Solar blanket

coys 53

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Has anyone had any experience with a solar blanket as opposed to a folding solar panel I'm looking to buy a 160w + kit
Alan
 

stucati

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Alan,

Have a 200w blanket I use on the car, works well and packs up small. I only brought a cheap one as i was concerned it would get stolen. Charged the controller to a small victron mmpt unit I had spare and it performs fine.
 
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Boots in Action

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Alan,

Have a 200w blanket I use on the car, works well and packs up small. I only brought a cheap one as i was concerned it would get stolen. Charged the controller to a small victron mmpt unit I had spare and it performs fine.

@coys 53 and @stucati , the real point to note there is the increased performance when connected through a MPPT controller, rather than the usual standard PWM solar controller which is normally provided.
 

Drover

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I reckon the portable panels to be better for set up, can be a pain for storage, mine I just unfold plug in point towards sun takes 30 sec every so often to move while mates with blankets have to reset tie downs or just leave them laying flat on ground, I would never throw them over a bonnet or windscreen, they still need airflow to keep temps down ..... we have had a few on here where they have had meltdowns....
 

Crusty181

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Alan,

Have a 200w blanket I use on the car, works well and packs up small. I only brought a cheap one as i was concerned it would get stolen. Charged the controller to a small victron mmpt unit I had spare and it performs fine.
I have similar, a cheap Kings 200w blanket and small Victron reg. Performs very well in its on right, but considering the purchase cost its exceptional. Small light panel which folds up small enough to easily sit behind the car seat. I generally just throw it on the ground. Ive got 3 x blankets, all perform quite well. Ive never owned a folding panel, never really had the room to store it.
 
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Drover

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I have similar, a cheap Kings 200w blanket and small Victron reg. Performs very well in its on right, but considering the purchase cost its exceptional. Small light panel which folds up small enough to easily sit behind the car seat. I generally just throw it on the ground. Ive got 3 x blankets, all perform quite well. Ive never owned a folding panel, never really had the room to store it.

Yep thats the problem, room to store if you have the space I think a fold up is good but if not then a blanket is the way to go, the thing with both of them is to position them for max performance, if not prepared to follow the sun then just get a roof top job, blanket do require the same positioning like portables and do require a bit of TLC just the same when storing...... My Aldi panel is still working well a few years down the track, once I chucked the cheapy reg that is....120w for $120 I think........... Thankfully Big Mal has a big boot otherwise now that I have a Yuppie Truck (Jeeperific Mk2) no room for it and I would be forced to go a blanket... or buy a Mine Truck.

Just remember the Big Name brand is more than likely the same as the lesser known, if you buy from a big name store then you are usually paying a name tax, I usually look for that middle of the road unit with a middle of the road price range from a shop that has a physical presence everywhere, then if the damn thing breaks I can thump a desk top quickly and no getting fobbed off on the phone or email ignored.....
If it feels good, not breaking the bank and you are happy then go for it, plug it in and forget thats whats needed for holidays, if you have to check tour phone or some gadget all the time then whats a holiday...................

Okay rambling..................... carry on folks.
 
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coys 53

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Thanks guys
I'm limited for space when fully loaded in the disco so still looking at the blanket but will keep My options open
Alan
 

mfexpanda

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I have similar, a cheap Kings 200w blanket and small Victron reg. Performs very well in its on right, but considering the purchase cost its exceptional. Small light panel which folds up small enough to easily sit behind the car seat. I generally just throw it on the ground. Ive got 3 x blankets, all perform quite well. Ive never owned a folding panel, never really had the room to store it. Nor do I own pants as I have no need for them either

I have the kings 120w running through the Ctek seems to work ok
 

Drover

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Now you have all the opinions you now have more options and confusion, either way you go make up a nice long lead , I have used 8B&S cable to replace the dicky stuff that comes with them, used andersons at either end, fitting an anderson on the panel, I have made a 5mt and a 10m, they double as 12v extension cords as well.
 
