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Thank you for the great forum, Safe Driving over the weekend. Sincerely Jason
Justin_A

Total beginner question on Solar

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It would be interesting to see the different panel types of the same rated output, mounted on the same roof, at the same angle and do a direct comparison like that, so they are all subjected to the exact same environmental factors.

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The gemors is that with solar production there is so many different variables that I think it would be difficult to really measure the "degrading" but I suppose if you have a year or two's data you could start to compare the average production and check that. Also come to think of it. The guys that feeds back in to the grid will most likely be able to get a fair measure as they will utilise the panels at thier optimal the whole time.

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2 hours ago, SilverNodashi said:

Yes and they tend to work a bit longer - i.e. they would produce some energy earlier in the mornings and later in the evenings. I know some people who claim they even work, albeit very little on a full moon night. And they generally produce about 11% more energy than polycrystaline panels. Cost about 10% more. 

I am considering the 170W Solar Frontier Panels. Is that what you would recommend? They would need to be installed in more strings to keep the voltage in range on the MPPT.

Is there any drawbacks to running multiple strings on the panels?

Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it

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2 hours ago, SilverNodashi said:

200W energy?

At the risk of being pedantic (and most of us know this, just trying to be helpful by pointing this out), that is partly where the confusion start. Watts isn't energy, it is power: It's the rate of energy over time. You have to multiply by the time component to get energy. In a visual sense, what it means is that on a line chart it is not the peak of the bell curve you are concerned with but the area covered by the bell curve. The advantage of the thinfilm panels is a fatter bell curve.

I also heard that they have a shorter lifetime/warranty, but upon inspection I found this changed in the last years. It's still not all rosy, as Silver pointed out, you need more roof space. They are also higher voltage as I recall, so you usually end up with shorter strings and more expensive MPPTs.

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4 hours ago, plonkster said:

At the risk of being pedantic (and most of us know this, just trying to be helpful by pointing this out), that is partly where the confusion start. Watts isn't energy, it is power: It's the rate of energy over time. You have to multiply by the time component to get energy. In a visual sense, what it means is that on a line chart it is not the peak of the bell curve you are concerned with but the area covered by the bell curve. The advantage of the thinfilm panels is a fatter bell curve.

I also heard that they have a shorter lifetime/warranty, but upon inspection I found this changed in the last years. It's still not all rosy, as Silver pointed out, you need more roof space. They are also higher voltage as I recall, so you usually end up with shorter strings and more expensive MPPTs.

ouch. I knew someone would burn me on that blunder. I just wanted to point out that no single panel can produce it's rated power. Well, at least, constantly and reliably. 

 

The thin film panels are generally 110V 2.2A, so it's not difficult to match them to a MPPT charger. Just use them in parallel ;)

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21 minutes ago, SilverNodashi said:

I just wanted to point out that no single panel can produce it's rated power. Well, at least, constantly and reliably. 

I agree, panels are flash tested at the factory under perfect conditions (STC value) and that is what it is rated at.  But when used on installations there are a lot of factors that can influence the production of the panels

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