Anyone hear of Axitec Panels?

mstgkillrmstgkillr Registered Users, Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 9 ✭✭
Anyone hear of Axitec Panels?

Comments

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,509 ✭✭✭✭
    I've heard of them though I'm not sure that means much. The manufacturers come and go. That includes a few big names such as BP.

    I really have no idea how to figure out panel quality and probably longevity without viewing the panel. Topoint made nice looking reputable panels and went under......
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • mstgkillrmstgkillr Registered Users, Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 9 ✭✭
    softdown said:
    I've heard of them though I'm not sure that means much. The manufacturers come and go. That includes a few big names such as BP.

    I really have no idea how to figure out panel quality and probably longevity without viewing the panel. Topoint made nice looking reputable panels and went under......
    What do you consider to be some of the better panels on the market today? LG?
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,509 ✭✭✭✭
    mstgkillr said:
    softdown said:
    I've heard of them though I'm not sure that means much. The manufacturers come and go. That includes a few big names such as BP.

    I really have no idea how to figure out panel quality and probably longevity without viewing the panel. Topoint made nice looking reputable panels and went under......
    What do you consider to be some of the better panels on the market today? LG?
    I have no way of knowing. There is something to be said for buying from a huge company such as Panasonic or LG if warranty becomes an issue. I have not had too much success with warrantees....pro-rating and stuff. I might be inclined to buy a lesser name and buy some extra panels. Thats just me and how I tend to look at things.

    I know poster BB was able to get manufacturer BP to honor their warranty...
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,006 admin
    My panels originally cost $10 per watt (~$35,000 "worth" of panels) ~15 years ago. Today, new, they are worth less than $3,500.

    And the installer wanted $500 for the 100% replacement because it was >5 years since the original install (was ~6 years).

    Today--It is difficult to justify worrying much about the warranty vs how how long the companies will last these days to support the warranty.

    Buy good quality panels (always a question about how to do that with mfg's changing names/going out of business at the drop of a hat) and cross your fingers.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mstgkillrmstgkillr Registered Users, Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 9 ✭✭
    BB. said:
    My panels originally cost $10 per watt (~$35,000 "worth" of panels) ~15 years ago. Today, new, they are worth less than $3,500.

    And the installer wanted $500 for the 100% replacement because it was >5 years since the original install (was ~6 years).

    Today--It is difficult to justify worrying much about the warranty vs how how long the companies will last these days to support the warranty.

    Buy good quality panels (always a question about how to do that with mfg's changing names/going out of business at the drop of a hat) and cross your fingers.

    -Bill
    So what is the best way to even attempt to determine a good panel?

    I've received a few quotes but I'm kinda lost on which one is the best.

    Contractor 1
    9.99 kW - (37) Axitec AC-270M/156-60S panels and Fronius Primo 12.5 kW inverter for $25,525 or $2.56/watt
    12.42 kW - (46) Axitec AC-270M/156-60S panels and Fronius Primo 12.5 kW inverter for $30,979 or $2.49/watt
    11.77 kW - LG panels and Enphase S280 microinverters for $34,117 or $2.90/watt

    Contractor 2
    10.92 kW - (39) Axitec AC-280M/156-60S panels and Enphase S280 microinverters for $29,484 or $2.70/watt
    10.92 kW - (39) LG 315W panels and Enphase S280 microinverters for $31,668 or $2.90/watt

     
       
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,006 admin
    Do you have some reason that Micro Inverters look better to you?

    I, personally, am biased towards central inverters (easier to replace--but I have  a 2nd story installation and a relatively steep roof which makes micro inverter R&R more expensive).

    However--Some of the newer electric codes are better addressed with micro inverters vs remote disconnects/arc fault/ground fault detection for a central inverter.

    You also need to look very closely at your power company's requirements and what rate plan option(s) you may have.

    There are good plans that can save you lots of money (more or less, your $/kWH costs are under $0.15 or even $0.10 per kWH) vs power costs (in California, we are getting ~$0.20 to $0.40 per kWH--The more power you use, the more you pay--Basically like going to Costco and paying 2x the local market price to get the big box stuff).

