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Old 01-30-2011, 05:18 PM   #1
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Solar Panel Prices Dropping

Years ago the lowest prices you would see for solar panels were about $4 per watt. Not long ago a batch of new startups entered the marketplace producing thin-film solar cells, which could be manufactured with far fewer materials and some of these companies (Nanosolar) claimed their cell production cost less than $1 per watt, which was a symbolic price point that represented competitiveness with the price of coal-plant electricity.

I had previously checked the panel prices perhaps two years ago and the first thin-film solar panels were available at around $2.60 per watt. Today I visited the same site and found a link to a vendor advertising $1.69 per watt panels, I thought that was a pretty good price and I clicked the link to see more, to my surprise the site was also selling panels for as low as $0.98 per watt. These low-cost panels use a silicon-based thin-film technology, essentially the same silicon panel technology that has been around for decades but manufacturing improvements have reduced the amount of semiconductor-grade silicon to 1% of what it was previously.

Here's the link: Solar Panels Price Survey - Lowest Prices
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Old 02-05-2011, 04:27 PM   #2
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Solar

Thank you for the information!

We are considering the addition of solar power, and have learned of a "rumor" that new technology has resulted in panels which are soon to be available. Apparently these panels fold in on themselves almost like the AS steps, thus providing a larger surface of light weight panels. Have you learned any information about these new panels?
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:58 PM   #3
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''Today I visited the same site and found a link to a vendor advertising $1.69 per watt panels, I thought that was a pretty good price and I clicked the link to see more, to my surprise the site was also selling panels for as low as $0.98 per watt.''

I went down to their warehouse the other day, i bought 3 sun 125 watt panels and a 15 watt panel. The frame was much better/stronger than the Kyocera panels, IMO. I'll probably go back for 2 more, later this week. They have a very big warehouse filled with thousands of solar panels. They took me for a tour, everyone was very nice there. 1.65 a watt, no tax in Florida for solar. Solar Panels, PV Systems, Inverters | 98/W
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Old 03-23-2011, 01:36 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info on this solar site.
Dave
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Old 03-23-2011, 02:00 PM   #5
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It seemed to me the freight was a bit high when I bought panels from the a few years ago. I found that Solar Cell, Solar Panel, Renewable Energy, Wind Energy, Charge Controller, Solar Trackers was more reasonable. I have been thinking of checking out the warehouse of sun electronics in Phoenix to by pass the freight. The only thing is thst the don't have as good of a selection. Both companies have good products. I've bought from both. The problem with thin film panels is that for the same amount of wattage you use twice the area. With the limited amount of space on the AS every bit counts.
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:36 AM   #6
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Does anyone offer a solar system for a rv?
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:54 AM   #7
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RV Solar -

That's all these folks do: Welcome to AM Solar - Your RV Solar Specialists since 1987

I've got one of their systems, and it works as advertised. I think that they get their panels custom-manufactured with extra cells on the panels, so that instead of nominal 12v, they are 17+v, which makes for faster and more complete battery charging, especially with longer wire runs.
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Old 03-29-2011, 12:00 PM   #8
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The marine industry has some interesting ideas that could be adapted. Trouble is marine is usually $$$ Then they need to charge some deep cycle batteries (I have 200 amp hours of battery in 2 banks). These are charged by a marine charger every time shore power is connected. A charger from the solar cells will be required when not hooked to shore power

I have a plan to mount 2 surfboards on top at a slight angle. Both painted silver. Solar cells on the bottom of the boards (which will be the top as they are mounted upside down)
Be very cool looking I think
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arodriguez60 View Post
It seemed to me the freight was a bit high when I bought panels from the a few years ago. I found that Solar Cell, Solar Panel, Renewable Energy, Wind Energy, Charge Controller, Solar Trackers was more reasonable. I have been thinking of checking out the warehouse of sun electronics in Phoenix to by pass the freight. The only thing is thst the don't have as good of a selection. Both companies have good products. I've bought from both. The problem with thin film panels is that for the same amount of wattage you use twice the area. With the limited amount of space on the AS every bit counts.

I think he told me the 85 watt panels could be shipped UPS, bigger panels had to be shipped by pallet. He said the UPS shipping is much cheaper.
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:03 AM   #10
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I've had panels as large as 130 watts sent UPS
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:32 PM   #11
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I've had panels as large as 130 watts sent UPS

That makes sense, they're not that heavy!
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:21 PM   #12
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Both of my AM Solar 100 watt panels were shipped on top of each other and strapped together. They came UPS. I've had their system for a few years plus one of their old 65 watt panels and I have been more than pleased with their performance. Using only one Trojan 115 amp hr. battery, I never went below 70% battery power overnight in 20 degree weather during late December '10 deer hunts. That battery is almost 5 years old now.
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