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VBHN330SA16 vs VBHN325SA16

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  • VBHN330SA16 vs VBHN325SA16

    Why does Panasonic make two panels only 5 watt difference? Is there much differences in performance going with the 330 watt at approximately $15 more per panel (online pricing)?
    Last edited by bucdenny; 02-13-2018, 11:28 AM.

  • #2
    they make one module (panel) and test them at the end of the line. If it produces over 330 watts then it is labeled 330W if it tests under 330w but over 325 then it is labeled 325w

    they do the same thing with their all black line of 320 vs 315 vs 310
    OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

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    • #3
      Originally posted by bucdenny View Post
      Why did Panasonic make two panels only 5 watt difference? Is there much differences in performance going with the 330 watt at approximately $15 more per panel?
      They probably do the same or similar as most panel mfgs. The panel mfg. process produces some small variance from panel to panel. When tested for output, units are put into "bins" according to how they "flash" (production line test).

      Often the bin increment is 5 W.

      Chances are all the 325 W panels flashed between, say, 325 W and 330 W. 330 W panels probably flashed between 330 and 335 or so, etc.

      At $15/5 W incremental price in STC output = $3.00/STC Watt, the price increment may/may not be worth it. Seems a bit steep on price to me for a panel alone given that an entire system these days can probably be purchased for that amount per STC W or less.

      However, haggling down to, say, $4 adder per incremental W or less may not be worth the cheap appearance it may invoke, and the steps a vendor might take to get it back in ways you'll never be aware of.

      To a 1st approx., the increase in annual system output by moving from a 325 STC W panel to a 330 STC W panel will be something like 5/325 ~ 1.5 %.

      If you're still thinking of ~ 6.5 kW system of, say, 20 panels, that 5W/panel X 20 panels = 100 extra STC W will generate ~ 150 - 200 additional kWh/yr. around here (So. CA).

      In most of So. CA. at least for SDG & E and SCE POCO's, that much additional annual production will perhaps knock ~~ $50-$55 /yr. more off your electric bill, depending on your tariff and usage pattern.

      So, back of an envelope analysis: Is $3.00/STC W X 100 additional STC W X 0.70 = $210 more spent up front worth saving 50 bucks additional/yr. ? Some would say so. Bigger and tougher question: I doing PV worth it in terms of toil, treasure and hassle ? Or, if deemed so, are Panasonic or LG the best choices in terms of most bang for the long term buck ?

      Given that beyond some basic level of quality, most known panels are about equally fit for purpose. A Ford or Toyota is as good a grocery hauler as a Lincoln or a Lexus.

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