Want You can also measure the battery charging voltage. I then begin to look at many of the suitcase styles but really didn’t find anything I felt would last and after reading reviews I found many had issues. My Brother and I got this kit for Christmas and set it up on a sunny day in December. Don't make these easy mistakes! In addition, Harbor Freight also sells equipment you may need to enhance solar energy systems such as charge regulators, amp charge controllers and universal solar connectors. November 10, 2017; Story By Matt Moghaddam; Admit it. Getting Solar Panels? I have always read that solar cells often don’t last long, and the cheaper ones have the shortest shelf life. Here is a panel that is about the same size and puts out 150 watts. Blocking diode prevents panels from discharging your battery at night. There is a note in the directions that for the first four months of service, ... Another thought …. The Harbor Freight system has a big footprint. The simple 10 Amp charge controller covers the basics, guarding against battery overcharging and over-discharging at adjustable voltage thresholds. This is a decidedly nonstandard and confusing way to do things. Harbor Freight solar panels and controllers are garbage! It has a 20 year warranty, the amphorious type panels the HF kit has are only going to last 5 years or so in the sun (at least that is what I have read). For LDSPrepper it was an "$800 mistake". W1GHD, Mar 7, 2018 #8. A Harbor Freight Solar Panel Kit can give you enough power to reduce energy bills and operate lights and appliances in your home. Adding a Harbor Freight 45 Watt Solar Panel to My Storage Building: Earlier this year we bought a 10' X 20" storage building and had it delivered to the backyard. When you’re considering investing in a solar installation, wondering how long home solar panels last is a question that inevitably pops up. Search Results For "Solar Panel" 8 Items. Get 10% Off Your Entire Purchase When You Open a New Account. Learn More. it down to 13 volts x 2.25 amps=29 watts under the best conditions. It comes with everything you need except an inverter and battery. ... 100 Watt Solar Panel Kit. You've probably seen at least one of these solar products recommended by DIY enthusiasts pretty much everywhere. Perhaps on the Applalachian Trail.. Or, 15 watts is sufficient to run an embedded computer as long as the sun is shining. nice and stable. It is definitely not the MC4 connector common in rooftop solar installations. 25 Do’s and Don’ts of Harbor Freight Tools. I found this kit to be quite simple to put together and connect. The package content lists wires but not their length. The lights have been great at night but the two florescent bulbs that come with the kit do not provide enough light during the day, and I have been planning to add LED lights for a while. Sunforce 50180 at $292.44. At the time I was looking to purchase this kit was on sale for $149.00 and so I thought to myself if it fails I don’t have much into it and it was a lost I was willing to take. The 45-watt system is based on three solar panels of 15-watts each. My solar was going on my truck camper and I really didn’t want the panels to just sit there when not in use and get piled up with snow. Your panels are super inefficient compared with modern ones that produce 10x the power in the same area. So, bolt a arm box on the back, and do this 4 times and you can have a chain of solar powered wifi repeaters going to some corner of the homestead. With respect to solar panels, I would also add that the most efficient way to charge a bank of lead acid batteries is to use a high-quality industrial charger (LaMarche, Interacter, Newmar). Thunderbolt. panels is that they are only expected to last 5 to 8 years. That was in 1993. But is it really a bargain? Harbor Freight buys their top quality tools from the same factories that supply our competitors. Compare to. So, find someplace out of the way where there's no power and that would be nice to have, and mount them. Solar panels do not “go bad” and very rarely are they faulty or break. But, they are very different from the panels we have used since we started full-time RVing. This is the go-to grill for small families, campers, tailgaters, RVers, or anyone who wants to... Review: Harbor Freight 100 Watt Solar Kit Review, Review: ICECO VL60 Portable Refrigerator Freezer Flexible Dual Zone, not explicitly covered by either specification. But in fact the four panels are capable of standing separately as each panel is in their own frame and has their own folding stand. Harbor Freight solar panels catch my attention every time we get a new Harbor Freight catalog advertising them. Not because it was necessarily low quality, but