20 watt Solar Panels under $30, Which one is best?


Hey everybody. I went and got myself some of these little cheap solar panels, and this one here says fragile. So it’s glass in that one, and this one here is a odd-looking and I’m gonna show.

You a graphic difference here and this one here now these are flexible. They’re, not what they call bendable, but they’re flexible, so I mean they. They have some general flexibility to them, and these are used predominantly for if you’re going to do some charging of car batteries.

Things like that motorcycle batteries, your ATVs, your garden tractors, that you sit out and leave out in the open for a long time. I want to show you a difference here now. This one here has had its plastic cover film off of it, so it’s, giving you a little bit of reflection there and you can see the part of the shop this one here, though, is branded as a whatever, and this one over here Is just labeled as flexible solar panel made in China now I want to show you this little light.

Come on all right now, one of the cool things about this one, and this one comes from Aliexpress. This one is from Amazon and these are from eBay. Now one of the things that this panel here is kind of impressive or these panels is they’re twenty dollars, a piece or twenty one.

I believe so we’re, going to go ahead and get the panel & # 39. S opened up now I’ve covered up my information on the panels, but we’re gonna go ahead and open them up and take this out of here, I haven’t opened them.

I got them in today. I had these in for a few days and we’re, going to check these out 20 watt panel 20 watt panel and 20 watt panel and pardon my fingers just finished putting the new hub sets in on the old Dayton axles.

Those are old Dayton axles. They’re, really creepy having to work on them. So here we go. Let’s. Get this started. We’re, going to go ahead and open these panels up alright, so you got to be careful because there’s glass in here, so we don’t want to reach in too deep.

So I’m gonna grab my knife here. Just hold it right down here to tip and just score the top of that you’re, careful opening up solar panels. You never know what you’re gonna hit in there and damage them permanently.

So we’re, just gonna kind of open them up and I haven’t, checked them um hell, they could be broken. I don’t know I don’t think so let’s. Hope not. Panel number one looks likely. This company here is new powwow.

I’m sure that translates into you know, but we’re just going to go ahead and check them out now. Oh, look at that solar Land. A new power is selling these solar, lanterns incomplete, no wiring looks like I’ll, be ordering a bunch more of these.

If this specs out it’s, just a 20 watt panel. Now I’m gonna show you what I’m gonna do with these panels and not these. But these panels, and I’ll – put a link, look below the video down with the description like the upload date and I’ll, put a link to where I’m.

Getting these now in this ones case. There’s, no diode there’s, no wire there’s, no nothing! So what I want to do next is I’m going to solder on a diode. These have the diodes built-in, and so do these.

Now I find this one unusual because it doesn’t. Have it does not have the USB port? This one does have a USB port with a film resistor that produces 5.3 volts. I believe which is good for charging your cell phones alright.

Now, what we’ve done is we’ve got it set up to where we have 10 amp IC style Schottky diodes. Now I don’t know if you can see this, but I’m gonna kind of wave it around there, and hopefully you can. But there is some writing and on these diodes, the incoming side of voltage is going to be on the right side.

If you lay it down, like you see here, see that would be upside down. You see the back saw metal or the cooling on this side is, and this won’t need. This is just an amp and a half it won’t need any kind of cooling on it.

No, no heatsink not going to need it. The positive side, incoming from the solar panel will be on this side and the outgoing to the red wire to your charge, controller. Whatever will be on this side, so you have two sides to it: there’s, usually lettering that is on this side of it and that you can read.

I don’t know if I can get in there close enough. Hopefully, you can see some of that lettering. I don’t know if you can see that it’s kind of staggered. They’re, just staggered to one side, so that’s, going to give you an idea that is the incoming site.

So now what I’ve done is, I went ahead and I severed the bus tape right here, and this is the positive side see the plus, and I checked it also with my meter to guarantee that it is a functioning panel and went ahead And took screws out and we’re just going to be using standard 18 gauge style terminals 16 to 18 gauge – and I am using outdoor rated 16 gauge wire for this and we’re gonna strip.

It back one inch from the end, and this wire here will go in very good, so I & # 39, ve got the clamps removed and the wire will go in very nicely the best part about doing it. This way you see that, as I’m, able to put this diode here, if you have a regular diode, you can & # 39.

