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Old 22-12-2009, 11:30   #1
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Solar Dropping in Price (Finally)

There have been a lot of suppliers that have dropped their costs of manufacturing to less than $1 per watt (YTG, nanosolar, firstsolar) but their main sales have been grid tied solar farms. I just saw this Season's Greetings from Innovative Solar Solutions

which are now less than $3 per watt (just). Considering that average prices are still above $4 per watt, its a good trend. I predict by next year we should see about $1 shaved off that price.
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Old 22-12-2009, 22:24   #2
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I seem to be able to get solar panels for $2.50 a watt or less online and that includes shipping.

They are still protected with glass, and not flexible. I want strong flexible panels that an entire sailboat deck could be made with. I have some, but they are about $30 per watt (used for solar powered electric airplaines etc..)
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Old 23-12-2009, 04:20   #3
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They have dropped about 50% in Australia this year.

Ours, 120 watt were listed about AU$1,200
we paid $900 for 2 and now they are advertised for $650.


Great to see they are dropping to more realistic prices. But they should be $100 each.


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Old 23-12-2009, 05:05   #4
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i paid $1.98 per watt for a 130 watt panel from sun electric in miami, back in july. that price has since gone up, go figure.
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Old 23-12-2009, 05:09   #5
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actually now they have panels for $1.74/watt. Solar Panels : Solar Panels Direct $1.74 per watt - not affiliated in anyway just a happy customer thrilled with their prices.

just an fyi - the cheap ones that have sun electrics name on them are made in china and relabeled, but have a 20 year warranty even for marine use
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Old 23-12-2009, 06:30   #6
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60-watt panels, $ .98 a watt: Kaneka GSA-60 60 Watt Thin Film Panel - $58.80
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Old 23-12-2009, 07:48   #7
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But these are amorphous which usually means they are alot bigger to produce the same wattage. Which for us lot, is important.
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Old 23-12-2009, 09:07   #8
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Whats the difference

Are those sunelec panels really worth it?

I was looking into buying this 60 watt set up. The kit includes a PVC mounting frame, 7 Amp charge controller, 200-watt inverter, and wiring/connection cables along with the (4) 15-watt panels. All for $270.
Seems like a great deal. What do you guys think about it?
Amazon.com: Sunforce 50044 60-Watt Solar Charging Kit: Automotive

And then can you just add some sunelec panels to the set up? Why would I pay $80 for a 15-watt panel
Amazon.com: Sunforce 50032 15 Watt Solar Battery Charger: Automotive

When I could pay $60 for a 60-watt panel
Kaneka GSA-60 60 Watt Thin Film Panel - $58.80

I plead ignorance, so help me out
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Old 28-12-2009, 16:33   #9
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Here in Australia I just purchased on ebay a 200 watt mono for Aud $780 USD $700.00 thats the best I have seen for a while.
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Old 29-12-2009, 14:39   #10
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And then can you just add some sunelec panels to the set up? Why would I pay $80 for a 15-watt panel
Amazon.com: Sunforce 50032 15 Watt Solar Battery Charger: Automotive

When I could pay $60 for a 60-watt panel
Kaneka GSA-60 60 Watt Thin Film Panel - $58.80

I plead ignorance, so help me out
The Kaneka panels are 48 volt .... can we use these with 12v and 24v battery banks???
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Old 29-12-2009, 22:27   #11
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On a boat, one of the main factors should be watts per sq foot, not $ per watt.

The structure to hold them, the weight and the area covered are all bigger factors than on land.

Getting the most efficient panels may actually be cheaper if you don't have to build a huge array.
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Old 02-01-2010, 16:07   #12
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Solar Panel Choices

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Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
On a boat, one of the main factors should be watts per sq foot, not $ per watt.

The structure to hold them, the weight and the area covered are all bigger factors than on land.

Getting the most efficient panels may actually be cheaper if you don't have to build a huge array.
You are 100% correct.

