Nature Power 215-Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel - feedback please

Paul_R

New Member
I'm putting together a system for my travel trailer and I see these are on sale at Home Depot for a great price. I've never heard of Nature Power and online reviews are virtually nonexistent. I'm wondering how they compare to the bigger names like Rich, ect., as far as quality and performance. Thanks


Nature Power 215-Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
 

Bryanbr

Solar Enthusiast
I'm putting together a system for my travel trailer and I see these are on sale at Home Depot for a great price. I've never heard of Nature Power and online reviews are virtually nonexistent. I'm wondering how they compare to the bigger names like Rich, ect., as far as quality and performance. Thanks


Nature Power 215-Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel

There are no extensive reviews of these panels online. I took a gamble on them because I should be able to return them to Home Depot.

I'll post a review soon. I have 4 of those on order. At $154 they are cheaper than any new 200 watt solar panel for sale online that I can find.

I had to pay $30 for the BougeRV MC4 kit so I can replace the SAE connectors with MC4. So the price is more like $160 per panel.

Maybe Nature Power is end of lifing this product because of the dumb use of the SAE connector and coming out with a line that supports MC4?
 

Paul_R

New Member
There are no extensive reviews of these panels online. I took a gamble on them because I should be able to return them to Home Depot.

I'll post a review soon. I have 4 of those on order. At $154 they are cheaper than any new 200 watt solar panel for sale online that I can find.

I had to pay $30 for the BougeRV MC4 kit so I can replace the SAE connectors with MC4. So the price is more like $160 per panel.

Maybe Nature Power is end of lifing this product because of the dumb use of the SAE connector and coming out with a line that supports MC4?

The connector is a non issue as I plan to butt splice the series connections but yeah, the SAE connector is pretty dumb and one post said the output wires aren't even 10 awg.
 
Last edited:

jimcalf

New Member
The connector is a non issue as I plan to butt splice the series connections but yeah, the SAE connector is pretty dumb and one post said the output wires aren't even 10 awg.
I just opened mine up that I picked up at Home Depot yesterday. I also bought four of the 215W panels. These are the first panels I've ever purchased, so I can't compare them to anything else. They seem ok, but definitely the wiring is a small gauge. I was planning on a 2S2P config, so the voltage will only be about 47v with no increase in amperage, box says IP67 rated to 1000V, so... should be ok? I sent a quick email to Nature Power asking a) to confirm that wiring two panels is series is ok, b) what is the wire gauge, and c) to confirm that the wires are UV rated for outdoor use. Kinda crazy that I even need to ask that question, but there is just so little info on these panels. I'll follow up here if they respond.
 

Bryanbr

Solar Enthusiast
Kinda crazy that I even need to ask that question, but there is just so little info on these panels. I'll follow up here if they respond.

I know. It's hard to believe there's this product offered by a Big Box store and no one has ever done a decent YouTube review of these panels.

They do mention in their installation instructions about connecting panels in series.

"Precautions when working with Charge Controllers
If two or more solar panels are connected in series/parallel make sure that the sum of the short

circuit current ratings of all panel strings does not exceed 80% of the charge controller’s current rating".

The whole idea of a panel that could not be connected in series would be ridiculous. They do offer a kit for connecting 4 of these parallel with a charge controller.
 

Paul_R

New Member
Think I'll pass on these, that 14 ga wire is a serious red flag to me. Makes me wonder what else they skimped on that I have no way of checking....
 

jimcalf

New Member
I figure if they turn out to be too lousy I can turn them into some 400W portable suitcases. I never seem to be able to park in the sun due to living in the east coast with so many trees. Having two 400W suitcases that I can actually angle at the sun could be pretty helpful.
 

jimcalf

New Member
I tested my$154 Home Depot Special 215W Nature Power panels today. I was limited by the 25V/10A GoPower solar controller that came with my trailer. I'm still waiting for my new Victron 100/50. I could only test one panel at a time, but they worked fine. Its lousy Cleveland sunshine in late November, but I was able to max out the solar controller at about 10.2 amps at the best part of the day, putting out 14.7V into a flooded battery I also took from my trailer. It's possible they were producing more power, but I was limited by the SSC. Over paneled with one 200W panel. Lol. Also, today the panels are a crazy high cost of $409 per panel. Home Depot pricing is very odd. Either way too high, or super cheap. Anyway, they look Ok. The 10' 14 awg leads will be fine at 10A max, and provide some flexibility I would not have had with shorter cables. I have to replace the SAE with MC4 anyway, so I can trim the leads to how long I need them for my 2S2P four panel layout. I will be buying better Z brackets. The ones that came with them only have one hole for the hex cap screws that go into the plywood. With panels this large, I'd like at least two screws into the plywood roof per bracket. The Renogy Z-brackets are on sale for $$28.69 for four sets of four kits, which isn't bad, so I think I'll grab those.
 

Bryanbr

Solar Enthusiast
$154?!?!? Take it and run!!! I don't have that option at my Home Depot. :(

View attachment 73476

These panels make no sense at $400. Does anyone know the rational behind Home Depot's pricing?

Obviously, you can buy 200 watt panels from multiple vendors at around $200, so these panels won't sell in quantity at $400. It's almost like Home Depot doesn't want to sell these panels.
 
Top