Solar panels

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  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Solar panels


    There are many good panel manufacturers out there and i wouldn't pay the
    higher tab for sharps (sounds like i recommend these because i make more
    money on them ploy)

    brad
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar panels

    if your installer is only talking of the cost of the pvs themselves without any labor i think he may be trying to reel you in as a sucker. for the exact same make and model number there is 0 difference between his and the ones you can buy except the price. let him explain this to you and let us know what he says.
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar panels
    The installer I am talking to quoted me $7.00 a watt for sharp NT-175U1 panels… He told me that the Sharp were really good panels and he suspected that the others would not be as good quality and that is why they are $7 per watt.

    Your installer may be correct regarding the Sharp PV modules being high quality. They’re mono-crystalline, which typically means higher efficiency and/or better performance on hot days compared to poly-crystalline models. However, that doesn’t justify his price quote, unless, perhaps, it includes shipping (including insurance) and installation.

    The Sharp 175 is available elsewhere for $952.80 ($5.44/W) plus shipping and insurance. See: http://store.altenergystore.com/Solar-Electric-Panels/150-Watts-Up-Solar-Panels/Sharp-NT-175U1-175W-24V-Solar-Panel/p1073/

    Perhaps even better, the SolarWorld (formerly Shell Solar) 165, also a mono-crystalline model, is available from Northern Arizona Wind & Sun, this site’s sponsor and your neighbors to the north in Flagstaff, for $844, or $5.12/W.

    See: http://store.solar-electric.com/shso165wasoe.html

    HTH,
    Jim / crewzer

    Edit: inserted correct NAWS link.
  • lukeylukey Registered Users Posts: 21
    Re: Solar panels

    I completely agree with crewzer and would just like to add my two cents.  There is a difference between mono and poly solar panels efficiency wise.  But that is not really an excuse to sell panels for $7 per Watt.  Whatever that guy told you about Sharp panels is a bunch of BS. That is ridiculous! It sounds like the guy is just a salesman and does not have any idea about the technical aspects of PV, of course he is going to tell you that Sharp are really good panels.  All the brand name products like Sharp, Kyocera, GE, Suntech, BP, Mitsubishi, Solar World or Sanyo more or less have the same quality or efficiency.  There are slight differences though but nothing dramatic. 

    I really am curios to why the guy is selling at $7 per Watt even if installed(what is up with the inverter, wiring and utility connect???).  For example if I was going to have 1.7kW of the Sharp 170 panels installed by an installer, price for panels lets say $5.00(a fairly generous price) and then $2 for installation per watt.  That comes out to $11,900.00 installed.  A system this size should only take one 8 hour day to install for the panels alone.  So if he charges $2.00 per Watt for installation that comes out to $3400.00 for the job, $425.00 an hour!!! I would prefer to install myself, hire someone to help me and take the rebate reduction.

    The price of shipping also does not validate the price of $7.00.

    That is it for now.  I love this forum!  Thank you.

    Luke
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Solar panels

    my $.02...i've always been a stickler for performance tolerances. i think it speaks volumes to the engineering and manufacturing and QA/QC policies of a company. Suntech (which supplies about 20% of the world's panels) is at +/-3%. Sharp is +10%/-5% (the uneven range already makes it suspect from a QC perspective). GE and Shell are +/-5% - i think they might actually employ the same cell manufacturer. solarworld is +/-3% (like Suntech - but much more expensive). hope this helped....
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Solar panels
    booboo wrote:
    The installer I am talking to quoted me $7.00 a watt for sharp NT-175U1 panels.  I told him that was too high and I could get panels for $4-4.5 per watt.  He told me that the Sharp were really good panels and he suspected that the others would not be as good quality and that is why they are $7 per watt. 

    Now I think this is BS but is there a quality difference between panels?  If so how much of a difference?   Would it be smart to pay $7 per watt for sharp over $4.2 per watt for GE?

    sorry if this is a stupid question but is that the price for the panels alone? the price for the panels installed? the price of an entire system using those panels installed?
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar panels
    joule-r wrote:
    sorry if this is a stupid question but is that the price for the panels alone?  the price for the panels installed? the price of an entire system using those panels installed?

    we are still trying to determine that as i had brought that up before, but we haven't heard from booboo yet on the matter.
  • booboobooboo Solar Expert Posts: 39
    Re: Solar panels
    we are still trying to determine that as i had brought that up before, but we haven't heard from booboo yet on the matter.

    Sorry, It is just for the panels. I thought about mentioning it in my first post but I figured everyone would know because it would not make sense to leave out "installation included".

