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Thread: Life expectancy of PV panels

  1. #21
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    Awesome! I think Enphase makes some quality stuff and they stand behind it. I have had nothing but good things to say about their Caribbean support team...they have been 100% helpful. For reasons unknown, the Envoy would not connect to my house wifi to get on line and report the data...well, it would and it wouldn't...connected and disconnected erratically. I finally did away with the wifi link by putting an EOP adaptor right in the Envoy box where there's a receptacle just for it, and using that to get to the router at the other end of the house. Works perfectly and connected itself as soon as I plugged it in. I don't know how much better than that you could do.

    It's good to hear that bigger and more powerful solar panels are emerging. All of it...batteries, controllers, inverters, etc, will get cheaper and better as time goes on, because it's the future for many, particularly those that get a lot of sun, as we do. Use it!

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggunn View Post
    We spec the Envoy in every Enphase system we put together; we are hopeful that we will be able to get Enphase micros again before too very much longer.

    My company has a partnership with SunPower; SP just announced a 400W residential module, and there are 395W commercial modules rolling out soon.
    Are these 395/400 watt modules occupying the same footprint as the 75 watt modules mentioned from 1995?

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadfly56 View Post
    I can't see how that makes any sense. Unless you have a storage system and are completely off grid and depend on the output being at a certain level to meet your electrical needs, at least on an average basis, what is the driver for replacement? At 25 years, the panel costs are fully sunk and whatever your're getting really is free. Why incur capital costs at this point? For what kind of gain? 10% or 15%? That would never meet any kind of reasonable ROI.
    I agree with you from an investment standpoint, and certainly the majority of people have that in mind when investing in a PV system, but lets remember people do things for different reasons. As an example, for myself, I hate monthly recurring payments. Makes me feel like a slave. I have money now, I am healthy and have work and can work. I would rather invest in a solar system now and not have to worry about a monthly electric bill for the next 30 years. It makes me feel more flexible and secure.
    Ethan Brush - East West Electric. NY, WA. MA

    "You can't generalize"

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadfly56 View Post
    Are these 395/400 watt modules occupying the same footprint as the 75 watt modules mentioned from 1995?
    They are probably 2-3 times the area (per panel, not array). i.e also 2-3 times more efficient.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillK-AZ View Post
    Old PV modules were donated to the PV testing lab at Arizona State University as they were interested in the differences between "good" and "poor" modules.
    so there are studies out there then.....~RJ~

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadfly56 View Post
    Are these 395/400 watt modules occupying the same footprint as the 75 watt modules mentioned from 1995?
    The 395W commercial modules are 81.4" X 38.9". I don't know the dimensions of the 400W residential ones.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggunn View Post
    The 395W commercial modules are 81.4" X 38.9". I don't know the dimensions of the 400W residential ones.
    What were the old 75 watt panels? I'm trying to understand how much more roof real estate is involved.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadfly56 View Post
    What were the old 75 watt panels? I'm trying to understand how much more roof real estate is involved.
    I have no idea; they were before my time in the industry.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggunn View Post
    I have no idea; they were before my time in the industry.
    In 2001, we installed lots of 100 or 110 watt panels.
    26x58 inches = 10.47 square feet.
    100W/10.5 sq ft = 9.5W / sq ft


    Today, panels are 39x66" = 17.88 square feet.
    Newest panels are 320 W. (premium SunPower and LG panels will be 365W......... i believe)
    320W/17.9 sq ft = 17.9W / sq ft

    In 18 years, panel efficiency has gone up (17.9/9.5 = 1.88) 90%

  10. #30
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    I bet the 75W panels were ARCO solar or Siemens and had circular cells or half circles. Just my WAG.

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