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Old 03-11-2015, 10:01   #16
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Re: Grape solar

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" Grape Solar utilizes contract manufacturing which means we design the specifications and set the quality standards for our panels which are made in over 30 different factories throughout the world. These factories are located in Japan, Korea, China, Canada and the United States."
What interests me, and not just for grape, is what specific components are made where.

Maybe the grommets are made in Korea, the MC4 wires made in Japan, the solar cells made in China, and backing made in Canada, and the final QA done in USA.

BTW - BoatGuy30... COOL BOAT! Congrats.
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Old 03-11-2015, 10:02   #17
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Re: Grape solar

Home depot is selling the 265 watt Grape with free home delivery (or to your local store) , 10 year warranty and you can always return them to HD.
Works out to $1.38/ watt delivered.
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Old 03-11-2015, 10:14   #18
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Re: Grape solar

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Originally Posted by zboss View Post
What interests me, and not just for grape, is what specific components are made where.

Maybe the grommets are made in Korea, the MC4 wires made in Japan, the solar cells made in China, and backing made in Canada, and the final QA done in USA.

BTW - BoatGuy30... COOL BOAT! Congrats.
The main thing I look at is the warranty and its enforceability the second is the price per watt doesn't matter where they are made will they stand behind their product in 25 years when the output falls to 79% of rated output when new.
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Old 03-11-2015, 19:06   #19
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Re: Grape solar

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The main thing I look at is the warranty and its enforceability the second is the price per watt doesn't matter where they are made will they stand behind their product in 25 years when the output falls to 79% of rated output when new.
Really?

1. are you really going to have your boat in 25 years? I cannot say how may do but I estimate that of the cruisers we have met well under 10% of owners still have the same boat after 25 years. Most give up sailing altogether within 10.

2. In 10 years you will be able to buy solar panels whose total cost of watt for watt replacement will be less than the cost of sending your old panels to the junkyard by 1st class mail.

3. Can you guarantee grape solar will be in business in 25 years? Right now, the average lifespan of solar companies is about 5 years.

4. Its much more likely that your solar panels will be damaged by hail or some other natural or unnatural phenomenom well before 25 years.

5. We are talking hundreds here not tens-of-thousands. If you are worried about the loss of $500 of solar panels over much more than a few years than you really should not be buying a boat.

6. Long warranties are a sales tactic and a pretty much worthless that is WHY they can offer 25 year warranties. What other industry offers a 25 year warranty? I can't even buy a bowling ball with a 25 year warranty.

7. if your 4 x 100 watt solar panels (total 400 watts) drop to 79 watts each (316 watts) just buy a new panel for $100 and be done with it - then you will have more watts than you started out with. It'll cost you more in time to get the warranty, take the panel to the post office (if that even exists anymore), package it, send it, and retrieve it in the end.

Solar panels are throw away items at this price point.
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Old 03-11-2015, 19:32   #20
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Re: Grape solar

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Originally Posted by zboss View Post
Really?

1. are you really going to have your boat in 25 years? I cannot say how may do but I estimate that of the cruisers we have met well under 10% of owners still have the same boat after 25 years. Most give up sailing altogether within 10.

2. In 10 years you will be able to buy solar panels whose total cost of watt for watt replacement will be less than the cost of sending your old panels to the junkyard by 1st class mail.

3. Can you guarantee grape solar will be in business in 25 years? Right now, the average lifespan of solar companies is about 5 years.

4. Its much more likely that your solar panels will be damaged by hail or some other natural or unnatural phenomenom well before 25 years.

5. We are talking hundreds here not tens-of-thousands. If you are worried about the loss of $500 of solar panels over much more than a few years than you really should not be buying a boat.

6. Long warranties are a sales tactic and a pretty much worthless that is WHY they can offer 25 year warranties. What other industry offers a 25 year warranty? I can't even buy a bowling ball with a 25 year warranty.

7. if your 4 x 100 watt solar panels (total 400 watts) drop to 79 watts each (316 watts) just buy a new panel for $100 and be done with it - then you will have more watts than you started out with. It'll cost you more in time to get the warranty, take the panel to the post office (if that even exists anymore), package it, send it, and retrieve it in the end.