  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Solar panels

    :-o :-o :-o :-o
    JUST FOR THE PANELS?!?! my friend, you are getting hosed big time. retailers are buying those things in the low-to-mid $3.00/watt range...grab your wallet and just run away from that installer.
  • lukeylukey Registered Users Posts: 21
    Re: Solar panels

    You know its situations like that that put a very bad taste in peoples mouth when it comes to renewable energy. But I guess that is the way the capitalist system works best. Take the money and run! I for myself will not purchase any more PV products in California. The retailers prices are absolutely ridiculous. I still cannot get over those $7.00 panels!!!

    Luke
  • lukeylukey Registered Users Posts: 21
    Re: Solar panels

    Hello Roderick and BooBoo,

    Just wanted to see if you contacted or heard anything from the solar company from the east coast?

    Luke
  • booboobooboo Solar Expert Posts: 39
    Re: Solar panels
    Hello Roderick and BooBoo,

    Just wanted to see if you contacted or heard anything from the solar company from the east coast?

    I am still waiting on the contact info.
  • WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: Solar panels
    booboo wrote:
    A local solar store here suggested Sharp NT-175U1 panels and a Xantrex SW4024 inverter.

    This is a sine wave inverter, does it supply power that is compatable with my appliances like the air conditioners, refrigerator, etc.  Is there anything that can be harmed or not work with this power?

    The 4024 is a bad idea for a grid tie system, as it requires batteries. And to use it's grid interactive setup it is a hassle.

    You should be looking at a grid tie type, which converts directly from panel to utility power.
  • WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: Solar panels
    joule-r wrote:
    my $.02...i've always been a stickler for performance tolerances.  i think it speaks volumes to the engineering and manufacturing and QA/QC policies of a company.  Suntech (which supplies about 20% of the world's panels) is at +/-3%.  Sharp is +10%/-5% (the uneven range already makes it suspect from a QC perspective).  GE and Shell are +/-5% - i think they might actually employ the same cell manufacturer.  solarworld is +/-3% (like Suntech - but much more expensive).    hope this helped....

    That is the main reason why we stopped selling Sharp, aside from their crappy warranty. We tested a few panels at random, and almost every one came in at about -8%, within tolerance but still pretty bad compared to other companies.
  • lukeylukey Registered Users Posts: 21
    Re: Solar panels
    booboo wrote:
    Hello Roderick and BooBoo,

    Just wanted to see if you contacted or heard anything from the solar company from the east coast?

    I am still waiting on the contact info. 
    you should check your in-box
  • RoderickRoderick Solar Expert Posts: 253 ✭✭
    Re: Solar panels
    lukey wrote:
    Hello Roderick and BooBoo,

    Just wanted to see if you contacted or heard anything from the solar company from the east coast?

    Luke
    Hi, Luke!

    Yes, I did get the info from you in a personal message, but only passed it along to another interested party.  I have no plans to buy more panels myself at this time.

    As with any business, I'd be concerned with a deal that sounds too good to be true, so if I were buying panels, I would check to see how long their webstie was up.  I wouldn't want to deal with a fly-by-night.  The Wayback machine, http://www.archive.org/index.php is a good tool for that.
  • lukeylukey Registered Users Posts: 21
    Re: Solar panels

    I found out that they have been in business for around 15 years and that they are one of the main companies doing a lot of business in Europe. They have been here in the US for about 3 years.

    Luke
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar panels
    wind-s2 wrote:
    That is the main reason why we stopped selling Sharp, aside from their crappy warranty. We tested a few panels at random, and almost every one came in at about -8%, within tolerance but still pretty bad compared to other companies.

    Yikes - crappy warranty ? I've got 22 of those suckers, what's the bad news on their warranty? I hear they use very thin cells, but I'm not mounting in a vibration prone area. (RV or boat) The installer replaced one panel that developed a brown spot, about the size of a quarter, in the corner of a panel (in the PV material)
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Solar panels
    Roderick wrote:
    As with any business, I'd be concerned with a deal that sounds too good to be true, so if I were buying panels, I would check to see how long their webstie was up.  I wouldn't want to deal with a fly-by-night.  The Wayback machine, http://www.archive.org/index.php is a good tool for that.

    i agree that it is always prudent to check out any company before entering int any kind of relationship with them.  the wayback machine will only tell you how long their current domain has been up and basically nothing about the company itself.  even the info it provides on NAWS doesn't really do justice to hwo long they've been in  the industry.  you could also try the local SEIA chapters.  i find that there is no one organization for reference that beats word of mouth. 
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