Your Questions About Solar Panel Manufacturers

Linda asks…

Does the solar panel company that was handed $535 million stimulus dollars have to pay us back…..?

….if they file for bankruptcy protection?

Federal agents executed a search warrant at the Northern California headquarters of solar panel manufacturer Solyndra Inc., which filed for bankruptcy protection this week despite receiving $535 million in federal stimulus loan guarantees.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-solyndra-raid-20110909,0,7976969.story?track=rss
Yet another reason why government should not back private industry with federal funds.

This would never happen in a true free market.

ssadmin answers:

Why should they, General Motors is right back at it making money and Obama bragged that we are only going to lose 60 Billion on the deal. You are absolutely correct that the Government should stay the heck out of the economy. They got us where they are today by artificially keeping the economy running hotter than it should have been for years. That is why we are having this terrible correction now that so many that are not in the top group have to suffer.

Sandra asks…

Information please.We live in Zimbabwe. We are able to assemble solar panels for resale for household use?

There seem to be ten thousand solar panel manufacturers and sellers and hundreds of different types of panels . Which panels are the most efficient and cost-effective?
Who do we go to in order to get the best solar panel components for re-assembly.
Is there anybody out there who can advise me on this?

ssadmin answers:

Please visit http://www.affinisexports.com
We sell high-tec solar water heating systems at really compatable prices

Laura asks…

Who are the top 5 manufacturers of industrial solar panels, industrial humidifiers & water pumps?

All I need are company names. “Top” means “companies that produce the most revenue”. This question should result in 3 lists of 5 companies (15 companies). Finally, for the last question, I'm specifically interested in AGRICULTURAL water pumps. Thanks!!

ssadmin answers:

Solar panels, look into Sharp, Suntech Power, Q-Cells as the top producers. I'm not so certain about the crowded players under them – probably Kyocera, Mitsubishi, Sanyo. Possibly First Solar and Sunpower. Of course, the Japanese companies produce other things besides solar panels, so you can't just look at total company revenue.

Charles asks…

Solar Panel experts…please help.?

I am starting to think about solar panels as an option for my home. I have done some research on panels, to be honest its all very confusing. There are many different panels some with 60 watts some all the way up to 210 watts. My household currently uses about 2700 to 3400 kWh every two months. So based off of my power usage maybe you can answer some of the following questions:

What kind of panels should I be looking at?
Which panel manufacturers give the best bang for the buck (reliable/affordable)?
Anything else I should be concerned about?

I am just starting out in educating myself on solar power so please excuse me if I sound very naive. Any information that you may have will be helpful. Thanks in advance.
At this point I would just like to thank everyone for their contributions. You have advanced my knowledge of solar panels/power consumption more then you know.

Some added details would be that I live in Southern California and this year haven't touched the heater or the AC once (no need to). Water as well as our range are heated by gas. We have 5 t.v.'s and two computers which run maybe 5-10 hours a day. A dishwasher that runs once a night for an hour, a washer and dryer that run at most 3 hours a week, a convection oven that runs at most 2 hours a week, a microwave that we don't use much and two refrigerators that run continuously.

Based off of that:
Is my consumption of power (2700-3400 kWh per 2 months) really that above average?
Would energy efficient appliances make much of a difference?
Is there a way to find out how many watts my appliances/t.v.'s/computers use? (and for that matter how many watts the energy efficient ones use)
Any other input you all might have would be helpful thanks again.

ssadmin answers:

You're starting at the wrong point.  You need to start from the consumption end and work back.

Your consumption is completely out of whack for a solar power system.  1350 kWh/month is 45 kWh per day, or nearly 2 kW continuously!  Do you seriously think you're going to supply this with a few PV panels?

What are you doing with all this power?  The first thing to do is get efficient; you're not going to run electric space heaters or air conditioners off PV.  Get rid of the power-hogging plasma-screen TV, get a refrigerator without a wasteful icemaker.  Insulate your home and use awnings to keep summer heat out instead of using electricity to pump it out afterward.  Line-dry clothes instead of using an electric dryer.  Are you, heaven forbid, heating your water with electricity?  Solar hot water should be installed before you even think about PV for electric.

That's a start.  Once you've considered your lifestyle issues and made the necessary changes, you can think about PV for electricity.

Edit:  Again, you're asking the wrong question.  Your consumption isn't out of line for what you've got, but what you've got is out of line for running on PV.

Look at that 45 kWh/day.  Solar PV in sunny areas produces about 25% of its peak rating over 24 hours, so your 1.875 kW average would require 7.5 kW of PV.  At an installed price of $8000/kW, you're looking at $60,000 to feed your existing appliances.

What you're going to find is that it is much cheaper to get more efficient appliances than to buy PV to feed the old ones.  I would suggest:
– Get rid of all your CRT televisions.  No plasma-screens either.  One or two LCDs is all you should really need.  You can use computers to play DVDs for personal viewing.
– No CRT computer monitors either.  LCD all the way; they pay for themselves with their power savings even at commercial power rates.
– Use laptops instead of desktops.  Give up games requiring power-hogging graphics cards.
– Living in SoCal you shouldn't need a clothes dryer 90% of the year.  Dry clothes on a line.
– Cut down to one refrigerator, and make it the most efficient one you can find.
– Re-lamp everything except closets and the like with CF bulbs.  I've been using CFs almost exclusively for years and my consumption is half of most people's.
– Use the dishwasher as little as you can.  It has an electric heating element which hogs energy.  When you do use it, shut off the heated drying feature; open the door and air-dry instead.

If you can spend $10,000 to cut your electric consumption in half, you've cut $30,000 off the cost of the PV system you need.  The further you can go in that direction, the better you'll do.

Oh, and buy a Kill-A-Watt right away.  You need to start going over your electric consumption one thing at a time, and you need to replace guesswork with real data.  Do it today!

Donald asks…

Where can i get information about putting solar panels on my house?

I'm interested in putting solar panels on the roof of my house, but I'm not sure where to start. I would like to get some information on pricing, installation, how much energy can be generated and stored, and how much the potential savings would be. I live in the SE Michigan/NW Ohio area, and there are a couple of solar manufacturers in the area, so I would think that there should be someone local who could help.

ssadmin answers:

I would recommend the company I used when I decided to pursue solar energy. If you visit their site @ http://www.globalsolarcenter.com/ they will provide you with a free solar quote, a feasibility analysis, a break-even analysis, what system size you can place on your roof, projected annual savings, return on investment and a breakdown of all the incentives you will be eligible to receive. I'm not sure how good the incentives are in your area so the installation can end up being very pricey, but either way, GSC will give you all the info you need to make a smart decision. If you do like the numbers they provide you may then request a free on-site evaluation. Good Luck!

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