Whether you lease or purchase a solar system you may find yourself asking, “Why does this system cost more than that system?” Learn more about Solar PV bids:
“Is this installer overpriced?” It could be a matter of installation price, but more than likely the cost difference is in the components.
Just with any product, the age old saying “you get what you pay for” is relevant to energy systems. Let’s slice a PV system to better understand the cost difference in solar PV bids.
- PV Module Efficiency. Solar Modules were compared at the Photon Laboratory in Germany. The benchmark for the yield measurement is based on the number of kilowatt-hours produced by the front side of a module. Not all panels are equally capable of collecting the same amount of energy. For example, the “cells” that make up the SunPower Solar Module absorb more sunlight than conventional cells. SunPower Maxeo Solar Cell scored “Highest of over 3,200 silicon solar panels,” according to the Photon Module Survey, Feb 2014. Basically, the solar cell technology collects about 75% more energy from the sun for the first 25 years than conventional solar panels. Additionally, the lines of metal pasted on the front of conventional cells can corrode, reflect light and reduce the power output.
- PV Module Durability. While the performance ratio is the decisive criterion for the technical quality of a solar module, technology alone is not the only measurement. Long-term stability is equally significant for a product that needs to function well for at least 20 years. Panels that offer durability come with longer warranties. Modules made with a solid copper backing such as SunPower’s are less impervious to corrosion compared to other metals that can crack/lose power when exposed to temperature swings.
- PV Module Racking – Aesthetics matter. Proper racking provides a support for modules to ensure proper installation. A good racking system aligns solar modules evenly; creating a flush, clean line. Flashings for roof penetrations and wire management are extremely important for long lasting, worry free performance of PV systems
- Inverters. Micro-inverters attach to each solar panel and therefor make array expansion easy. Inverters that convert power for an entire array limit expansion of the system. Optimizers can be added to these string inverters to allow for more flexibility Also when micro inverters or optimizers convert power individually, shading on one panel won’t affect the output of the other panels. Micro inverters or optimizers allow you to get the most power from your system.
- Monitoring. Some systems have the capability to be monitored on-line. You can see exactly how much power your system is producing as well as identify any modules that may be underproducing. If you are leasing a system you might find it interesting to know exactly how much power the system is actually providing and if the lease makes sense.
As you can see, not all systems are created equally. Good Energy Solutions wants to help you make informed decisions on a PV solar installation that is custom designed for you. We, an authorized dealer of SunPower Solar Modules, can provide you with solar panels that beat out the competition on efficiency and durability. Because we can offer quality products such as SunPower we are able to offer longer warranties than other solar installers. If you are looking for a more cost-conscious, less prestigious product with a shorter warranty – we can provide that too. We have options that are comparable in price to industry standard systems, but have superior quality characteristics. Give us a call at 1-800-554-9182, or contact us through our website; we can help you compare bids to ensure a true apple to apple comparison. Good Energy Solutions, offering you Energy with Integrity.