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Harbor Freight panel

Discussion in 'Photovoltaics' started by Philip Lewis, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. Philip Lewis

    Philip Lewis Guest

    So with the 20% extra discount, I managed to pick one of these kits up
    from the local HF store for $171.20US.

    From the directions, it would seem that the kit should work to power
    items without the battery connected. Can someone confirm that that is
    how theirs operates?

    With no battery and full sun, no lights operate on the supplied box.
    With battery, things work hunky dory.
    It's not clear if the thing was topping off the batteries or not... I
    heard the pizzo alarm on upon first connecting the system (don't
    remember if there was a battery on it at that point or not)
    beeped for about 5-10 seconds then stopped.

    After two weeks of sporaticly using the supplied 5w bulbs... an
    occasional 120W fan (via the vector 800W model... wish the thermal fan
    only came on when it was actually hot...) and charging the cell phone,
    the battery still read 12.1V under 129W +vector's phantom worth of load.

    The panels put out between 21 and 23 Volts each without a load... I
    did not load test them. we apparently were only putting 40ma into the
    charging circuit when we checked it.

    I may try for a new controler box from them if it should work without battery.

    Eventually i'll get/build a "real" charge controler, but if this one
    works for now, I'll use it.
  2. Philip Lewis

    Philip Lewis Guest

    Just wanted to thank folks for their input on this matter.
    I'll look into some direct solar adapters (or into getting
    a smaller 12V pack-- perhaps two 6V lanturn rechargables that would be
    used/charged quickly, for more "direct" use.)
  3. I'm coming into this thread a bit late. Are you talking
    about the 45 watt set of three 15 watt panels, normally
    sellling for about $200 ?

    If so, how did you get the 20 percent discount?

  4. Philip Lewis

    Philip Lewis Guest

    Yup... sometime before august, someone posted a link (probably here)
    with a "take an extra 20% off" coupon on it. (even items on sale)

    this should help:

    might have to dig a little.
  5. Went through a lot of old posts, both here
    and in the other groups (alt.studebaker?!?!)
    that googlegroups led to.

    As far as I could tell none of the links pointing
    to copies of the coupon were still valid.

    Oh, and the cheaper option via the catalog direct
    link is expired, sigh.

    Hmm, anyone have a new copy of hte paper catalog and
    willing to take a looksee if there's an up-to-date entry?

    thanks to all for the help.
  6. wmbjk

    wmbjk Guest

    Here's a 15% off store coupon link posted recently at
    Copy the page to your hard drive and/or print it out in case the URL
    expires. Take the web site printout with the $199 price along as well
    in case the store price is higher.

  7. Thanks. Now have to think whether it's worth making
    the 300 mile roundtrip to go to the toy stor^h^h to
    head over there.
  8. wmbjk

    wmbjk Guest

    Friday I made a 250 mile roundtrip to HF in Vegas. Thinking back, if
    it had been another 50 miles I still would have gone. :)

  9. Guest
    That used to include a 175w AC inverter. "coleman solar" points to a $375 unit that includes an
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