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Rigid 12 Volt Solar Panels & Solar Battery Chargers
12 Volt Solar Panels & Solar Battery Chargers for RV, Marine / Boat, Auto, Car, and more!With a 12 Volt Solar Panel you can charge and maintain all of your 12 Volt batteries. Whether you need a RV Solar Panel, Marine Solar Panel, or Car Solar Battery Charger we have you covered. A 12 Volt Solar Panel or Solar Battery Charger from Earthtech is consumer ready including everything needed for a complete RV Solar Battery Charger System, Boat Solar Panel System, or Remote Power Kit. [Read More]
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12 Volt Solar Panels & Solar Battery Chargers for RV, Marine / Boat, Auto, and more!Our 12 Volt RV Solar Panels will maintain and charge your RV battery all while eliminating noise and pollution from expensive generators to power your appliances. Our RV Solar Panels will give you the required solar power to run your lights, radio, TV, and pumps. The best thing about having a RV Solar Panel is your RV will be ready to roll when you are plus you won’t have to run a noisy generator or haul the extra fuel!
Our Marine Solar Panels and Boat Solar Chargers are great for maintaining boat batteries in storage as well as increasing trolling time for fishers running a boat full of appliances from radios, GPS, Depth Finders to Navigation Systems, Lighting and Bilge Pumps. Our Marine Solar Panels come with marine grade components and are designed for marine environments. With a Marine Solar Battery Charger from Earthtech Products set up is simple and the energy is free…all from the power of the sun. A 12 Volt Solar Panel just makes good sense for someone with a boat that will be in the sun all day. Call a Solar Panel expert today to discuss solar panels for RV, and Boats at 1-877-548-3387. Our Marine Solar Panel and RV Solar Techs are standing by to discuss your application.
The Four Kinds of Solar Panels: Advantages and Disadvantages
Solar Panel Cells come in different shapes and sizes, all with their specific functions and capabilities. Knowing which one to purchase is crucial in ensuring that you maximize the capabilities of your Eco-friendly environment. Generally, there are two kinds of Solar Panel Cells, the Crystalline and the Thin Film, categorized simply by their form. Here we further break them down into four categories: the Monocrystalline, the Polycrystalline, the Amorphous and the Thin Film CIGS. To decide which one to pick will depend solely on your needs and your budget. Here are the Pro's and Con's.
Monocrystalline Solar Panels
One of the most commonly used Solar Panels, for both residential and commercial use, are the Monocrystalline Solar Cells. These very efficient solar cells have been widely used for over 20 years and are typically used in high reliability applications such as telecommunications. However, Monocrystalline Solar Panels are also one of the toughest to produce. First, a silicon crystal is grown from pure molten silicon. The crystal produced is then cut into smaller slices which, from there, are formed to be the basis of a solar photovoltaic cell. It is a very time consuming process that will often result in very long-lasting solar panels.
- Monocrystalline cells are the most efficient type of photovoltaic cell, with an efficiency level of 13-17 percent.
- When it comes to cooler conditions, Monocrystalline Solar Panel Cells are also said to perform even better, with much higher efficiency levels.
- As such, they are also ideal for areas with limited space. In fact, a typical household can actually make do with only a few Monocrystalline Solar Panels instead of installing a number of solar farms required by other types of Solar Cells.
- One can also expect a longer lifespan from Monocrystalline Solar Panels. Typically, these cells come with a 25 year warranty, attesting the longevity of functionality of the cells.
- Because of their more efficient performance, Monocrystalline Cells are also costlier. The time, effort and resources required to create these cells will significantly add to the final price.
- Like most Solar Panel Cells available today, Monocrystalline Cells also tend to experience a significant reduction in output at elevated temperatures. A reduction of between 12% and 15% is normally expected during fairly sunny days.
VERDICT: If you are looking for a long-term investment and you are willing to spend some money for quality solar power, it is recommended that you get a Monocrystalline Solar Panel Setup. It may cost a bit more than other solar panels like the cheaper Polycrystalline Cells but with Monocrystalline, you can generally get more power without having to install dozens of solar panels.
Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Polycrystalline Cells are acknowledged as the most common used solar panels in the world. Primarily, it is because of its cheap price. Unlike the Monocrystalline which is grown from pure molten silicon into crystals, this type of Solar Cells have a mosaic-like appearance due to it being cast into molds. Typically, a solar panel module with this type of solar cell is made from a block of silicon that has multiple crystals thus its name of Polycrystalline. Though less efficient than Monocrystallines, these solar cells have also been proven to be suitable for both commercial and domestic solar panel systems.
