Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Our Solar Panel Decision

Making the decision which solar panels to use was a difficult task. We looked at many Brands. Checked out the performance, Manufacturers' rating, the panels' output, warranties, workmanship and above all (for me) the cosmetic appeal. There were some good ones out there. All the panels we were interested in were Monocrystalline, meaning that it is made up of one layer of conducting crystals. Years ago they made them with several layers, thinking at that time it would harvest more energy. Of course now with today's technology we can harvest more energy with using only one layer. Although we check out many manufacturers, I will list only the three we were seriously looking at.
First company we were introduced to was Schuco, a German company. Schuco has been in the United Sates for a little over three years now. Their panels have a 210 watts output per panel with a minimum output of 207 watts. The panels have a 90% output guarantee for 12 years and an 80% guarantee for 25. They are a very good company with a great reputation.
Second one was Suntech. Their output per panel was 180 with the same 90% and 80% output guarantee. I did not like the looks of this one. You know the lady of the house rules. It's all about Looks... Looks...Looks. Oh yes, performance counts but Looks over rules.
SunPower was the third one investigated, This was the best in our view and the one we went with. Sunpower has several sizes of panels ranging from 210 to 230 watts output. The panel we decided on was 225 watts output. The size of the panel was ideal for our installing area. Making the number a panels needed perfect for our site. There was a 10 year product warranty where all the others were only 5. Output guarantee is the same for all of the panels, that is really standard for solar panels. This company also has a monitoring system included with the panels. I spoke about that in an earlier post. Oh about the Looks..well it is the Photo above. Nice and clean,we will have them mounted with no gaps for a very smooth look.They are en route as I type this post. They will arrive at the installation Company we chose.

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