Your Questions About Solar Panel Cost

Robert asks…

how much is cost of solar panel / Wind mill?

If we opt to use solar panel as alternative of inverter which is generally use for source of power in case of power failure. If we choose to use solar panel what will be specification or capacity of panels to be used to use as source of power in case of power failure how much it may cost tentatively. And from where can I purchase solar panels/ wind mill. If i opt to use wind mill what will be specification or capacity. Can I import from china how much it cost

ssadmin answers:

You need to determine first how much power you need and for how long, and the determines the size of the battery bank you will need. And you will need an inverter to convert that DC voltage to the 240 volts you need for house power. Then you decide how long you can take to charge those batteries, since you will have until the next power failure to charge them. You will need a charge controller also.

But buying either solar panels or wind turbines JUST to supply power for use when the utility power is out is VERY uneconomical. The expense is so high that you could barely justify it over 20 years if you used it for your main source of power. Using it only when power is out would never be economically justified.

Mandy asks…

Why do solar panels cost so much when they're so good for the environment?

I wish that they were less expensive, but they are. Why?

ssadmin answers:

Because they're expensive to make! Costs are falling – silicon panels cost about $7.50/Watt-peak in 2007/08. First Solar's new thin film Cadmium-Telluride cells are being installed at about $3-3.50/Watt-peak and they cost under 90cents/Wp at the factory.

As production increases we'll get economies of scale and costs should continue to fall. Give it a few more years – by the end of the 2010s they should be cost effective in most sunny countries 🙂

Nate: we might one day get 50%, we already have ~42% in labs. But I don't think they'll be in the first wave of mass market panels. The highest efficiency you can get from a single junction solar cell is 31% or so – this is a fundamental, physical limit (explanation on request). To get higher efficiency you need more layers (ie junctions), which is more expensive. It looks like thin film solar cells will be cheaper for quite some time – dye sensitized ones should be too, and maybe organics if we get a few more breakthroughs.

Even at 10% efficiency, provided your cost is low enough, solar power is good enough to go commercial. Look up the company ‘FirstSolar'!

Michael asks…

How much does it cost a factory to make a solar panel?

Is it really necessary to make solar panels that expensive?

ssadmin answers:

First Solar recently announced that their costs to produce panels dropped below $1 per watt. I don't know how much of that is accounting tricks. Of course, that doesn't mean that they would sell panels for that price – any capitalistic company is expected to drive the price up to what the market will bear.

Crystalline silicon panel producers are coming in at about $2.50/watt right now for the best of them. But again, the selling price is what the market will bear.

Lisa asks…

Cost of making own solar panel?

Does anyone know how much it would cost to make your own solar panel, not one for heating water, but one that would provide electricity to rooms and appliances? And can it be done in the first place?

ssadmin answers:

Seems mainly either heating water or for home light.

But his link might help

Steven asks…

How much money does it cost to make ONE solar panel?

Can you please tell me how much a solar panel costs?
Please back up your info with a website.

ssadmin answers:

Just in case you didn't know, solar panels come in all sizes from big enough to run a calculator and costing a few pennies, to ones large enough to power a house and costing tens of thousands of dollars.

A very general rule of thumb: Small, single-PV-panel systems that produce about 75 watts can cost about $900 installed, or $12 per watt. A 2-kilowatt (1 kilowatt=1,000 watts) system that meets most energy needs of an extremely energy-efficient home can cost $16,000-$20,000 installed, or $8-$10 per watt. A 5-kilowatt system that completely meets the energy needs of many conventional homes can cost $30,000-$40,000 installed, or $6-$8 per watt.

First reference:
The $1 per watt price point has been a goal of the solar industry for a long time: First Solar announced that “it reduced its manufacturing cost for solar modules in the fourth quarter to 98 cents per watt”. It's a bit unfortunate that it is happening to First Solar at a time when the economy is in bad shape and fewer people and corporations can afford solar panels, but it is nonetheless a great achievement.


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