Amerisolar PV Panels

JamesJames Solar Expert Posts: 248 ✭✭
Hello folks. With the current pv pricing for panels quite low, I am considering adding additional PV panels to my system.

I'm wondering if anyone here has experience with a brand called Amerisolar.
So far, I have determined that they are Chinese made panels, brand named to sound USA.

They post a very good warranty, but who knows if they will be viable in the future.
I'm guessing the exterme competion and tarrif issues will weed out many brands.

I have not found any bad or negative reviews.
I have not ruled out the solid big name brands like Kyocera (my current system panels), but the current low pricing on the import units seem low enough to take a chance.

Any comments?
Thanks

Comments

  • jcheiljcheil Solar Expert Posts: 722 ✭✭✭
    Re: Amerisolar PV Panels

    Considering how MANY large solar manufacturers have gone out of business in the past few years, warranty doesn't seem to mean much now-a-days.
    Plus with the price of panels being so cheap, I personally find it hard to justify the "extra" cost for a panel that is from a "bigger" company that has no promise of being in business in 25 years. Just ask all the people that have Evergreen and BP panels. Nobody ever thought THEY would go out of (solar) business.
    Off-Grid in Central Florida since 2005, Full-Time since June 2014 | 12 X Sovello 205w panels, 9 X ToPoint 220w panels, 36x ToPoint 225w panels (12,525 watts total) | Custom built single-axis ground mounts | Complete FP2 Outback System: 3 x FM80, 2 x VFX3648, X240 Transformer, FLEXnet-DC, Mate-3, Hub-10, FW500 AC/DC | 24 x Trojan L16RE-B Batteries 1110ah @ 48v | Honda EU7000is Generator and a pile of "other" Generators | Home-Made PVC solar hot water collector | Custom data logging software http://www.somewhatcrookedcamp.com/monitormate.html
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Amerisolar PV Panels

    james,
    even finding a matching 24v pv is tough these days. i trust the voltage specs are similar in that they aren't outside of 10% of each other and preferably within 5%. your alternative is to use 2 seriesed 12v pvs like you presently have at a higher cost/w.

    if the move is significant then you could get the gt style pvs and feed them into a separate mppt cc and then on to your present batteries. plenty of deals on the gt style. few true 72 celled pvs out there, but some of the 300+w pvs do have compatible voltages as i recall seeing a few. they are huge in size and weight though.
  • JamesJames Solar Expert Posts: 248 ✭✭
    Hello Niel,
    Thanks for the reply.
    I just now have found the time to get back to thinking about some of my projects after having been quite busy the second half of last year due to my mothers illness and then her passing this January. So, please excuse my late reply.

    I do have a Outback 80 MPPT charge controller ready for use with my next set of panels. I did not opt for the Amerisolar units.
    I see a competitor to our host is currently offering Amerisolar 230 watt 24 volt panels at $0.59/watt.

    Late last year I purchased ten(10) used Solarworld 230 watt mono panels at a fairly good price (I thought so at least at the time :)
    Now I just need to find the time to fabricate a top of pole mount and support framing/clamping.

    I am wondering if anyone here may suggest economical panel clamps, as I was surprised to find out upon arrival that the panels don't have the type of frames as my Kyocera panels do.

    Ideally, I would like some type of clamping style which has a clean look...in other words, I don't want the see the raw, pocket ends of Uni-Rack type channels.
    I am quite handy, having fabricated my complete top of pole mounts and adjustable support framing system, so, I can make the mounts for my additional panels to almost any configuration or clamping style I wish.

    Any suggestions???

    Also, I noticed the website here has a new improved look.
    Just wanted to say i like it...Easy to read for these old eyes of mine.
    I also like the improved controls for typing the posts.
    Thanks!
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    James wrote: »
    Also, I noticed the website here has a new improved look.

    Hi James, looks are not everything. thing is try out some of the non existent feature we used to have... end of rant...
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • JamesJames Solar Expert Posts: 248 ✭✭
    Hello westbranch,
    Well, I have to admit, I have not navigated the "new look" to this website except for the last few minutes....I'll need to wander around a bit and try some things out. :)
  • JamesJames Solar Expert Posts: 248 ✭✭
    Hello Niel,

    You mentioned in your last post here about the 60 cell panels and 72 cell panels.
    Since I already was planning on using a Outback 80 MPPT unit with my new (used) panels, the difference in open circuit voltage ratings should not be an issue, correct?
    The spec sheet open circuit voltage rating on the SolarWorld 230 units is 37.4 vdc.
    My actual open circuit voltage readings on the existing series panels (2 Kyocera 130 units) is aprox. 39.5.

    Also, when I set up the new system expansion with the Outback 80 unit, should I adjust the charge set points to match the other controller (Outback MX60)?

    I've often wondered about two controllers serving the same battery bank.....Do the controllers experience some cycling or "hysteresis"?
    If so, is there a specific way to adjust these controllers to play well together?
    thanks
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,924 admin
    You should use the Mfg's "String Calculator" to make sure your array is properly designed for the MPPT charge controller... But for the Outback, as long as the array voltage is less than Vmp~100 Volts, it should not be a problem.

    http://www.outbackpower.com/outback-support/string-sizing-tool

    And roughly, the Vmp of the array is ideally around 2x battery charging voltage (Vbatt~15 volts, then Vmp-array~30 volts is "optimum"--Higher does work, but the MPPT controller is slightly less efficient).

    I believe that Outback MPPT controllers can be connected via Mates to "sync" their charging states (and use a common remote battery temperature sensor).

    I personally recommend that each charge controller have its own "home run" of wiring from controller to battery bus (Star wired). And not to "daisy chain" them (battery bus to Controller A to Controller B)--Helps reduce "Noise" from sharing a common electrical cable/connection.

    You do not have to have the controllers "synced"--One will simply decide the battery bank is "full" before the other....

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    james,
    sorry for my delay as i don't frequent the forum like i used to for many reasons and i don't read all posts like i used to either.

    as to top of pole mounts i am not very qualified in that area to advise you on this. you can look at other t o p mounts to see how they approach it and formulate something on your own. it would obviously be more complex if you wish adjustability too.

    you now have 10 230w pvs and you are feeding that to a 80a flexmax, but it depends on the battery voltage if that would be too much for the cc to handle it all or not. that 2300w at 48v would suffice as 2300w/48v=47.9a. at 24v, this is double the current to the battery or 95.8a. you can go with this and just let the cc limit the output or feed an additional cc to that one to get every drop of juice. if 12v output is needed then the current will be doubled again for near 192a necessitating 3 ccs to handle it.

    in feeding the batteries from the multiple ccs, i'd just set them the same using a bts. if going with multiple outbacks then the one bts can be used if it is set up through the mate if i recall right. hubs also enter into multiple cc arrangements and i'm not familiar enough to know how the bts fits into this, but i'm sure you can quick read up on that if necessary.
Sign In or Register to comment.