SUN-A-205-fa2 OR Evergreen ES-A-Series 205 Watt A

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cokebbeh
cokebbeh Registered Users Posts: 8
Hello All,
I am new to this and need some advice. I want to know if I should go for the SUN or EVERGREEN Solar panels. Both seem to have the same specifications and SUN is way cheaper than EVERGREEN.

Additionally, Is there a difference between EVergreen ES A and ES B Modules? It seems like the B modules are cheaper than the A modules. Is this due to efficiency or what?

Please help

Comments

  • icarus
    icarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: EVERGREEN or SUN Solar Panels

    I suggest your read the following thread :http://forum.solar-electric.com/forumdisplay.php?f=9

    Are you talking Sun panels from Sun Electronics in FL or SunPower Pv?

    Tony

    PS. You should only post in one thread,, multiple threads just confuse us.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,491 admin
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    Re: SUN-A-205-fa2 OR Evergreen ES-A-Series 205 Watt A

    There is some confusion among the various mfg., wholesalers, and end use requirements...

    There are:

    Sun
    Evergreen
    SunPower

    That appear to be what you are asking about...

    Sunpower is a high efficiency panel that is a good vendor, but generally on the expensive side. They also have a Positive System Ground requirement... With the right model Grid Tied inverter, not a big issue (may not be floor stocked, but special order). A bit more of an issue with Off-Grid systems.

    Evergreen. Very good manfucturer and very good product. Pricing is good too. Fully NRTL (UL/ETL type) Listed panels. Can be used on-grid or off grid and will meet the NEC requirements for listed components.

    Sun, apparently sold only by www.sunelec.com and are private labeled panels (probably from Evergreen?--don't take my word for it--just what I remeber reading). On the "Sun" module webpage:
    These modules are made available exclusively to Sun Electronics by one of the world's largest manufacturers. American Made! Identical Power specifications as A grade modules, complete factory light tower test is available. These modules have the same 0% to +5% power output tolerances as "A" modules. These modules have slight cosmetic blemishes. Sun modules are non-UL, Tuv or CE listed. Unlike most other brands which have power specifications within +/- 10%, these modules have power specifications within 0% to +5% ! There is no better output power allowance in the industry.

    For off-grid folks--probably a great deal.

    However, if you are using them for Grid Tied applications (connected to utilty mains) and/or your location requires electrical components NEC/Building Code--then you cannot "legally" use them. May also cause issues with your fire/liability insurance (UL was originally created by insurance carriers to reduce fire risks and damage).

    Regarding Evergreen "A" or "B" modules--again from the SunElec website:
    B modules have slight cosmetic blemishes that does NOT affect output. These modules are UL,CE,and TUV certified

    If you don't "care about looks"--then you can save money with the "B" panels.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,491 admin
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    Re: SUN-A-205-fa2 OR Evergreen ES-A-Series 205 Watt A

    I merged the two threads...

    We pretty much read/respond to all threads no matter where they are posted.

    Keeping all of your questions in one thread (major topic)--does help keep us sane (imagine what we would be like otherwise :roll: ).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • cokebbeh
    cokebbeh Registered Users Posts: 8
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    Re: SUN-A-205-fa2 OR Evergreen ES-A-Series 205 Watt A

    Hello all,
    my apologies for posting on different forums. Thanks all for the answers. The Sun Panel I am referring to is the one supplied by Sun Electronics. The system I want to use is off grid. The Sun Panels are way cheaper than Evergreen. Is the quality different?
  • Solar Guppy
    Solar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
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    Re: SUN-A-205-fa2 OR Evergreen ES-A-Series 205 Watt A

    No, The Sun panels are Evergreens with a private label on the back and Sun Electronics assumes any warranty claims. They are an outstanding value but now Evergreen panels only cost about 10 cents more a watt for the B grade and you get UL and Evergreen Warranty from the same seller.

    Performance wise the Sun Panels are one of the best on the market
  • cokebbeh
    cokebbeh Registered Users Posts: 8
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    Re: SUN-A-205-fa2 OR Evergreen ES-A-Series 205 Watt A

    Hello,
    May I ask what UL is and what it does?
  • icarus
    icarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: SUN-A-205-fa2 OR Evergreen ES-A-Series 205 Watt A

    UL is the "Underwriters Labs" They were funded initially by the insurance industry to make sure products met certain safety standards. If you produce a product and wish it to be "listed" you have to submit samples for testing by the lab.

