[aprssig] Cheap Solar Panels
Brian B. Riley
brianbr at mac.com
Sun Feb 25 14:42:13 CST 2007
I look at these discussions and I keep shaking my head. I live off
the grid ... I started using Solarex panels and I still have the 5
panels I bought nearly twenty years ago. I later switched to Siemens/
ARCO SP-75s and have 16 of them that are 5-12 years old.
It really comes down to "ya gets what ya pays for!"
I paid, by your metric, just about $6/watt for the Solarex panels.
They were warranted to withstand 100 mph in quartering winds, direct
impact of 1 inch hail, and to put out at least 90% of spec for 10
years (the new warranty is 90% of spec for 10 years, 80% of spec for
20 years). Right now, 19+ years old they are all still putting out at
90-95% of their original specifications (when I got them new they
were putting out at 110-115% of spec). This performance level is
after 19+ years at 1600 feet on the Western slope of Mount
Mansfield ... steady winds at times of 30-60 mph, gusts as high as
107mph. Temperatures that have reached as low as -34F and as high as
106F. Snow rain, hail and ice. At 9 years and 10 months, I noticed
that two the original panels seemed to have low output. I called
Solarex and got an RMA, sent them to Maryland and I got two brand new
panels back, no further questions asked. The heating/cooling cycles
through the years had caused several solder joints to go cold and/or
What you get for $2 /watt will have neither the performance, physical
soundness, reliability nor warranty backup those Solarex panels had.
Penny wise and pound foolish is looking at just the price. What's it
worth to you to be able to put them up and more or less forget about
them for years on end? If you are going to be laying out that kind of
money why not do it right? I know its not cheap, that is why I built
my system here buying 1 and 2 panels at a time. It took me 12 years
to assemble the arrays I have now.
cheers ... 73 de brian riley, n1bq , underhill center, vermont
<http://web.mac.com/brianbr/> Tech Blog
Home of the
K107 Serial LCD Controller Kit FT817 Power Conditioner Kit
Tab Robot Laser Tag Kit MSP430 Chips and Connectors
Propeller Robot Controller SX48 "Tech Board" Kit
On Feb 25, 2007, at 11:09 AM, Kriss A Kliegle wrote:
> Unfortunately they're not cheap, even at HarborFreight they get
> $8/watt!!! At Solar-electric.com (Northern Arizona Wind and Sun)
> you can get large panels for $4.70/watt. Still, no bargin though.
> I purchased all of mine used from Ebay and local word of mouth
> sales for about $2.00/watt. You just have to look around at those
> Want-Ad type magazines at the local quick mart store, because I've
> purchased them from there too!
> Kriss KA1GJU
> KA1GJU-3 Solar Powered WX digi
> W1WQM/R Solar/Wind Powered Voice 2M Repeater
> aprssig mailing list
> aprssig at lists.tapr.org
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the aprssig