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  • #16
    Originally posted by jflorey2 View Post
    Everything fails eventually. So for some people having a guarantee that the thing will be replaced if it fails within a certain time might be a good deal.

    And it's not a "gold mine" for manufacturers. Manufacturers offer them because they think they can make money on the warranty - but that's not always the case. If engineering screws up and produces a lemon, such warranties can lose the manufacturer a lot of money. I have a friend of mine who _always_ gets the extended warranty, and if he has a problem, leaves no stone unturned in his quest to get the replacement. About five years back he managed to leverage an extended warranty on a car into a replacement (new) car due to a minor manufacturing defect (bad application of anti-corrosion treatment.) Pretty sure Ford lost a lot of money on that.

    This is a pretty common discussion in companies that produce consumer products. An MTBF analysis shows something will last, on average, 16 years, using a baseline environment. Maybe it's due to electromigration in an IC, or the odds of exposure to static. Maybe it's due to dryout of electrolytic caps. They could fix it, of course. They could use film caps or put a clamp on every single line.

    "No way jose!" says accounting. "We have to sell this thing for $19.99, not a penny more. We can't afford all that stuff. And we're already a month late with the design. Ship it!"

    So they ship it. And when it comes time to decide what price they are going to charge for the extended warranty (and its term) they are going to decide that this warranty is going to be expensive - because out at 10 years they are going to see the beginning of the Gaussian curve that characterizes such failures. And no way are they going to offer a 20 year warranty. They choose a warranty price so that they will tend to make money - but it's a gamble, because MTBF analysis is far from foolproof. If the engineer was a little off, and they start seeing the caps dry out in 9 years instead of 16? They just lost a boatload of money.

    All that being said, it is often not worth the price to me, because 1) the odds that I will damage it in a way that isn't covered aren't zero, 2) I tend to fix my own stuff anyway and 3) I'd much rather invest that money, then have the extra money for the occasional replacement if it comes to that. But not everyone will make the same decisions.
    Opinions vary, but like I wrote, and without putting words in your typing fingers, you seem to be in at least some agreement with, the odds and failure analysis vs. extended warranty cost to the end user will always favor the offerer. If not, way down at the end of the analysis, a simple question comes up: Why would they offer something for sale that was not to their (the offerer"s) long term benefit ?

    Also as you write, not everyone will make the same decision. Amen, and praise the ability to choose. But, my hunch is (and you seem to offer your own preference(s) as example) that the more informed a user is - and that doesn't necessarily mean tech or tool savvy - the less likely they are to be a buyer of extra insurance against product failure.

    If, or to the degree that my opinion has any logic in it, if I was product ignorant (as I am about many things) I'd follow the lead of those who I think may know more than I do about the product.

    Besides, I've been on the selling side in a prior career as a peddler. I've got some idea of the profitability of the extended warranty game. It's a gold mine and every peddler knows it.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post
      Opinions vary, but like I wrote, and without putting words in your typing fingers, you seem to be in at least some agreement with, the odds and failure analysis vs. extended warranty cost to the end user will always favor the offerer. If not, way down at the end of the analysis, a simple question comes up: Why would they offer something for sale that was not to their (the offerer"s) long term benefit ?
      Usually it is. But sometimes it's not.

      Lots of people have insurance for various things, even if they don't need it legally. They get it because they want that level of protection. Now, needless to say, the insurance company almost always makes money - which means you usually lose money for any sort of insurance (including extended warranties.) But not always.

      You are, of course, playing the odds. Will you get a device that works most of the time? Then the extended warranty isn't worth much. Will you get a lemon that needs replacing every 5 years? Then that warranty could pay for itself many times over. Some people like that level of certainty, that they won't be out large amounts of money if they get the lemon.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by jflorey2 View Post
        Usually it is. But sometimes it's not.

        Lots of people have insurance for various things, even if they don't need it legally. They get it because they want that level of protection. Now, needless to say, the insurance company almost always makes money - which means you usually lose money for any sort of insurance (including extended warranties.) But not always.

        You are, of course, playing the odds. Will you get a device that works most of the time? Then the extended warranty isn't worth much. Will you get a lemon that needs replacing every 5 years? Then that warranty could pay for itself many times over. Some people like that level of certainty, that they won't be out large amounts of money if they get the lemon.
        I think we may be saying about the same thing.

        And while not trying to be society's big brother, I guess in a better world, I'd wish more folks were aware of how badly I truly believe they're getting screwed or screwing themselves by their own ignorance with respect to the size of the not always part you write of. I believe things don't fail anywhere near as often as those with money to make by fear mongering would lead us to believe.

