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Inexpensive Solar PV

Post in 'The Green Room' started by peakbagger, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    It amazes me how low the price of solar can go. This price $8,646 is FOB Miami and doesnt include racking, but 6,100 watts is one big system. Figure in a 30% rebate from the fed $2,600 and that is a buck a watt including the inverters and a lot of the major components. http://www.sunelec.com/6160-watt-system-280-watt-panels-sunny-boy-6000-gridtie-pv-system-p-1784.html

    Probably a great deal for someone in an area that allows owners installs or someone that knows a contractor . A few years back this would be 1/3 the cost of the panels themselves.

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  2. Former Farmer

    Former Farmer Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Messages:
    277
    Loc:
    NE Wisconsin
    1 Pallet System
    6,160W PV System ($1.40/Watt)

    PAYMENT VIA WIRE TRANSFER ONLY.
    CHOOSE CHECK / MONEY ORDER IN CHECKOUT AND AWAIT WIRE INSTRUCTIONS.




    I would never buy anything that is paid with a wire transfer.
  3. wingsfan

    wingsfan Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Jackson,Mi.

    Don't think I would either.
  4. ihookem

    ihookem Minister of Fire

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    Allenton, Wisconsin
    Isn't solar electric still too expensive? Like 10% efficient? Up north isn't it better to go with hydronic heat from solar?
  5. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for posting Peakbagger. I've been watching for similar deals.
    Plan to go PV with battery storage but still trying to make some choices on mounting, whether to go with micro-inverters, etc.
  6. Where2

    Where2 Member

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    I may be one of the few customers you'll ever run across who has dealt with Sunelec twice. I survived both instances, but I also only live 75 miles from them. The thought of wiring them the $$$ for the second pallet of panels I purchased did leave me questioning the whole scenario since I didn't have the benefit of using the credit card company as a go-between for my $4k. Other than a little mixup with the delivery truck not having a lift gate for my residential delivery, my second transaction was nearly as smooth as the first transaction I did with them where I was able to pay with a credit card and picked up my pallet in person with a U-haul.

    Semipro: go with Microinverters. Sunelec doesn't sell them, but check "gogreen solar". I had good luck with them. Enphase M215's simply plug on to a trunk cable, upto 17 inverters per 20A circuit. The 5 minute interval analytics available daily from each M215 will make your head spin.

    (I know, you're thinking Where2 is a troll for Sunelec, but I actually found this site looking for Nyle Geyser reviews).
  7. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Microinvertors for sure. The central inverters are a thing of that past.

    That's not really a great deal IMO. I have never heard of "SUN" solar panels, and google doesn't come up with anything either other than that one ad!. A 12 year warranty isn't good either.

    A person could buy name brand quality equipment (with a company that backs their product) for not much more.


    There are areas that don't allow a homeowner to install their own panels?



    The panels themselves are ~15-20% efficient depending on brand. I suppose if you use a lot of hot water hydronic panels could work out.
  8. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    Sun electronics is a liquidator of panels from distressed companies. All panel manufactueres have to deal with variability in the actual solar panel material and a portion of their output is going to not meet their internal quality of output tests. Some companies sell "b" panels that have the same waranty but as many folks have learned a waranty isnt worth much if the company is going out of business. Some companies have pretty well figured out they are going out of business and have dropped their quality standards so that their final production is junk. Sun Electronics buys what is left and sometimes they cant use the original brand name so they package the panels under their own waranty. Some so called reputable companies have warantees that arent worth much like Canadian Solar who requires that defective panels have to be packaged and delivered to their factory in china at the owners costs for inspection and then the owner has to pay for the panels to be packaged and shipped back from China.

    There are some panels sold with third party warantees backed by an insurance company but I expect that if there is a major run of warantee claims the insurance company is going to figure out a way to make it real difficult.

    The only panels I would be interested on the Sun Electronics site these days are the Sovellios which are NOS German panels. The odds are they were built right. In the past they have also had other brand names.

    It all comes down to price, panels used to be expensive but now the balance of system parts are a much bigger cost as the price of panels have dropped. I bought some Evergreens from Sun and knew I was getting panels without warantees. I bought a spare and made sure that my array design is flexible in case I have a failure. With microinverters, losing a panel is even less of a issue as the array doesnt care as each panel has an inverter.

