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  • Panasonic vs Sunpower

    Looking to get some opinions on going with Panasonic HIT N330 vs Sunpower X335. I have received a bunch of estimates and negotiated and narrowed it down to 2 companies. Panasonic will have a solaredge inverter with power optimizers, and the sunpower have the built in micro inverters.

    20 (6600 watts) Panasonic/$3.31 per watt installed before rebates
    20 (6700 watts) Sunpower/$3.51 per watt installed before rebates

    I feel like I have read on here the Sunpower aren't worth it unless space is an issue. Is the price close enough to make the sunpower worth it in this case? Is Sunpowers warranty worth a little extra cost?

    Don't know if it matters but I am located in NY and the electric rates are close to 20 cents per kwh.

    Thanks in advance for your opinions.

  • #2
    Can you only fit the 20 pv modules?
    OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

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    • #3
      No I have room for a few more. Also the back of the house is south facing where the panels would be. There are some trees on the east and west sides of the house that would cause some shading throughout the day. Estimated production was just under 8000 kwh from both.
      Last edited by isler45; 04-04-2017, 07:45 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by isler45 View Post
        No I have room for a few more.
        then best option would be to install 22 300w modules like Canadian Solar mono 300s
        It will produce exactly the same amount of energy as the Panasonic 6.6kw system but at a lot lower price.
        electrons are all the same, they don't come in flavors.

        OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

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        • #5
          Panasonic has been around a long time, will be around a long time, and is less expensive. SP will be bankrupt and out of biz soon. As Butch points out there is also Plan C. Electricity does not care where it comes from, only cares where it is going.
          Last edited by Sunking; 04-04-2017, 08:09 PM.
          MSEE, PE

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          • #6
            Rule of thumb I use, beyond such rules being limited to thumbs for best results, is that if a Sunpower system can be installed with the same care and quality for no more than 5% or so more per Watt than the least expensive of all systems being considered, then the S.P. system may be cost competitive - but only if the rest of the system quality is equal and, to repeat, no more than 5% more than the least expensive system available. If you can get a comparable Canadian Solar paneled system for, say, $3.15/Watt for example (only), S.P. might be an option at $3.30/Watt or less.
            Again, just my opinion and general dart throw.

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            • #7
              My 2010 era Panasonic/Sanyo HIT panels have issues Panasonic is ignoring.

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              • #8
                adoublee can you please elaborate ? I'm looking into 26 HIT330 panels for my residence.

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                • #9
                  Delamination.

                  Not alone - https://www.homepower.com/articles/s...le-degradation

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                  • #10
                    Hi adoublee, thanks for the link to that article. So in that example (not sure if it was your case or not) some delamination was noticed in 2013 when the panels were removed to install a new roof. At that time, the panels had been installed for ~7yrs and the original 5yr manufacturer warranty had expired. The article seems to suggest that the delamination was caused by water infiltration due to failed seals between the glass and the frame? Where your panels made at the Japanese or Hungary site? Most new (>2012) panels have been made at the Malaysian site.

                    I hope Sanyo/Panasonic has resolved this isssue. But presumably any panel with a leaky seal could be subject to delamination and/or shorting if it fills up with water, no? I don't know how exactly panels are manufactured, but presumably if there's caulk or some other sealant between the glass and aluminum frame such seals could be compromised during shipping/handling/install of the frame is twisted, bent, etc.

                    Is there any indication to suggest that this is a common issue/failure mode with Panasonic or other panels? Or does it just represent your unfortunate experience? You may or may not be aware that Panasonic has recently increased their MFG warranty to 25-yrs which they claim was based on 20+ yrs of real world experience from the field with some ~3.9 million panels and a ridiculously low failure rate (albeit self reported) of something like 0.0035%. Of course, who knows if the marketing literature (attached) is accurate. Regardless, my 37 330W Panasonic panels were just started up last week and have been working well so far.

                    But, Butch is right. Electrons don't come in flavors, so if it is possible to hit your productivity goals with a greater quantity of lower efficiency panels then this is the best way to reduce your cost per watt. In my case, my roof was packed, and there was only a small price premium over the Neon2's I had been looking at, and the Panasonics gave me slightly higher yields and a better warranty. But if the new NeonR's are priced competitively, Panasonic will have to significantly step up their game if they hope to be a player in the US market. They've been largely shutout of the US market to date, and despite incremental increased in thermal and overall efficiency, have been very slow to innovate on the original Sanyo product.