T really do this very well, but you can still do it. But this way I’m able to just a solder the two point right there and that’s. It just keep these two separated by the legs of the diode and that’ll.

Allow me to stagger it and see you notice the angle I cut it. I want you to pay attention there. I cut it at that angle on purpose, because I don’t want my diode touching my negative side and it’s. Going to stagger itself up to the top edge right up here, okay, so I’m gonna go ahead and get that soldered on and show you what that looks like, and then we’re going to take it outside and do A test on it and we’ll bolt test all these and we’re also going to for the pessimist crowd.

We are also going to take this cool little 8 amp controller and we’re, going to run it through it. So we’re gonna feed the power through and see what its features are because it’s. Pretty good little controller – and these are about $ 10 apiece – well worth it – you can order these in bulk from Aliexpress or you can get them on eBay or, as I get it for about five bucks, so that’s.

Why? I put the link to have the bottom of the video of Aliexpress. There’s, a hell of a reason for it. You save a lot of money. I had to wait two more days that’s about it, the the panel. Now we’re, going to get that soldered and we’ll.

Show you exactly what it’s, gonna look like when it’s done be aware that if you order these panels from that link, they don’t come with this, and if you want them with the diode in Them to 38 bucks, you want them without the diode, a 21 cent diode and a little your time.

They’re 21 bucks. Okay. So what we’re working with now is we have the diode installed, as you can see down in here, and there’s. The lettered side and over here is the outgoing side, and that would be the outgoing.

So we’re, going to go ahead and get my wire put in, and I’m just gonna thread it backwards because it was easier to put my terminals on it.’d. Be careful with this box. Do not jerk on these boxes. They are not exactly the strongest thing in the world, so we’re gonna go ahead and get the terminals installed and always leave your solar panel down face down in the dark because you don’t want to have a chance Of arcing a wire, while you’re doing this as long as they’re in the dark, they’ll produce no power unless they’re asti on or something ste ons will produce power in the dark.

It’s a little different. I put this video and speed motion right, quick, so we can get through this and just torque these with a just about enough that you’d, expect plastic to strip out don’t. Go no further than that now the clip that goes with them is shaped like this.

It’s actually made silly enough for a 12 gauge wire. You can run this on 20 gauge. So what I’m done is I’ve kind of flattened it a little bit and I’m turning it upside down to pinch it this wire down, and I’ll shove, the wire up a little Further than the sheathing on it, because I kind of worked it down to do this job go back into fast motion.

Here I get a lot of comments on my videos about my verbal skills. Appreciate that I guess a year ago I was a radio DJ used to be a lot of fun check. Them all want to make sure that your diode is not touching anywhere in here, and you can very carefully push that bus wire down.

That’s, your main bus wire – you can just push it down, so your diode should float fairly well and be a little above your bus wire, and you just want to make sure that your cover fits and snaps into place without any resistance.

So you’ll, move it back and forth, making sure it’s, not touching that and if it’s, not you can kind of pull up a little bit until it does and just slide it down. Underneath and snap into place, so now we have our wire.

I’ve already pulled the leads apart so that there’s, no chance of touching. When I turn the panel upright, we’re, going to go ahead and take this panel and these panels over here, and we’re, going to bring the panel’s out to the riding lawnmower that has a 40 amp Battery, I believe in it 165 cold cranking, that battery been sitting all winter, so we’re going to take these out.

These come with numerous different types of hardware with them. This one here has all kinds of parts and pieces with it. I’m a little skeptical of this panel here, but what we’re going to do. Is we’re, going to run them all through this controller? This controller will have an amp readout and voltage readout.

It’s, going to give us an idea of the three panels. What’s, the better buy this $ 30 panel that $ 28 panel or this $ 21 panel? That requires a little bit of your attention. Let’s. Go check them out now.

This is the twenty five dollar one. This is a Harbor Freight. Now that’s, 20 watts called 20 watts. This is a Harbor Freight five one. I believe it is battery charger really weak and people pay 30 bucks.

For those. This is the little little solar LAN that I’ve, been showing you. I did solder job on and then here is one that I find very questionable because of the type of material it’s made out of, but it might might work also.

20 watt. We’re. Looking at those four panels, now we’re, not even to worry about the Harbor Freight one. We’re, going to go straight to this solar land first. So what I’ve got over here is: I’ve got a starting battery voltage and you’re going to see here.

