Half Cut Solar Panels: Higher Efficiency & Better Shade Tolerance

half-cut panel and installer

Don’t let a half-cut solar installer install your half-cut solar panels.

Silicon solar cells of the type now used for almost every residential solar installation in Australia have been around for a long time.  They are 64 years old.  This makes them same age as nuclear power generation.  They’ve come a long way since they were first made at Bell Labs in the United States.  Originally they were only able to convert around 6% of the energy in sunlight into electrical energy but now the most efficient solar panels on the market manage 22%.

Unfortunately, the days of large improvements in efficiency have long been over.  Now we only see small incremental improvements and one of these in use that will be much more common in the future are panels that use half cut solar cells. [Read more…]

LG Solar’s Product Warranty Now 25 Years For All Panels

LG solar panel warranty

It’s only two months now since I wrote an article telling everyone in the world the product warranty for LG Solar’s NeON 2 panel was being extended from 12 years to 15.  But if you were looking forward to to getting some NeON 2 solar panels and enjoying that sweet 15 year warranty, I’m afraid you’re out of luck because it’s no longer available.  Instead you’ll just have to enjoy a massive 25 year product warranty as it has been extended by another 10 years. [Read more…]

Jinko Maxim Panels With Cell String Optimization Will Not Be Sold In Australia

Jinko Maxim Solar Panels not coming to Australia

Bad news for fans of cheap panel level optimisation. Jinko MX solar panels are not coming to Australia.

Last Tuesday I went to Sydney to attend the Smart Energy Conference & Exhibition.  I learned many things, one being that Jinko Maxim panels that use use cell string optimization — described in  this article — will not be sold in Australia because they were unable to stop them interfering with television reception. [Read more…]

LG Solar Improves Warranties And Gives Mono X Panel The Boot

LG NeON2 warranty

LG’s more affordable panel range, the NeON2, has gone from a 12 to 15 year product warranty.

I like high quality panels.  I really do.  If a panel is well made, reliable, and comes with a full replacement warranty that’s something I appreciate.  Seeing panels go up on roofs that have a decent chance of lasting longer than I will makes me feel positive about the future.  Obviously not my future, but the future in general.

A major provider of high quality panels in Australia is South Korea’s LG Solar.  I only have good things to say about them.

No wait, that’s not true. [Read more…]

Installing Solar Panels On A Flat Roof — All The Angles Covered

flat roof solar panels

Beautifully installed frameless solar panels on an almost flat (3º N) roof. Photo credit: Gippsland Solar

If you are checking out this article because you are planning to put solar panels on a flat roof, then odds are you’re looking to install a commercial solar system.  While there are homes with flat roofs, they’re not nearly as common as flat business roofs.  But whether it’s for a home or a business the basic principles of installing on a flat roof are the same.  It’s just that commercial systems tend to be a lot larger. [Read more…]

Small Business Commercial Solar With A 3 Year Payback – A Real World Case Study

Small scale commercial solar

Can commercial solar power for small business really slash overheads and pay for itself in 3 years? A real-world example.

A few days ago I wrote an article on commercial solar for small businesses but I was worried it may have been a little abstract.  I mentioned this to Finn, my boss1, and he said people might:

  • not believe that they can get a 3 year payback on a small business solar system – it seems too good to be true
  • appreciate something a little more hands on

.. and suggested I do a case study. [Read more…]

Footnotes

  1. He’s only fired me twice so far, so I’m doing quite well as these things go.  Once for misusing an apostrophe and I don’t know what he sacked me for the second time because I was too drunk to remember.

Commercial Solar For Small Businesses Can Pay Back In Under 3 Years

commercial solar power system

Don’t let soaring power bills kill your business – commercial solar can slash your bills.

Business is a kind of miracle where humans put aside their natural desire to screech and fling stuff at each other to work together to achieve common goals.  And the most common goal among businesses that are still in business is making money.  Unfortunately, focusing on this has led to some undesirable consequences such melting the icecaps.

If our civilization wants to continue as an ongoing concern then we need to make money in a way that doesn’t damage the environment.  Fortunately, I know something that can help business both make money and protect the environment and that something is commercial rooftop solar power. [Read more…]

Black Max Solar Panels Review: Beware Conflicting Warranty Claims

What the hell is a Black Max solar panel?

I recently wrote an article on black solar panels and included pictures of sexy black ones from SunPower and LG Solar.  What I didn’t do was mention Seraphim Black Max panels.  This is something I probably should have done, as we have received some inquiries about ‘Blackmax panels’.

Fortunately I wasn’t asked directly because all I could have said about them a few days ago was, “They are black solar panels made by Seraphim that are called Max.” [Read more…]

Black Solar Panels: Is Lower Efficiency Worth The Sexy?

black solar panels

Black solar panels in Alice Springs. Black frame, black cells, black backsheet. Photo Credit: Finn

Black Solar Panels Are Hot!  This Reduces Efficiency.

I want you to think about someone you know who has rooftop solar.  It doesn’t matter who.  It could be a friend, a relative, or that handsome bearded man you’ve been stalking for months — it doesn’t matter.  I want you to think about where they live.  Picture their home in your mind’s eye and then answer these two questions: [Read more…]

The Solar Panel Warranty Paradox

solar panel warranty paradox

Presenting “Ronald’s Solar Panel Warranty Paradox™ “. Or what happens when you spend too much time thinking about solar panels and not enough time playing Dungeons & Dragons.

Why Solar Panel Warranties Are Less Important Than You May Think

I’ve written one or two blog articles over the years and if you’ve happen to have seen them, you may have noticed I have a thing about solar panel warranties.  Specifically, I like ’em long.  The longer the better.  It’s a little peccadillo of mine.  Because of my predilection for impressive warranties you could, quite understandably, reach the erroneous conclusion that I think a good solar panel warranty is a valuable thing for a household to have.  But this is not the case. I think for all practical purposes most solar panel warranties will be almost worthless. [Read more…]