SunPower 315W Panel

Greetings,
I'm new to this cool forum and interested in going to a grid-tie system at some point.

Just the other day SunPower announced a 315W solar panel to be available next Spring. Any thoughts on that announcement pushing the other panel makers to keep up or (even better) cut prices?
As an aside, does anyone have experience with SunPower?

Tim

Comments

  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: SunPower 315W Panel

    I think it's great, ~22% efficiency, roughly the same cost/watt of what is out there currently, and less space needed on the roof/mount/RV/boat/etc.

    Though they are getting a bit large, 5' x 3.5', still, smallest for the power you'll find available commercially I think.

    I think they're kinda new in the market? They are currently owned by Cypress Semiconductor.

    Their stock ticker doesn't seem to go back very far, so unless they've had a previous owner/organization I doubt anyone has had much experience with them (?) Anyways they had a big booth at the San Jose Convention center this week for that solar conference, and they were showing off those big 315w bitches and some other cool stuff.

    http://www.google.com/finance?cid=702189

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: SunPower 315W Panel

    i doubt that will impact pricing at all and i did some reading up on them. they had some sort of problem with their cells, as i recall, and output deteriorated in time far in excess of the norm for other cell types. their cells are unique and have both + and - on the back of the cell. i don't know of anybody on this forum that has anything by them.
  • RoderickRoderick Solar Expert Posts: 253 ✭✭
    Re: SunPower 315W Panel

    If Sunpower follows its pattern, the panels will be priced at a premium to other panels, about 30% more per watt. This makes sense in an environment where someone will buy all the power you can generate (like Germany, I think), and you want to get the maximum watts in a space.

    I looked for Sunpower panels on the open market a year ago, and they seemed to be composed of pure unobtainium. The A-list installers could get them, but again, charged the 30% premium. There was no material change in installation costs for the slightly lower number of panels for my small system, so essentially, it would have been more dollars for a system that does exactly the same thing.

    I believe Sunpower can sell every module they make, and price accordingly. That's economics, and I don't fault them for it.

    That 22% efficiency is for their naked cell, I think. Under glass in a real panel, it's less. But there is no dispute that their panels take less area, and look distinctive.
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