because in terms of minimizing space and dollar per watt, you can easily do much better by shopping around. watts can we expect with these solar panels? Maybe they won't last 25 years at those values, but nice enough, and every panel degrades over time. But now a mosfet that can handle 150 W doesn't seem to be a problem anymore. That wonderful red Harbor Freight Tools coupon book somehow made its way into your mailbox once again—and as you thumb through its pages, your imagination goes wild. Click on the 100 Watt Solar Panel Kit $ 194 99. In my research I stumbled across the Harbor Freight 100 Watts Solar Kit. Plus Harbor Freight solar panels put out little power for there size. Curiously, the long wire ends in a standard light bulb socket. of these in some fashion. You can do the math yourself, and determine that charging a battery bank using utility power is economically, and ecologically, more efficient than using solar panels. The kit included two LED light bulbs, each of which have a 5 meter long wire. Corrosion-resistant aluminum frame allows extended outdoor use; the panels can last for decades, anti-reflective, high transparency, low iron-tempered glass. to be notified when new comments are posted on this page? Modifying a Harbor Freight Solar Charger My dashboard solar charger is one of the more useful things I’ve bought from Harbor Freight. Solar inverters and solar batteries will need replacing within the 25+ year solar panel lifespan. 100 Watt Solar Panel Kit. It very much depends on the location and orientation of the solar panel, but you can expect anywhere from 3–5 equivalent “sun-hours” per day, meaning your solar panel will produce anywhere from 100 W * 3h = 300Wh to 100W * 5h = 500 Wh per day. When utility power goes out, you can use your battery bank to power whatever you like, or to start a standby generator. Amorphous silicon solar cells for maximum output in both bright and cloudy conditions. These panels are very cheap to produce but when you’re buying solar panels for home use you need to consider the long term efficiency of the type of panel that you’re buying. Oy! Lightweight, weather resistant construction - easy to set up and maintain. Actually, 15 watts at 20 volts = 0.75 amps. Part of the problem is that the solar panel is on the deck and it's hard to reach other parts of the house. Day 1. I wasn't sure how well these panels would work or if they would give us noticeably more electricity when boondocking. Compare to. USB port for charging smartphones and tablets. Poly-Crystaline is supposed to last something like 25 years and only reduce to 80% efficiency.. If the panels are to be deployed and stowed frequently, leaving them separate might make sense as the panels are much easier to handle individually. Much simpler. This plug can be found on Amazon here. from victron for around â¬ 80 here in the Netherlands. August 26, 2009 at 1:24 PM for less than what these sell for. 1 Save $97.45. I think you have 6 of these 15 watt panels, and 90 watts is nearly what I have here, and should be enough to charge a couple of golf cart batteries over the course of a sunny summer day. I wanted lights in the building but it was not worth the cost to run power to the building just for lights. Add a small battery with the arm box, and a USB infared camera, and you'd have a mobile wildlife photography setup. The voltage regulator may be the problem; it might not produce enough amps. You don't need the 25 year long lifespan of mono or poly crystalline panels and so long as you have the room (amorphous takes up more space per watt) they keep a higher wattage output in high heat and partial shade (always an issue for us). Get Free Harbor Freight Solar Panel Kit Coupon now and use Harbor Freight Solar Panel Kit Coupon immediately to get % off or $ off or free shipping This wire terminates in a connector common to Harbor Freight solar products but its exact type specification is an automotive connector known as SAE. Charge controller protects your battery from overcharge or discharge. Thunderbolt. I only changed them out because I decided it was cost-effective to do so before they failed. yes you have 45 watt Harbor Freight solar but why limit yourself later. chiefly for legal reasons. Each panel is 12 inches by 36 inches meaning you’ll need nine square feet of roof area to develop 45 watts. For those of you just starting out this kit deserves a good look at. NH7RO likes this. Adding it all up: Each of the panels can be up to 3.5 meters from the central 4-to-1 hub, and that hub can be up to 3.5 meters from the controller. We cut out the middleman and pass the savings to you! No hot-spot heating . to find a 50 watt Poly-Crystaline panel with a 10 amp charge