Possibility of lower PV prices this fall...Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts a 34% fall...

Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.

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  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 3,901Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    I am seeing a nice improvement in product warranty in at least 4 brands now. It use to be only Sunpower and Panasonic had 25 year product warranties. There are now 4 brands of solar panels. The price is fairly stable now for quality solar panels.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Posts: 4,662Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    I am seeing a nice improvement in product warranty in at least 4 brands now. It use to be only Sunpower and Panasonic had 25 year product warranties. There are now 4 brands of solar panels. 
    Are you talking manufacturing warranty? I think Output warranty has been 25 years for most manufacturers, certainly Evergreen, Suntech, Kyrocera, Have had output warranties that go 25 years.

    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • BB.BB. Posts: 27,699Super Moderators admin
    China has just reduced subsidies for their solar projects to make lower their costs of utility power... Chinese makers' stocks are dropping. Short term downwards price pressure. Longer term... Mfg. getting stressed and possibly failing?


    -Bill

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 3,901Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Photowhit said:
    I am seeing a nice improvement in product warranty in at least 4 brands now. It use to be only Sunpower and Panasonic had 25 year product warranties. There are now 4 brands of solar panels. 
    Are you talking manufacturing warranty? I think Output warranty has been 25 years for most manufacturers, certainly Evergreen, Suntech, Kyrocera, Have had output warranties that go 25 years.

    It is called product warranty from (my suppliers) but I suppose manufacturing warranty is the concept. Product warranty is completely different than output warranty.

    The problem for a buyer of solar is that if the panel stops working after the typical 10 or less year product warranty the manufacturer of the panel does not have to help in any way. Some will help but it is a battle.

    I think you are right Bill about the failing chinese panels from companies that I can't pronounce. They do make some very good panels also but unless I know the parent company I stay away. When I worked for HP in the 80's we opened China for business. We had some amazing products out of there but we always had a few parts that could not be copied embedded. 
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • DanS26DanS26 Posts: 235Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Manufacturing defects maaaaaay get a warranty replacement, but has anyone ever seen a production warranty claim ever satisfied?

    Dis-mounting a panel, then testing its production capacity against  its age, just never happens. The cost of all that testing, including shipping, is just too expensive.  

    Those production warranty promises are not worth the paper they are written on.
    18.2kW Kyocera panels; 2 Fronius 7.5kW inverters; Nyle hot water; Steffes ETS; Great Lakes RO; Generac 10kW w/ATS, TED Pro System monitoring with PVOutput.org
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 3,901Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Definitely not my experience. Warranties are worth quite a bit. I bet Bill the moderator would agree with me from his experience with BP on warranty. I also have had several clients get new panels. I want a really good warranty as that tells me I am not dealing with junk that I lose labor and reputation on. Testing an array that is intermittent is a PITA.

    If one wants they can research how a Sunpower panel is made. Also Panasonic and LG with their 25 year product warranties. It can be a good learning experience.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • cow_ranchercow_rancher Posts: 100Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Dave do you have a link to Sunpower/Panasonic/LG production & testing facilities?
  • EstragonEstragon Posts: 2,634Registered Users ✭✭✭✭
    A warranty is essentially an insurance policy, the cost of which is embedded in the price of the product. Done right, the cost to the company is limited, and the claims that do occur build confidence in a brand. Obviously though, the value of the insurance depends on the underwriter.

    If I was a decent brand producing in a price war, warranty would certainly be an advantage I'd want to press. Making life difficult for claimants would negate my brand advantage, and force me to compete on price alone. Not a happy place in a price war.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • BB.BB. Posts: 27,699Super Moderators admin
    BP replaced my 3.5kw array after 50% drop in output at 6 years.

    And xantrex replaced one failed inverter and upgraded one (bad capacitors from mfg.) The bad one was outside the warrantee period.

    Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Posts: 979Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    BB. said:
    BP replaced my 3.5kw array after 50% drop in output at 6 years.

    And xantrex replaced one failed inverter and upgraded one (bad capacitors from mfg.) The bad one was outside the warrantee period.

    Bill

    Strange, Both are major names in the industry and both had substantial issues with these two products. 
     BP ended getting out of PV module manufacture, entirely. 
     Xantrex had widespread issues with the GT series Grid Tie inverters. I believe the ECO-XXXX sticker at the bottom right was the indicator that the inverter had been fixed.

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric, 700 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

  • BB.BB. Posts: 27,699Super Moderators admin
    My 175 Watt panels failed at the junction box (connections to solar cells?). There was slight browning above the J-Box (looked like faint coffee stains under the top glass). Caused current output to fall in about 1/2 my panels. Entire array replaced.

    The ECO was because (as I recall) Polyester capacitors in a couple of GT inverters failed and caught fire (the Polyester capacitors vented acetylene gas when failing). I guess they could read the lot code (same) on most of the failed capacitors, but there were a few (one or two?) that Xantrex could not read the lot codes on the failed parts--So they recalled and replaced all of the poly caps in all inverters.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 3,901Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 9 #13
    I doubt that [any Chinese company] would have paid me to take care of a customer who had issues. BP was amazing to me even though I still get the chills when I think of the movie Deepwater Horizon with the man Mark Wallberg. Great movie, not so great for BP....

    No time for research Cowrancher but I will give you a link to one of my buds in Australia. Really funny guy.
    In the middle they explain how the panel is made. For decades it has allowed them to give more than twice the product warranty others did.
    They are still right down the street where we lived in the silicon valley. Although panels are made in mexico, philippines and china, I think.
    I have seen info on LG and Panasonic using the same techniques. In summer, in places where it cooks, all of these exceed max power weekly.

    https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/sunpower-solar-panels/

    Sometimes we had problems Bill with capacitor internals. When they were pulled out there was a service note to cut the leads as short as possible so no poor soul would ever use that capacitor again. :'(

    [editorial edit. -Bill B.]
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

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