Tested: Projecta 180W solar panel

Projecta’s latest range of solar panels offers more power in an easy-to-use package.

Projecta 180W solar panel
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PROJECTA makes a wide range of solar panels and we’ve been using their 180W folding solar panel on the last few trips, ensuring our fridges stay cold and there is ample power to run all the other devices we seem to have accumulated.

These monocrystalline 12-volt panels produce up to 11amp, or so they say. We managed to get 9amp out of it on a sunny, warm day in eastern Victoria, but only when the unit was facing directly into the sun. Like any solar panel the current supplied drops off pretty quickly whenever the unit is not facing the sun directly or a wispy cloud comes over; take note all you power-hungry travellers.

If you want to know what each appliance demands in power, the size solar panel you need, and the average hours of sunlight in each state, go to: www.projecta.com.au/select-solar-panel-size

4 X 4 Australia Gear Projecta 180 W Solar Panel 3
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These solar panel kits come with a solar charge controller with digital readout that keeps a continuous check on the power situation and the power the unit is delivering; it’s bloody handy.

The solar controller itself delivers a 4-stage charge and features multi-chemistry technology that allows the user to set the charging profile to suit the battery type (ie: gel, AGM, wet and calcium), while protecting against overcharging and solar discharge. If only every solar panel came with such a controller and read-out!

The seven scratch-resistant monocrystalline panels that make up the complete unit have a protective mat coating to improve durability and scratch resistance, while for superior strength and reduced weight, the solar panels’ backing is constructed from tough-wearing fibreglass. In all, the unit weighs about 8.3kg, which is lighter than many units of similar output that I’ve used.

"It’s relatively lightweight, packs down to a handy size, and produces enough power to ensure our fridges keep running"
4 X 4 Australia Gear Projecta 180 W Solar Panel 4
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Over the years I’ve used a wide range of solar panels including quite a few folding units. This is the one I now carry wherever we go – it’s relatively lightweight and packs down to a handy size, produces enough power to ensure our fridges keep running, is easy to set up and you can continuously monitor the power output and the performance of the panels under different weather conditions ensuring you get the most battery power from the sun.

AVAILABLE FROM: www.projecta.com.au/folding-solar-panel-kits

RRP: Less than $1000 if you shop around.

WE SAY: Easy to use with good power output, while monitoring power output continuously is a big plus.  

 

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Ron Moon
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