Hello, my name is Jennifer and this is my first post here on Permies.com. I love a lot of the aspects of a permie life but I'm disabled and ended up purchasing a modest home. I would of loved to have a cob home but it just isn't practical where I live.
One thing I'd like to do is to get about 20 x 250w solar panels on my roof grid tied to my electricity provider, to help offset almost 100% of the electricity consumed by everything in my household, except for the air conditioner. I consume 21 kwh a day on average (excluding the A/C) so I need about 20 x 250w panels I've gathered.
The reason I am posting here is that I have seen the prices of panels drop dramatically, even down to 50 cents per watt if you order like 20 panels all at the same time. This means I can buy all 20 panels for around $2500. I don't know how much it costs for the device to grid tie the panels but the panels would pay for themselves in electrical savings after about 4 years.
There is such a HUGE selection of panels from China I have no clue which company to trust or which panel technology to purchase.
I was hoping one ore more of you all had experience with these cheap affordable panels and could recommend a certain brand and/or company, to buy a lot of 20 from. And perhaps direct me to what I'd need to tie these to my grid.
No modules are priced consistently at $0.50/W that I have seen as an installer. So at this price you may be getting at best something being fire sale-d or at worse something with very poor quality and no warranty.
With any solar panel you want a company that has been around a minimum of 3-5 years and that you'll trust to stay in business. Trina and Canadian Solar are quality at budget prices and you can look into Hanwha.
Something you may look into are modules that are older and can not be competitively priced. If everyone is making 250W modules then 240 and 235 modules if you can find them will be a deal.
Hi Jennifer, I am from Welland, Ontario, Canada and Solar panels are made here by OSM. They are good quality but still C$ 1.00 a watt, that is US$.90 at the going exchange rate. China has better deals, quality? I will direct you to the Inverter Store for your grid tie inverter. I have dealt with them and they were great, located in Reno NV. http://www.theinverterstore.com/grid-tie-power-inverters.html
My personal experience is that you're going to have to pay for it, if not the panels themselves, then something else. Those panels may be only 50 cents a watt, but are they only that price when the installer mounts them? So, how much will you have to pay for installation? Then there's wiring, the grid tie, inspections, ect. What you need to look at is the TOTAL cost, not the cost of just the panels.