I’m gonna reach over and hit this starter, and you’ll, get to see the voltage move. So, oh, please, all that dropped down to twelve one, but the battery is holding at about twelve four. It’ll. Come back up to twelve for now Daniel is going to go ahead and connect those up together.

We’re, going to get an amp reading right up there. Where says a so it’s. 20 Watts point eight four amps. Alright, he’s. Gon na leave that on there for just a second [ Music ], we see the batteries coming up, so it’s, effectively charging the battery at just under an amp, so that 20 watt panel is probably fairly accurately rated.

Now we’re gonna go ahead and remove it, and we’re going to go to this one here. So let me pause and we’re, going to check this one out. We’ll. Put that one on the face of this one so that you get the same readings that panel is now mounted on the front of that one.

The wiring is run over and Daniels going to be hooking this one up and we’re looking down here at twelve point four volts, so I went ahead and ran the starter just just one little quick turn to make sure it’S stable doubt back it’s, twelve point four volts and he’s.

Gon na go ahead and hook that one up now this is the 20. I think four and a half twenty five dollar 1.46. So you’re. Flexible panel is putting out point four six, so a half an amp 20 watt panel, half an amp charge.

Now you got ta remember the charge. Controller does take a little bit of that [ Music ]. We’re, pushing just over an amp or just we’re, pushing just over happening, and it’s. Coming up. You notice that it’s.

Coming up could have something to do with the the Sun intensity or something, but right now the sun’s, not blocked by anything. It’s, just wintertime Sun. This is the end of January January, the 30th.

So there we go. There is that panel same angle as the other one, and it is kind of maxed out there block that a little bit kind of maxed out at point five, six amps all right, so that’s, not exactly as claimed all right.

Now so far the Solar land kicks there, but we’re gonna go ahead and disconnect this get the other one set up, and then we’re gonna put it right. On top of that one. Alright! Now we’ve gone ahead and got it changed over and you’ll, see by the different style clips, and this one here, laying right on the front of the other.

One and y & # 39. All make sure y & # 39. All do this, keep them apart! That’s, the ones from this middle panel. That is the this is the whatever they tell you how you pronounce that panel and we’re gonna set it right on the front here of the other ones, so everything being equal, we’re now going to hook it up Over here, what I’ve got here is I’ve, got the battery voltage back down to twelve point four.

What I’m doing is I’ll spin that starter just a little bit knock out whatever it tried to put in during this test and get us back to something that’s pretty static and that’S what we’re working with, so he’s, gonna go ahead and hook that one up and then we’re gonna get a reading of this panel here and you see I’m, not In it son, I’m over here, so its output is [, Music, ], basically about point six, four, so 2/3 of an amp.

So we had the solar land panel, which put out nearly an amp the middle panel. That is let’s, see and as it’s getting higher on the charge, I move the panel around you can see the voltage change, different Sun angles, change the panels outlet.

So I’m just waving it around down. Here now you can see that this panel produced seventy percent of its claim. This panel produced fifty percent of its claim, and this panel produced about eighty-five percent of its claim.

So you’re gonna see a list where each one of them come from. You can go read their specs make your judgments, but if you want to order that look at keep read down hit the show more and I’ll. Put where the Schottky diodes come from, how to use them? You’ve just seen in the video, and you can order these panels.

Solar land, the German company. You can order those panels. Yes, they’re made in China, but they’re made using the Q cell, and that is a good quality panel. This one here surprised me, I didn’t think it would actually even work.

So that is this brand here battery maintainer has a built in diode kind of a big diode. You might get more power out of this if you put a Schottky diode in it and this one here now, this one might be convenient because it does have a USB and it will charge your cell phone.

So there’s. Your obvious choices in your little 20 watt, camping helper solar market right there that little charge controller is the most efficient I can find for this test. So let’s see this panel here you can see here.

I’m just waving around out here in the Sun down up whatever the Sun angle. So as the battery gets closer to charge, it wants to shut off a little early, but that’s, not a bad panel, not terrible. Not for about 30 bucks, but you kind of getting what’s, paying for that SolarWorld outranks them all all right.

Guys y’all look towards some more stuff and we’re gonna try to figure out how to make awning covers with these. In for rvs thanks [, Music, ]