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coys 53

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Thanks Drover
Given the amount of time it would be used the blanket is looking good will do with the extension lead
Alan
 

Macca_75

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I have similar, a cheap Kings 200w blanket and small Victron reg. Performs very well in its on right, but considering the purchase cost its exceptional. Small light panel which folds up small enough to easily sit behind the car seat. I generally just throw it on the ground. Ive got 3 x blankets, all perform quite well. Ive never owned a folding panel, never really had the room to store it.
What Victron do you use @Crusty181 I found the crappy PWM supplied with the kings one was still putting 110W out over the NY break into my car battery - I am curious if the extra spend on the MPPT is worth it (+ the Victron is considerably bigger to fit in the pocket).

It would be interesting to do a "side by side" on the same panel on a nice day of the cheapy PWM vs Victron MPPT

Side note: I also got one of the KT Power meters for Xmas -
- great meter if anyone is looking for one.
 

Macca_75

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Sound like a plan, I have a roof top panel as well so 200w blanket will be a good boost
Alan
Similar situation to me at the moment @coys 53 - what you need to be careful (or more conscious) of is if you have 2 panels, each with their own controller connected at the same time, you could impact your total charging ability. 1 controller with be putting a higher Volt reading onto the battery, the other will sense that the higher voltage and clip it's output accordingly.
 
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Boots in Action

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Similar situation to me at the moment @coys 53 - what you need to be careful (or more conscious) of is if you have 2 panels, each with their own controller connected at the same time, you could impact your total charging ability. 1 controller with be putting a higher Volt reading onto the battery, the other will sense that the higher voltage and clip it's output accordingly.

Correct @Macca_75 . The answer here @coys 53 is to connect the output of the solar blanket to the input terminals of van controller. You need to bypass the controller on solar blanket of course and run a line to the van controller via Anderson plug/s. Then ALL solar power generated by solar blanket AND van roof panel are handled by the one controller all the time. When solar blanket not required, just disconnect Anderson plug at van!!
 

Boots in Action

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Thanks @Drover for warning @coys 53 about never connecting solar panel direct to battery. Must always be THROUGH a controller. @coys 53 , you do not have to remove controller - just bypass it by connecting new lead/s (to go to van controller) BEFORE the output wires of panels goes into blanket panel controller. You still then have the ability to use the blanket solar in the normal way for car battery etc by using the original connection.
 
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Crusty181

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Correct @Macca_75 . The answer here @coys 53 is to connect the output of the solar blanket to the input terminals of van controller. You need to bypass the controller on solar blanket of course and run a line to the van controller via Anderson plug/s. Then ALL solar power generated by solar blanket AND van roof panel are handled by the one controller all the time. When solar blanket not required, just disconnect Anderson plug at van!!
Connecting my blankets as aux to the vans controller isnt easily done, so my preference is to connect the blanket independantly via its own controller and an aux input plug conveniently located and directly connected to the battery; a plug that also serves as a convenient ext 12v supply for lights, pumps etc. I read what a i could find and after selecting what appeared to be credible, and consistant, the conclusion was multiple controllers (mppt only, because i have no interest in pwm) have little to no affect on each other connected to the same battery .... ???
 
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Crusty181

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What Victron do you use @Crusty181 I found the crappy PWM supplied with the kings one was still putting 110W out over the NY break into my car battery - I am curious if the extra spend on the MPPT is worth it (+ the Victron is considerably bigger to fit in the pocket).

It would be interesting to do a "side by side" on the same panel on a nice day of the cheapy PWM vs Victron MPPT

Side note: I also got one of the KT Power meters for Xmas -
- great meter if anyone is looking for one.
Physical size difference is minimal, still fits in the bag The mppt controller will out perform the pwm, but with a single blanket deployed whilst the battery is at or near capacity the mppt probably wont add much more. I have little faith in cheap nasty controllers. The Victron gives me cheap confidence, protect costly assets, have a more reliable charge profile and will perform better if the battery is low
20200111_094544.jpg
 
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