Aims Power PV120Case foldable solar panel

SameGuy

Observer
After spending an inordinate amount of time researching panels I settled on the Aims Power PV120Case foldable solar panel. Having a little extra capacity (120W) over other 100w panels and its small folded size and light weight were the main factors and at $225 it seemed like a no brainer.

What I didn't realize when I bought it was that it has no loops or grommets or any way to secure it to anything. It is rigid enough to lean against something to get a decent angle but I need to be able to secure it to my hood or roof rack when we are parked, mainly to keep it from blowing away.

I was thinking about glueing some magnets to the back side to allow it to be stuck to the hood of my truck, or adding loops to the 4 corners which would allow me to use bungie cords to secure it. Not sure how but maybe hot glue as it remains flexible when dry. Also wondering if anyone would recommend putting grommets in the 4 corners? They would have to go through the substrate of the panel outside of the cell as there is so little cloth material on the edge. I'm most hesitant about this last option. I really hate to drill through my new panel and risk damaging it.

If anyone has any suggestions or ideas I'd greatly appreciate it.
.IMG_1964.jpgIMG_1965.jpgIMG_1966.jpg
 

john61ct

Adventurer
Do not puncture the actual panel!

Strong magnets sounds good, can improvise a steel angle frame if needed later.

But research a proper adhesive (3M, Sika) that will abide high temps and stresses over time.

e.g. 3M 5200FC Marine Adhesive Sealant 5200


Or stitch a pocket, look better, also prevent scratching.
 

SameGuy

Observer
Thank you for the suggestions. I wandered around my local big box hardware store for a while and found some Homax tarp clips. They grip rather tenaciously and were super cheap. Looks like a decent solution.
tarpclip1.jpg
 

Scoutn79

Adventurer
I am about ready to pull the trigger on this panel.
Have you had a chance to use it yet? How do you like it?

Darrell
 

SameGuy

Observer
I am about ready to pull the trigger on this panel.
Have you had a chance to use it yet? How do you like it?

Darrell
I like the panel. I haven't had a chance to use it in real world camping but in my driveway, it provided over 22 volts @ 110 watts when it was laying flat on the ground with direct sun. I would think it could easily reach its rated 120 watts if properly aimed. The issue with securing it is still there. The tarp clips seem to hold it fast, good enough for a stationary setup. There is so little material outside of the actual panel I don't see being able to sew anything to it, possibly an adhesive could be used but I haven't researched that enough and probably won't do it. It is well made and folds up nicely. In order to get the most power out of it I recommend a MPPT controller for sure with the panels high voltage.
 

Scoutn79

Adventurer
I like the panel. I haven't had a chance to use it in real world camping but in my driveway, it provided over 22 volts @ 110 watts when it was laying flat on the ground with direct sun. I would think it could easily reach its rated 120 watts if properly aimed. The issue with securing it is still there. The tarp clips seem to hold it fast, good enough for a stationary setup. There is so little material outside of the actual panel I don't see being able to sew anything to it, possibly an adhesive could be used but I haven't researched that enough and probably won't do it. It is well made and folds up nicely. In order to get the most power out of it I recommend a MPPT controller for sure with the panels high voltage.
I went ahead and purchased the panel and a MPPT controller for it. Haven't been able to do much other than make sure it works so far. I will be using it next week for 6 days while the truck is stationary running the fridge and charging cameras, phones etc.
I do like the panel and agree with you about the quality. Loops missing is really a missed opportunity IMO and would really add to the usefulness.
It looks like all this is is a few flexible panels with a nylon jacket sewn through the edges of the panel. I "think" it would be just fine to sew loops right in line with the factory sewing. I will contact Aims and see what they say about warranty issues.

Darrell
 

Scoutn79

Adventurer
3M marine adhesive #5200, very flexible polyurethane, incredibly strong, i.e. permanent.

Do the magnet in a little pocket so it can be swapped out, maybe loops at the same time

Or something like this?
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B072HYPSYB/ref=psdcmw_3737161_t1_B01N7OQOJA
I am more in favor of an idea that won't scratch the paint on the truck. I like your magnets in a pouch with loops sewn on at the same time. I have a few flat Neodymium magnets laying around looking for a home.
I sent an email off to Aims. I am sure it will void the warranty if I sew through it just as they did but we'll see. Doesn't hurt to ask.

Darrell
 

Scoutn79

Adventurer
I will say one thing for Aims there response time to my email wss lighting fast...must've been a slow day.

Not sure they were following what I wanted to do exactly but the reply was what I expected....
If I were to sew right over they sewing it wouldn't hit any wiring...especially since I would sew on the edges.
I have some of those clips you showed so I will just use those for now.

I did compress the emails as it was very spread out and removed personal info.

My question
Good day.
I recently purchased a PV120case solar panel. I noticed there are no sewn in loops to be able to hold it in place against wind or to hang/prop-up. Based on the design it looks to me that this is a few flexible panels with a nylon jacket sewn on to keep it all together.
It looks like nylon webbing could be sewn along the same line as the original sewing through the panel without causing any damage. Would this work? I have access to an industrial sewing machine for doing heavy canvas work.
Any other suggestions?

Thank you for your time

Darrell Tuxworth

Aimes reply

Hello,

We recommend using Velcro as sewing through the panel itself can damage the internal wiring and cause the panel to stop working.

Thank you,

9550 Gateway Drive
Reno, NV 89521
T: 775-359-6703
F: 775-359-6753



Disclaimer: All recommendations made by our staff are based upon the information provided from the customer and our best judgment. All drawings, designs and photographs are approximate, and should be followed, inspected and verified by a licensed professional before installation. All specifications, wattages, amperages, voltages and frequencies must be provided by the customer. We cannot be held liable for incorrect installation or misinformation based upon the numbers provided.
 

TantoTrailers

Well-known member
Curious about this panel guys!! How is it in the real world?! I am about to pull the trigger on this one. I like those clips too!
 

Scoutn79

Adventurer
Curious about this panel guys!! How is it in the real world?! I am about to pull the trigger on this one. I like those clips too!
I have only had the chance to use it once so far. For 6 days while the truck sat at camp and all it had to do was keep the battery topped off running and Engel fridge.
Due to the trees around camp there was little direct sunlight on the panel and some days were overcast at the best times for sun so it didn't get any full sun.
The panel coupled with a MPPT controller put out, what I thought, was a good amount of current during low light times.
I am happy with it and it suits my needs just fine. I have taken it with me on a couple other trips but due to me moving every couple of days I didn't need to put the panel out.
I really like how compact it is. It is much easier to store in the truck than my little 30W rigid was and definitely easier that the 100W for the camper.

Darrell
 

Photobug

Well-known member
I have only had the chance to use it once so far. For 6 days while the truck sat at camp and all it had to do was keep the battery topped off running and Engel fridge.
I like the folding/storage configuration of this panel but seems like a far from ideal panel for setting up a stand and aiming it towards the sun.

Have you found a way to set up a stand and keep it aimed at the sun?
 

Scoutn79

Adventurer
I like the folding/storage configuration of this panel but seems like a far from ideal panel for setting up a stand and aiming it towards the sun.

Have you found a way to set up a stand and keep it aimed at the sun?
I'm not one to spend too much time chasing the sun with the panel. I may try to set the panel in such a way to catch the most sun at the high point of the day that way it is roughly half way so in the morning and evening and I get the most power from the sun but that's about as far as I go. The MPPT helps some too.
It isn't as easy to keep propped up as a rigid panel but definitely easier than a blanket. I just prop it up against the windshield, lay it on the hood/roof or hang it form the side using the clips mentioned in this thread.

Darrell
 
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