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Sunforce Solar Panels (CIGs 12v) and Battery Charger Kit (500012) Review of Sale Price

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Sunforce Solar Charging Kit

Sunforce  is a popular distributor of solar panels and solar battery chargers kits both through online and offline mediums.The company is  based based in Canada and sells products mostly in Europe (UK) and North America (USA,Ontario).The company sells products at Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot, Northern Tool, and others.While the company has said its a manufacturer,it seems to buy thin film solar panels which are both flexible and light from outside solar manufacturers.Their website does not mention where their factories are or what they produce.The company is mainly selling solar panels for battery charging and not for residential solar or commercial solar installations to generate large amounts of electricity.These solar battery kits are mainly used for charging batteries,for experimental uses since they sell these solar kits quite cheap or for remote areas.They include the complete system kit which has solar panels,batteries and charge controllers.

SunForce Solar Battery Chargers Kit Review

Sunforce sells three Battery Chargers 50012,50013 and 50038 of which the 1.8 watt solar battery charger 50012 is the most popular.The portable Sunforce 1.8 Watt Solar Battery Maintainer is used to charge the 12 volt batteries of automobiles, boats, tractors etc.It has Temperature Range: -40° to 176° F and Maximum Output 1.8 Watts.The weight is under 1 kg making it very light.

Buy Sunforce Solar Battery Kit

50038 Solar Battery Charger Kit

This Solar Battery Charger is used for Automobiles, RV’s. Boats, Tractors. ATV’s Electric Fences, Deer Feeders.It provides 13 watts at 12 volts.Uses the same amorphous silicon technology and weighs around 8 kgs.

Also Buy Sunforce LED Solar Motion Light

SunForce Solar Panels

SunForce is a distributor of Sharp Solar Panels which it sells in 80-170 Watt Range.These Solar Panels used Polycrystalline Technology and come with 25 year performance warranty from Sharp.

Sunforce Pro Series Solar Panels of 70 and 100 Watts are also sold.These Solar Panels use Thin Film Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide (“CIGS”) Solar Cells.Note Thin Film Solar Panels have lower efficiency than normal silicon solar panels.They have higher voltage and perform better in low light conditions than crystalline solar panels.

SunForce also sells Foldable and and combinations of low power solar panels with charge controllers.It also sells solar charge controllers separately just like in the case of solar panels.It sells charge controllers in the 7-50 Amperes.It also sells a MPTT from Phocos

SunForce Backup Power Generator Kits

SunForce sells backup power generator kits which are useful for abins, recreational vehicles, remote power, back-up power

SunForce Review

SunForce is a good marketer and distributor of solar and wind energy products,however it is not a manufacturer of these products.Buying Solar Panels from Sharp does not make too much sense as Sharp Solar Panels are expensive and on top of that you have to pay a margin to SunForce as well.SunForce Foldable and CIGs Thin Film 12V Solar Products also don’t list a manufacturer nor do their solar inverters.SunForce does not look like the type of company who could make a technologically advanced products like a CIGs Solar Panels.You are better off buying charge controllers and solar panels directly from manufacturers rather than using SunForce.For some Solar Battery Kits SunForce might make sense as they have a good distribution.

The Solar Industry is still in infancy so good marketers have an edge like SunForce which has built up an enviable supply chain with lots of distributors like Amazon,Costco etc.However when the big guns in the industry like Wal-Mart get into the distribution acts themselves,companies like SunForce which do not have any edge will find themselves in trouble.You would have a tough time getting their 5 year warranty enforced as well.So for small ticket low cost items SunForce might make sense but not for expensive solar products.

Read reviews of solar panels from  other companies

Types of Solar Panels

  1. Amorphous Silicon – Amorphous Silicon (a-Si) is the smaller cousin of the Polycrystalline Solar Panels ,the main difference being the amount of silicon being used on top of the glass substrates.Amorphous Silicon uses a fraction of the Silicon that is normally used in silicon solar panels.This means that the weight and cost of the solar panel is lower however the efficiency is also much lower.Earlier this technology has a lot of backers but after Applied Materials the biggest semiconductor equipment company abandoned this technology,most a-Si companies have gone under.However some companies like Sharp,Astroenergy are still backing this technology.Oerlikon the Swiss company has made improvement like introducing tandem junction to increase the efficiency.
  2. Polycrystalline Silicon Solar Panels – Polycrystalline Solar Panels are the most used Solar Panels on the planet.These Solar Panels are made out of Polycrystalline silicon which can be as much as 99.9999% pure (also known as 4N pure,the 4 denotes the number of 9s after the decimal point).Polysilicon was primarily used by the semi industry till 5-6 years ago and the electronic industry used 9N pure polysilicon.These panels have an efficiency of between 13%-17% depending on the quality of the Solar Cells being used.When you go out to buy normal solar panels,this is the solar panel that you will typically get from your solar panel retailer.Note they are available in a wide variety of power ratings going from as low as 5 watts to 250 watts or more.Its possible to buy very cheap Polycrystalline Solar Panels  due to the Solar Oversupply in the market.
  3. Copper Indium Gallium Diselenide (CIGs) Solar Panels –  This Thin Film Technology has the highest Solar Cell Efficiency and a number of established companies like TSMC,Q-Cells,Honda and startups like Miasole,Nanosolar,Solyndra are using this technology.However its production is not easy as four different materials are used.Miasole has been claiming to have achieved an efficiency of 13.8%.General range is between 11-14%.Note Solar Shingles being sold by Dow and Uni Solar also use this technology as its weight is much lower than normal silicon solar panels.CIGs Technology is also used in making flexible thin solar panels which can be used for camping,BIPV and other applications where weight is an issue.

Abhishek Shah

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