Paying more for specific brands?

sgd2zsgd2z Registered Users Posts: 14
I'm considering getting Solar Panels and have multiple quotes. The two most similar ones so far are for
20x275W SolarWorld Panels
20x260W LG MonoX Panels
with the LG panels being slightly more expensive than the SolarWorld per watt. I'm still awaiting quotes for Chinese/poly panels.

The rest of the system is similar with Sunnyboy TL inverters. Would you pay extra for LG panels considering that LG is unlikely to go away in 25 years?

TIA for any advice.

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Paying more for specific brands?

    Welcome to the forum.

    I wouldn't pay more for LG panels as they aren't known for making solar panels. Probably just Chinese manufacture sold under the LG name.

    Some of the "big companies" that have produced solar panels have either quit making panels or folded up altogether. There is no guarantee any other company won't meet the same fate.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Paying more for specific brands?

    most times we say go the the cost per watt when one can't decide. the solar worlds will have 15w more per pv amounting to 300 more watts for the same numbers of pvs. even 21 of the lgs won't give as much as the solar worlds. btw solar world is made in usa.
  • peakbaggerpeakbagger Solar Expert Posts: 341 ✭✭✭
    Re: Paying more for specific brands?

    Unless you have size limits to your roof that limits array size it comes down to warrantee. Due to the turnover in solar manufacturers a 20 year guarantee isn't worth much if backed by the firm itself. Some panels are now offering third party backed warrantees. There is something to be said for buying from a large diversified company as they in theory cant walk away from backing the guarantee but most likely, if they stop offering panels, they will figure out a way of offloading the future liabilities. This is not limited to the solar industry, the same thing can happen to any product including Saabs whne the parent firm goes belly up.
  • sgd2zsgd2z Registered Users Posts: 14
    Re: Paying more for specific brands?

    Hi All, Thanks for the replies. If I get a quote for chinese panels that comes in cheaper than both these, what's your take on that?

    Also, I now have some more details for the two systems. The total cost is exactly the same.
    20x275W SolarWorld Panels - installer offers 10 year workmanship warranty
    20x260W LG MonoX Panels -installer offers 25 year workmanship warranty (has been in business > 20 years)

    both installers come with great references.

    @niel - I know solarworld is made in the USA but they almost went under this year.
    @Cabricoot - LG claims to make their own modules and panels and from their website it looks like they have some very nice panels (I'm going to ask the installer if they can get LGs 275W for the same price)
    @peakbagger - do you know about Solarworld offers their own warranty or third party?
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Paying more for specific brands?

    Ironic, isn't it? SolarWorld almost went under because of the Chinese panel dumping! So people choosing to buy cheap Chinese panels helps eliminate the American manufacturers of quality. They say they want quality panels and then choose cheap ones instead.

    LG probably "makes there own" the same way so many other companies do these days; by buying at least an interest in the company that actually makes the panels. Until your mention of them I had never heard of them making PV's, unlike so many other brand names that have been around and prominent for years. We get large amounts of LG stuff dumped on us here in BC and I can't say any of it has impressed me as being of better quality than anything else, and often not as good.
  • sgd2zsgd2z Registered Users Posts: 14
    Re: Paying more for specific brands?

    @cariboocoot - that's a loaded answer :) But I guess your take on that is to say no to cheap Chinese panels
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,625 admin
    Re: Paying more for specific brands?

    I bought a set of "name brand panels" that was bought up by a big oil company.... 10 years later, BP Oil had a big spill in the gulf (significant fines/losses), and a huge replacement of failing (American made) panels with "B" versions (Chinese made), then got out of the Solar Panel business.

    Was it worth $5 a watt for my warranty--Where as I can buy the same wattage of panels for ~$1 per watt (3.5kW array). I am not even sure it is worth the hassles of warranty replacement panels (if that is ever needed again) or if BP would honor the warranty now they are out of the business.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Paying more for specific brands?

    it does tend to be a crap shoot, but i would chose either sw or lg over the chinese.

    my lg tvs are doing great btw.
  • DMJ72DMJ72 Solar Expert Posts: 125 ✭✭
    Re: Paying more for specific brands?

    If you are going with the Chinese panels, confirm their certification online. The smaller manufacturers sometimes fake their certification!

    For example, my panels claim TUV certification, but are not listed on the TÜV SÜD site:

    https://www.tuev-sued.de/industry_and_consumer_products/certificates
  • sgd2zsgd2z Registered Users Posts: 14
    Re: Paying more for specific brands?

    I finally have a quote for Chinese Panels + Microinverters:
    20x290W Trina Solar panels + enphase m250 at approximately the same price as the other panels + string inverters.

    Personally, I like the concept of micro-inverters, especially for monitoring/expansion but after reading about them on this forum I'm not certain one way or another which to pick. So now I have the choice of:

    20x275W SolarWorld Mono Panels + Sunnyboy TL
    20x260W LG MonoX Panels + Sunnyboy TL
    20x290W Trina Solar Poly panels + enphase m250

    for the same price. The trina panels are 72 cell panels.
  • StdyhandStdyhand Solar Expert Posts: 33
    Re: Paying more for specific brands?

    If mono panels are more efficient than the poly panels, I'd go with the mono. Furthermore, if the solarworld panels are made in the USA than in my opinion that is more worth it. The U.S. is losing much of its industry already so I personally find it important to purchase U.S. made products.
    sgd2z wrote: »
    I finally have a quote for Chinese Panels + Microinverters:
    20x290W Trina Solar panels + enphase m250 at approximately the same price as the other panels + string inverters.

