FAQs - Marine & Transportation Solar Panels
Solar Panel FAQ
1. What are the benefits of Ganz solar panels?
They are NON-GLASS design, Semi-Flexible with aluminum backing for flat to gently curved surfaces, Fully weatherproof and extremely light weight, highly efficient and very competitive in the market. Our largest panel 55W only weighs 7lbs.
2. What is a Solar Charging Kit? A solar panel collects energy from the sun storing it to the battery.
A solar panel collects energy from the sun storing it to the battery. A controller or regulator is used to protect the battery from overcharging
3. How many hours will it take to charge my battery?
To find out charge time, use the formula; Amp Hours/Amps=T (T is time in hours) ex A typical good condition car battery is rated at 40Ah (Amp hours). 40Ah/1.5A=26 hours. This is charge for a single battery, two batteries will double over 52 hours
To figure out a solar panel charging amps capability - use the equation Watts/Volts=Amps 18watts/12Vdc=1.5Amps.
4. How many panels do I need to charge my battery bank?
It depends on the size of the battery and how many amps in a day you need to use. For example; in a typical normal day usually there is 4/5 hours of good sun. Our 30watt panel maximum output is 1.74 Amps so we multiply Amps x 4 = 6.96 amps in a 4 hour day. If we needed 12Amps then we would need two 30watt panels.
5. If I only need to compensate Conventional lead acid batteries a sealed gel or AGM batteries?
(Conventional) Estimate 5W of solar power for each 60Ah of battery capacity assuming that the solar panels receives some direct sunlight at least 6 hours per week.
(Gel or AGM) Estimate 5W of solar panel power for each 120AH of battery capacity.
6. What size solar panel do I need?
If possible Solar panels should exceed the basic requirements by 20%. Basically you need to add up your average ampere-hours of DC consumed in a 24-hour period. Include everything that consumes DC current: lights, pumps, radio etc… After figuring your average power consumption, you can estimate the size solar panel needed.
7. Can I use solar for my air conditioning?
You should not count on solar power for supplying current to water heaters, space heaters, stoves, air conditioning or other similar energy consumptions.
8. Can I run equipment from my solar panel directly?
If using more than 6W it is recommended to use a charge controller to prevent the battery from over charging or other items from being overcharged. It also prevents an electrical current from running back from the battery to the solar panel at night when no power is being generated by a solar panel.
9. Can I stand on the panel? It is okay to walk on them in soft soled shoes.
The 6mm thickness of the module has an unbreakable, protective plastic film with a semi-flexible aluminum backing. We do not recommend putting the solar panel in a high traffic area where walking on will be consistent.
10. Is the panel flexible?
It is semi flexible in the sense that if flush mounted the panel has some flexibility when walked on.
11. How much bending can they take?
Maximum of 3%. 3cm per 1m of module length.
12. What sizes are available?
6W, 12W, 30W, 40W & 55W.
13. Can the panels be hooked up in series?
Yes – Maximum system voltage is 120VDC therefore a maximum of 4 modules can be connected in series 120V/[21.6V(Voc)*1.25(coefficient)]=4.4.
14. How do I hook them in series?
The aluminum frames make mechanical fastening a snap. They can be hooked up in series and fastened together loosely using stainless machine screws, locknuts, and rubber grommets. The assembly of panels can then be fastened to the stainless or aluminum tubing of a dodger, bimini, radar arch, or davits. Alternately, each panel can be fastened individually, or multiple panels can be fastened within a frame, and the frame fastened to the boat or RV. To wire two panels in series, you connect the positive terminal of one to the negative terminal of another. In series wiring voltage is additive while current is constant. A Bypass diode is recommended to prevent shading. If one panel is shaded, the current produced by the un-shaded panel can flow through a by-pas diode to avoid the high resistance of the shaded panel. By-pass diodes will not be of use unless panels are connected in series to produce a higher voltage.Please keep in mind, if connecting more solar panels, then it is important to make sure the controller is powerful enough to handle the total output of the solar systems.Please keep in mind, if connecting more solar panels, then it is important to make sure the controller is powerful enough to handle the total output of the solar systems.
