Any one try these Thin Film $0.98/watt Framless panels?

rollandelliottrollandelliott Solar Expert Posts: 834 ✭✭
http://sunelec.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=47&products_id=1504

Yeah they are cheap, which makes me think they won't last long.
Yes they are UL rated, which is surprising, wonder if it is a typo?
Yes, they dont' have any frames which is one reason they are so cheap, but I was going to make a ground mount system anyways and could encorporate a "framing system" for not much extra cost out of some aluminum angle iron.
Yes they are thin film which means supposedly they will not last as long?
Yes Thin film takes up twice as much real Estate making the mounting of them more expensive and "ugly." but I've got 2.5 acres.
Yes they are from some relatively unknown manufacturer who might not be around in 5 years much less 20 for any warranty claim

And I know people are going to tell me that I should pay twice as much and get a name brand panel backed up by a warrnaty that will probably be around in 20 years.

Any other considerations? thoughts?

But on the flip side if they cost half as much and last half as long it's not that big of a deal. In a decade solar panels might be even cheaper as well.

Comments

  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: Any one try these Thin Film $0.98/watt Framless panels?

    There are too many "buts" and not enough price difference cmopared to name brand mono panels IMO. Pallet price for sharp mono panels is $1.55/Watt whereas these thin film, relatively unknown brand frameless modules are $0.98/Watt. If they were half the price it would be worthwhile considering, but not at 50% difference.

    Also that 50% difference is just module price difference, you then have to account for additional shipping cost because more volume, additional wiring, additional mounting structure.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Any one try these Thin Film $0.98/watt Framless panels?

    unisolar was instrumental on implementing solar laminates to facilitate placement on metal roofs, but the laminates listed here are somewhat wider than would normally be for a roof. i'm not too sure of what they had in mind for them.

    as to if the costs are worth it will be up to you and may vary for an install. i'd have to say that most cases would not favor the thin film pvs all things considered.
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: Any one try these Thin Film $0.98/watt Framless panels?

    Does UL compliant mean approved by UL?

    They don't give the temperature affect information.

    Russ
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,911 admin
    Re: Any one try these Thin Film $0.98/watt Framless panels?

    The panel needs to be UL/NRTL Listed (to follow US electrical codes)... Compliant does not mean anything legally (as far as I know). May simply be a poor choice of words for the web page too...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: Any one try these Thin Film $0.98/watt Framless panels?

    They're sold in Europe under the solartechnics brand, but it's clear from the TUV certificate that they're actually GS-Solar panels.

    Spanish datasheet here: http://solarenergie.tv/images/stories/Spanien_SN_50_WP_2010-10-001_low.pdf

    They used to have a range of modules available between 42-50 Wp, now they just seem to stock the 50.
  • rollandelliottrollandelliott Solar Expert Posts: 834 ✭✭
    Re: Any one try these Thin Film $0.98/watt Framless panels?

    http://sunelec.com/Specs/GS%20Solar/GS%20Solar%20GS-46S.pdf

    the english version for those no hablo espanol.
  • rollandelliottrollandelliott Solar Expert Posts: 834 ✭✭
    Re: Any one try these Thin Film $0.98/watt Framless panels?

    well they sold out in less than a month. I forget how many they had to begin with, but I think it was in the hundreds? wonder who bought them!? and what application.
  • solarvicsolarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,060 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Any one try these Thin Film $0.98/watt Framless panels?
    well they sold out in less than a month. I forget how many they had to begin with, but I think it was in the hundreds? wonder who bought them!? and what application.
    So who bought them? Peobably somebody that wanted to get something for nothing and didn,t take into consideration of the mounting cost, Ect. :Dsolarvic:D
  • McGuyverMcGuyver Registered Users Posts: 14
    Re: Any one try these Thin Film $0.98/watt Framless panels?
    http://sunelec.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=47&products_id=1504

