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Kaneka solar panels

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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Default Kaneka solar panels

    Does anybody here know anything about Kaneka solar panels? From what I can glean, you need more of them to generate the same power, but they perform more reliably on hot or cloudy days? For teh same (or similar) price, would you do this, or go for fewer of the more traditional panels?

    Thanks

    Peter
    Life's too short for dull sandpaper

  2. #2
    Old Chippy 6K
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    Default

    Claims of better performance on hot or cloudy days need to be taken with a huge handful of salt! There is a marginal performance difference with thin-film vs crystalline PV panels (mono- or poly-), but those are low capacity panels in any case at 60W capacity. Thin film technology is significantly less efficient than the more common crystalline panels, but as I explain next that's too much tech stuff that simply isn't relevant.

    Do not get caught up in technical claims with PV systems beyond the only things that matters to you: the estimated output into the grid of the system as whole (as designed ie: with the inverter & panels) in kilowatt hours (kWh).

    Whether you are getting a good gross feed-in tariff as now only ACT residents can get, or simply offsetting the retail price on your energy bill or getting a wholesale price for your power, that's all you will be getting paid for: the number of kWh x the payment rate for what comes out of the PV array meter.

    Your sole aim should to get the highest amount or kWh out per $ of your capital outlay to buy the system. So you look at the claimed annual output - most will give you a printout from some software or you can use this free calculator: NREL: PVWatts - PV Watts Version 1 Calculator - read and follow the instructions and compare how much you get each year and see how soon each one will payback your total system cost.

    A graph showing what you might expect in each state for each 1kW of capacity (crudely = size) is attached.

    If you want an article that compares see here: http://www.civicsolar.com/resource/t...con-pv-modules and here: http://www.solarbuzz.com/going-solar...g/technologies

    But to repeat - the only thing that matters is how much electricity your system will be able to send to the grid (on average over time - so in all circumstances where the array will produce output) and the cheaper you pay for that (given that all will have similar panel - 25 years, but limited, and inverter warranties - 5 or 10 years)

    BTW - There is some good unbiased info here: http://www.apva.org.au/pv-basics
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails typical-pv-output-australia.png  
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

  3. #3
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    Default

    ^^ 110% agree with Bloss above.

    whether a panel is "more efficient" or "less efficient" really doesn't matter.
    what matters most is what the COST of a panel is for its given output/size.

    the only time "more efficient" panels might matter is if you have limited roof space or north-facing space.

    certainly some panels have better or worse temperature coefficients compared to others. that is part of the equation, but probably not the primary factor.


    if you're really interested in seeing how different panel types behave, there is the "Solar Centre - Desert Knowledge Australia" project at Solar Centre: Desert Knowledge Australia where you can see how different types of panels behave relative to one another.

    alternatively if you're interested in seeing how systems closer to where you are might perform, see PVOutput where many people are uploading live data from their systems.
    (i am -- you can find my system by "'el presidente's palace" )
    pvoutput is particularly neat in that you can find systems "close" to you and compare how they perform.
    for example, i've been comparing operating characteristics with my system and one about 2km away at http://pvoutput.org/comparelive.jsp?...21&dt=20110208



    no doubt panels and inverters will continue to get more efficient over time. and $/W will continue to drop. so its a bit like computing equipment -- obsolete the moment you buy it.
    but don't let that stop you doing it - and getting the payback.

  4. #4
    Old Chippy 6K
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    Default

    Just to re-iterate - its the total cost of your whole system vs the output that it gives (and will provide your return/ via savings and/or income) that are the only measures that count . . . the individual components and labor etc add together to give that cost, but its the $ per kWh produced from that whole system that matters for comparison.
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

  5. #5
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    Peter

    I have had a 2KW Kaneka system installed for about 32 months. Space was not an issue, so I have 32 panels on the house and garage. I use a Sunnyboy convertor with a rated 96% efficiency. The system has given no problems in that time and the only maintenance has been to hose down the panels once a week to reduce dust/droppings (birds).

    I chose them over mono/poly panels because of their low light performance (full cloud cover - raining - in June and it still produces about 2.5 - 3.5kw/day, and their rated tolerance. Around the summer solstice they produce around 14kw/day.

    Only two of us in the house, but in conjunction with the reduction of the majority of on-standby electrical devices, we have effectively been in a credit position over the stated period with our supplier. Will get a small bill of about $15 for the June-Oct period.

    While mono/poly panels might have higher PEAK outputs/panel - the amorphous panels appear to generate the most efective aggregate power output.

  6. #6
    Old Chippy 6K
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    There seems to be an echo in here:

    Just to re-iterate (again) - its the total cost of your whole system vs the output that it gives (and will provide your return/ via savings and/or income) that are the only measures that count . . . the individual components and labor etc add together to give that cost, but its the $ per kWh produced from that whole system that matters for comparison.

    That applies regardless of the technology. In Adelaide you would expect about 1600 kWh annually per 1kW of rated capacity or around 4.5kWh a day - so a bit lower in winter (from shorter sunlight hours and much higher in summer (more sunlight). PV of whatever type converts photons (of which there are most in unshaded sunlight) to electrical energy - the cost per kWh output is all that counts.
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

  7. #7
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    Yeah, when I first posted here, the Kaneka system was the cheapest quote that we had by a little bit, but we were wondering about the panels as we hadn't heard much about them. Now however, we have a quote from another company with more traditional Mono/poly panels that is $2000 cheaper for the same output rating. That company also we have had some personal recommendations from people who have had the systems installed. Guess which quote we are more inclined to go with?

    Peter
    Life's too short for dull sandpaper

  8. #8
    Old Chippy 6K
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    Always best to go with someone who can give personal referees. In Brisbane you can expect about the same as Adelaide on average - further North, but more average cloud cover.
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

  9. #9
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    Yeah, the recommendations we have weren't even supplied by the company - there are several friends of my parents that used them and were very happy, so unsolicited recommendations by happy customers and not sourced from the company - best kind of reference available really.

    Peter
    Life's too short for dull sandpaper


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