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bought a coleman 100 watt panel

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peppercorn
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Re: bought a coleman 100 watt panel

Postby peppercorn » Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:29 am

Its just days of overcast weather right now, cant do any testing but I thought I would get ready for when I could test by getting a reputable 100 watt panel ready to test along side this one..to see the difference under the same conditions... in looking around I got all kinds but not a 100 watt to use as my control. I spotted some 75 watt ones and thought they look suspiciously close in size ( by surface area) to this "claimed" 100 watt one so I held it up next to it and the Coleman panel is about 8 inches shorter in length and 5 inches wider.
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so I got the idea to measure things...here is what I found. the 100 watt (claimed/implied) panel is 26.5 x 39.5, that = 1046.75 sqinches

The "real" 75 watt panel is 21.5 x 47.5 inches that = 1021.25 sqinches

The Coleman panel is only 2.4 % bigger, practically the same size, but claiming/implying 25 % more power!!! I don't think so, not in this universe.

I am pretty confident in my previous assessment now...if any thing I was to generous, but such is my nature.

So if it doesn't have any more surface area how can it put out more power.... Im thinking the best this panel can hope to do is meet the specs of this 75 watt panel
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and this 75 watt panel doesn't have a 4 watt junction box heater, let see where are we now- 4 watts, so maybe it should be honestly rated as a 71 watt panel?? we are moving further away from that 100 number, inquiring minds want to know...sorry hp, I know its painful.

So to sum up so far, I think its really reasonable from data collected so far that this panels true rating should be somewhere between this 71 watt value and my previous 80 watt estimate, but its sure as hell not a 100 watt....this now invites the question ....under real battery charging conditions will we even be able to get 50 watts out of it???
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Re: bought a coleman 100 watt panel

Postby helicopilot » Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:30 am

Dum dum dum.... Suspense. Curious though. If you can't get anywhere near 100W, are you going to call Coleman on their claim? Seek to get your money back maybe? Just curious (such is my nature as you said).
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Re: bought a coleman 100 watt panel

Postby peppercorn » Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:33 pm

What! call them on their claim? First they have met their claim! see my fourth post in this thread they have it clearly stated "up to 100 watts" on the outside of the box.This panel will meet this spec, I am sure when I do test it that I will get somewhere between 0 watts and 100 watts. They would fail their claim only if it put out more. Did the box not say up to 5.8 amps? and again I have full confidence I will find this panel putting out somewhere between 0 and 5.8 amps.
It would be like me spending 100 on lottery tickets, getting 5 dollars back on a scratch and win and complaining that I was taken advantage of... I just couldn't do that with a straight face.
Now could I get my money back..hell yes, I have my receipt I could go back and say to Canadian tire I want my money back im just not happy. I am certain they would give me a full refund with a smile. why am I certain? well they have it built into the retail price. you can buy in Canada most everywhere solar panels at under 1 dollar a watt, 80 cents in some places all the way up to 300 watt and over in size, so if the full retail of a 100 watt solar panel is less than 100 dollars (and the retailer is still making a profit) yet I have chosen to pay over two times as much (on sale) at Canadian tire, Its for 'customer service" and that service would include returning it if I wanted. I bet this panel doesn't cost them 40.00 dollars each landed, packaged and distributed in Canada.They know how many will be returned, have costed it out and are making money hand over fist on these anyway...just imagine these have been selling at 500 dollars!! they put a half price sale on and good well trained consumers will trip over themselves to buy more, after all its on sale, must be a good price!! I knew watt I was buying...,deception, advertising, misdirection, pixy dust, good marketing. I just wanted to experience it myself, rather than through the vicarious experience of others. ( friends who don't listen to me)

Sitting around today I thought to see if anyone had really looked one of these over and thought to check utube...there are vids of people checking out solar panels but they are all "fluff" vids, and not one single one could I find of anyone doing this Coleman 100 watt panel. I suspect they get very few returns, because I just don't think the target market Canadian tire sells these to are people who are going to seriously evaluate their purchases.
So I checked my receipt it was 229 I paid, I think its worth it to have a small, portable, what I am expecting to find is a 50 watt (while charging a battery) solar panel. I got 50 dollars worth of value so the other 179.00 spent was on learning, I place a higher value on learning than I do on things. Though I must say, I think the learning part this time was worth only about 79 dollars to me so I do feel like I am out about 100 dollars.....I will return to go shoplift something to get it back.

Now one thing that interests me is those Goalzero things that were selling for something like 2000 dollars or more a few years back. I figure many are ...how should I put this.."underperforming"(if they were used). I know some of you bought one and if you would loan/donate it to me I would love to do a complete tear down and evaluation of one of these.
Then once we know what it is, where its at, do a rebuild of it and see if we can pimp it up to something nearer to what it aspired to be. Hey I said that last bit real diplomatic didn't I? Maybe I should forget about my hand modeling career and look at diplomacy instead....I wonder how it pays?
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Re: bought a coleman 100 watt panel

Postby peppercorn » Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:30 am

HP your likely wondering whats the delay...I had meter problems, my 376 would not boot up on power up..dead completely! Its lead a rough life.
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I would have sent it off for repair but it would have cost me 300+...that's not in the budget right now so I decided to tackle it myself, then when I found the problem, it turns out Fluke wont sell me the part, cant @#%X">< believe it! They say its a factory repair!

