Posted by never on April 17, 2007, 4:37 am
Of the many appreciated responses to my earlier post on the grid tied
solar voltaic systems for residential, I have one other.
What has been the experiences with solar panels and which do you think
have the better performances and why?
I'm putting the final touches on a presentation to a group of old
folks in regard to the installation of a solar grid tied system on
their homes, both advantages and disadvantages, and the range of
In the next day or so, I will provide a brief outline of what will be
covered for your reading and comments.
Posted by Anthony Matonak on April 17, 2007, 5:09 am
Best bang for the buck is solar air heating, then water heating and
following far behind is solar PV (electric). I can't really comment
on different brands or models.
There used to be a lot of junk solar water heaters out there in the
80's but they disappeared with the government rebates that attracted
so many fly-by-night operations.
Most every solar PV panel I've seen seems to be fairly well built,
warrantied for more than a couple of decades and just seem to work.
Posted by never on April 17, 2007, 5:37 am
On Mon, 16 Apr 2007 22:09:13 -0700, Anthony Matonak
Thank you for the response. It'll be part of my summery.
Posted by George Ghio on April 17, 2007, 6:24 am
Have to agree with Anthony. I have installed most of the major brands
at one time or the other. I put Sharp ahead of the rest, not for performance,
but because they use a tubular section extrusion for the frames. But that
is only installation consideration. Less likely to break during handling.
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Posted by adm on April 17, 2007, 9:25 am
I install grid tied systems in the UK and there are a few consideration that
may or may not apply to you....
1) Depending on whether or not you can get a grant, you may need to (and
should) buy a pre-approved product and have it fitted by an accredited and
local installation company to qualify for funds. For example, in the UK,
inverters need to be approved to comply with engineering recommendation
G83/1 or G59 - these recommendations ensure that the inverter cuts power to
the grid in the case of a grid power cut so there is no danger to linemen
repairing the grid.
2) On the panels themselves, as George and Anthony both say, they pretty
much "just work" once they are installed. My experience with several brands
of mono and poly crystalline is that they are all pretty much the same in
performance and do what they say on the box.
3) Again - for installation, make sure to go with a reputable and accredited
local installer if possible. There is not much that can go wrong once the
panels are on the roof - but if you do have an issue, it's nice to know you
can call someone local to come and fix it - and that that company will still
be there in the future.
4) Grid tied is simpler than battery backed - and lower cost as you don't
have to worry about a battery bank. Obviously though, you need to make sure
that your local DNO (distribution network operator) will pay you for any
exported electricity and that they will install the right kind of meter for
your building to enable you to get paid. This can be a problem in the UK
with some DNOs - your mileage may vary....Of course, grid tied has the
downside in that it needs to cut off in the event of a grid power outage (in
the UK anyway)....