Best solar panel Available?

raviawana59

New member
Joined
Mar 10, 2021
Messages
1
I heard that there are 300 Watt panels but when I looked it up on Amazon, all I see are 200 Watt. Do you know where I can get 300 watt panels as an individual?
Maybe I'm asking the wrong question. Maybe the question should be what is the best solar panel (with the highest efficiency) available out there that an individual can buy? Thank you.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

OffGridInTheCity

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 15, 2018
Messages
1,462
In my observations - you might think of it as 'tiers' of panel adds. If you're looking for a single 300w panel you won't find it as its too big/heavy (45 - 65 lbs) and costly to ship a single one. That's why people sell 3 x 100w panels (for 300w) or 2 x 200w panels (for 400w) and things like that for portable power stations.

If you want 10 or 20 or 40 solar panels for home power system - then ebay and other sources are great. For example, I just bought 40 panels @ 285w each for about $75each including the $400 shipping.

Due to my recent purchase I had a first hand / close-up look at mono vs poly that are both 285w. The mono is black (to the left) and is about 45lbs. The poly is bluer (to the right) and is taller and 65lbs :)
1615430797430.png


As far as quality both the mono and poly in the picture are 25yr warranties. The poly I just bought is reported to be 9yrs old from an existing solar farm and they tested 95%+ same power as the new 'mono' one to the left... I could not detect any loss of power and physically they were fine - e.g. no cracks in the glass or covering underneath etc.

So tick with reputable brand name and just do reviews and look for the 25yr warranty? That's what I did for my mono (black panels) on my home roof but the array is only 3yrs old and so who knows 20yrs from now :)
 
Last edited:

jonyjoe505

Active member
Joined
Feb 28, 2018
Messages
225
So far I used 3 differnet panels, a kycora 120 watt (I paid 160 for it in 2012) produce about 6 amps of power, a sharp 240 watt panel (paid 200 dollars for it in 2014) produces about 12 amps, and the one I bought recently december 2020, a LG neon 365 watt panel (paid 250 dollars for it) this panel is currently in march producing up to 21 amps. All panels were installed lying flat on the roof of my van.
I'm very impressed with the LG neon, even in december with the sun low on the horizon it was producing 15 amps, the sharp 240 watt was barely putting out 9 amps. All the panels I bought off craiglist in my area. You can find real good deals. I seen 250 watt panels for 80 dollars.

I have a 220ah lifepo4 battery bank and also a 312 ah li-ion battery bank, both banks were limping along at 10 percent in november because of the winter sun and the 240 watt panel was not producing enough power. Once I bought the LG neon365 watt panel in december , after 1 week use both battery banks were at 90 percent, and they been at close to 100 percent ever since.

Both panels are about the same width (about 40 inches) The lg neon is 77 inches long, the sharp is 64 inches. Almost double the amp output for little over a foot extra in length. In may and june when the sun is overhead I should be getting even more amp output.

1 240 365 panels.jpg
 

ajw22

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Messages
574
Maybe the question should be what is the best solar panel (with the highest efficiency) available out there that an individual can buy?

As others have noted, Amazon is not the best place to buy large solar panels. You'll find plenty of specialist dealers just by googling,
eg. https://www.ecodirect.com/Biggest-Solar-Panels-s/922.htm

Of course, larger panels capture more light and generally have a higher output Wattage. But you might not be able to fit as many onto your roof/mount, so choosing a physically smaller panel may be the better choice if you want to maximize total output.

As for highest conversion efficiency, the "Mono(crystalline)" panels nowadays have about 19%~22% conversion efficiency (that is, the ratio of sunlight energy that is converted to electrical energy), beating out the "Poly(crystalline)" panels with around 16%~19% efficiency. It should all be listed in the manufacturer datasheet of the panels.

A joker factor is the new "Bifacial" panels (available as Mono or Poly) that have a transparent back side and can capture any light reflected back up from the ground. I think they can increase output by up to 30% under optimal situations, eg. mounted on a high mount above a highly reflective ground. ...or virtually 0% gain if mounted flush onto a roof.
 

OffGridInTheCity

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 15, 2018
Messages
1,462
As for highest conversion efficiency, the "Mono(crystalline)" panels nowadays have about 19%~22% conversion efficiency (that is, the ratio of sunlight energy that is converted to electrical energy), beating out the "Poly(crystalline)" panels with around 16%~19% efficiency. It should all be listed in the manufacturer datasheet of the panels.
That's why the poly 285w panels (blueish shown above) are 17" longer (77inches long vs 60inches) and 20lbs heavier than their 285w mono counterpart panels. The poly crystals are not as efficient as mono crystals. So you can get good power from poly(s) - but you need significantly more space!
 

Bubba

Active member
Joined
May 9, 2018
Messages
301
Some of the new high efficeny panels you need a back reflector so are only good for ground install. Panels are more see-through I guess.
 
Top