Solar Panel Module sizing question

tonygcantonygcan Solar Expert Posts: 91 ✭✭✭✭
Hi.

I am looking at importing Kyocera PVs and I wanted to find out the following:

1. Is Kyocera a reliable brand?

2. The description of the Kyocera PVs state - "The Kyocera KD series solar panels are mainly intended for grid-tie systems, but may also be used for battery charging systems if used with an MPPT controller such as the Outback Power, Xantrex XW-SCC, or Morningstar SS or TS-MPPT charge controller."

Does this mean that the KD series is not suitable for off grid installations and that I'm better of looking at the PVs that are 100 watts and below? I do plan on using the Xantrex MPPT CCs together with this PVs. I plan on connecting 3 strings of 3 PV panels to connect to my 48 volt battery bank.

Thanks.

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Solar Panel Module sizing question
    tonygcan wrote: »
    Hi.

    I am looking at importing Kyocera PVs and I wanted to find out the following:

    1. Is Kyocera a reliable brand?

    Kyocera is one of the best. They've been around quite a while and have stood behind their product.
    2. The description of the Kyocera PVs state - "The Kyocera KD series solar panels are mainly intended for grid-tie systems, but may also be used for battery charging systems if used with an MPPT controller such as the Outback Power, Xantrex XW-SCC, or Morningstar SS or TS-MPPT charge controller."

    Does this mean that the KD series is not suitable for off grid installations and that I'm better of looking at the PVs that are 100 watts and below? I do plan on using the Xantrex MPPT CCs together with this PVs. I plan on connecting 3 strings of 3 PV panels to connect to my 48 volt battery bank.

    Thanks.

    The KD you're looking at has "non-typical" Vmp: 23.6 Volts. This is too high to be used on a 12 Volt system with a PWM type controller and too low for a 24 Volt system (or two high if two in series). The solution being to use the MPPT type charge controller which can down-convert the Voltage and turn it in to Amps, so to speak.

    For a 48 Volt system, three in series would be a Vmp of 70.8 and a Voc of 88.5 which is well under the 150 Volt limit of the higher-end MPPT controllers.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,008 admin
    Re: Solar Panel Module sizing question

    Also look at the physical size of the panel... Around 135 watts is about the maximum size for "easy" shipping.

    175 watt panel is about the maximum size one person can move around on a roof without help.

    Bigger panels are typically cheaper ($$$/Watt) and less costly to install (better to install and wire one huge panel than 4-6 small panels).

    The downside is that most >100 watt panels need a MPPT charge controller to properly charge a battery bank--and MPPT controllers are about 2-3x the cost of a PWM.

    MPPT are frequently worth the extra costs--Especially if you have a large array (>800 watts) or it is a long distance from Array to Charge controller (more than 10-20 feet or so). You can use much smaller gauge wire (1/2 to 1/8th the wire thickness) with Vmp-array upwards of 100 volts.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • SCharlesSCharles Solar Expert Posts: 123 ✭✭
    Re: Solar Panel Module sizing question

    I've had some Kyoceras installed since '06 and they are good. I also have Arco and BP. The Kyoceras are as good, at least, as the BPs.

    I have the 130 w. and 135 w. They can be shipped UPS, less expensive than "truck."

    They are roughly 40 lb. each.

    I have an off-grid system completely run by PV. The Kyoceras are great. As a previous poster advised, some of their panels are intended for grid-tie use.
  • tonygcantonygcan Solar Expert Posts: 91 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Panel Module sizing question

    Thanks. The size is about 1.5 meters by 1 meter. I think it's workable and my forwarder has given me a shipping cost. I'll work with the 185 watt panel. Thanks for the info again guys.
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