Solar Panel prices

mlail
mlail Registered Users Posts: 22
Last fall, I purchased an 80 W panel. Afterwards, I decided to buy another one. However, the same panel has increased in costs by over $100. Is this a trend that has happened across the board? At the time the news stated that solar panels prices were going down because no one was buying them and manifacturing costs was also going down.

So what are your observations?

Also, have batteries ever gone down?

Comments

  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Panel prices

    i have not seen any upward trend as you indicate so this should be something to ask of those you had bought the pvs from. maybe there was a sale the first time and now you see the normalized price, who knows? a $100 increase on an 80w pv is huge though.

    batteries went up in cost as a result of increased metal costs, but when those metal costs went down the battery prices did not change. draw your own conclusions.
  • tallgirl
    tallgirl Solar Expert Posts: 413 ✭✭
    Re: Solar Panel prices
    niel wrote: »
    i have not seen any upward trend as you indicate so this should be something to ask of those you had bought the pvs from. maybe there was a sale the first time and now you see the normalized price, who knows? a $100 increase on an 80w pv is huge though.

    I've seen a slight increase, but nothing to get excited about. There's a lot of shut in production right now and as soon as prices rise, they'll fall again.
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Solar Panel prices

    For a while the demand for panels has been growing faster than the companies can make them. That means the companies can ask more and still sell all they make. The process is not a quick one. Also, many companies are starting to offer solar systems on a lease, no down payment program. That means more people are going to try solar systems. It has always been the huge initial investment that kept people from going solar even when they were interested. I don't know about batteries, because we haven't had to replace ours yet.
  • Solar Guppy
    Solar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Panel prices

    Thinflim is now 98 cents a watt, Non UL Evergreens 1.74 watt, UL Evergreens 2.28 watt, all of these prices are 30-60% less than a year ago ... I don't see increases and with all the production coming online prices can only go down
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,398 admin
    Re: Solar Panel prices

    If you are trying to match existing panels (brand/model number)--you may be paying for the privilege for out of production panels..

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Panel prices

    this link should dispell any notions (at least for the date of my post here) that prices have gone up.
    http://www.solarbuzz.com/Moduleprices.htm

    the link to the battery prices reflects also what i said and most of us already know.
    http://www.solarbuzz.com/Batteryprices.htm
  • adam1984
    adam1984 Solar Expert Posts: 72 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Panel prices

    mlail;
    80 watt panel going up $100 is insane.... thats a $1.25/watt INCREASE. As guppy said, you can get panels as cheap as the increase for the panel you are referring to. Although I am relatively new to solar, (meaning im not sure what prices were), the math just doesn't make cents (pun intended). Guppy: Are the prices you listed from sun electronics? Why are there prices so cheap? No warranties I take it? Defective products? I dont understand the disparity from site to site. Sorry this is 8 posts in one but....
    post from the admin:
    Windsun
    Administrator Join Date: Feb 2003
    Posts: 687
    Product Reviews - About This Section
    "
    This section is about new products, what products "work as advertised", are good or not so good.
    Had a good or bad experience with a solar or "green" energy product, company, or government agency?
    "
    I don't see why we have to pm links when the admin has opened this forum to discussions about specific products, companies, and agencies. Maybe i should post this in the rules forum. And second I would give my business to windsun for the fact they run a great forum that can openly discuss their competition, prices higher or not. I respect that.
  • Photowhit
    Photowhit Solar Expert Posts: 6,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Panel prices
    niel wrote: »
    the link to the battery prices reflects also what i said and most of us already know.
    http://www.solarbuzz.com/Batteryprices.htm

    Kinda interesting, I haven't followed lead prices, I had just assumed they had falled aand batteries would follow, I think the traditional Golf Cart/deep cycle battery at Sams went from $79.xx to $72.xx. Last fall.