So I was able to effect a work around so it powers up now and I can use it.. but I still need the right part so if anyone has a junked 376 I will buy it for parts.
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Anyway at least I can use it for now, so when the sun comes out strong I will be ready.
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Re: bought a coleman 100 watt panel

Postby peppercorn » Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:59 am

I was home when the sun was out so I set up the panel for testing. I just set it up to test the short circuit amps. The best I could get out of it was 3.7 amps. in fairness the day was bright and sunny as the shadows cast indicate but there was a little haze in the air like you get from brush piles being burnt somewhere, so this isn't a fair test of performance I know it will beat 3.7 amps on a better day, but at least I got to test it so I know I didn't get a dud. Progress however slowly,and I am slow, is still progress.
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Re: bought a coleman 100 watt panel

Postby peppercorn » Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:35 am

Ok, the sky was perfectly clear today. Testing done around 1 pm, First test was for Short cct current...
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I did see 4.6 amps briefly but it stayed at 4.4 mostly.

in order for this to be a 100 watt panel with a power point voltage at 17.1 would mean it needs to be tested with a 2.9 ohm load So...look at this I dialed a rheostat right down to 2.9
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With the rheostat hooked to the panel guess What? The voltage collapses, falls flat on its face...6 volts 6.07 to be exact. A third of where it should be holding at.
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Re: bought a coleman 100 watt panel

Postby peppercorn » Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:03 am

So since I can adjust my load to hold the voltage at 17.1 I did just that to get what this panel should be rated at. I got 4 amps at 16.98 volts (close enough for me)
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So 67.9 watts would be a fair ratting for this panel. In fairness even though it was a bright clear day, I know I can milk a little more power out of this panel on a spring or summer day..a little more, not a lot, I expect when I test this again on a summers day I will get over 70 watts.(maybe 74-75)
I will do actual battery charging at that time. I am thinking from the numbers seen so far, under actual battery charging conditions I could/should get roughly 55 watts from the panel.
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Re: bought a coleman 100 watt panel

Postby helicopilot » Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:18 am

Is this a usual number to count on for battery charging; ~ 1/2 the listed wattage?
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Re: bought a coleman 100 watt panel

Postby peppercorn » Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:58 am

Oh.. that's a loaded question...I am going to have to go all Bill Clinton on you and say: it depends on what your definition of "is" is and your definition of "battery charging" and Doctor who on you with a time based description of "usual" and "wattage", Im not up for that tonight or in one night, so the quick answer is No that's not usual, pretty crappy , would be ok if it was honestly rated as a ~73 watt or so panel and cost 50 bucks. Likely usual for all coleman type panels.

A more fluid answer begins with what is proper battery charging? and that starts with the data sheet from a manufacturer of batteries.. Go..Go..Googler......poof..( what a time to be alive, info at the touch of your fingers) http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/datash ... Sheets.pdf look it over...if the no answer was good enough say so...
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Re: bought a coleman 100 watt panel

Postby peppercorn » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:00 pm

I had set this panel up against the house, under the eves but tucked behind some stacked firewood last fall. In other words, out of the sun, no rain or snow fell on it, and nothing has touched it until I pulled it out a few days ago. I welded up a steel frame to make a portable solar panel array for the property, and put this panel on the rack beside some "real" panels.
we had some great sunshine a few days ago, so I thought I would finish testing this unit, remember this unit is brand new, I just unboxed it last fall, the only element its been exposed to is temperature.....something you would expect a panel to be able to take.
Im short on time so I am just going to cut to the chase. I couldn't get 50 watts out of this POS under real battery charging. Nearly 20 year old 75 watt panels, from a real manufacturer beside it perform way better. But worse than that this unused panel is already starting to fall apart, as the picture shows. On one side, and one end, the adhesive that is supposed to bond the glass to the aluminum frame, keeping water out, is breaking down!! Major failure!! I couldn't hit the same numbers I got testing this unit last fall! So its already going down hill....
I looked at reviews of this panel on line last fall, and again this summer.......I think they are all BS....now I know my sample size is small being just one unit, but what are the odds I got the only unit with poor electrical performance, and mechanical failure....
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its people buying and using crap like this that gives solar panels a bad rap and has people saying they don't last or perform well.
I will keep this unit on the rack and make sure I point it out to everyone that's over and is thinking about buying these over priced poor performing panels, people may not understand evaluating electrical performance, but everyone can see when something is falling apart!

I am not really going to investigate this mechanical break down further, it could be the adhesive, but I suspect the quality, and gauge of aluminium used, I think this panel has now seen a full thermal cycle going from -30 something in the winter, to + 30 something in the summer and that caused the rail to pull out of the adhesive, just a WAG on my part, don't really know.
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