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PV panels #195782 08/23/10 12:32 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
H
harold endean Offline OP
Member
Someone said to me the other day about the new PV panels. They said that the life expectancy is about 10 years. I thought it was longer than that, but I didn't have any facts on me at the time. Does anyone know what the life time of a PV panel is?

Also they said that once the panel is no good, they would have trouble trying to get rid of the old panel. They said that you just can't throw them away, they have a lot of bad things ( Bad for the environment that is) on/in them. You need to have a special place take them away. Does anyone know if that is fact or fiction?

Tools for Electricians:
Re: PV panels [Re: harold endean] #195784 08/23/10 12:51 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,540
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gfretwell Offline
Member
The performance does tend to fall off as they age. How much is still a variable, based on lots of factors but 50% in 10 years may not be totally out of the question. It is hard to find hard data on this.

As for getting rid of bad ones, it all depends on your local land fill rules. It is not any worse than an old TV or PC board. I assume once these become prevalent, there will be a program for safe disposal but that is part of the long term cost.


Greg Fretwell
Re: PV panels [Re: gfretwell] #195788 08/23/10 02:11 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,216
HotLine1 Online Content
Member
Harold:
FWIW, the panels on the job in the "Big" thread are supposed to be 25 years, according to the PE at the site.

As to 'disposal issues'...I have no clue.

Talking to the PE, his company requires and pays for an additional 'test' from the mfg. before the panels are shipped. He indicated that this 'test' is extra $$$ on the cost of the panels. Fail rate at the 'Big' job is expected to be at or near zero....but I hope that is not wishful thinking.

It will be a while before they begin any testing at the site, as far as performace.



John
Re: PV panels [Re: HotLine1] #195818 08/24/10 02:15 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,216
HotLine1 Online Content
Member
Just a quick FYI from one of todays plan review projects.

BP Solar info:
BP 3215-B, 215 WATT Panel
Warranty info:
Defects.....5 years
90% output..12 years
80% output..25 years

Most should be available at the mfg websites


John
Re: PV panels [Re: HotLine1] #195822 08/24/10 04:37 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,540
G
gfretwell Offline
Member
That certainly sounds optimistic ... but they sell "30 year" shingles in Florida too wink
Sometimes I think these warranties are written, based on the CEO's estimated retirement date.
"Sue the next guy"

What is the recourse on this limited warranty? (they are all "limited")
Do you get a new one free?, Is it a prorated price on a new collector? Does it cover labor? Permits?

If it is like a shingle warranty it is pretty much useless.


Greg Fretwell
Re: PV panels [Re: gfretwell] #195829 08/24/10 08:36 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,216
HotLine1 Online Content
Member
Greg:

Try the following link to BP Solar for warranty....

http://www.bp.com/sectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9019650&contentId=7036652



John
Re: PV panels [Re: HotLine1] #195830 08/24/10 09:26 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,540
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gfretwell Offline
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Interesting reading
No labor coverage and they can choose to just give you another used collector or two to run in addition to yours to get up the the percentage of rated output for the total array.
You also need to show proof nobody but a certified BP person has ever worked on this system.

Needless to say we have a pretty low opinion of BP down here wink


Greg Fretwell
Re: PV panels [Re: gfretwell] #195833 08/24/10 09:33 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,216
HotLine1 Online Content
Member
Greg:
Understand that I did not 'pick' BP Solar, that was one of my plan review jobs this AM, and the warranty info caught my eye.



John
Re: PV panels [Re: HotLine1] #195838 08/24/10 10:25 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,540
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gfretwell Offline
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I was just curious because I have not seen estimates of efficiency going that high.


Greg Fretwell
Re: PV panels [Re: gfretwell] #195869 08/26/10 06:33 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,216
HotLine1 Online Content
Member
Greg:
I'll skim other info from different mfg as it goes over my desk.

Did you look at the mfg of the panels in the 'small' thread (Petrasolar.com)


Last edited by HotLine1; 08/26/10 06:34 PM. Reason: corrected mfg name/link

John
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