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  • Type of solar panels in hot climate

    Hi, I am a student from Norway working on a solar project in Africa (Ethiopia). We are going to build a small solar array, which will provide electricity to a small village.
    My question: In a warm climate and no space restrictions, which type of solar panels should we consider buying? We have looked at:

    1. "Sanyo HIT 225-watt solar panels combines mono-crystalline silicon cells with amorphous thin film". $700.00 (expensive)
    2. KD240GX-LPB Kyocera, a polycrystalline solar panel. $433.00

    but in different articles I have read that an amorphous solar panel may be the best choice in a warm climate and with no space restrictions... any thoughts?

  • #2
    I'd suggest using anything BUT amorphous . They do not have a proven lifetime, and are not as efficient (much bigger panel for same wattage) .

    Of course, if you want to go back in 5 years and replace them - that would be fine.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
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    • #3
      Best panel on the market for the most Bang For Your buck is Kyocera. I would not have any type of Thin Film panel as Mike mentioned have a very short life span. If space is not an issue, efficiency does not mean squat. Kyocera panels have been around for 30 years, great warranty, and will likely be one of the very few panel manufactures left in the next few years. Most manufactures will go bankrupt.
      MSEE, PE

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      • #4
        I remember a short time ago we said the same about BP panels and some others, Like is being said about Kyocera, But where are they now??

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Sunny Solar View Post
          I remember a short time ago we said the same about BP panels and some others, Like is being said about Kyocera, But where are they now??
          In the top three financially with Westinghouse and Sanyo. Not bad company to be in. That is where the investor money is going. With Kyocera being the least expensive to me makes them the best. I use boat loads of their KD215 panels. Hell of a deal @ $305/unit when bought by the pallet.
          MSEE, PE

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          • #6
            Sunking you answered a question no one asked.
            I said not long ago panels from BP and a few others were recomended as being good quality and great guarantees and likely to be around for many years to honour the warranties. But where are they now.?
            I never said anything was not good about Kyocera. Sure Kyocera are good value and good quality but it seems that does not guarantee that they will be around in even 10 yrs. Sometimes even the best companies go out of business for one reason or another.
            How many other panel manufacturers gave 20yr warranties but are long gone? many.

            Its the fickle finger of fate.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Sunny Solar View Post
              Sunking you answered a question no one asked.
              I said not long ago panels from BP and a few others were recomended as being good quality and great guarantees and likely to be around for many years to honour the warranties. But where are they now.?
              I never said anything was not good about Kyocera. Sure Kyocera are good value and good quality but it seems that does not guarantee that they will be around in even 10 yrs. Sometimes even the best companies go out of business for one reason or another.
              How many other panel manufacturers gave 20yr warranties but are long gone? many.

              Its the fickle finger of fate.
              It's possible that BP decided it needed to focus it's money elsewhere since having to foot a multi billion bill from the oil rig disaster. Either that or someone in financing could no longer justify making a product that had more than a 2 year return on investment.

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              • #8
                BP got out of solar before the rig disaster.
                PowerOne 3.6 x 2, 32 SolarWorld 255W mono

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bonaire View Post
                  BP got out of solar before the rig disaster.
                  You may be right. I didn't check when they stopped producing their panels.

                  It did make sense for oil companies to get into a different power generation systems but I figured they would at least keep trying for a while longer then they did.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
                    You may be right. I didn't check when they stopped producing their panels.

                    It did make sense for oil companies to get into a different power generation systems but I figured they would at least keep trying for a while longer then they did.
                    They were still "in business" during the disaster, but had shut down in many plants, including the USA. So, my reply was incorrect that they had totally got out, but were on their way out at the time.

                    http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-57...ar-shuts-down/
                    PowerOne 3.6 x 2, 32 SolarWorld 255W mono

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                    • #11
                      This was the point I was trying to make. BP made great panels and were well respected as a manufacturer, and were recommended by many partly because everyone just about expected them to be in business for many years to come so on that basis assumed guarantees would be still able to be honoured in 15 yrs time. But they are no longer in that business for whatever reasons.
                      It makes it hard to recommend any panel manufacturer no matter how secure they appear today,5yrs time?? Taken over by a bigger corporation than themselves?? New owners dont like their profits? Shut them down??

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
                        It did make sense for oil companies to get into a different power generation systems but I figured they would at least keep trying for a while longer then they did.
                        Sure it does. Not only BP, but add Chevron, Shell Oil, and Exxon to the list.

                        Got batteries? Chevron (Cobasys) owns the Patent and Royalty rights on every NiMh battery made today. Exxon was the very first company to bring a commercial Lithium Ion battery. Both Chevron and Exxon are pouring billions in Lithium Ion battery development.
                        MSEE, PE

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