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Old 04-03-2014, 09:30 AM   #1
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Which Solar is better

We just bought a new 2014 CedarCreek 36CKTS and I'm looking at putting solar on the unit. I'm thinking 300 or 400 watts. From some of the research I've done, I should get a MPPT controller. What kind of efficiency difference is there between Mono and Poly panels? Here are two brands I've been throwing around.


What will happen to my roof warranty?

Any advice is appreciated!


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Old 04-03-2014, 10:00 AM   #2
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The monocrystalline panels will give you a higher output. It really depends on the quality of the panel - high end polycrystalline panels can get close to low end mono panels, but in general, you might expect 10-20% more output from the mono panels.

For a home, its sometimes cheaper to go with more poly panels. On an RV, where space and weight are issues, the mono crystalline panels probably make more sense.

You can also check out for panels or complete packages. And if you buy there, find them on e-Bay. Sometimes they sell the same item for less on their e-Bay store. For best price, poly panels from WindyNation seem to be one of the best deals out there.

As for the roof warranty - its the same idea as adding vent covers - if there is damage or leaking related to something you installed in the roof, its not covered by warranty. If something totally un-related goes wrong with the roof, then it would still be covered.


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Old 04-03-2014, 10:59 AM   #3
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Does anyone know if there's a reason to chose Mono vs Poly panels for an RV application? Is one type of cell more durable?
Eric, Tara, and most of China
2013 Camping Nights: 2
2014 Camping nights: 31
TT 2014 Rockwood Roo 183
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Old 04-04-2014, 07:39 AM   #4
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Mono crystalline. Really though for a 300-400 watt RV system you won't notice much of a difference. You'll have more loss just due to lack of optimal aiming of the panels. Defined get a mppt controller and a proper battery monitoring system. Better yet get a controller with a monitoring system built in. Just as an example, Blue Sky controller and IPN remote.

2000 Cherokee 31BH, "flipped axles and raised",LEDs, solar, inverter, etc..aka "boondock ready". '07 Tundra 5.7L DC-LB, modded as well.
2000 Cherokee 29BH with 6V batteries, LED lights & 400 watts of solar power, flipped axles and raised. 2007 Tundra 5.7L DC-LB with lots of mods. C-co, 8/158th AVN Maint.
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Old 04-21-2014, 03:08 PM   #5
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The last couple of weeks I've been doing a lot of research. I'm ready to pull the trigger but still a little nervous on the controller. Both are 40 amp and MPPT. Cost around $200.

The TrakMax 40 looks like the safer controller. It has an equalization function that can be set to manual or automatic and can equalize at 14.6v, 15v or 15.5v. The TrakMax comes with a battery temperature sensor. This will adjust the charge rate based on the battery temperature. The only complaint with the TrakMax is that there isn't a meter option. I'll have to get a different meter with shunt.

The Renogy Tracer 40 has a remote meter/display option. There is no battery temperature sensor but it does compensate for temperature. I think it uses an internal sensor. The main downside is that the equalize function will only equalize automatically at 14.8v. I'm concerned with the 14.8v being automatic and not knowing what the other equipment in my 5th wheel will handle.

Does anyone have any experience with either of these units?
Any feedback is appreciated.

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