Fivestar panels

One way of telling if its BS, is to look a the area of the panel and see what its efficiency works out to be. Unknown panels at 21% or above efficiency is probably a fake claim. Often you can crosscheck the listed area vs the listed efficiency at 1000Wp/m2 to spot an exaggerated claim.

I found these Fivestar panels on the web. The physical dimensions are not mentioned. It would also seem like the 540W panel is also described as a 450W panel later.

Whatever about the panels, the seller doesn’t inspire me with confidence.

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I typically see people get antsy when those asking questions venture into category faults… Now, sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know and the only way is to ask.

To illustrate, asking “Sunsynk vs Victron” gets you a quite civilised discussion around support (see elsewhere on forum), perceived quality, value-for-money and so-on. Everyone adds their own anecdata, but we roughly agree on what we’re discussing because these two fundamentally aim to achieve the same thing. (Mostly, sit down.)

If you then say “vs Growatt”, things get a bit hairy because it operates in a completely different category. If you know this, you can debate which category is important to you and select accordingly. Of course a Victron system will be a colossal waste of money if all you need is an offline Axpert. But most people say they only need X, but forget about support, midnight blackouts and, somehow the law. Then we get into fights not about the product, but about the category.

As I’ve said in previous threads, many times we mischaracterise what a thing is because we want to apply different rules to it than what actually apply. This is wrong.

So… @Speedster, the experts are warning you based on the minimum requirement for a specific category of device (according to them). If you ask “Growatt vs Axpert” you should get better answers, but “product from category A” vs “product from category B” will get people all prickly.

So I think we should ask in the form of “I want to achieve this level of X given Y budget, would a Z inverter (or panel) do that or should I lower my expectations or increase my budget?”.

And the rest of us should remember that it takes a long time for a newcomer to understand why we product-bash. A little more helpful category-identification would be better at the beginning.


In this case I’d take the Growatt. It is prettier.


You may want to look here for some background on planning all this…

Its not quite complete yet, will find some time in the near future…


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Five star seems to be a popular brand name for just about anything. Inverters, batteries, panels, lights, barber shops, bottle stores….

Later on you may also notice 7 star for all of the above. It’s another name for an unknown brand. It’s lucky a lucky packet. You could end up with a really good buy or a really terrible one. A five star panel today may not be the same as a five star panel tomorrow. Actually, 2 five stars today may not even be the same.

There is definitely a market for these but I doubt that the market includes being coupled to a sunsynk and pylontech.

Chances are also that there is no quality control with them. If these panels are in a large string of 6-8 panels as you are planning for a sunsynk, and 1 or 2 panels are faulty, can you imagine the nightmare of trying to fault find. Worse still, if you end up with problems after say a year. You will probably not find the supplier or the supplier won’t have stock.

Is that 10k saving still going to be worth it after spending around 100k and you end up having issues.

As others have said, don’t cut corners. Nothing wrong with starting small and growing your system.

I started off with a 5kw sunsynk with 2 pylontech us3000 and 5x 365w panels. I slowly grew my system, made changes, moved panels around to get to where I am today. This way, my system grew with my needs and I could also assess what my requirements were along the way. It obviously helped that I could do all of it by myself and I didn’t have to pay installers to come out multiple times.

Also, use fit for purpose and approved equipment. Sunsynk is nrs approved, growatt isn’t. Go for tier 1 panels the same applies when planning cabling, circuit breakers, fuses, etc.

Like buying Tassenberg wine. In a good year, you can strike it lucky. Most of the time you don’t.

Though on that topic… in the last 30 years I have only ONCE bought a bottle of wine so bad that it got chucked down the drain. Nogal from a reputable wine farm too. The rest of the time I buy from the bargain bins down at “Mooiberge farm stall” and all of it is pretty drinkable. Why? Cause SA makes good wine, even the bad ones are rarely complete crap. Sadly the same is not true of inverters.

Ah, the memories of buying five cases of selected reds @ Mooiberg stall, because I knew we were going back to Gauteng via train :grinning:

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Ok, the near future is here, copied and posted the rest of the writeup for the planning and design thread…



Cudos @mariusm, one of the best summaries EVER on the “debates” that happen.

I’m so glad this matter has been “resolved”. :laughing:

I am not so sure, I have read somewhere that the OP still want to self install… I guess we would still need to explain why someone would need to spend money on fuses and if 35mm battery cable can be replaced with cheaper 6mm… :thinking::joy:

O dear, I missed that … hope he makes a study of Sarel’s post.

Cause as I’ve concluded, some things are just not worth it UNLESS you are really into DIY’ing, have the time and TOOLS, yeah, the tools is a whole new thread here, can afford the mistakes and most importantly, you can sleep with eyes wide shut in the deep of night when the rain has been blown horizontally for the last week.

You guys make me laugh. I related to whoever BlueNova’s Facebook guy is how a family member of mine almost burned his garage down while toying with batteries. Their response was: That’s the best way to learn…

So yeah… maybe :slight_smile:

I disagree. That is the second-best way to learn. The best way to learn is almost burning down a family member’s garage. :rofl:


Isn’t the purpose of a forum like this to be able to ask those questions?

I will first answer in pm, if you then agree, i will repost my answer here?

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My two cents:

I would say that is true, to an extent, but you also can’t expect the guy who’s income is tied to installing to give away true expertise for free.

So you will definitely get responses from a large number of enthusiasts, but they can’t take responsibility for any advice that was dangerous or illegal. They will also only (probably) answer what you ask, and not necessarily what you don’t ask. Those can be the most critical oversights.

At the end of the day, installation is a relatively cheap part of the whole thing. And if you do your research with regards to the installer, it will be correct. And you have support going forward.

If you have money to pay school fees with, and want to pay school fees with, do it yourself. Otherwise factor in the installation as part of your system’s cost, and rather take your time, which is likely to be limited as this isn’t your day job, to understand the system as best as possible in order to optimise your return on investment.

Because every system is unique, either in hardware or in the demands that would be placed on it, I’ll leave the reasonably standard part to an expert, and take on the unique part yourself.


Most definitely it is, but there is “smell of attitude” once you don’t like some of the answers people gave you :smiley: :wink:

People here give best possible advice based on years of experience in the industry…and best thing is : its free…there aren’t many things in life thats free :slight_smile:


Which answers didn’t I like?

Nothing wrong with asking questions. However, I think your growatt vs sunsynk thread was a bit unnecessarily long. I think every response to your question was sunsynk and eventually people said choose growatt so that you can eventually learn the hard way.

I know you are very active on 2 other forums and the advice that is often given there is, to me, very biased / based on personal installation or based on egos, or based on ulterior motives like pushing certain brands for profits.

Majority of the older members on this forum have victron, I have however not seen any of them force people to go victron or say nothing else is good. They have however stated facts, and regulations in stating why certain brands should be avoided for certain applications.

I am an electronic engineer by qualification but my knowledge with regards to solar installations is nothing compared to the other senior members here. On the other 2 forums, most of the people do 1 installation by themselves and then think they are experts on everything solar related. Even worse, some just have a system installed by others and believe they are now experts.

Honestly, an installation is not too difficult if you are a hands on person but you need to be prepared to read and learn. If you are doing it by yourself, it doesn’t mean just follow what advise people give you, it’s your responsibility to ask why and you check the corresponding standards to verify the advise that you get.


Thanks for this. I guess every forum has its own culture and it takes a while to know how each different community operates. Another forum is, for example, very sensitive about questions regarding a specific battery they sell. Finding the “right” answer between all the various opinions is quite a journey and on the whole most people are indeed very helpful.

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