SOLAR PANEL (BACK-CONTACT SOLAR CELLS)

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SOLAR PANEL (BACK-CONTACT SOLAR CELLS)

Post by CC on Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:26 am

I've just bought a 100w solar panel from Photonic Universe after reading the blurb on their website I decided to go for one of these panels that uses back contact cells which are claimed to be more efficient? cost wise it was around £60 more than a cheap panel but figured it was worth it if the information is accurate. Never heard of these panels before and just wondered if anyone else has any experience of them or their thoughts?


Description From Photonic Universe website:

At Photonic Universe we love high quality solar products. That's why we have developed this state-of-the-art solar panel made of back-contact solar cells - the newest generation of solar cells that have significantly higher efficiency compared to standard solar cells (which means they extract more sunlight energy from the same area). 


Back-contact solar cells used in this solar panel have unparalleled efficiency up to 22% (!) making this solar panel the most efficient in its kind, and the smallest out of all solar panels with the same wattage commercially available in the world. Solar cells used in this panel have been manufactured in USA using the newest production equipment and cutting edge technology. 

If you would like to know more about back-contact solar cells and their benefits

check our article ( Link:  [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]  ) which explains the differences between back-contact solar cells and regular front-and-back contact solar cells.

Back-contact solar cells with efficiency up to 22% make this panel ideal for applications where space is restricted, or there are obstructions on the roof. 


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Re: SOLAR PANEL (BACK-CONTACT SOLAR CELLS)

Post by SteveUK on Sat Oct 25, 2014 2:03 pm

I've only had a quick look at their web site, but they seem to say that these panels are smaller than the standard ones.  That implies that the increased efficiency is used to reduce panel size rather than increase output.

I would suggest that this is fine if space on the roof is at a premium, but of no real benefit if not.

Maybe I haven't read it correctly!
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Re: SOLAR PANEL (BACK-CONTACT SOLAR CELLS)

Post by CC on Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:31 am

Yes that seems to be the general idea smile!

Roof space isn't at a premium, but obviously a smaller panel that's equally efficient as a larger one can only be a good thing I'd say.

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Re: SOLAR PANEL (BACK-CONTACT SOLAR CELLS)

Post by Swansea Jac on Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:53 am

May be more efficient to fit the biggest you have room for?
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Re: SOLAR PANEL (BACK-CONTACT SOLAR CELLS)

Post by CC on Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:10 pm

Hi Swansea 

I can only go as high as 100w using the onboard Sargent unit, otherwise I have to fit a separate controller / regulator.

I may regret not going for a bigger output panel at a later date, but for convenience this setup will do and should really meet our needs considering we got a minimum of 3 or 4 + days without any solar panel at all on the Nuevo and can always upgrade at a later date if need be anyway.

These panels may be of interest to other members who don't have room for a normal sized panel.

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Re: SOLAR PANEL (BACK-CONTACT SOLAR CELLS)

Post by Johno on Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:51 am

Hi CC

I fitted one of these panels to my Eton a couple of years ago the 100 watt model fitting neatly into the limited space on the roof, I matched the panel with a Sunware Fox dual control unit and a Sunware display / control panel.

With this set up I have never needed to use campsite EHU's only plugging in when I have been (reluctantly) using Caravan Club Sites, this said I am a solo motorhomer and never watch the TV when I'm away travelling so I guess that my leccy consumption is minimal.

Even on dull days the charging voltage is about 13.5 - 14.0 volts which from memory (not the best these days) is better than the solar set up I've had on previous vans.

Although a bit more expensive than other panels on the market I feel that once again as my old dad used to say it's a case of "you get what you pay for".

Cheers John up!
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Re: SOLAR PANEL (BACK-CONTACT SOLAR CELLS)

Post by CC on Sat Nov 01, 2014 12:47 pm

Thanks John for the feedback up!


As it's such a lovely day I thought it'd be a good day to get the panel mounted... 

But I'm just wondering 'Anyone' if the panel will come to any harm if it's not connected up to the control unit for a few days as I'm not ready for this stage yet?

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Panel looks to be very good quality and took some drilling to get a fix with the corner brackets, have a pair of short long side mounts as well but don't think I'll fit these as it seems overkill  wellhappy

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Re: SOLAR PANEL (BACK-CONTACT SOLAR CELLS)

Post by Johno on Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:04 pm

Hi CC

When I installed the solar panel on my van I fitted the panel first and did the internal electrics the following day but I did take the precaution of taping up the ends of the cable from the panel to prevent any possible short circuits. If you want to be extra careful you could cover up the panel until the work is complete.

Cheers John up!
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Re: SOLAR PANEL (BACK-CONTACT SOLAR CELLS)

Post by Peter Brown on Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:17 pm

Johno wrote:Hi CC

When I installed the solar panel on my van I fitted the panel first and did the internal electrics the following day but I did take the precaution of taping up the ends of the cable from the panel to prevent any possible short circuits. If you want to be extra careful you could cover up the panel until the work is complete.

Cheers John up!

I agree but definitely cover the panel while you are completing the wiring.

Peter
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Re: SOLAR PANEL (BACK-CONTACT SOLAR CELLS)

Post by CC on Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:29 pm

Thanks for clarifying John & Peter up!

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