PowerFilm F15-1200 Portable Solar Power for Ham Radio

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by OH8STN, Oct 8, 2017.

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  1. KJ4YQK

    KJ4YQK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am looking at the Powerfilm also. My setup is for a teardrop camper with a Norcold fridge, led lights, and fan. The rig will be the Flex 1500 with a laptop top and speakers. Getting ready to buy a Duracell AGM group 24 battery with 79 Amp hours...

    What is the amp hour on your battery?
    How does your panel perform in shaded or overcast skies?

    My goal is to be able to top off the battery during the daytime. I am thinking the 120 to 160 watts might do it.
  2. KM4DYX

    KM4DYX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think I once described us as "nut jobs" but I like "fanatic" better. Well said.

  3. W5HEH

    W5HEH XML Subscriber QRZ Page


  4. M6ECG

    M6ECG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hey Julian!

    ...SUPRISE!!! I'm back! Awesome review! I was looking at that PowerFilm and now I think I might have to save up and get some after seeing your vid!

    I just dusted off the radio this week and I'm testing everything still works! Hi Hi! Are you doing the RaDAR Challenge on Saturday? I think I might! Woohoo! Catch up soon! 73, Lucy
  5. KB3QEM

    KB3QEM Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Great setup! I have a similar setup on my QRZ page. I have both a high power kit and a low power kit.
  6. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Rather than a PowerFilm panel, you might consider purchasing an actual military issue solar panel instead.

    Unlike commercially manufactured folding solar panels, the militarized panels are extremely rugged and contain a special protective coating membrane (ETFE) which is not found in any other folding solar panels on the market.

    It's mil-spec in every way. The operating temperature range is -40 below to 176 degrees and there's even videos on you tube showing the military driving over it with a tank and even shooting bullets through it, and it still keeps on going ! :)

    My portable setup here:



    These military issue solar panels are 100% the real deal.


    I think 42 watts of military issue CIGS solar panel for $175 is the bargain of the century as far as i'm concerned. So if you're seriously considering purchasing a new folding solar panel in 2018, you can get one of them right here at this link:

    Ebay Link
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2017
  7. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's always nice to have options.
    The PowerFilm panels don't require sun soaking time like the CIGS panels. The CIGS solar panel, unless it's actively used, will output about 50% of its rated capacity out of the box. It will take 2 days of sun soaking to come to full power.
    They are awesome, and they are rugged, but I understand the cycle starts again if you put the solar panel back in storage.
    Other than the sun soaking requirement, I think these are absolutely magnificent panels.
    Thanks for the link, I think I'm going to buy one to compare.

    Julian oh8stn
  8. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Try one out Julian! :)

    It's a whole lot of military grade solar panel for the right price and i'm completely satisfied with the fantastic charging performance of mine. :)

    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
    OH8STN likes this.
  9. AG6ZZ

    AG6ZZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    According to the eBay seller:
    "Please note that our in-house testing has shown the panels output about 50% of its rated capacity out of the box. Even after sun-soaking the CIGS cells for a few days did not improve their performance."

    Since these weigh about twice as much as a similarly rated PowerFilm panel, to get the same actual performance, it will be about four times the weight and surface area.

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