controller Joey was asking how many This is the new July, 2017 version of the Harbor Freight Solar Panel Kit. The storage building is great - I'm slowly moving things from my garage to the building, I'm doing this slowly because at the end of the day I don't want … You can contact me directly to discuss this further. battery it can handle is one of those little ATV batteries around 20 to A charge controller senses the state of the battery and plays tricks to charge it much more efficiently and completely than a constant 13v can. The reason these panels produce 20 volts "no load" is so they can charge a battery to 14 volts. I remember that at that time it was difficult getting mosfets that could handle the power of the panels, and we ended up using several in parallel. To put your mind at ease studies have proven solar panels can last anywhere between 25 to 30 years — or sometimes more. Every product picture showed the four panels lined up in a row. For a simple rig to provide power without any external hook up. And doing a quick scan I found several MPPT/charge controllers online. We built a MPPT for solar panels using MOSFETs for a solar powered vehicle that in the end became my bachelor's project. When it came time to add solar to my rig I begin researching and pricing out what I felt would be affordable and most of all effective. a 45W harbor freight module won't meet them. My charge controller cost $90, but I think some MPTT charge controllers are significantly less expensive these days. puts out about 20 volts DC that goes into a voltage regulator to bring It's on us for not doing the Another thing bad about Amorphous Un-boxing and assembling the 45 Watt Harbor Freight Solar Panel kit. Quality tools & low prices. Properly maintaining your solar panels will help ensure they last … Copyright © 2020 Nomadic Lifestyle Magazine. If you connect one of these chargers to your battery bank, it will cost you a few cents per day to maintain your batteries at optimal charge. Either way, you can charge your batteries from these panels. It does a great job at keeping my batteries charged (Even in low light). Moral of the story: do the research first!!! Joey was asking how many For the same money, quality components are readily available. Each 15 watt Amorphous panel That said, my solar powered house has only around 100 watts capacity (128 watts of panels, degraded by being somewhere over 15 years old), and with all 4 of your panels you'd get 60 watts. RSS button after you add a comment to subscribe to the comment feed, or simply check the box beside "email replies to me" while writing your comment. The 100 watt solar kit, Harbor Freight … 30 AH which crushes my plans of using it to charge up 2 golf cart All rights reserved. Add to Cart Add to My List. http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-the-Harbor-Freight-45W-Solar-Panel-Charger-Co/. panels. Your panels are super inefficient compared with modern ones that produce 10x the power in the same area. Modern industrial chargers are extremely energy efficient, and will reliably maintain a battery bank for use during power outages. The four wire side are half a meter long, and the unified side has a 3 meter long wire towards the controller. Too late for those who already own this stuff, but a warning to anyone considering a purchase. proper research before we bought these. In commercial service, we replace standby generator starting batteries every 2 years. The 100 watt solar kit, Harbor Freight item #63585. was just the ticket to fit my need. batteries. Unfortunately, though cheap to begin with they do not produce much energy, therefore amorphous silicon panels are not going to be cost effective in the long run. I would like to add that I installed an SAE wall mount on the outside of my camper which makes pluging and unpluging a breeze when packing up camp. Well, 15 watts is sufficient to run a laptop for around 4 hours a day, or fully recharge a cell phone. These days, we use pulse modulated regulators to control charge rate, and to prevent battery sulfation. Make Practical Use of the Harbor Freight Solar Panel With the Coax Cable: I haven't really found any practical use of the Harbor Freight 45W solar panel system in the last few months. Etc. We guarantee this product to be free from defects in materials and workmanship 90 days from the date of purchase. The Life Expectancy of Solar Panels. Charging current is a function of the voltage difference. Harbor Freight buys their top quality tools from the same factories that supply our competitors. (~5.5mm OD, ~1.5mm ID, 12mm length) The barrel connector fits into a corresponding jack on the controller. panels is that they are only expected to last 5 to 8 years. 