I missed the $1.98/watt special for 130 watt panels at Sun Electric but caught the 205 watt special at the same price. Now the price is occasionally lower. The shipping adds to the price so if you can pickup you really save.

Real Estate which means watt/ft is very important as is having more than one panel. I went with 2 panels which I will mount on the bimini. My boom is forward of the bimini so backstay is the only potential shade if I face the right way. I am also installing a MPPT controller to get back much of the losses 20-40% losses due to panel-battery mismatch.

As the 2 panels take 30+ sq ft on my bimini which is all of my space, I can't afford the losses from a real estate perspective alone. There is also the cost aspect.

Solar panel cost is only part of the cost. Wire, fuses and mounting are not cheap. You are throwing away power if you have resistance in the line. I went for #2 wire and good low R fuses.

The dilemma was, save on wire by placing panels in series and having the MPPT manage the conversion or panels in parallel. I went with parallel.

Anyone had a similar dilemma? Would love to hear others thoughts.

Jack C

"Sold on MPPT"
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Old 02-01-2010, 18:01   #13
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but not in the EU

Could be. Buy them where they are cheap.

Here in the EU a decent 95 unit costs 650 EUR (=+/-) 1000 USD

Roughly 10 USD / W ;-(

b.
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Old 05-01-2010, 14:50   #14
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Personally I wouldn't want to go any higher than 48 watts on the circuit. That's the limit for "low voltage", it goes way back to the decision to power telephone lines with 48 volts so that it wouldn't be deadly to touch. I have panels that produce around 36 volts, therefore I put them in parallel. I've got around 700 watts on my boat, which is the upper end for the outback mppt 60. I also understand the argument about real estate, cats have big fat transoms, so mounting it on the bimini and aft arch is pretty easy. If you want conversion efficiency for direct arrays not mounted at an obtuse angle to the sun, then you want sunpower, they've got the most efficient panels out there. Here in DC they had the solardecathlon and the winner again was germany for building a small, solar powered house. All of the surfaces were covered with panels, with amorphous panels on the sides of the house as they can generate more electricity from indirect sunlight. Either way new production techniques are now starting to save us money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack C View Post
You are 100% correct.

I missed the $1.98/watt special for 130 watt panels at Sun Electric but caught the 205 watt special at the same price. Now the price is occasionally lower. The shipping adds to the price so if you can pickup you really save.

Real Estate which means watt/ft is very important as is having more than one panel. I went with 2 panels which I will mount on the bimini. My boom is forward of the bimini so backstay is the only potential shade if I face the right way. I am also installing a MPPT controller to get back much of the losses 20-40% losses due to panel-battery mismatch.

As the 2 panels take 30+ sq ft on my bimini which is all of my space, I can't afford the losses from a real estate perspective alone. There is also the cost aspect.

Solar panel cost is only part of the cost. Wire, fuses and mounting are not cheap. You are throwing away power if you have resistance in the line. I went for #2 wire and good low R fuses.

The dilemma was, save on wire by placing panels in series and having the MPPT manage the conversion or panels in parallel. I went with parallel.

Anyone had a similar dilemma? Would love to hear others thoughts.

Jack C

"Sold on MPPT"
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Old 31-03-2010, 10:28   #15
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Did anyone here actually install the
Kaneka GSA-60 60 Watt Thin Film Panel

They rate at 90V !
I have read that it is very hard to get an MPPT controller that will bring that down to 12V and these are very expensive, so your cost / watt on a small system with a very expensive MPPT goes way up with these.

Is that accurate?

Model G-EA060 Nominal Power (W) 60.0 Open Circuit Voltage (V) 91.8 Short Circuit Current (A) 1.19 Maximum Power Voltage (V) 67.0 Maximum Power Current (A) 0.90 Maximum System Voltage (V) 530 Dimensions (mm) L960xW990xD40 Weight (kg) 13.7
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