    Many building/electrical codes require a UL listing for installation in a building or connection to the grid. Also many insurance companies may deny coverage if an accident/fire etc was caused by a non-listed component.

    There are other testing listing agencies, including ICBO, IAPMO, ANSI, CUL etc.

    It generally is up to the user/installer to confirm that any component meets the code agencies requirement. Just because a component isn't "listed" doesn't mean it is of poor quality or defective, it just means that the manufacturer hasn't spent the time and money to get the listing. Getting a component listed is very expensive.

    So in the case of the Sun panels, they are fine panels,, they just don't carry a UL listing,

    Tony
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,491 admin
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    Re: SUN-A-205-fa2 OR Evergreen ES-A-Series 205 Watt A

    UL is probably the original Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory.

    Underwriters Laboratories (UL) was created for use by Insurance Companies to increase and document the safety of various products (starting with fire safety).

    Testing is performed on "first articles" and ongoing manufacturing line inspection (built to specifications) and traceability (such as tags from fuse mfg. being installed inside power supply, insulation is from flame retardant plastic made to spec. in outside company, etc.).

    Wiki History of UL

    Originally, in the US, UL was the only safety organization that was called out in various local and state laws via building codes and NEC (National Electric Code). Typically enforced by fire departments and building inspectors--if there was not a "UL" mark, they could demand that the device/product/part be removed from service (no UL on coffee pot, unplug it or shutdown the business) or deny occupancy permits.

    Also, insurance companies can deny coverage on claims if it is found that non-listed/recognized components where the cause of a fire, injury, death, etc.

    In court, it is generally the basis for a defense that the entity being sued took due diligence that the maker/user took appropriate care in selling/using the product.

    Note that NRTL's are (or should be) certified (competent) to test classes of products... For example a lab certified to test toys cannot test circuit breakers.

    Some countries use UL/NRTL/local labs as a way to enforce trade laws (can't get in through customs without appropriate mark). There are many companies out there that are NRTL's--typical in the US include UL, CSA, ETL, TUV (several different companies), etc.

    In the USA (and some countries) UL was the only approved lab (required by customs on imports).

    In the last couple decades, there have been treaties (?) creating the concept of NRTL (Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories). Each country would declare which labs where NRTL in relationship to their laws and codes (and remove, for example, "UL" from their codes/laws and use NRTL). This allowed other labs (domestic and foriegn) to perform safety certification and inspections (for internal use and export).

    NRTL's are documenting the safety of various items. They are not guaranteeing fitness for any particular use or even that the product may perform the way the vendor says it does (although, there are new services that can document/verify the performance of "things" too--outside of the normal function of a NRTL).

    What does this mean for you... In the US and Canada--if your project involves local building/fire inspectors, insurance liability coverage, or the possibility of using/operating the device can cause lawsuits (damage, injury, death)--then you are pretty much forced to use NRTL Listed/recognized components.

    If this is for "other use" (personal use, use in an out building, not connected to the Utility Grid, etc.)--NRTL marking is not required--but can frequently still be a positive point (i.e., worth paying extra money for) to indicate that the vendor took basic steps to follow industry standards for the safety of a product.

    This is different than the "CE" mark... While the "CE" mark implies certain safety, regulatory, and even documenting that the unit may meet functional requirements--This does not meet any "Safety" requirements in the US. The CE mark is self documented and certified by a declaration of the manufacturer. And does not require the validation of any outside vendor (may be some legal liability).

    For an example of what can happen if a set of solar panels does not meet NRTL requirements see this thread:

    Panel Fire Question

    The long answer to a short question. :roll:

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • cokebbeh
    cokebbeh Registered Users Posts: 8
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    Re: SUN-A-205-fa2 OR Evergreen ES-A-Series 205 Watt A

    Hello All,
    I thank you all for the great answers. More questions are on the way as I get ready to buy other components.... Solar batteries, inverters, charge controllers etc.

    In the meantime, I learnt a great deal