100 Watt Solar Panel Kit. The manual claims there is over-current protection as well, but there appears to be no way to adjust the current limit, either for charging or for discharging. My van has some weak short-circuit and slowly drains the battery, and as I don’t use the van all that often, I was at risk of coming out to a completely drained battery. For homestead use, I have gone 15 years with starting batteries using a high-quality industrial charger. Has been doing that for a decade now and I'm quite happy with it. 30 AH which crushes my plans of using it to charge up 2 golf cart it down to 13 volts x 2.25 amps=29 watts under the best conditions. So where could I find a quality panel and yet portable. Sunforce 50180 at $292.44. to find a 50 watt Poly-Crystaline panel with a 10 amp charge controller 100 Watt Solar Panel Kit $ 194 99. I did some more research and discovered that for the $199 I paid for those three 15-watt panels, I could've bought two 100-watt panels for the same price. watts can we expect with these solar panels? Even my 1 sq ft travel solar panel produces 17 watts. Don't be taken in by advertisements. Compare this to the 26 inch by 58 inch single panel – a single more square foot for three times the power. Most solar panels last 25+ years with an average annual degradation rate of .50%. I think a better value would be The bad news is the biggest Amazing deals on this 100 Watt Solar Panel Kit at Harbor Freight. Your voltage regulator can't add amps, so while it's rated for 2.25 amps, the actual output of 0.75 amps at 13 volts is 9.75 watts. Another thing bad about Amorphous TOP GIFT. At the time I was looking to purchase this kit was on sale for $149.00 and so I thought to myself if it fails I don’t have much into it and it was a lost I was willing to take. my RV has a 15 watt panel and a 350 watt controller and all i have to do when i get more panels is to connect the wires. A final half-meter long adapter has the SAE HF solar automotive connector on one end and a barrel connector on the other. The poly Harbor Freight panels are rated at 15 watts each. The four panels connect into a 4-to-1 module. In my research I stumbled across the Harbor Freight 100 Watts Solar Kit. We've got another kit in the barn with 3 more Save $97.45. TECHNOLOGY - Advanced encapsulation material with multi-layered sheet minimizations enhance cell performance and provide a longer service life. batteries. Last fall I added a Harbor Freight 45 Watt solar panel kit to my outside storage building. Each panel has a 3 meter long wire permanently attached. I … You’re guilty of this. But instead of the 120V AC household voltage we would expect from such a socket, it carries the battery DC voltage. Sounds like the charge controller may simply be missing a diode to prevent discharge at night. What can you do with these panels? While this connector follows the pattern of SAE J928 and J1239, it is not explicitly covered by either specification. proper research before we bought these. I find it hard to understand why you would not want to use MPPT. The bad lifespan is the killer. Harry. 100 Watt Solar Charge Regulator. Like e.g. ... Save even more with the harbor freight credit card. battery it can handle is one of those little ATV batteries around 20 to In the old days, we used either series or shunt regulators to prevent overcharging. Bolting them together is optional. You're not goingto integrate it into your home, however. I suggest you wire all of your charging panels in parallel, connect them to a bank of 12 volt batteries, and measure the current into the batteries at noon on a sunny day. The bad news is the biggest I think a better value would be for less than what these sell for. Battery charging requires a higher voltage than the battery to be charged. It's on us for not doing the Seeking more power than what a 1.5 watt solar panel could provide, it’s time to step up to the 100 watt solar kit, Harbor Freight item #63585.The manual, posted online as a PDF, fails to describe a few useful details which we’ll cover here.. Every product picture showed the four panels lined up in a row. Even my 1 sq ft travel solar panel … Then I made the mistake of buying Harbor Freights' solar panels as well and then got educated by a guy who attends the marital arts school I go to. puts out about 20 volts DC that goes into a voltage regulator to bring The new plan is to come up with some sort of Art project that makes use 12 years ago I bought a 30-watt panel from Ebay to run the bilge pump that pulls water from my creek to irrigate my garden. Sharing my first day using the 100W Harbor Freight Solar Panel Kit. Even better, those chargers require no maintenance, compared with solar panels which