    Yeah they are cheap, which makes me think they won't last long.
    Yes they are UL rated, which is surprising, wonder if it is a typo?
    Yes, they dont' have any frames which is one reason they are so cheap, but I was going to make a ground mount system anyways and could encorporate a "framing system" for not much extra cost out of some aluminum angle iron.
    Yes they are thin film which means supposedly they will not last as long?
    Yes Thin film takes up twice as much real Estate making the mounting of them more expensive and "ugly." but I've got 2.5 acres.
    Yes they are from some relatively unknown manufacturer who might not be around in 5 years much less 20 for any warranty claim

    And I know people are going to tell me that I should pay twice as much and get a name brand panel backed up by a warrnaty that will probably be around in 20 years.

    Any other considerations? thoughts?

    But on the flip side if they cost half as much and last half as long it's not that big of a deal. In a decade solar panels might be even cheaper as well.

    Hi rollandelliott,
    I have a housebus. I fitted 6 x 68Watt UniSolar panels. Firstly, installation is a dream come true.
    Yes, you can walk on it - not play football on it. It is really very strong stuff. Although you don't walk on it unnecessarily. I have these connected in parallel thru a FlexMax80 Controller. The controller keeps detailed stats for 180 days. I had a look again yesterday and the average Input voltage is 22v. The rated voltage by UniSolar is 16.5V Few companies underestimate/underrate their products.
    IMHO these panels perform very well. These laminates are also very insensitive to temperature changes unlike crystalline.

    In summer I get 2.4kW/day from the system. It peaked at 32Amps - 30% over its rating . I'm quite wrapped with these. Been on the roof for 2½ years now and never missed a beat. UniSolar is no Mickeymouse company. Yes watts/m² is not as high but if you have the space I recon it is a good option for the price.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Any one try these Thin Film $0.98/watt Framless panels?

    mcguyver,
    i know you are pleased with your solar power, but could you refrain a bit from being somewhat repetitive as you only have 3 posts at present with 2 nearly identical? it is not a rule breaking thing so don't worry about that, but i'll reference my reply as it was in the other thread by showing the link to it.
    http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?p=89317#post89317
    now if you like you can put what your pvs are into your signature line along with other info on your system. it'll save you some typing.8)
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,911 admin
    Re: Any one try these Thin Film $0.98/watt Framless panels?

    McGuyver,

    Please note that your system is outputting about the maximum current one would ever expect from your setup into a well discharged battery on a cool/cold day...

    As your panels age (8-10 weeks or so), you will loose upwards of 10% output. And for many solar charge controllers, they overestimate their output by 5-10% pretty consistently (other brands sometimes by ~30% over estimate).

    Glad to hear you are very happy with your system, and it does sound to be working very well.

    However, someday, you may wish to look into getting a Battery Monitor (Victron Energy is another well respected brand)--They are very handy for estimating the state of charge of your battery bank. And for sealed batteries, Battery Monitors are almost a requirement since you cannot measure specific gravity (AGM, GEL, VRLA, etc.). Measuring Resting Voltage (after 2-3+ hours of no charge/discharge current) is the only other way to estimate state of charge/specific gravity of the battery (but not very convenient will system is in use).

    In the end, measuring your system performance with better than 10% accuracy is difficult at best for the average consumer. Even with $10,000 power meters--they do not exactly agree.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • McGuyverMcGuyver Registered Users Posts: 14
    Re: Any one try these Thin Film $0.98/watt Framless panels?
    niel wrote: »
    mcguyver,
    i know you are pleased with your solar power, but could you refrain a bit from being somewhat repetitive as you only have 3 posts at present with 2 nearly identical? it is not a rule breaking thing so don't worry about that, but i'll reference my reply as it was in the other thread by showing the link to it.
    http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?p=89317#post89317
    now if you like you can put what your pvs are into your signature line along with other info on your system. it'll save you some typing.8)

    Thanks for the info Niel. The 2 threads are so similar maybe you can merge them? That should resolve any duplications and confusions. Will do the signature thing... thanks.
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