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Topic: Solarpanel prices re-visited..74c USD per watt?

by nofear 19 Aug 11, 14 replies : Last Post Sort by:
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94 posts
Solarpanel prices re-visited..74c USD per watt? 
Posted 19 Aug 11 6:54 AM
What gives here? Given the (high ( lol) NZ dollar, how come we cant get close to these prices?

This site offers a 780 watt home system for $1687...minus battery. I know personally of a USA buyer who set up his ranch with products from this company some years ago.

Evergreen solar is another popular US supplier.


58 posts
Re: Solarpanel prices re-visited..74c USD per watt? 
Posted 19 Aug 11 8:59 AM
Nofear, there are a number of factors at work. The first is the quality of the manufacturer. In the US the really trusted brands are not selling that cheap. Only the cheap "whatever name you want on it" types are selling at those prices. Good modules are around US$2/W.

Next is the size of our market. NZ would take a minute fraction of 1% of global manufacture so we are a price taker, not a price maker. Negotiation for bulk buying just does not happen here. Maybe if we had MW scale projects but when a project here is considered large and in the US people are putting similar sized systems on their homes, well it is a bit of a joke talking bulk buying.

Thirdly the rate at which stock rotates. An importer will have to clear stock before re-ordering and that means it takes time for price fluctuations to show. Just because one day prices internationally may be low does not mean that prices here will drop to match. The flip side (and it has happened) is that when prices internationally rise, prices here can stay low for a while.

Fourthly there is the sheer cost of getting stock to NZ. For small volumes shipping rates are not spectacularly cheap, we are a long way away form the sources of supply (a lot further than the US) and there are significant costs in getting shipments cleared off the wharves and then add on the internal freight costs!

When a simple price comparison is performed prices in NZ seem high but if an complete analysis is done you can see why. Same goes for almost any imported item. Why are cars in the US so cheap compared to here? Any machinery? Clothes so cheap in Asia? Why should PV be any different?

58 posts
Re: Solarpanel prices re-visited..74c USD per watt? 
Posted 19 Aug 11 9:00 AM
As a post-script, Evergreen has just filed for bankruptcy protection

58 posts
Re: Solarpanel prices re-visited..74c USD per watt? 
Posted 19 Aug 11 9:16 AM
PPS, these days the battery will be around 40% of the system price for an off-grid PV based system so what seems to be a low price may not be if "battery not included"!

58 posts
Re: Solarpanel prices re-visited..74c USD per watt? 
Posted 26 Aug 11 1:41 PM
As an update on this thread, we are now able to offer a top Japanese brand with a 25 year warranty (that will be supported if ever necessary) for $3.40/W incl GST. The price drop has just come through with the new stock.

Remember the price shown in the header of this thread is in US$, does not include GST or freight, port charges etc. Also it will be a chinese module, possibly of uncertain parentage.

5 posts
Re: Solarpanel prices re-visited..74c USD per watt? 
Posted 26 Aug 11 5:20 PM
How do we make contact?

58 posts
Re: Solarpanel prices re-visited..74c USD per watt? 
Posted 26 Aug 11 5:52 PM


94 posts
Re: Solarpanel prices re-visited..74c USD per watt? 
Posted 29 Aug 11 8:47 PM
Thanks Reguy for your input. Yes, freight costs from AKl to South Island could sometimes match or exceed that of USA to AKL...at least that had been my experience several years ago when importing. It certainly does not not help matters...

Just to put this on a level playing field...the 74c per watt referred to laminate cells without frames..but regardless, I doubt we will ever come close to their prices.

I should mention here also that the following NZ supplier looks to be making a real effort to make solar affordable....this was from his site a few months ago...

"DSCSolar swimming pool solar heating specialist New Zealand!
230 Watt Solar PV Modules for use with
Grid tied inverters
Price $668"

all the very best to you.

58 posts
Re: Solarpanel prices re-visited..74c USD per watt? 
Posted 30 Aug 11 8:26 AM
Hi Nofear. Yes, a frameless module would be considerably lower in price but difficult to mount. I have done it once and never again! They are just too fragile while handling.

