1pc) 100 Watt Solar Panel, User Adjustable LCD 30-Amp Solar Charge Controller with Battery Temperature Sensor, 40 ft of UL Listed 12 AWG Solar Cable, all necessary MC4 Connectors for wiring, and all the necessary mounting hardware (4 Solar Panel Mounting Brackets and Fastener Sets). Product photos above show individual pictures of all the included items and additional technical information. Add a 12 volt battery and a DC-to-AC inverter and you are ready to harness the sun's free energy. The WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Charging Kit is the ideal solution for providing back-up power or off-grid power when you need it! This Kit includes our premium grade PWM solar charge controller with digital display. The digital display provides detailed system information including solar panel charging amperage, battery voltage, battery temperature, amperage of load draw (if a load is connected), solar generated amp-hours to battery, etc. See Image in Photo Gallery above for an image of all LCD readouts. System settings like voltage of solar disconnect, voltage of load disconnect, etc are user adjustable using the MODE and UP and DOWN buttons on the charge controller.
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I bought the kit about a month ago and received it promptly after ordering, about 3 days later. The packaging it came in seemed fairly robust, and there was no damage to the panel from shipping. The kit comes with everything shown in the picture, nothing more. The P30L charge controller came with an instruction booklet that basically explained its features and installation. The Solar Panel came with a page that instructs the user to download the PDF instructions from the WindyNation website. Both sets of instructions are fairly comprehensive in my opinion.
Most notably about this kit: You will need to purchase at least two fuse holders and fuses (i used automotive ATC-type fuse holders), and the appropriate gauge wire to connect the P30L to your battery bank (unless the wire provided in the kit is sufficient). The table in section 4.7 of the Complete Solar Kit Manual (downloaded from WindyNation's website) and pg 14 of the P30L manual (included in box) describe fuse size and wire gauge based on the capacity of your solar kit. For my 100W kit i chose 10 AMP fuses and 8 ga wire.
After setting up my system and triple-checking wiring, my P30L was not indicating that it was charging my batteries and there was not any voltage coming out of the charge controller, despite a steady 12.4 volts coming from the panel itself. Long story short, after a couple phone calls to WindyNation customer service, who were very polite and inclined to help their customer troubleshoot their system, the problem was resolved and my off-grid camper was up and running! Here is the breakdown of the problem that I ran into: I am not an electrical expert, so i only vaguely understand how a solar panel works, so bear with me please. Since i was only reading 12.4V DC from my panel, the WindyNation tech told me i should read around 20V from the solar panel in direct sunlight and thought that one of the diodes in the box on the back of the panel was bad, and promptly shipped two replacement diodes to me, which arrived two days later. When i opened the box on the rear of the panel, i used a multimeter to check the diodes. Both diodes tested good. It was at that time i noticed that one of the three leads coming from the solar cells had come loose from its soldered connection. I simply re-soldered that connection, buttoned everything up and re-checked the output; 20.4V DC.
Everything has worked as advertised ever since. The P30L seems to monitor the battery status well, restricting current when the batteries are full and sending up to 5 Amps when the batteries need to be charged. It also lets you know when you put too much load on the batteries. I bought a 350W space heater to run off my 1000W inverter, which quickly drains my two 65Ah batteries enough for the P30L to display the "unhappy battery" icon. Despite that, my system has been more than enough to power the interior lights in my trailer, FanTastic ventilation fan, and all my chargers for phones, cameras, laptops, etc.
After reading all of the reviews of this product, it seems that I am the only one affected by the solder defect that i found. Due to this fact and the very helpful customer support staff at WindyNation, not to mention my love for tinkering with and fixing things, i give this product 4 out of 5 stars. It would have earned a 5 out of 5 if it came with the fuse holders, fuses, and not having to troubleshoot the faulty connection in the solar panel.
When I initially connected the solar panel I didn't see any power flowing from panel to controller. Double-checking my wiring I found a loose connection and got power as soon as that was fixed. It would be nice if the controller could have told me to check the wiring.
The solar panel is a little big, but I was able to find a space in my popup camper where it fits perfectly for storage during travel. While at home I intend to keep it connected so my batteries maintain their charge level. I'm undecided whether to mount it to the roof, leaving it portable means I can move it to where I get the best charge at the time.
I found the kit to be far from complete, however, and had to spend extra money for additional equipment. They don't provide printed instructions so you have to find it on their web site. There you will find you need to wire in fuses to every positive connection (panel to controller, controller to battery, controller to load), which they don't supply. They sell an MC4 connector with a built-in fuse but don't include one. You also need wire and cables to go from controller to battery. I ordered a dual-conductor cable from another solar company and that is my wire from controller to panels. I also bought a ZAmp connector to plug into the port built into my camper, a package of waterproof fuse holders and waterproof connectors to complete the install. I haven't mounted the panel or controller but will need to supply my own screws if/when I do.
The supplied controller is capable of charging 12 volt or 24 volt systems. What they don't tell you is you need an even number (2, 4, etc.) of panels for 24-volt systems. I asked in the comments if this system would charge a 24-volt system and they said yes, but never said I needed a second panel to do so.