    Some utilities are paying you $0.06 per kWH or less for power you generate and you have to buy it back at retail.

    It is the rate plan that will determine if GT solar will save you money or not--And in 10 years, the state PUC may pull the rug out from under you anyway.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,509 ✭✭✭✭
    My question might be....What percentage of panels go bad?

    Doesn't seem like anybody know how to determine if panels are well made and will last a long time.

    Seems like the names are constantly changing...
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,006 admin
    Over 50% of my BP 175 panels went bad... It took about a month of noticing my system was not producing very well--Then seeing output fall to about 1/2 my expected average noontime power on my GT inverter before I was "sure enough" to call my contractor.

    My panels' issue was a design (or manufacturing) error with the sealed J-Box--The junction box was overheating and you could see very light coffee colored staining just above the J-Box through the top glass. And Isc was 1/2 of what it should be on ~1/2 of the panels. (I think BP would do a full replacement if >20% of the panels were bad--If I recall correctly from ~6-8 years ago).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,509 ✭✭✭✭
    What in the world was the worlds second largest oil exploration company doing making solar panels? Oil exploration is immensely profitable if one can ride out the dry holes with super deep pockets.

    Solar panel manufacturing? Do any of them make real money?
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,006 admin
    edited February 2017 #11
    Talk to the Federal Government and their attacks on "Big Oil". Just like a lot of other "green washing" initiatives by many other governments and companies around the world.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BP_Solar
    In 1981, BP acquired initially 50% of Lucas Energy Systems which became Lucas BP Solar Systems.[3] The company became wholly owned by BP in the mid-1980s.[citation needed] In 1999 it increased its stake in the American Solarex plant to 100%.[citation needed] In 2004, the R&D part of BP Solar was sold to the UK's National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec). In 2013, it became Solar Capture Technologies.[4] In 2010, it closed down the factory at Frederick, Maryland.[5] BP Solar was closed on 21 December 2011 when BP announced its departure from the solar energy business.[6]
    For awhile--There was lot of tax payer monies in "going green". Now, the money is going away:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/18/business/international/once-a-darling-spanish-solar-company-abengoa-faces-reckoning.html?_r=0

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,650 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think, in general, solar panels are very reliable. When I heard about Bill's problems I was very surprised and hadn't heard about mass panel failures other than Kyocera (switching manufacturing technics to lead-less leads) and BP. Both were big companies and honored their warranties. I think both of these are over 10 years ago. I think Photowatt had a problem with diodes about 2000 when they tried to produce a $5 a watt panel. I/we do hear about panels outside of the U.S. that are counterfeit or poorly documented. But it's rare here. Guess there is some advantage to our litigious society. 

    Solar panels are pretty simple, and I've never had one fail of the 40 or so I've owned (over 5 watts). It's pretty rare to hear about failure on the forums. I have 3 that were made in 1980!  (one still in use running a water pump for hydroponic setup.) I suspect the no iron prism glass would cost more than today's panels.

    FWIW, I have 4 - 250 watt Axitec panels (I'm sure enough to say that, but couldn't find my PDF folder) They were in a ware house accident and I picked them up for @$250(total) and some hassle getting them home. They all had scared aluminum frames. All seem to produce well. I put them up just this fall and only use them on cloudy days for a boost right now. I haven't tested to see what their output is, only that they were producing. Not much of value in terms of info only that at least these survived...lol.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,509 ✭✭✭✭
    BB. said:
    Talk to the Federal Government and their attacks on "Big Oil". Just like a lot of other "green washing" initiatives by many other governments and companies around the world.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BP_Solar
    In 1981, BP acquired initially 50% of Lucas Energy Systems which became Lucas BP Solar Systems.[3] The company became wholly owned by BP in the mid-1980s.[citation needed] In 1999 it increased its stake in the American Solarex plant to 100%.[citation needed] In 2004, the R&D part of BP Solar was sold to the UK's National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec). In 2013, it became Solar Capture Technologies.[4] In 2010, it closed down the factory at Frederick, Maryland.[5] BP Solar was closed on 21 December 2011 when BP announced its departure from the solar energy business.[6]
    For awhile--There was lot of tax payer monies in "going green". Now, the money s going away:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/18/business/international/once-a-darling-spanish-solar-company-abengoa-faces-reckoning.html?_r=0

    -Bill
    Thanks...interesting read on Abengoa. They lost over a billion dollars last year. Spain is in no position to prop them up.

