150+ Watt Crystalline PV modules

newenergynewenergy ✭✭✭✭✭✭Solar Expert Posts: 291 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
Any thoughts on the various manufacturers and models? I'm talking about things that aren't available on the spec sheets.

Have they had any problems?
Did some arrive broken?
Do they seem flimsy?

Are any of these modules better than others as far as quality goes?

Comments

  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy ✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 1,962 ✭✭✭
    Re: 150+ Watt Crystalline PV modules

    They are all the same pretty much ( Si panels ). If you can get seconds, they are the best bargin around ... for example check out www.sunelec.com and the Evergreen seconds modules they sell.
  • BB.BB. admin Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,634 admin
    Re: 150+ Watt Crystalline PV modules

    Basically, the major manufacturer's (US, Japan, German) of mono and poly crystalline panels seem to be making good product.

    There have been "oops" or two in manufacturing and other issues that have resulted in panels failing 2+ years out. Kyocera with 125 watt panels from ~2000-2001 were one of these--however, Kyocera fully stood behind their panels and replaced all (and, IIRC, even paid for installation/shipping/etc. costs).

    Ones to stay away from... Any thin film panel for now (including those small 5,10, 20, 40 etc. watt units sold overseas). Also, any flexible panels. And any panels with ASI (like Sharp) mixed thin/crystalline panels (at least for now--lots of questions about reliability--Sharp has been playing with humidity/temperature specifications for some reason...).

    UniSolar is the only thin film panel sold by Wind-Sun... Some folks here have had good results with them--probably the one to pick if you plan to install in an area subject to the occasional rock "falling out of the sky" (can break, but a bit more rugged than a "glass" panel)... But would not be my first recommendation...

    And for now, I would let somebody else experiment with the new Chinese mass produced panels until somebody else tries them for a few years first (and/or if you have a local company that can financially support warranty replacement).

    Lastly, there is Solar Guppy's forum where he has a whole sub-forum dedicated to feed back / issues with solar panels.

    The above, plus $5, will get you a cup of coffee. :roll:

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • newenergynewenergy ✭✭✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 291 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: 150+ Watt Crystalline PV modules

    Thanks for the info guys.

    I am interested in the Suntech (Chinese) panels in particular because they are pretty widely available and at pretty good prices.

    I've seen the Sun Electronics site. I'd prefer a local company (California) and wasn't quite sure whether I could trust that factory seconds would qualify for the California rebate program.

    Also, Solar Guppy, I registered at your site and it looks very helpful. I hope I get approved.
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy ✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 1,962 ✭✭✭
    Re: 150+ Watt Crystalline PV modules

    Hope approved :p

    The SE seconds meet most State rebate programs, or I should say I have never heard of them being rejected.

    There are about a dozen folks that have bought the seconds I'm aware of, all, including myself are pleased with the performance and value

    The Suntech I thought were not UL approved yet and for sure then not approved for rebates. Evergreen by the way is the best spec panel out there ( tolerance wise ) even the seconds
  • BB.BB. admin Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,634 admin
    Re: 150+ Watt Crystalline PV modules

    If any panels are not UL/NRTL approved--they probably would not be acceptable to a building inspector / insurance company for Grid Tied applications either.

    In the end, it takes a bit of time, effort, and $ to qualify/maintain/satisfy unannounced inspections for UL/NRTL--if a company does not even bother to apply and manage UL/NRTL for major markets (i.e., most of the developed world)--you may wonder about how much care they take with their own products... (although--if most of their market is for off-grid applications--they can probably ignore the listing requirements).

    It is not like Chinese companies don't know how to do this--virtually everything they manufacture over there that plugs into an AC outlet requires NRTL of some sort.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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