15. Where do I mount the panels?
Select a location where your solar panels will get maximum daily sunshine exposure and try to avoid shade. Mounting locations can be on bimini tops and radar arches, as well as deck mounting. Spacers should be used to allow airflow between the panel and deck. Some choose not to mount the panel but rather place on the dash board or other area temporarily just for charging purposes. The other option is to temporarily connect the panels to the railing of the boat using side mounts which are offered in a sliding style (7/8", 1” or 1 ¼”) or a split jaw style (7/8”, 1” and 1 ¼”)
16. What happens if there is no sun?
Solar panels will produce energy even if they are not placed under direct sunlight. The power of a solar panel is proportional to the amount of light that reaches the surface. If you are getting about half the amount of light that you would be getting under full midday sun, you should expect the panel to produce about half the amount of power.
17. How do I clean them?
Plain water and a soft cloth, something that will not scratch the surface.
18. Why should I use solar panels when my battery gets charged when the boat is running?
For sail boats, they do not run on wind alone anymore. Now the cabin is fitted with electrical systems such as navigational, lighting, small kitchenettes to allow for basic cooking needs and refrigeration of perishable foods. Additionally, there are the bilge pumps which keep the bilges from overflowing. All these things operate on electrical power, which is usually supplied through a diesel engine. Now we can create electricity directly from the sun, through the use of solar panels. The electricity collected can easily be used in order to power the electrical systems and the bilge pump on a small boat or sailing vessel. It can also be used to recharge marine battery banks, or to trickle them during time when they are not is use so the battery does not go dead.
19. How would a solar panel benefit on my RV or trailer?
Sometimes there is not an AC hook up but if there is, it may not provide enough charge for the battery causing the battery to fail needing a replacement battery sooner then expected. Having a solar charger can eliminate the hassle by charging the batteries to the correct voltage providing a much longer life. Nobody needs the aggravation of a dead battery!
20. Are they Amorphous film?
No they are not. Amorphous film is the cheapest and least efficient panel. Unlike Poly and Mono-Crystalline panels, Amorphous is not made up of crystals, but rather thin layers of silicon.
21. What type of Crystalline panels are they?
Polycrystalline, which most people prefer because they are affordable and highly efficient. When it comes to durability, its lifespan is comparable to that of the most expensive mono-crystalline type. Benefits of polycrystalline can be enjoyed for around 25 years and sometimes more.
22. Why are Semi-Flexible solar panels more expensive than the traditional glass panels?
Semi-Flexible panels are more expensive because of the expensive technology used. Ganz panels are Polycrystalline which means the cells are made of crystals rather than thin layers of silicon.Nobody wants the heavy, glass panels anymore, especially on their boat or RV. In the solar panel world glass panels are the least expensive because of the technology used to make the panels. Semi flexible is the most expensive because of the expensive technology used.
23. There are three main types of panels to consider:
- Standard panels have rigid aluminum perimeter frames and glass covers. They offer the best cost-per-watt ratio and have the longest warranties.
- There are also semi-flexible marine panels that can stand up to moderate foot traffic. These panels have no perimeter frame and a polymer cover instead of glass. Cost is higher and life expectancy and warranty periods are typically less, but these panels are great if a low panel profile and the ability to walk on them and is important.
- The third type of panel is fully flexible. These panels are even more expensive in terms of dollars-per-watt and they're about half as efficient as standard panels.
24. Where can I purchase them from?
You can call us for a Dealer or Distributor in your area.
25. Who do we call for a warranty?
The Dealer or Distributor you purchased them from. Please have the UPC and Serial number, which is located on the back of the panel, available before returning.
26. Do I need a charge controller?
It is recommended to add a charge controller for panels 30W and over to prevent the battery from overcharging.
27. Do the panels come with connections?
Ganz GSP-6 and Ganz GSP-12 come pre-connected with 10’ of power cable, a blocking diode, fuse, fuse case, connectors and terminals. For the 30W, 40W, and 55W panels, a Ganz charge controller is recommended to prevent overcharge of the system. To prevent overcharging, a charge controller should be used when the solar panel to battery ratio exceeds 10W to 100AH.