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Sunforce 50048 60-Watt Solar Charging Kit

Sunforce 50048 60-Watt Solar Charging Kit

Sunforce 50048 60-Watt Solar Charging Kit

  • Amorphous solar charging kit provides up to 60 watts of clean, free, renewable power
  • Designed for RVs, cabins, homes, boats, back-up and remote power use
  • Weatherproof, durable solar panels can withstand impacts from hailstones travelling 50 miles-per-hour
  • Built-in blocking diode helps protect against battery discharge at night
  • Complete kit includes four 15W amorphous solar panels, a PVC mounting frame, a 7-amp charge controller, 200-watt inverter, and wiring/connection cables

The Sunforce 60-Watt Solar Charging Kit gives you several more reasons to love the sun. Perfect for cabins, recreational vehicles, remote power, back-up power, 12V battery charging and more, this kit comes with everything you need to start producing up to 60 watts/4 amps of clean, free power in all weather conditions. It is also a great choice for clean and silent operation of various electronics, like deer feeders and landscaping pumps. Made of durable ABS plastic and amorphous solar cells, the solar panels will charge in all daylight conditions, even on cloudy days. With built-in blocking diode technology, this charger kit is designed to protect against battery discharge at night. This kit includes: four 15W amorphous solar panels ,a PVC

List Price: $ 599.99

Price: $ 232.19

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3 Comments/Reviews

  • TommyCel says:
    609 of 624 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars
    This product has been grossly misrepresented, May 9, 2010
    By 

    This review is from: Sunforce 50048 60-Watt Solar Charging Kit (Misc.)

    I purchased two of these kits (8 panels) and mounted them on the top of my RV. I have had them on the top of my RV now for approximately 8 months.

    When I received the units, I tested each of them for the open voltage measurement noted in the instructions with a digital meter and found each to be producing 21 volts unloaded. Encouraged that the panels were working properly, I went ahead and took the time and expense to mount them to the top of my RV.

    After 8 months, here’s what I found:

    First of all, the 15 watt, 1 amp peak output rating that Sunforce advertises is not correct. The peak output rating for each of these panels should have been advertised at approximately 750 milliamps per panel. The total peak output that one could typically expect from the 4 panels in this kit would be around 3 amps. 3 amps under perfect conditions.

    I have noticed that the boards are extremely prone to large drops (upwards of 45%) in current output when they begin to heat up. In other words, the boards are VERY intolerant to high temperatures. But even under perfect conditions, the 8 panels that I have mounted on my RV only produced 6 amps, and I am in Hawaii.

    Another problem: The boards shut down in lower light situations. In other words, early morning and later afternoon lighting, significant cloud cover, or other low light situation will be cause for either a total shut down of output, or the boards will be very poor performers – in the low milliamps for 8 panels in parallel.

    Within a very short period of time (about 4 months) the output from the panels gradually decreased by nearly 50%. And right now I am getting about 40% of the advertised peak output in perfect conditions.

    The plastic construction is very cheap, in my opinion, and I am now worried that the plastic may break away around the screws that hold down the panels and fly off the vehicle. Needless to say, I am removing the panels.

    I’m out some money, a lot of time and effort, but I’ve learned a lot about solar panel technology over the past 8 months.

    For just a few bucks more, I will purchase a decent monocrystilline, 36 cell panel that will far and away outproduce the 8 panels that I have on my RV now, and take up far less space and be much safer on top of the vehicle.

    Don’t waste your time or money on this kind of solar panel technology. You will be very sorry.

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  • HMMWV "God, Country, Corps" says:
    896 of 923 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Innovative design from China, packaging needs help, January 20, 2008
    By 
    HMMWV “God, Country, Corps” (santa clara, CA USA) –
    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)
      
    (VINE VOICE)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Sunforce 50048 60-Watt Solar Charging Kit (Misc.)

    *Update* 6-2010, while my original panels are still running strong so long as I hose them down once a month, I’ve noticed that the PVC pipe provided to hold them in place has become brittle with sun exposure, hence I would now in 20/20 hindsight recommend a coat of Krylon Fusion Dover White Plastic Satin Spray Paint on the PVC parts to prevent UV cracking later in life. I do not think the Krylon Fusion product was available when I first setup my first panels but UV cracking of the support structure could cause panel damage in years 2 and 3.

    Meanwhile Amazon got their hands on some obsolete & discontinued Sharp panels (12.5% efficiency vs the new 13.1% efficiency) – if you are serious about needing lots of solar power in a small space, this is a big kit – you can view it here: Sunforce 39126 246-Watt High-Efficiency Polycrystalline Solar Power Kit

    My only concern about the kit is that due to the new panels being higher efficiency means it will be difficult to match panels if you find you still need more power later on. The other con on that system is it’s price — $1300+ but you get the wattage, along with a cheap charge controller and inverter, both of which could be upgraded for better system performance. It’s just another solar system to consider in the $5/watt or less pricepoint for DIYers.

