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Old 07-16-2016, 10:58 PM   #1
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Want solar but so expensive!

When foil VE was developed a few years ago it was going to "revolutionize the solar industry and make it cheap". Well of corse that didn't happen...I want to be able to boondock with enough inverted AC to be able to run everything for long periods of time...well of corse with the exception of the AC units.

I am a power engineer and understand solar to AC systems extremely well and really all I'm asking here is do inexpensive (not cheap quality) panels actually exist? I have tried so many avenues I have read about and they all turn up as dead ends. Here in Canada to put a system on this new rig is about $5600 including 4 6v batteries. More cheddar than I can really afford in this uncertain time in my industry. If anyone has a legitimately and significantly cheaper place they know of to get high quality panels I would very much appreciate a steer in that direction.
Thank you!!
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Old 07-16-2016, 11:40 PM   #2
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So you want high quality, but think the price is too high for it.

Good luck. The market runs completely independently of your opinions and desires. Mine too.
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Old 07-16-2016, 11:54 PM   #3
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Yeah well if you blindly pay what's asked at the first place you visit you probably have too much money anyway...however some patience and homework can more often than not get you what you want somewhat cheaper. Let's face it the more you save per item the more things on your wish list you can obtain...this philosophy has served me well.
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Old 07-17-2016, 12:16 AM   #4
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You've just described the rest of the purchasers of what you want. They are setting your prices. When the next best thing in the market comes out, the older stuff will be priced cheaper until it's gone. So if you're willing to wait, hunt, and pounce, then yes, your strategy might work. Especially if the tech makes a leap.

I don't think it's gonna make a leap anytime soon. I'm not holding my breath.
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Old 07-17-2016, 12:43 AM   #5
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The foil technology was a leap and supposed to bring the cost of solar down dramatically, but in fact it simply increased the bottom line of the manufacturers. So you are correct I'm afraid, however I truly believe there is some money to be saved if I hunt enough...I'm not looking or at all expecting to find them for 1/2 price, but let's face it 15%-20% would be nice!
Talking to the right people saved me money many times...I consider it a worthwhile endeavour.
My wife and I also own a performance diesel company, our philosophy is minimum per item profit and high volume sales...this saves our customers money and increases our client base exponentially, which saved us in the oil industry crash whose employees made up a huge portion of our clientele. So my friend if we do it there must be a solar supplier out there somewhere that does too! ...well hopefully...
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:27 AM   #6
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Would it be cheaper to come down to the states and get your solar?
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselGod View Post
...

I am a power engineer and understand solar to AC systems extremely well and really all I'm asking here is do inexpensive (not cheap quality) panels actually exist? ...
reminds me of the old engineering saying, "I can make them cheap, I can make them fast, or I can make them high quality... pick any two!"

H
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:42 AM   #8
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$5600? wow, I just added a 125 watt panel on my coach for $135 from ebay. How big of system are you talking about? The last one I installed in 1999 I had to pay $800 for a 55 watt panel, so prices have come down a huge amount. You should be paying about $1 per watt for the panels, and a total of $2 per watt if you include the charge controller and inverter. (materials only)

I think you are over engineering the system, they don't have to be that expensive. Get away from the 6 volt batts, and reduce your inverter size. I'm sure you already know that you can add panels to a system as the cheese comes in. Don't forget, more crap on the roof makes more holes. I use solar panels for my gates and back up gen set batts so have found that the commercially designed equipment is far more expensive than need be. But, it is cheese to do with what you want.
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Old 07-17-2016, 03:56 PM   #9
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"...I can make them cheap, I can make them fast, or I can make them high quality... pick any two!"

The way I heard this as a government physicist with Army Research Labs at White Sands Missile Range, the code of the contractor is pick one!
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Old 07-17-2016, 10:08 PM   #10
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Do inexpensive panel exist? Of course they do if you're willing to search them out. Commercial solar companies buy panels multiple pallets at a time. They sometimes have leftovers that they can no longer install because of advances in technology and a variety of other reasons. Call around. You might get lucky.

FWIW, I picked up 2 Sunvia 260W panels for $60 each this way.
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Old 07-18-2016, 09:16 AM   #11
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Agree with previous poster. Items can be had for cheaper. But even with little effort you can find panels at $1 (USD) per watt.
To the OP you never said what sort of system you are looking for. Is it a low, medium, high end system? Do you need all the bells and whistles? Do you already have an inverter? What size?
5600 CAD might be an awesome price from one system and a total rip off for another.
More info will help access.
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Old 07-18-2016, 12:06 PM   #12
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Take a trip to Quartzite or Yuma, Arizona next January/February and you can get a good price.

We've boondocked with this owner and he has a very good reputation. The West is the place to shop for solar.

http://www.starlightsolar.com/Home.html
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Old 07-18-2016, 03:41 PM   #13
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As said, likely cheaper in the states. Check AM solar in Oregon, or Starlight Solar in Yuma. They are the best places to get solar in the states.
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Old 07-18-2016, 04:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselGod View Post
When foil VE was developed a few years ago it was going to "revolutionize the solar industry and make it cheap". Well of corse that didn't happen...I want to be able to boondock with enough inverted AC to be able to run everything for long periods of time...well of corse with the exception of the AC units.

I am a power engineer and understand solar to AC systems extremely well and really all I'm asking here is do inexpensive (not cheap quality) panels actually exist? I have tried so many avenues I have read about and they all turn up as dead ends. Here in Canada to put a system on this new rig is about $5600 including 4 6v batteries. More cheddar than I can really afford in this uncertain time in my industry. If anyone has a legitimately and significantly cheaper place they know of to get high quality panels I would very much appreciate a steer in that direction.
Thank you!!
Shop on the web and you can buy panels a lot less than in stores, etc. Buy all the good equipment on line also and you end up with a great system and if you read and learn you can do the work yourself and save yourself around $4000.00. - https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/?s=bob
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