    Government funding can be useful for getting a new technology off the ground. Yet I tend to suspect that private investors will fill the gap if the investment looks viable.

    Obama, and other like minded "socialists", often think government has the answers and solutions to our problems. Frequently looks good on paper. Yet their real world track record is questionable....at best.

    Wind power seems to gaining more traction in the windy American west. People like to say "The wind can blow 24 hours/day." A big problem is that, last I checked, the wind speed should be in between 15 and 30 mph.

    With the continued collapse of solar panel prices, that should make solar power adventures capable of self support. But....dammit....we need more bullet proof batteries. Why is this country seemingly unfriendly to iron battery technology? I'll bet there are some conspiracy theories to be found if one journeyed down that tunnel. Iron batteries should not cost several times more than lead batteries...
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,650 ✭✭✭✭✭
    With the continued collapse of solar panel prices, that should make solar power adventures capable of self support. But....dammit....we need more bullet proof batteries. Why is this country seemingly unfriendly to iron battery technology? I'll bet there are some conspiracy theories to be found if one journeyed down that tunnel. Iron batteries should not cost several times more than lead batteries...
    It's not the iron that makes it expensive, it's the nickel!

    They have some other issues, a high self discharge rate and I think a 30% loss in charging (I couldn't find my bookmark for Nickel-Iron battery. I think this, along with the weigh:energy difference is what's made LiFePo batteries popular.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    SD , you have to rethink the name 'oil company'...  they are ENERGY CONGLOMERATES and just about every one of them got into Solar  or wind in some way over the last 30 years... and I don't mean in the Enron way!

    Solar collapsing?  yes the prices are dropping as companies struggle to  survive, at least long enough to keep the BIG sharks away and salvage some of their equity value... and I agree there is no way of predicting that we are at the bottom... I hears on the AM news that the Trump is looking at ways to lower the  price of energy to the average consumer...  ?? and that may explain why the price of Texas Light Crude is so stable right now even with the Arabs dropping their price and production....  Is this good for Solar?  me thinks not... Sunday rant over
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,509 ✭✭✭✭
    Photowhit said:
    With the continued collapse of solar panel prices, that should make solar power adventures capable of self support. But....dammit....we need more bullet proof batteries. Why is this country seemingly unfriendly to iron battery technology? I'll bet there are some conspiracy theories to be found if one journeyed down that tunnel. Iron batteries should not cost several times more than lead batteries...
    It's not the iron that makes it expensive, it's the nickel!

    They have some other issues, a high self discharge rate and I think a 30% loss in charging (I couldn't find my bookmark for Nickel-Iron battery. I think this, along with the weigh:energy difference is what's made LiFePo batteries popular.
    They are nickel plated. Gold plating costs almost nothing. Perhaps I am missing something of course. Think I read 20% loss in charging. Used to be a big problem when panels were expensive. Not so anymore...

    I do not recall reading about a high self-discharge rate though it has been a couple months.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,509 ✭✭✭✭
    SD , you have to rethink the name 'oil company'...  they are ENERGY CONGLOMERATES and just about every one of them got into Solar  or wind in some way over the last 30 years... and I don't mean in the Enron way!

