BP Solar Stops Making Residential Solar Panels

By Rich Bowden:

bp solar

An old school BP Solar panel – now a collectors item? (Credit: Thomas Springer)

The news that BP Solar will close its global distribution for residential solar panels and related PV products in favour of large scale projects has raised eyebrows amongst solar analysts throughout the world.

The announcement came after the company had been in the business of marketing PV products for thirty years, making it one of the world’s acknowledged leaders in this field. A company spokesperson was reported by wire news agencies as saying late last week that “…we think we can have a much stronger business going forward focusing on developing projects,” as he added that the company is now looking to concentrate its interest in this field.

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BP Solar Panels come last in 2010 German Solar Panel Test

 

A recent solar panel test by German outfit “The TEC Institute for Technical Innovations” which put 15 Solar Panels under identical conditions for a month had some surprising results.

The test measured the power output of the following brands of solar panels:

  • ANTARIS AS M 185 AI
  • CSI CS 5A 180 M
  • ULICA 180 (34) D-UL 800
  • Jiangyin Jetion JT 175 (35)
  • ANTARIS AS M 175 AI 1
  • SolarGate SG 2200
  • Yunnan Tianda TD 175 M5
  • 180 Sharp NU-180 E1
  • aleo S16
  • asola 185W/48
  • CSI CS6P-230P
  • Kyocera KC 175 GHT-2
  • Sym. Energy SE-M231
  • bpSolar 3210 N

Here are the results:

(click  here for full size image)

Basically the lesser known (and cheaper) brands like Ulica and the funny sounding Jiangyin Jetion produced more power in the test than the better known and generally more expensive brands such as Sharp, Kyocera and BP Solar in over their 1 month under the German Sun.

Of course your panels have to keep producing power over 25 or more years and the test doesn’t help measure the longevity of the panels, but the results are pretty interesting nonetheless.

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