    Update 9-18-2008 – Still going strong. I am very pleased with the summer power output of these panels. I wash them with a hose 1x/mo to keep the output current up. Measured before washing and after washing the panel efficiency is clearly a factor of how much dirt is on them. No problems long term on a roof though!

    Update 2-20-2008 – goes with graph “photograph” #3 above – pink line is power and blue line is amps from the panel x 10 to share the graph. The X axis is panel voltage. Data was acquired using an Agilent dummy load with programmable voltage in 1V steps from 1V to 22V (open circuit voltage on the panel) on a partially cloudy day in winter sun. Expectations are for 2-3 times performace in summer sun provided the panels don’t get too hot. These are on my house roof laying flat on a 3/12 pitch facing due south which is suboptimal but easy for me to do. Be sure to read the photo notes. Sorry about the colors excel defaulted to!

    This is a MPPT chart (maximum power point tracking) – you can see that the panels are optimized for charging a 12V wet cell right out of the box. Charge current turns on when battery voltage drops down to 13.0 VDC and turns off at 14.2 VDC with the supplied charge controller in the kit.

    The only other interesting fact in 2 months is to keep your panels clean. My maximum current was 5.0 A on a cold morning with bright sun until it rained hard and washed the panels clean. The current went up to 7.0 A maximum right after the rainstorm. Below is the original review – these panels have been running constant for 2 months now into 3 parallel deep cycle marine cells (315 AH) connected to the prosine inverter below to drain the energy made.

    When reading the power/current chart you should keep in mind the amps have been multiplied by 10 so they use the same Y axis (so 20A on the chart corresponds to 2.0 A panel current) Watts are actual volts*amps. This was taken in the winter with partial clouds – expectations are for a X3 improvement during summertime but its still february and I’m in the northern hemisphere so we’ll have to wait and see. Basically an MPPT charger won’t gain but a few watts with this panel so it’s not a good investment unless you already have one laying around.

    (Begin original review after buying panels)

    I never seem to be overwhelmed by the latest shipment of product from China, but this one seems to show some promise and shows signs of good cost engineering and a complete design that can be set up quickly by one person with very little effort. I’d give it 5 stars if it were well packed, but my purchase turned into a shipping fiasco.

    Most ALL solar installations are rated in $/watt much like new homes are rated in $/sq ft. We’ll get to the sq ft bit later. Here you are getting 60W for 320 dollars or about 5.33 $/watt. Compared to a similar wattage panel, the BP solar 365U rated at 65W and priced (street) at 399 or 6.13 $/watt the amazon package seems to be a good deal when you consider it comes complete less battery (we’ll hit that one later too)

    In fact, the amazon package deal includes a xantrex 175 watt inverter with a .15A “idle” current designed for solar systems where current consumption must be minimized. It even includes a simple diode/switch “charge regulator” with 2 leds to indicate panel voltage and battery is full but lacks the ability to tell it what type of battery you are using…

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  • Michael says:
    251 of 255 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Permanently installed on roof, January 6, 2008
    By 
    Michael (Athens, GA USA) –

    This review is from: Sunforce 50048 60-Watt Solar Charging Kit (Misc.)

    The panels are installed on my garage roof, wired in to a battery bank and inverter which primarily functions as a very large (4KW) uninterruptible power supply for the house. So far, everything is working fine. They keep the batteries topped off without using power from the grid.
    Like most manufacturer’s specs, the 60 watt claim is hard to realize. The panels’ current output is about 3.2 amps under bright sun, which yields only about 45 watts into a 12 volt gel cell battery at 14.2 volts. The panels can output about 20 volts which would indeed yield 60 watts, but not while connected with the included charge controller. A MPPT controller would achieve 60 watts, however.
    The included controller is acceptable in that it works as advertised. One good thing about it is that it does not shunt the panels when the battery is charged, it actually opens the circuit, which means the excess panel output would be available for other uses. I intend to build another device for charging another set of batteries after the primary set is charged.
    The included inverter works, but I did not use it in the system. Instead, I’ll just keep it around for a portable inverter.
    Also, I did not use the PVC pipe stand included with the system, instead mounting the panels directly to the roof.
    The kit did include a variety of connectors allowing use with cigarette lighter plugs and jacks, alligator clips, and hardwire, but the charge controller is only usable if hardwired. I strongly recommend the charge controller be used, as the panels can easily overcharge most any 12 volt battery if a charge controller is not wired in.

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