Before heading down to the marina to install the solar panels, I wanted to test them to ensure that the three in the kit were producing power. If not it’ll be a short hop back to where we bought them
Although this kit was made in China (what isn’t?) it was well-packed. Each panel and the controller box were separately packed in styrofoam and in their own boxes. There was no damage, and all parts were there. I unpacked the power controller box and cables first. It appears to be a solid unit and seems to be of good quality.
Next I unpacked the stand. I wasn’t really impressed with the design, but taking into account the price of this kit, I didn’t expect much. It doesn’t screw together, but the pieces slip together. The weight of the stand and panels help to hold it together. I won’t be using the stand when I install it on the boat, so this part doesn’t really matter to me.
I then unpacked the panels. They were carefully packed as the rest of the items. They were heavier than I expected, but that is probably a good thing. They look to be good quality. After sitting them in the stand on my patio, I connected each up to the controller and checked the output voltage. I wasn’t expecting a very high output because while I was hooking them up, they were in almost full shade with just a sliver of sunlight on the middle of two of the panels. Each had voltage, and when I connected all three, the controller showed 14.2 volts. My voltmeter is at the boat, so I could not verify the accuracy. I plugged my phone into the USB slot on the controlled and was happy to see that it immediately started charging even with the mostly-shaded panels.
More to come when I take them to the boat and start designing the mounting.