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        • #19
          O does not apply as long as the scratch does NOT effect output.
          P is saying that the warranty does not apply to normal wear and tear. Why would you expect a warranty to cover normal wear?
          agree. Don't worry too much

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          • #20
            So does anyone have any input on LG panels vs Trina 300's?

            Thank you

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            • #21
              Yep they are both good, pick whichever one is the best deal, and pay more attention to what type of inverter you are using. Panels basically never fail, inverter's do, spend more time looking into inverters, cheers.

              Comment


              • #22
                Here is an update.
                We just had a couple of modules replaced for two different customers for under performance .
                The clients noticed the low performance thru the solar edge web site.
                The kicker was that the MFRs ( SUNpower and LG) would not honor the warranty with out the IV curve data. So you need to have the tool to support your claim of low production even if you have module level monitoring.
                But, once the IV curves were submitted they each shipped new modules.

                33-CS6P250,1-SMA6000US,SMAwebconn,Egauge

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Scott Sousa View Post
                  Here is an update.
                  We just had a couple of modules replaced for two different customers for under performance .
                  The clients noticed the low performance thru the solar edge web site.
                  The kicker was that the MFRs ( SUNpower and LG) would not honor the warranty with out the IV curve data. So you need to have the tool to support your claim of low production even if you have module level monitoring.
                  But, once the IV curves were submitted they each shipped new modules.
                  We have not had any LGs replaced but we have had several others using the graphs of neighboring modules compared to the failed module from SolarEdge data graphs.
                  OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

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                  • #24
                    Now that is nice especially since most home owners do not have the IV trace tool.
                    Another plus for Solar Edge.
                    33-CS6P250,1-SMA6000US,SMAwebconn,Egauge

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Scott Sousa View Post
                      Now that is nice especially since most home owners do not have the IV trace
                      tool. Another plus for Solar Edge.
                      That is just a plot of the panel output curve in strong sun? I suppose I could plot that with a dummy load and a
                      few measurements, getting it as a scope trace would be a little more effort. Maybe they never seriously looked
                      at it, just a means to see that you actually know something, and rejecting a lot of claims. Like my dental ins
                      asking to see a decade old billing, they found out some engineers never throw anything away. Bruce Roe

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                      • #26
                        An IV curve tracer is a specific device. all PV installers and maintenance companies should have one.
                        These are expensive for a homeowner to buy. Not it DIY tool.
                        The IV curve tracer graphs the Voltage VS current capabilities of a solar module and will indicate the Maximum power same as the MPPT in an inverter.
                        If there is a bad cell, diode or other it will show up on the graph.
                        The tracer can also build an IV curve for a string of modules in series as long as there are no optimizers. You can test an entire string this way.

                        33-CS6P250,1-SMA6000US,SMAwebconn,Egauge

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Two links on IV curves and PV modules.

                          http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclo...I-V_curve.html

                          http://resources.solmetric.com/get/I...aining-Lab.pdf
                          33-CS6P250,1-SMA6000US,SMAwebconn,Egauge

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                          • #28
                            So, to clarify, are the IV curve traces from SolarEdge panel level data (Charts => System => Inverter => String => Module => Current, Module Voltage) sufficient? Or do you actually have to lay hands on the panel with an independent, calibrated instrument from Fluke, etc?

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by JSchnee21 View Post
                              So, to clarify, are the IV curve traces from SolarEdge panel level data (Charts => System => Inverter => String => Module => Current, Module Voltage) sufficient? Or do you actually have to lay hands on the panel with an independent, calibrated instrument from Fluke, etc?
                              As stated if you have solarEdge and have at least three identical modules in identical situation side by side you can use the graphs from solarEdge optimizers of the three modules to show that one is faulty. It really helps if you can find the point were the one module was performing on par with the others which isn't generally too hard to do either.
                              OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                These are examples of the tool used to get an I V curve. this needs to be connected directly to a module or series string of modules. Capture.JPG

                                This tool is for use by professionals. my point is that there is a device out there which can determine if a module is performing properly or has an issue and that the big module manufactures wil honor their warranty when presented with this data.
                                If you truly believe that you have a bad module or cell then you hire a pro to run this tool on it. At that point you will know for sure.
                                I run this on every string of every project to document that the PV modules are functioning in accordance with the manufacturers specs.
                                BTW the device takes into account the cell temp and irradiance to produce the IV curves at actual and project STC.

                                From some of the previous posts it seems that many MFRs will honor the warranty from the solar edge or Enphase data so that you may not have to go this route.

                                I hope that this is helpful.
                                33-CS6P250,1-SMA6000US,SMAwebconn,Egauge

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