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Author Topic: who makes the best solar panels?  (Read 16516 times)
Harlo
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« on: September 12, 2008, 12:05:01 PM »

I am about to buy a new solar panel. Does anyone out there know who makes the best? Huh
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wil
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when lightning strikes


« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2008, 12:08:26 PM »

Just one? It depends what application you are going to use it for. Could you be a little more specific?
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Solar Dog
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2008, 12:24:01 PM »

I am about to buy a new solar panel. Does anyone out there know who makes the best? Huh

Harlo maybe if you gave a little more information on what it is you want to use the solar panel for. They really vary depending on use.
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FunInTheSun
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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2008, 06:44:47 PM »

I have heard that the Sanyo panels have the highest efficiency ratings than any other panel. my vote is with Sanyo!  Cheesy
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solarboy
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Posts: 12


« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2008, 10:28:22 PM »

Sanyos are great panels, especially in hot locations.  Still they cost more than regular panels.  The efficiency has to be balanced against the cost and the life of the panels.  Figure that panels will last 30 years and the upfront cost doesn't seem to big.  And many states base their rebates on panel efficiency so the Sanyos qualify for more rebate upfront too.

Solarboy
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msquared48
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2009, 11:55:07 PM »

So what would be a good, efficient panel for western Washington (Everett area).  What type do most people use?
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Solar Power
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« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2009, 12:42:50 AM »

Here is a list of solar panels to compare
http://www.gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov/equipment/pvmodule.php

Here is Wholesale Solar's solar panels webpage http://www.wholesalesolar.com/solar-panels.html  - the sales people answer the phones and are friendly and knowledgeable about solar panels or designing your solar power system.

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SmikoElectronics
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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2010, 10:54:42 AM »

Sanyos are great panels, especially in hot locations.  Still they cost more than regular panels.  The efficiency has to be balanced against the cost and the life of the panels.  Figure that panels will last 30 years and the upfront cost doesn't seem to big.  And many states base their rebates on panel efficiency so the Sanyos qualify for more rebate upfront too.

Solarboy

i agree with solar boy, efficiency and cost, must be balanced. To be very honest, there are too many companies producing solar panels. Efficiency for mono cell solar panels normally is above 16%(leader in the market at 17.3%). Most companies can guarantee a 25yr life span. What is left is the price and your personal preference.

from what i know, US end users are paying like USD$5/W, but china companies are selling at USD$2/W. Difference? Not much. then why the price difference? labor cost, and maybe the solar panel has already changed hands many times. But advantage of paying $3 more per watt? More efficient after-sales service due to distance.
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grnhouse
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« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2010, 11:07:48 AM »

Prices of US made panels can be purchased for less than $3.00/watt. Check out Wholesale Solar's prices at :
http://www.wholesalesolar.com/solar-panels.html

The REC panels are made in the US, have extra heavy duty frames and come with 25-year warrantee.

The cost per watt is even better if you start looking at pallet prices.
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solarlightingplanet
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« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2010, 04:23:11 PM »

There are quiet a few companies out there that make good solar panels.  As a retailer of solar products I did research and found a few places in California, but most great companies are in China.  Currently many retailers are selling the low end stuff because some of the high end companies will only sell their stuff in bulk prices with contracts.  With advances in technology solar panels will be getting cheaper, but when it comes to quality it really depends.  I really like kyocera solar panels from my experiences.
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wil
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when lightning strikes


« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2010, 04:38:08 PM »

i really like kyocera myself, using them almost exclusively throughout the 90's and early 2000's. now there are so many choices out there it is hard to not let the price drive my decisions. the most important factors to me are product reliability, UL listing, and is the manufacturer going to be around in 20 years to honor their warranty?

most of the new generic panels selling for low ball prices are not UL listed in the United States and therefor don't qualify for installation in most states.
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grnhouse
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« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2010, 11:47:31 PM »

I agree, Kyocera makes a good panel. One thing I like is the higher efficiency which means you can fit more watts on a small roof and less racking. This company should be around long after many of the others fade away. Wholesale Solar uses these panels in their WSS-Select package systems. It is amazing to see how low the prices have dropped.
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solarlightingplanet
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2010, 11:18:11 PM »

Yea for a new person I can see how solar panels can be confusing.  So many different things to choose from, and most people don't know states have certain qualifications.
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photovoltaicsUK
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« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2010, 02:46:32 AM »

I'm considering producing a flow chart to help people make this decision. You need to take into account a myriad of parameters and its not an easy choice. Perhaps the strongest driver should be the application in mind and from that you can work backwards.Bear also in mind the location of the cell and its range of efficiencies.
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grnhouse
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« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2010, 01:44:54 PM »

You might want to take a look at Home Power magazine. They post information that compares the performance and specifications of various panels every couple of years. The last article on comparing vaious panels was December 2009.

You can check out Home Power Magazine on-line at : http://homepower.com

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