    Solar collapsing?  yes the prices are dropping as companies struggle to  survive, at least long enough to keep the BIG sharks away and salvage some of their equity value... and I agree there is no way of predicting that we are at the bottom... I hears on the AM news that the Trump is looking at ways to lower the  price of energy to the average consumer...  ?? and that may explain why the price of Texas Light Crude is so stable right now even with the Arabs dropping their price and production....  Is this good for Solar?  me thinks not... Sunday rant over
    Photowit has been looking at .35/watt prices. I just don't see how prices can get appreciably lower than that. Trump wants tariffs on China and I think we must do that if we want to bring back our manufacturing base. The prices will respond quickly when/if Trump gets active with tariffs. That was a big part of his platform. He is also doing what he said he would do. Has any President ever done that?
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,650 ✭✭✭✭✭
    softdown said:
    SD , you have to rethink the name 'oil company'...  they are ENERGY CONGLOMERATES and just about every one of them got into Solar  or wind in some way over the last 30 years... and I don't mean in the Enron way!

    Solar collapsing?  yes the prices are dropping as companies struggle to  survive, at least long enough to keep the BIG sharks away and salvage some of their equity value... and I agree there is no way of predicting that we are at the bottom... I hears on the AM news that the Trump is looking at ways to lower the  price of energy to the average consumer...  ?? and that may explain why the price of Texas Light Crude is so stable right now even with the Arabs dropping their price and production....  Is this good for Solar?  me thinks not... Sunday rant over
    Photowit has been looking at .35/watt prices. I just don't see how prices can get appreciably lower than that. Trump wants tariffs on China and I think we must do that if we want to bring back our manufacturing base. The prices will respond quickly when/if Trump gets active with tariffs. That was a big part of his platform. He is also doing what he said he would do. Has any President ever done that?

    Well, maybe we should move this to the odd lot category. Trump may realize that raising tariffs will do some interesting things to the world economy. Many philosophize(?) that it will raise interest rates. Which would create many problems. and certainly raise inflation.

    Raising interest rates will move money out of the market (Not bad IMHO) 

    ...and raising inflation could be very interesting. I honestly can't believe it has remain so low. It feels artificial now.

    Sorry BB. I'll try to refrain.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,006 admin
    Photowhit,

    It is OK... The "open discussion forum" is sort of an experiment. As long as we all are respectful in the discussions--No problem.

    Regarding investing/money/etc... Perhaps it would be best to create another thread (if anyone is interested). Then we can try to stay (roughly) on topic here.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,509 ✭✭✭✭
    Bringing things back to more useful levels...how can we know if panels are likely going to last for several decades? I am a little surprised that nobody has chimed in with a real idea. Kind of expected the old mantra "You get what you pay for"....which I think is mostly BS.

    Sure, the output slowly fades but that can be compensated for by increasingly efficient electronics.

    This is an unbelievably good time to get panels. What about that major battery breakthrough that has been just around the corner every year now? Plus I've heard that patents may be soon expiring on USA designed and made inverters and charge controllers? I don't know much at all about that.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    softdown said:
    Sure, the output slowly fades but that can be compensated for by increasingly efficient electronics.

    Plus I've heard that patents may be soon expiring on USA designed and made inverters and charge controllers?.
    Well for the lower output you could have a few spares in case of damage and if still inside just add another small Cc and plug 'em in...

    I might agree with the statement if talking about some of the OLD (20+ yr) technology CC's that are still being sold :o:*
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,509 ✭✭✭✭
    softdown said:
    Sure, the output slowly fades but that can be compensated for by increasingly efficient electronics.

    Plus I've heard that patents may be soon expiring on USA designed and made inverters and charge controllers?.
    Well for the lower output you could have a few spares in case of damage and if still inside just add another small Cc and plug 'em in...

    I might agree with the statement if talking about some of the OLD (20+ yr) technology CC's that are still being sold :o:*
    You are disagreeing with "the output slowly fades but that can be compensated for by increasingly efficient electronics."

    I am not aware of any solar panels that do not have slowly fading outputs.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    NO! I agree with the fading issue, but with the low prices you can get extra panels and start using them when the first mounted ones start to drop off , iff you are that close to the line due to equipment limitations...
    I agree that old tech CCs may lose their patent protection ...but china copies anything, patent or not, look for Outback MX60 and FM80 on Fleabay, last I looked they were ~ 1/2 N.A. price..
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
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