                    For my money, I think it's worth giving Panasonic a shot. By that's just my opinion.
                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      I see a lot of discussion here about Panasonic, LG, and Sunpower. All seem to be great panel with high efficiency, but I also see a lot of discussion that panels are a commodity any more and brand doesn't really matter.

                      I looked up the Panasonic N330's that the OP has quoted and they are $1.03 a watt and 19.7% efficient. I also looked at a C-Sun 340 watt mono that is less efficient at 17.55% but only costs $.53 a watt. Are these brands really going to produce enough extra to justify almost twice the price or are the contractors quoting the more expensive panels so their mark-up profit will be higher.

                      Greg

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GRickard View Post
                        I see a lot of discussion here about Panasonic, LG, and Sunpower. All seem to be great panel with high efficiency, but I also see a lot of discussion that panels are a commodity any more and brand doesn't really matter.

                        I looked up the Panasonic N330's that the OP has quoted and they are $1.03 a watt and 19.7% efficient. I also looked at a C-Sun 340 watt mono that is less efficient at 17.55% but only costs $.53 a watt. Are these brands really going to produce enough extra to justify almost twice the price or are the contractors quoting the more expensive panels so their mark-up profit will be higher.

                        Greg
                        I think there is an element of getting higher equipment markup, but also knowledge that balance of system and labor costs will be lower for systems of the same size since fewer panels are required. Generally, I wouldn't expect to see the entire 0.50 / W savings on the panels to show up in the price... maybe half of that?

                        Edit: and no, I personally don't think even a $0.20 / W difference in price is worth it, which is why I've got Canadian Solar panels on my roof.
                        CS6P-260P/SE3000 - http://tiny.cc/ed5ozx

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by GRickard View Post
                          I see a lot of discussion here about Panasonic, LG, and Sunpower. All seem to be great panel with high efficiency, but I also see a lot of discussion that panels are a commodity any more and brand doesn't really matter.

                          I looked up the Panasonic N330's that the OP has quoted and they are $1.03 a watt and 19.7% efficient. I also looked at a C-Sun 340 watt mono that is less efficient at 17.55% but only costs $.53 a watt. Are these brands really going to produce enough extra to justify almost twice the price or are the contractors quoting the more expensive panels so their mark-up profit will be higher.

                          Greg
                          1W of LG solar will produce the same as 1W of Panasonic solar, and the same as 1w of Sunpower and the same as 1w of C-Sun.
                          The main difference here is petty clear, the C-Sun is a 72 cell module which is larger than the others listed here. So if you have the space then sure the C-Sun or canadian, or trina, or QCell, or S-Energy, etc. will be great. If you have limited space then you will likely want something with higher efficiency so you can fit more watts on the roof.
                          OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ButchDeal View Post

                            1W of LG solar will produce the same as 1W of Panasonic solar, and the same as 1w of Sunpower and the same as 1w of C-Sun.
                            The main difference here is petty clear, the C-Sun is a 72 cell module which is larger than the others listed here. So if you have the space then sure the C-Sun or canadian, or trina, or QCell, or S-Energy, etc. will be great. If you have limited space then you will likely want something with higher efficiency so you can fit more watts on the roof.
                            Or, use the less expensive but slightly less energy output per area density panels and put the price difference into conservation measures which almost certainly have a better ROI than the cost differential of the panels. Smaller Wattage array, compounded with less per Watt and a better ROI on difference in B.O.S when put into conservation measures/lifestyle changes probably equals a lower bill with an electrically smaller array when combined w/conservation measures for the same net $$ outflow.

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                            • #15
                              ok so I netted out with the conversation above that the Pani panels are ok quality if I'm willing to pay more than the others mentioned. I'm looking for a C-Sun vendor in NorCal, out of all mentioned, I don't have a quote for that manufacture... All the others mentioned are from:

                              C-Sun - China
                              canadian - China
                              trina - China
                              QCell - ???
                              S-Energy - ???
                              Last edited by JRqwertyui; 07-07-2017, 01:20 PM.

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