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In Reply to: RE: Any potential audio problems with solar power? posted by oldmkvi on March 17, 2017 at 12:11:17
there are may brands out there.1) is the extra likely charged for a better brand worth the option? 2) do you recommend a particular brand for the panels and for the inverters? or are you trusting the vendor to select a reputable brand.
I assume that in 15-20 yrs I will need to replace parts...
also, what about maintenance...are you cleaning the panels every few months....
After auditioning 4-5 local installer including the 'big boy' companies around town, I used the same installer and panels as Rod; tremendous level of service.
The panels are designed to be maintenance free although I've hosed them off a couple of times early on. I was in Palm Springs last Summer and virtually every structure had solar panels, and every solar panel I saw had a huge layer of dust on them. I guess they perform well enough that folks simply ignore them. I was told NOT to touch them with anything ie window washing fuzzy brushes since they can cause micro scratches.
No sonic difference since I think the system works on the tail end-heading away from the house.
We've got all Kyocera panels, 40 210 watt and 35 250 watt. They are one of the oldest in the business and made in California (or partially in Mexico?). In six years, we did have one panel that got out of spec and was replaced. BTW: 300 watt panels are available now, but weren't cost effective versus the 250 watt panels a few years ago. They're also larger. They may be more effective if you're challenged for prime orientation space.
Inverters are tough. We have SolarEdge because of their efficiency and due to some partial shading issues from a couple of tall palms. they have an advantage with their panel controllers similar to Enphase, but doing it completely differently. SolarEdge uses a transformer to produce a constant DC voltage whereas Enphase uses micro-inverters converting at the panel to 120V AC. Solaredge has provided very good support and helped us a lot to find the failing solar panel which wasn't their problem.
We also have a SunnyBoy inverter which is great and even has an emergency 120V outlet on it that can be used if the power goes out during the day.
We've not had any issues with inverters other than a board that was replaced on one of te SolarEdge inverters shortly after installation (we've got three of their SB3800TLs). The SunnyBoy has been going strong nearly 3 years.
I usually ask what the vendor is using for their quote and get lots of quotes, at least 3 or 4. Comparing their prices and the material to be used tell you a lot. Kyocera panels are more expensive than Chinese products which tell you about their markups. Also, check the online solar solar sellers to get an idea of the prices as a comparison for the quotes.
In nearly 7 years, I've gotten up on the roof and hosed off the panels twice. The last time was last summer and they were really dusty with bird decorations here and there. I did see a very small increase in production, but I doubt it was more than 2%.
As to replacement, I believe the inverters usually have a 10 year warranty. Kyocera guarantees that their panels will produce 80% of their initial performance after 25 years.
Your bigger issue might be your roof. We have asphalt shingles that were probably 20 or more years old and had two or three layers, so I stripped off the old, repaired some of the sheeting, added some vents on one section and had the installer install all of his attachments for the racking material with the flashing, prior to doing the roof replacement. I just didn't want to worry about fixing the roof afterward.
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