- The cheaper alternative to Monocrystalline Solar Cells. These panels typically retail at between $8.50 and $9.50 per watt.
- Although not the best, Polycrystalline cells still generate and produce a decent amount of solar power, typically ranging from 120-150 Watts per m2 (12-15%, with notable exceptions).
- It is also known to have a lower heat derating coefficient compared to other solar cells. This means it will have a slightly better performance in hotter conditions.
- Polycrystalline Solar Cells also have an excellent life span or longevity. And as such, one can usually expect panels of this kind to come with a 25 year warranty.
- Requires a fairly large space for installation. Unlike Monocrystalline Solar Cells, Polycrystalline panels have to be used in large groups in order to generate more power for a typical household or office.
- Because of the multi-crystal setup, these solar cells will not be able to generate as much power as a single crystal type of solar panel.
VERDICT: For people who are on a tight budget but still want to live in an Eco-friendly environment, Polycrystalline Solar Panels are definitely recommended. Although not as effective as a Monocrystalline Solar Panel, one can compensate for the energy deficiency by adding more solar panels in order to produce more Solar Energy. But then, this means that a fairly large space is required in order to efficiently install a properly functioning Polycrystalline Solar Panel farm.
Amorphous Solar Panels
Basically, an Amorphous Solar Panel the type of solar cell you'd find in calculators and garden lamps. They are the cheapest to produce and are widely available. The name amorphous comes from the main composition of the solar cell itself. Unlike its crystallized counterparts, amorphous solar panels are “without shape” or simply not highly structured. This also means that it has very low energy efficiency and is not for use in standard household settings.
- It is very cheap to produce and is readily available in the market today. You can actually see it in calculators and garden lamps.
- Their greatest advantage, however, lies in their relatively low cost per Watt of power generated.
- These solar cells have the lowest efficiency and typically ranges from 60-80 Watts/m2 (60-80%, with notable exceptions).
- Because less power is produced, Amorphous Solar Panels requires 2-3 times more panels and surface area for same output as crystalline.
- They also have an expected lifespan that is less than the more efficient crystalline panels.
VERDICT: The efficiency of Amorphous solar panels is not as high as the more efficient though more costly Crystalline Solar Panels. But the great thing about these solar cells is that they are very cheap to produce and are therefore cheaper than most solar panels. Their low energy efficiency, however, means they are not the best type of solar cells for use in household settings. And because you may be required to get 2-3 times more panels and surface area for same output as crystalline, Amorphous Solar Panels will be eating a lot of space for a decent power producing setup.
Thin Film (CIGS) Solar Panels
Thin Film CIGS (Copper, Indium, Gallium, diSelenide) Solar Panels are flexible, durable, and provide slightly higher efficiency, which makes them perfect for use in all sorts of outdoor adventure settings. They can be mounted to curved surfaces and any backpack, tents or jackets. As such, you will typically see them in portable solar chargers. These are not recommended for use in powering homes and houses but for use by individuals who are constantly on the go in urban and rural settings, Thin Film Solar Panels are one of the best solar cells available today.
- Unlike Crystalline silicon solar cells, Thin Film Solar Panels are very flexible and offer lots of on-the-go uses.
- Of all the Thin Film solar panels, the CIGS variant is known to be the most efficient and is the most cost effective, able to sufficiently generate power to charge most hand-held gadgets, electronics and even laptop computers.
- Their flexible and very malleable nature allows them to be put on many items like backups and jackets. Portability is also a great advantage when discussing Thin Film solar cells.
- Based on some tests, CIGS solar cell panels have also been shown to have a better resistance to heat than silicon based solar panels.
- Like all thin film solar panels, CIGS panels are not as efficient as crystalline silicon solar cells. Because of this, you cannot expect to use Thin Film cells for use in household and commercial settings.
- This is new technology. Unlike Crystalline panels that have been in existence for decades, thin film has yet to establish its durability and functionality.
- At present, they also remain very expensive compared to other solar cell types. Though they have the potential for lower cost production, it is yet to be done beyond laboratory experiments.
VERDICT: For adventurers and backpackers, the advent of Thin Film (CIGS) Solar Panels is a big breakthrough in being able to produce energy in outdoor conditions. Because they have been proven to be very flexible, CIGS solar cells are typically installed in solar backpacks and other solar clothing. So if you're planning your next big outdoor adventure, using CIGS solar panels is definitely recommended. However, in household settings, it is not feasible to use CIGS to produce energy that's sufficient enough for residential needs. Not only will it be less efficient than Crystalline panels, it will also be more expensive