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New Type of solar panel?  RSS feed

 
Mike Kuhn
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Has anyone ever heard of this company, they are making some extraordinary claims about solar panels, I think they are based in Georgia USA webpage
 
Troy Rhodes
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They don't show any prices. You have to get a quote.

I'm not sure their claims are so unique and amazing today, although they do a nice job of promoting their products. Nothing wrong with that.


Keep in mind that the cost of solar panels in general has plummeted in the last 2-3 years. A dollar a watt for name brand (not blems) panels with a guarantee used to be the pie in the sky number. We thought that once we hit that price point, all our energy worries were over.

We're there:

http://www.wholesalesolar.com/



In terms of efficiency, monocrystaline panels used to crush polycrystaline and amorphous panels. Now they are much closer, AND the amorphous panels tolerate shading and light cloud cover better than monocrystaline panels. So that negates their claim of unique efficiency in that respect. Amorphous panels are always less expensive than monocrystaline panels. The potential down side is their output tends to drop off after the first year or so. Maybe that has been fixed now...


In terms of running three phase motors from a panel, the new VFD's (Variable Frequency Drives) and inverters make that possible with anybody's panels.


We would have to look at the actual price and specs for one of their systems to know if they are really a groundbreaking good deal, or not.


troy


 
Mike Kuhn
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HI Troy They show prices if you click on " See how we compare" They are asking 550.00$ for a 330 watt/96volt panel, but if you look at the picture, it looks like thier panels are very large compared to a normal panel. And they claim they have :mmpt: built in. Is that even possible?
 
Troy Rhodes
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I missed that tab, thanks.

Yes, there are panels with integrated inverters, which could incorporate mppt. And you can buy separate micro inverters, one for each panel.

If you do a google search for "solar panel with micro inverter"

You'll get a bunch of interesting hits. Here's one with inexpensive micro inverters that work with anybody's panel:

http://www.wholesalesolar.com/enphase-energy.html



Their prices look competitive, but not crazy good as the marketing suggests.


Now it boils down to what your exact application is. For some applications, a direct driven dc motor straight from the DC panel array

is often more efficient b/c it skips all the electronic massaging which introduces unavoidable losses. But you would still have the shading problem, if that's what you're primarily trying to fix.




troy
 
Joe Bramblett
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Troy Rhodes wrote:You'll get a bunch of interesting hits. Here's one with inexpensive micro inverters that work with anybody's panel:

http://www.wholesalesolar.com/enphase-energy.html


We do a fair number of installs with the Enphase micros. IIRC, it's around $2.85/W to do a roof mount with them. You're right that their biggest advantage is in partial shade situations, but we also get a lot of use out of them for roofs that are just too complex to get the install done without using several different pitches. At some point, it apparently became the ultimate status symbol to have a house with more facets than a Swarovski crystal on the roof, which leaves us with a 20-42 module array broken up into 2-6 module chunks. The micros do a great job of optimizing the resulting mess.
 
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