Solar panels are throw away items at this price point.
Actually yes I do intend on owning the same islander I have now and the longevity of the warranty is actually not just marketing I buy lifetime warranty on all my truck parts that I can because I know they will fail someday. One other point is that the warranty from companies like renogy and windy nation are fully transferable to the next owner.I can think of better places to spend 500 bucks than replacing panels that failed during the warranty period.
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Old 03-11-2015, 20:36   #21
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Re: Grape solar

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Actually yes I do intend on owning the same islander I have now and the longevity of the warranty is actually not just marketing I buy lifetime warranty on all my truck parts that I can because I know they will fail someday. One other point is that the warranty from companies like renogy and windy nation are fully transferable to the next owner.I can think of better places to spend 500 bucks than replacing panels that failed during the warranty period.
That's the point... you WON'T be spending $500 bucks. Solar panel prices are projected to fall another 40% in the next two years! If you had to replace all those panels in 2 years it would cost about $300. In 10 years?

Buy the cheapest panels you can get that satisfy your space and energy needs. If it happens to come with a 25 year warranty fine but by then they will be like using a brick phone from the 80's. I'm pretty sure they came with a 25 year warranty.
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Old 03-11-2015, 20:59   #22
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Re: Grape solar

Z the thing for me is first I have 200 watts worth of mono panels and a 30 amp pwm controller from windy nation the whole thing including all the wires and mounting cost me right at 300 bucks was just giving the renogy panels as a cheaper comperable alternative to the grape panels that's all about the most I will ever do as far as more solar would be to add 2 more panels to my existing array.
If your estimates are correct I will be adding those panels in 2019. At less than half the cost of my current panels and still be able to stay in the 500 a month club. Thank you for that tidbit of info.


Last but no least in the late 80's I had a ham 2 meter with auto patch. Not much bigger than some of the phones today.
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Old 03-11-2015, 21:29   #23
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Re: Grape solar

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Originally Posted by newhaul View Post
Z the thing for me is first I have 200 watts worth of mono panels and a 30 amp pwm controller from windy nation the whole thing including all the wires and mounting cost me right at 300 bucks was just giving the renogy panels as a cheaper comperable alternative to the grape panels that's all about the most I will ever do as far as more solar would be to add 2 more panels to my existing array.
If your estimates are correct I will be adding those panels in 2019. At less than half the cost of my current panels and still be able to stay in the 500 a month club. Thank you for that tidbit of info.


Last but no least in the late 80's I had a ham 2 meter with auto patch. Not much bigger than some of the phones today.
We did too! There were no telephones or roads at our vacation home.
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Old 03-11-2015, 21:53   #24
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Re: Grape solar

Just picked up a solar kit from Costco, comes with: two 145 watt mono panels, 28 amp smart controller, and all the wiring (plug & play). As well the kit included two 10 amp controllers, and a 400 watt inverter! All for $699 CAN. It works awesome and will accept two more 145 watt panels which will max the controller, (the second kit will have another controller if you go that route, if you don't want to risk one controller. Plus you guessed it a 25 year warranty too!
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Old 04-11-2015, 06:04   #25
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Re: Grape solar

Quote:
Originally Posted by newhaul View Post
Actually yes I do intend on owning the same islander I have now and the longevity of the warranty is actually not just marketing I buy lifetime warranty on all my truck parts that I can because I know they will fail someday. One other point is that the warranty from companies like renogy and windy nation are fully transferable to the next owner.I can think of better places to spend 500 bucks than replacing panels that failed during the warranty period.
Zboss has this correct. We recently had one of our panels bought in 1998 for $700 fail within its 25yr warranty. Great, I thought, I will just send it back to the manufacturer for replacement. Until I saw that I could just walk down the road a bit and buy a new exact same model/manufacturer panel for $140. Well, it wasn't exactly the same - the new model is 20W higher output now. This cost was the same as the freight I would pay to ship a panel both ways.

And if you are out cruising in a different country, good luck with any warranty on anything. Shipping cost and customs will always be more expensive than buying a new replacement.

From experience, buying primarily on warranty is the wrong way to look at this.

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Old 04-11-2015, 08:00   #26
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Re: Grape solar

Check that warranty carefully if the warranty is why you would buy one panel over another. Some warranties do not apply if installed on a boat or RV.

I have Kyocera panels. When I bought them 6 years ago they were very popular with cruisers. But 6 years ago there were not as many options as there are today. And much more expensive 6 years ago.
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:04   #27
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Re: Grape solar

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Check that warranty carefully if the warranty is why you would buy one panel over another. Some warranties do not apply if installed on a boat or RV.

I have Kyocera panels. When I bought them 6 years ago they were very popular with cruisers. But 6 years ago there were not as many options as there are today. And much more expensive 6 years ago.
The warranty exclusion is true you must read the fine print renogy and windy nation panels don't have that boilerplate in their warranty legalease. however kyocera does or at least did last year say the warranty was voided with marine installation on a moving platform . And that was on their " marine " units. That's why I went windy nation ( that and the 320 price for 2 100 watt panels, 30 amp pwm controller and all the associated to install it)
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