    I'm wringing the life out of my 5yr old GC batts looking to buy the first batteries for the "new" system. So this is an interesting link for the trends or lack there of....
    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: 33,398 admin
    Re: Solar Panel prices
    adam1984 wrote: »
    I don't see why we have to pm links when the admin has opened this forum to discussions about specific products, companies, and agencies. Maybe i should post this in the rules forum. And second I would give my business to windsun for the fact they run a great forum that can openly discuss their competition, prices higher or not. I respect that.
    Adam,

    There is some history behind that vendor... We currently have their website listed around 238 times in this forum (+/- as listed by Google). In the last year or so--Their customers were contacting NAWS (our host) with numerous support issues/questions about panels/hardware that was unrelated to NAWS.

    So, we kind of cut back on the "free links" to "them". From August of 2009:
    Windsun wrote: »
    Quite frankly, we are getting a bit sick and tired of providing tech support for people that bought those Sun panels from Sunelec. It appears that they are not capable of providing any decent support themselves.

    Just one example of the advice they gave one customer was that they could put 5 of the panels in series, even though the panels are only rated at max 70 system volts.

    If people want to buy crap because it is cheap that is fine - but don't expect us to provide free tech support.

    After the 3rd phone call just today about it, all of us here are getting a bit upset.


    Again, we are just respecting that using their name on NAWS' web forum seemed to be causing a lot of extra work for our host.

    You can find related postings on the Wind-Sun Forum through this google search.

    We (the scary moderators) will not edit out, post warnings, or "add points" for linking to Sunelec.com

    In the end "that Florida Company" can have some pretty good deals and, in general, has shipped what they have advertised. However---you will have to do your own due diligence (and I will tell you to do that with any website--Neither Niel nor I have any business or other behind the scenes relationship with NAWS or Wind-Sun.com other that what you see here. And that is all directed to keeping spam to a minimum and threads on topic if they tend to wander too far afield).

    We do tend to be a bit harsh on link spammers (first time posters with links to US websites made from other continents) and people that attempt to use this forum for "free advertising" or links to "Ad Farms".

    Sincerely,
    -Bill "Moderator" B.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • icarus
    icarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Panel prices

    Bill,

    See post #9,,,,


    T
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,398 admin
    Re: Solar Panel prices

    "Photowit's" post number 9 looks fine to me... ;)

    Sorry, that one sneaked past me. :blush:

    -Bill

    PS: Just to be clear--there was spam in the old #9 post which I deleted... Photwit's post was fine and just dropped into the old slot.

    Sorry for any confusion.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • RandomJoe
    RandomJoe Solar Expert Posts: 472 ✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Panel prices

    My panels certainly didn't go up over the past year. I bought four early in 2009, and four more in December and they had gone down by about 25%. Price is currently still the same. Added bonus, they went from 20 to 25 year warranty and a higher load rating. Can't beat that...

    (They are Kyocera KD135s from NAWS. The model did change very slightly, the frames are now about 0.4" taller. No biggie!)
  • westbranch
    westbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Panel prices

    Just got an email from a Retailer in Saskatchewan that their house brand 100W Mono-crystalline panels were dropping a $1 per watt,....from $7.00 to $6.00 Cdn per watt...

    plus delivery! Plus 5% GST .... soon to be 12%...

    Anything in the $2 a watt range is great from up here. Waiting for price parity...

    EJ
     
    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
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Panel prices
    westbranch wrote: »
    Just got an email from a Retailer in Saskatchewan that their house brand 100W Mono-crystalline panels were dropping a $1 per watt,....from $7.00 to $6.00 Cdn per watt...

    plus delivery! Plus 5% GST .... soon to be 12%...

    Anything in the $2 a watt range is great from up here. Waiting for price parity...

    EJ

    Gosh, Eric; aren't you going to run down to Princess Auto and buy a lot of those "123 Watt" panels they have on sale just now for "only" $899.99? You'll "save" $100 per panel!