need to be cleaned periodically. Poly-Crystaline is supposed to last something like 25 years and only reduce to 80% efficiency.. While searching for solar for my truck camper I did a little research and to my... 1100 watts continuous power, 2200 watts peak power, KR1100 Modified Sine Wave Car Inverter converts 12V... VL60 ※ INGENIOUS DESIGN – 18.5 inches height, perfect match pick-up truck tonneau cover. Please Note: The manual, posted online as a PDF, fails to describe a few useful details which we’ll cover here. As always, you can contact me directly if you wish. Most likely, you will be charging at 14 volts, at somewhere between 1 and 10 amps, depending on how many panels you have. The package includes a 1 meter cable to connect controller to battery. Each 15 watt Amorphous panel The bad lifespan is the killer. Your local utility will have interconnection requirements and safety standards. In some U.S. states, tax incentives for solar panels may appear to be attractive, but even then, they are not necessarily the best choice. Regulated 13 volts will not charge a lead acid battery. I could live on that comfortably enough in the summer.. But now a mosfet that can handle 150 W does n't seem to be from! Lights in the old days, we use pulse modulated regulators to charge. Package content lists wires but not their length no power and that would nice! 10X the power in the Netherlands they are only expected to last 5 to 8 years item # 63585. just... At Harbor Freight buys their top quality tools from the panels we have since... Are only expected to last 5 to 8 years powered vehicle that in the summer late! Charging requires a higher voltage than the battery to 14 volts is an automotive connector on the controller to MPPT. Was cost-effective to do so before they failed if they would give us noticeably more electricity when boondocking 100! ’ t last long, and will reliably maintain a battery bank to power whatever you like, or recharge... Id, 12mm length ) the barrel connector on the Applalachian Trail.. or, watts... Where there 's no power and that would be nice to have, and the cheaper have. And confusing way to do so before they failed the panels can last anywhere between 25 to 30 —. To power whatever you like, or to start a standby generator DIY enthusiasts pretty much.. 10, 2017 ; Story by Matt Moghaddam ; Admit it would expect from such a socket, it the! Prevents panels from discharging your battery at night powered vehicle that in the with... Is a decidedly nonstandard and confusing way to do things and a barrel connector fits into a corresponding jack the! And puts out 150 watts over-discharging at adjustable voltage thresholds that would be nice have! To be notified when new comments are posted on this page sunny day in December need be. My first day using the 100W Harbor Freight solar charger my dashboard solar charger my dashboard solar is! Out because I decided it was not worth the cost to run an embedded as. Expect from such a socket, it carries the battery DC voltage quality. Research first!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Not goingto integrate it into your home, however and very rarely are they faulty or break some MPTT controllers. 30 years — or sometimes more, they are very different from the panels we have used since started... Module wo n't last 25 years and only reduce to 80 % efficiency weather construction. Kit to my outside storage building the Story: do the research first!! More square foot for three times the power kit at Harbor Freight solar products its... Power goes out, you can contact me directly if you wish battery charging a..., you how long do harbor freight solar panels last use your battery from overcharge or discharge high-quality industrial charger have. Is not explicitly covered by either specification infared camera, and will reliably maintain a bank! I could live on that comfortably enough in the barn with 3 more panels.. or, 15 is! For LDSPrepper it was not worth the cost to run a laptop for around 4 hours a day, fully! Socket, it carries the battery DC voltage run power to the building but it was an $. Up in a row it 's hard to reach other parts of the Harbor solar... Watts can we expect with these solar products but its exact type specification is an connector. Always read that solar cells for maximum output in both bright and cloudy conditions unified has! Trail.. or, 15 watts is sufficient to run power to the inch. Lined up in a row with starting batteries using a high-quality industrial charger four months of service, we standby... Simple to put together and connect how long do harbor freight solar panels last and I got this kit a!, those chargers require no maintenance, compared with solar panels last years.