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Longevity of Solar Camper Solutions panels

M

Maria Taplin

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1
Location
UK
Vehicle
Looking to buy
Hello - about to invest in a panel - has anybody had them fitted for some years, any issues? How long can I expect it to last. Only 1 year warranty
 
Last edited:
CALI FATE

CALI FATE

Messages
903
Location
Cheltenham
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
good question - mine lasted 18 months but the failure was put down to a batch problem. It was replaced under warranty last summer and has worked fine since.
 
stephen watson

stephen watson

Messages
240
Location
Cumbria
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
I bought 2 solar panels from Roger 4 years ago. After 3 years a very thin layer of plastic started to peel off the top of the panels (1st picture). Now in their 4th year this has peeled off completely and the plastic below seems to continuously develops a white dusty top surface (2nd picture). They still work but it must affect their efficiency and I also worry about how long they will now last. Roger has told me he doesn't use these panels any more, so I doubt if you would have the same problem. I have always found Roger very helpful, but as he no longer deals with the supplier he has told me the best he can do is offer me 2 new discounted panels at a cost of over £500. Whilst I sympathise with Roger I'm not very happy with the outcome. One of the reasons I paid more (over £800 originally) and didn't go down the diy route was to hopefully have some resource in case of problems. There don't seem to be any reliable figures on solar panel longevity but I'd been expecting many more years. I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has had similar problems?

image002.jpg

PXL_20210606_175337022.jpg
 
tuono001

tuono001

VIP Member
Messages
591
Mine has recently failed after 5 years. I've tested, with a multimeter, with no results. I feel that it should have lasted longer but its one of those things, there's no guarantee how long they will last.
Time for a new one before camper jam.
 
stephen watson

stephen watson

Messages
240
Location
Cumbria
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
Mine has recently failed after 5 years. I've tested, with a multimeter, with no results. I feel that it should have lasted longer but its one of those things, there's no guarantee how long they will last.
Time for a new one before camper jam.
It seems to be a bit of a lottery buying solar panels. The best you can do seems to be to go to a reputable supplier, like Roger, but even then you may end up with a panel lasting only a few years. If I buy anything else electrical I usually research Which? and for example buy a household appliance from the best manufacturer with a 1 year guarantee and expect it to last 10 years. I'd count myself very unlucky if an expensive item failed after only a few years. Solar panels on houses don't seem to fail so soon. My advice is enjoy them whilst they last but don't expect the same longevity as other consumer items.
 
rod_vw

rod_vw

Messages
699
Location
Shropshire
Vehicle
Motorhome
I've had panels from Photonic Universe on three campers, first two with their simple controllers and now with a RING RSCDC30 combined Battery to Battery and MPPT Solar operation. The current set-up is four years old and has no problems. As far as I have heard from the present owners of the previous vehicles there have been on problems with them.
 
tuono001

tuono001

VIP Member
Messages
591
Do you think that a panel on a van has to deal with a harsher environment? Thinking more vibration and weathered from travelling.
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
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18,736
Location
United Kingdom
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T5 SE 180 4Motion
6.5 yrs and counting. Still very good output.
Do you think that a panel on a van has to deal with a harsher environment? Thinking more vibration and weathered from travelling.
Agree, House panels aren't exposed to 60 mph winds/rain as often as panels on a vehicle, and hopefully not the same vibration.
Also, house/solar farm panels are much more robust and a higher quality, But they also weigh a lot more and are more expensive.
 
bob_summers

bob_summers

VIP Member
Messages
327
Location
País Vasco
Vehicle
T6 Cali On Order
Always wondered why solar is not an option on a new van. Maybe the reliability lottery is something VW don't want to get into.
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
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Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
18,736
Location
United Kingdom
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T5 SE 180 4Motion
Always wondered why solar is not an option on a new van. Maybe the reliability lottery is something VW don't want to get into.
Available on the Grand California.
 
stephen watson

stephen watson

Messages
240
Location
Cumbria
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
If I bought GC would be tempted to pay for VW option, as presumably would be covered by extended warranty for 5 years if you bought that as well.

Screen Shot 2021-06-09 at 16.29.34.png
 
Legin

Legin

VIP Member
Messages
821
Location
Chester
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 199 4 motion
Both my panels failed inside two years. Photonic Universe supplied same as Roger used for a while. Support frame very similar to the Roger one ! Black finish. Replaced with one panel from Topsolar which works better than the PU ones ever did - so far 115w out of a 120w panel. I put the Top solar on top of the PU old one to give it more support.
 
tuono001

tuono001

VIP Member
Messages
591
Delivered today, I'm going to attach it to the old panel from Roger, working nicely straight away. Overcast today but still giving 0.3/0.4a rising with the sunshine, 14v and 43kwh. Not sure how this compares to the old one but it's charging the batteryIMG_20210611_105850.jpg
 
Phillip T

Phillip T

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Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
287
Location
Highlands
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
Both my panels failed inside two years. Photonic Universe supplied same as Roger used for a while. Support frame very similar to the Roger one ! Black finish. Replaced with one panel from Topsolar which works better than the PU ones ever did - so far 115w out of a 120w panel. I put the Top solar on top of the PU old one to give it more support.
Make me think Rodgers set up needs to be stiffer to avoid flex from vibration.
Also wondered if anyone noticed a reduction in mpg, keep wondering if a small spoiler in front of the panel would help reduce drag.
 
tuono001

tuono001

VIP Member
Messages
591
You wouldn't notice any mpg difference as its to low.
I think auto express did an article about the effects of top boxes and the like on mpg. Once you get to motorway speeds you are punching a massive hole through the air, a solar panel would make no difference.
 
Alied

Alied

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
231
Location
Bristol
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
Delivered today, I'm going to attach it to the old panel from Roger, working nicely straight away. Overcast today but still giving 0.3/0.4a rising with the sunshine, 14v and 43kwh. Not sure how this compares to the old one but it's charging the batteryView attachment 79858
Do you have a link for this panel please?
 

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