Although I don't have 230W modules, at the same $/W pricing I have for 220W ones a 230 would be $621 each incl GST and these are well proven, Japanese made.

At the moment I think anyone would be mad to opt for chinese modules given the historical performance when it comes to problem resolution with the chinese manufacturers.

The historically low pricing we see at the moment is as a result of a series of factors involving the recession, Germany tinkering with their feed in tariff scheme and a massive increase in silicon availability. It got so bad that two thin film producers shut down last year because they could not compete with crystalline modules.

There are some signs that prices are starting to edge upwards again but here we are a little behind the trend as stock has to clear. This is why we have been a little behind in getting the low prices coming through as well!

115 posts
Re: Solarpanel prices re-visited..74c USD per watt? 
Posted 30 Aug 11 6:12 PM
Im looking to add 1 more panel . Need around 44v oc and 17 v pmax. Do your panels match .
On the Chinese panels, 2 of my bp panels are made in china, 4 sharp panels are made in Thailand.
Sunteck panels made in China get a good review.
So can we Still call all Chinese panels poor quality?
Your Sony tv plus many other are made in China.

58 posts
Re: Solarpanel prices re-visited..74c USD per watt? 
Posted 31 Aug 11 8:47 AM
Hi Tearai, 44Voc indicates a 72 cell module but the Vpmax won't be at 17V for a module of that configuration, more like 33 - 35V. At present the modules I have at this price are a 60 cell module, primarily designed for grid tie systems but are suitable in strings for battery based systems with a MPPT controller.

Sure, not all chinese panels are junk but the thrust of my previous posts is that it is not only the module quality that is an issue. It is the business ethics of the manufacturer and how they deal with problems. I used to import Suntec until they screwed me and did not even bother to reply to emails. Their method of handling a problem is to ignore it until it goes away. That is very different to the way a Western company like REC deals with a problem.

Then there are the ultra low cost chinese modules which are made from cells rejected by the mainstream manufacturers and assembled in little "Ma and Pop" operations with whatever brand you want on them. Buy these at your own risk!

So just because china can make good modules it does not follow that all chinese modules are good. Unless you know what you are dealing with you take a risk. My point is that with the current low prices for known, good modules is that risk worth taking?

So Sony makes tv's in china, yes they do. But the parent company is still Japanese and if there is a problem they are prepared to support their brand name rather than shut up shop and start again down the road under a new name. It is the business ethos that you have to consider and the chinese are still learning those lessons.

At present they operate very much like the builders in NZ that were responsible for the leaky homes - vanish at the sight of a problem!

115 posts
Re: Solarpanel prices re-visited..74c USD per watt? 
Posted 31 Aug 11 5:43 PM
Thanks , yes I was confusing the the pvmax for the 44 volt cells with my 12 volt (nominal cells).
Unfortunately your 60 cell modules wont match up with my present panels.
Point taken with back up on different company's.

94 posts
Re: Solarpanel prices re-visited..74c USD per watt? 
Posted 18 Sep 11 9:21 AM
Just heard that Australia onsells the carbon credits from the sale of solar panels to the public. These sales invove several years of credit for for each panel (calculated over the expected life of he panel).

it is alleged that the govt on -sells the credits to third parties for a sum that greatly exceeds the value of the rebate it paid to the consumer.

How much money does the NZ govt make out of this
over and above the 15% gst?

Anyone care to comment?
This leads me to question how much the NZ govt profits from the sale of solar panels, when there is no rebate paid at all?


58 posts
Re: Solarpanel prices re-visited..74c USD per watt? 
Posted 18 Sep 11 9:35 AM
To the best of my knowledge they don't make anything apart from the normal taxation process. Years ago the renewables industry tried to get PV incorporated as an offset by allowing the power companies to agglomorate the output of the systems they buy from but it was not incorporated into the ETS

1 posts
Re: Solarpanel prices re-visited..74c USD per watt? 
Posted 5 May 12 6:17 PM
780 watt home system for $1687

more competitive price
see our website On grid complete solar system .

From China solar panels supplier
www.ecosolarpanel.com
Re: Solarpanel prices re-visited..74c USD per watt?
 

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