    By the way panel quality isnt just an issue with liquidation panels,many of the solar leasing companies are going to be having issues that the panels they installed have failures and the companies that supplied them are long gone. I hope that anyone signing a lease isnt expecting that the leasing company has a warehouse of spares just in case. The leasing company is just hoping that the owners can cash out before the warantee costs get higher than the profits.
  9. nate379

    nate379 Guest

  10. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showt...n-Solar-Panels&highlight=canadian solar snail

    The panels they are discussing are in Austrailia so maybe the company deals with US customers better. When I look at their English Warranty on the Canadian Solar website, its doesnt call out who pays for shipping to and from the manufacturer for them to verify a defect. If you roam around on some of the links in that thread, it looks like Canadian Solar is claiming that the snail tracks arent a defect but other independent groups have other opinions that its a sign of microcracking. Unfortunately I am not a solar pro so I cant do much roaming on "RE wrench" to see what the pros are saying about these panels.
  11. Circus

    Circus Member

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    Keep sharing the bargains. No big deal if some (or all) disagree. It's interesting.
  12. Where2

    Where2 Member

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    South Florida
    When I bought my pallet of Evergreen ES-E-220 panels, I knew that "25 year warranties" were a pipe dream from any company. At $0.78 per watt, I was willing to gamble and self-insure. 6 months prior to ordering, prices had been running $1.45 per watt for Canadian Solar and other "big name" companies. In the grand scheme of things, each 220W panel costs about what a summer electric bill in South Florida costs. So, realistically speaking, my panels will reach break even costs if all 20 of them up and died in exactly 4.7 years, and that's assuming no incentives, and no power company rate increases over the next 4.7 years.

    No, 4.7 years does not pay off the structural engineering necessary, or the inverters, or the mounting rack, or the wiring, or the permit fees. 4.7 years is the minimum required amount of time any one panel must survive to have 100% payback for the panel itself. The remaining balance of system: the rack, inverters, wiring and structural engineering continue to have value even if the panels require replacement in the future.

    Sunshine costs me nothing to receive. Whether I use it or not, it falls on my property, every day. If I can own an asset to collect the sunshine and convert it into something worth $$$ (like electricity), then sunshine itself becomes valuable. Owning an asset which can convert sunshine to electricity offsets the need for me to work more to earn more $$ to pay for electricity. Sunshine becomes like a perpetually harvestable wood lot, and the solar array is like a chainsaw.
    semipro likes this.
  13. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    Writing that initial check for a system is daunting (but a lot less than before)but unlike writing a check for a new vehicle, the panels just keep cranking out power. Since my upgrade with ES210s (they were out of the 220s before they got caught up), I have built up enough surplus on my account that I am using electric heat on occasion. I also expect my AC is going to be running more often this summer. The more I think about it, if I did it again, a ground source heat pump hooked up to a grid tied array looks to be a winner for heating even in Northern NH, with a woodstove for backup in case of utility issues.
  14. Circus

    Circus Member

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    Seems Enphase doesn't have a micro inverter marketing lock any more. I just found a Rene Sola for $35 less and it doesn't require the expensive cable the M215 uses. Any thoughts?
  15. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    Looks like a good competitor and is UL certified. There are a couple of other firms selling similiar units. Last thing I heard Enphase was still losing money on every unit they sell and I expect the current prices will go down due to competition or until a few of the firms give up.
  16. Circus

    Circus Member

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    Found they also sell a monitoring gateway for $240 less. Note: Their web site isn't up yet.
  17. Circus

    Circus Member

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    Forget it!!!! I transferred the money to the checking account then revisited the site. All the prices increased over 10% in one day.
  18. Where2

    Where2 Member

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    Meanwhile, one of the places I have purchased from in the past sent me an email yesterday advertising Enphase M215 Micro-inverters now selling for $135 each.
  19. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    I noticed the folks in Florida have a hybrid 6.7 KW system with batteries so it can run when the grid is down for $17,313 plus shipping and racking. This is far less than regular grid tied PV was selling for a couple of years ago. Figure in the solar rebate of 30% for the system and whatever state incentives and its getting so the payback is quite reasonable and for those prone to power outages a 6.7 KW system can run a normal house.

    Do note the batteries are one third of the cost and most folks manage to kill their first set in about 3 to 5 years as they dont maintain them correctly but once they write that first check, they usally make it to 10 years. I expect this system doesnt have a lot of battery capacity so it probably isnt designed for days of operation with no sun.
  20. Circus

    Circus Member

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  21. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    A frequent contributor to the board currently has name brand 245 watts panels for sale for 93 cents a watt. I would much rather drive over to his place in Searsport than have some shipped so looks like I am picking up another array. These panels are from a company that pulled out of the US. There are a lot of "orphan" chinese panels flooding the market currently, but caveat emptor, they may have so called guarantees but most of them if honored or still in buisiness are so onerous thats its not worth buying them.

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