    Personally, I like the concept of micro-inverters, especially for monitoring/expansion but after reading about them on this forum I'm not certain one way or another which to pick. So now I have the choice of:

    20x275W SolarWorld Mono Panels + Sunnyboy TL
    20x260W LG MonoX Panels + Sunnyboy TL
    20x290W Trina Solar Poly panels + enphase m250

    for the same price. The trina panels are 72 cell panels.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Paying more for specific brands?

    don't forget to add in shipping costs... especially with panels over ~ 200 watts. They may have to be shipped as singles..
     
    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
  • sgd2zsgd2z Registered Users Posts: 14
    Re: Paying more for specific brands?
    westbranch wrote: »
    don't forget to add in shipping costs... especially with panels over ~ 200 watts. They may have to be shipped as singles..

    The prices are installed price all inclusive.
  • sgd2zsgd2z Registered Users Posts: 14
    Re: Paying more for specific brands?
    Stdyhand wrote: »
    If mono panels are more efficient than the poly panels, I'd go with the mono. Furthermore, if the solarworld panels are made in the USA than in my opinion that is more worth it. The U.S. is losing much of its industry already so I personally find it important to purchase U.S. made products.

    Well 290W is 290W right? Yes SolarWorld are made in USA but using the Chinese panels puts microinverters within the budget and gets 5.8kW as opposed to 5.5kW.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Paying more for specific brands?

    you seem as if your mind is made up and you can certainly get whatever it is you wish to, but don't jump from ready to fire too quickly.

    i have to ask what relevance is it that trina has 72 cells in their pvs when all of the systems you are considering are mpp batteryless systems anyway?

    the sunnyboy does have better efficiency and less tare losses during non-sunny periods. what would the cost be for the trinas being used with sunnyboy if you want a comparison from that company? the sb is 150mw and the enphase is 65mw tare loss for each inverter.
  • sgd2zsgd2z Registered Users Posts: 14
    Re: Paying more for specific brands?
    niel wrote: »
    you seem as if your mind is made up and you can certainly get whatever it is you wish to, but don't jump from ready to fire too quickly.

    i have to ask what relevance is it that trina has 72 cells in their pvs when all of the systems you are considering are mpp batteryless systems anyway?

    the sunnyboy does have better efficiency and less tare losses during non-sunny periods. what would the cost be for the trinas being used with sunnyboy if you want a comparison from that company? the sb is 150mw and the enphase is 65mw tare loss for each inverter.

    Thanks for the info. So you are saying that in non-sunny periods, the string will perform better? I've always heard the opposite as a "pro" for micro-inverters.

    I'm checking now what the cost would be to get a string inverter with the Trina panels or the SolarWorld panels with the micros. I'm also having a difficult time understanding if the micro-inverter is only 250W, how much difference will there be attaching a 275W panel to it vs a 290W.

    72 cell panels are larger and I've often seen them mentioned as "utility panels" and 60 cell ones as "residential panels". Not sure if that makes any difference in my case.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Paying more for specific brands?

    i'll try to address this in each section of your reply in bold.
    sgd2z wrote: »
    Thanks for the info. So you are saying that in non-sunny periods, the string will perform better? I've always heard the opposite as a "pro" for micro-inverters.

    not quite. a more efficient inverter will draw less for its own operations. this not only applies during sun and clouds, but at night when the inverters draw a bit of power from the grid too. this operational loss is the tare loss. for you to have 20 inverters drawing 65mw each that totals to 1.3w for every hour of operation as opposed to the single sb having a draw of .15w for every hour of operation. this reflects on how much power can be delivered for a given input power as well so in this respect you were on the right track.

    I'm checking now what the cost would be to get a string inverter with the Trina panels or the SolarWorld panels with the micros. I'm also having a difficult time understanding if the micro-inverter is only 250W, how much difference will there be attaching a 275W panel to it vs a 290W.

    you can check with the manufacturer on pv compatibility. it stands to reason that should you go too far that some power could get clipped at times of high insolation, but often the pvs will not be outputting their rated stc power rating.

    72 cell panels are larger and I've often seen them mentioned as "utility panels" and 60 cell ones as "residential panels". Not sure if that makes any difference in my case.

    72 celled pvs lend themselves well for charging 24v battery banks with a cheaper pwm controller and at the same time a 36 celled pv works well with a 12v battery bank and pwm cc. the 60 celled pvs do not lend themselves to work well with pwm controllers and as such are used with mppt devices to maximize on the pvs. as such these are often referred to as gt pvs, but that's not written in stone when we use mppt controllers for battery charging too. then again the 36 and 72 celled pvs can be used in gt applications and with mppt controllers as well if planned right.
  • sgd2zsgd2z Registered Users Posts: 14
    Re: Paying more for specific brands?

    @niel Thanks for the informative post. I now have quotes for Chinese panels with string inverters:

    22x315W JA Solar panels for a little more than the previous quotes or
    22x290W Trina panels for a little less than the previous quotes

    I think one of these is going to be the final choice. I don't think micro inverters are worth ~$2k to me and I'm going to follow your previous advice of get the most watts/$.
  • markus0703markus0703 Registered Users Posts: 1
    Remove First Post From Obvious Spammer.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    markus0703 wrote: »

    What a lot of humbuck So did I make my point?

    Yes: you're a disrespectful idiot who has now been banned.
    Good luck selling your panels, spammer.
  • AguarancherAguarancher Solar Expert Posts: 302 ✭✭✭
    Good to see you back in the saddle Coot, you have been missed..
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Good to see you back in the saddle Coot, you have been missed..

    Don't get used to it: I can't stay. Never mind why.
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