    I only mention it because we all need a good laugh now and again.
  • westbranch
    westbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Panel prices

    Yup, the wall mart philosophy... you don't really need what you just bought, but it was so cheap, and you saved so much money buying it now.. and you can throw it away tomorrow... when you ask yourself Why! did I buy it???...

    been asking some sharp pencil questions of panel retailers about price reductions and none so far locally... I guess it will come... :confused:
    May have to travel to china for a buying trip. Ooops starting to talk like old man Wall! buy buy buy:p:p

    Cheers
    Eric
     
    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
  • adam1984
    adam1984 Solar Expert Posts: 72 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Panel prices

    Bill,
    I could see how that is frustrating. From the quote you posted I can see that with low prices you can trade off for lack of customer service, or so I have read. I was just unsure of the disparity. I have seen the exact same panel range from 2$/watt to $4.50 a watt from site to site, and just couldn't comprehend how the difference could be that great. Thats like finding a new car for 12,000 and the same car from a dealer down the road for 20,000. I could see where the line can be a gray area between company reviews and free "spam/advertising". I just respect that names of companies can even be mentioned, which shows that this forum is dedicated to actually promoting solar as a form of energy, not dedicated to sales for NAWS. I just think thats so rare and says alot about this forum. As a new customer to solar, it can be quite confusing and difficult to find a reputable company while at the same time bargain shopping. On another blog i asked a question about a specific companies service and was basically told if I mentioned any company but the hosts I would be banned.... kinda makes you wonder. I will no longer help create more problems for NAWS, but it is rare to see a host of a site not using the site solely for advertising. Says alot about this forum, the best on the web.
    -Adam
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,398 admin
    Re: Solar Panel prices

    Adam,

    It is not a problem... For the most part, when we get a new user--sometimes they start posting links to another vendor in a string of posts. And, generally, I will just send a PM to them to ask that if they are asking generic questions that they first try and look-up/post generic question pointing to our host's site. If they don't find it or have a specific question or observation on some other site--go ahead and post the link(s)--no problem. In fact, Sunelec has been posted here many times when they have had killer sales. It is just in the last year that we have kind of cooled on the direct linking (avoid problems for our host).

    As you have seen, there is nothing here that highlights this forum is hosted/sponsored by a wholesaler/retailer... I too think that this reflects nicely on Northern Arizona Wind & Sun (NAWS).

    Regarding pricing of panels--It is all over the place... Factor in shipping and support, dumping excess inventory, and just the whole Internet pricing factor (between retail brick and mortar vs Ebay)--A 2:1 pricing range is not uncommon for most items. You may find that if you are getting a few panels that a much more expensive local retailer is still less than a cheap vendor + shipping/insurance.

    Even for cars, edmunds.com has bad a big impact on dealership pricing... It has got to be tough to be a profitable retailer with good support today with the Internet.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Photowhit
    Photowhit Solar Expert Posts: 6,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Panel prices

    Amen to NAWS being a breath of fresh air, though I often wondered why the 'masthead' banner didn't link to NAWS product site.
    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.
  • mlail
    mlail Registered Users Posts: 22
    Re: Solar Panel prices

    I think the company that I bought them from was playing games with me. I eventually found the same panel at the same company for the original price. I just had to wait out a month or so of price increases. Maybe the company sold them cheap and expected people to come back for more. Then they temporally raised the prices. Good news is the panel prices are back in line.

    As for the batteries, I got the same Concord AGM 1040T for a little less than the one I purchased in Aug. 09.

    Thanks everyone for your feedback!

    mlail
  • audredger
    audredger Solar Expert Posts: 272 ✭✭
    Re: Solar Panel prices

    I have purchaced from NAWS several times, only one little problem on an item that Outback should have drop shipped and didn't, have done buisness since and will again.

    I do thank them for the forum, glad I found it.

    Panel prices have droped. Just added 6 Sharp panel for the price of 4 three years ago.
  • mlail
    mlail Registered Users Posts: 22
    Re: Solar Panel prices

    I can see why you shop here. I purchased both batteries here at NAWS so I know what you mean. The shipments were sent out quickly and I received what I ordered. No games, just good service. Unfortunantly, NAWS didn't sell the panel that I wanted to match... I did check!