Renolgy Review Appreciated

CrystalCrystal Solar Expert Posts: 106 ✭✭✭

Comments

  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 3,118 ✭✭✭✭✭
    FWIW, I bought a couple of 150w Renogy panels a couple of years ago, and they seem fine so far.

    I'd suggest better defining the needs/wants/expectations before buying anything though.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • CrystalCrystal Solar Expert Posts: 106 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2018 #3
    Thanks Estragon.
    My needs are minimal.
    Will look at the amps the heater fan and dc cooler use. That and a few led lights is all that I need to run. I think 50 watts will be plenty for this application.
    However, yes, more research is necessary.

    Thanks for the review on the Renolgy.

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,001 ✭✭✭✭
    Their panels get good feedback from what I have seen. Price also looks good. I suspect many solar issues are caused by installer or user errors. My Renogy MPPT charge controller quit after a few years. That could have been caused by several things. I see them as a large purveyor of medium quality solar equipment. Acceptable for cabins and part time use. Not "professional gear" like Ouback or Schneider. Pricing reflects that.

    In the solar world, one often gets approx. what they pay for. Though I hate that expression and the smugness of the people who act like they are wiser than King Solomon when saying it. 

    I think hobbyists do fine with hobbyists gear as a rule. Professionals may do better with professional gear - which still breaks all too often.

    Thieves are surprisingly discriminating. I left my 40' tool container open one night. Thieves only took the very best stuff. Dad used to warn me about that when I wanted a top end 10 speed. Sure enough, my friends high end 10 speed was stolen the very first day when he went inside for a camera. 

    There is no "clearly the best buy" in the solar world generally speaking. Guess that is why we spend so much time discussing pros and cons of various gear. Mostly pros here - discussing pro gear. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • jmbjmb Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭
    I have 9 Renogy 100 watt panels at our cabin and so far after 6 months they are working great!
    Justin B.
    9 Renogy 100 watt panels, 6 Universal UB121000 100 Ah deep cycle batteries
    Samlex 24V 1500 watt PSW inverter, PowMr 60A MPPT charge controller

  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,486 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Crystal said:
    Thanks Estragon.
    My needs are minimal.
    Will look at the amps the heater fan and dc cooler use. That and a few led lights is all that I need to run. I think 50 watts will be plenty for this application.
    However, yes, more research is necessary.

    Thanks for the review on the Renolgy.

    The heater fan and DC cooler will be the loads which determine the size system, both are likely to be large consumers, basically anything that heats or cools will be difficult in a mobile application. DC coolers, the electronic type, are incredibly inefficient compared to compressor type DC refrigerators, they are not cheap but neither are batteries. The limited real estate for PV will be the biggest challenge, Led lights are available in DC which means they can be used without an inverter, 50 watts is probably way more than needed, if charging a,phone or tablet use USB adapters to run directly off the battery, inverters are less efficient and consume energy just being on, without load. Think like a minimalist it will be far easier to build a working system with that mindset.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    900W  3 × 300W No name brand Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal as a backup system. 
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergencies and welding.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,001 ✭✭✭✭
    There is not likely to be a way to do substantive heating or cooling with a roof top array. Both are extreme energy hogs. Gas is a far cheaper way to heat anyway. For cooling, I might consider something like reflective solar paint on the roof, window covers, parking in shade (there goes solar power though), and fans. Insulating the van may also be possible. 

    People tend to overestimate what they can do with camper type solar arrays. Having the panels directed at the sun is not always possible.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,001 ✭✭✭✭
    softdown said:
    Their panels get good feedback from what I have seen. Price also looks good. I suspect many solar issues are caused by installer or user errors. My Renogy MPPT charge controller quit after a few years. That could have been caused by several things. I see them as a large purveyor of medium quality solar equipment. Acceptable for cabins and part time use. Not "professional gear" like Ouback or Schneider. Pricing reflects that.

    In the solar world, one often gets approx. what they pay for. Though I hate that expression and the smugness of the people who act like they are wiser than King Solomon when saying it. 

    I think hobbyists do fine with hobbyists gear as a rule. Professionals may do better with professional gear - which still breaks all too often.

    Thieves are surprisingly discriminating. I left my 40' tool container open one night. Thieves only took the very best stuff. Dad used to warn me about that when I wanted a top end 10 speed. Sure enough, my friends high end 10 speed was stolen the very first day when he went inside for a camera. 

    There is no "clearly the best buy" in the solar world generally speaking. Guess that is why we spend so much time discussing pros and cons of various gear. Mostly pros here - discussing pro gear. 
    Just wanted to update this. After several days of not working, my Renogy MPPT charge controller decided to start working again. Reading at 25.5 volts - not too bad. Blinking a "3" which probably means it is charging at a gel or AGM rate. Goats ate the instruction manual.

    Do not get goats. They eat all paper. They eat all cardboard. Important stuff is found on paper. If you leave a door open for 30 seconds, you will have goats in your house. They also like to sun themselves on top of cars. I might eat these goats soon enough. Destructive demons from hell. They do eat green tumbleweeds though.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
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