Lower Efficiency that keeps us from selling them

I’ve told a lot of people this over the last 25 years. We have refused to sell thin film modules for these very reasons. But it’s also true that when quality thin film modules become available at  $.98/watt any reasonable person would have to agree it’s time to review the situation.\n\nLike all thin film modules, the .98/W Kaneka’s we recently received, have been de-rated in advance for degradation. They also have a 20 year warranty from an excellent Japanese company. This is possible because after a very short period (were talking a few weeks here) the output of thin film modules stabilize at the rated power your supposed to get.\n\nIt’s true, thin film are about half as efficient as regular crystalline modules, but you are paying for watt hours to be produced, not efficiency. For instance if you were buying modules to take hiking or to put on a sail boat these might not be the panels to buy.\n\nHowever, if you had 500 sq. ft. of roof space, you could install a 2500 watt system or a 5000 watt system if you had 1000 sq. ft.. That’s actually the average size residential solar system in Florida. That’s because a lot of residential incentives reach their financial limit about there anyway.\n\nAt $0.98/W (about $.02/kwh) the problem with these modules is that you can only find them “once in a blue moon.”\n\nJohn Kimball

Stay Tuned for FPL’s reaction

On Dec. 14th we turned off our power feed from FPL to our main office building. We will get our next bill for Dec. 15th thru Jan. 15th about Jan. 19th. It should be interesting to see what their reaction will be. My bet is that we will get a substantial bill anyway.

$0.98/watt equals $.02/KwHr !

Take  60W x 5 sun hrs./ day x 365 days/yr. x 20 yrs. life. divide by 1000 to get KwHrs. Divide that into the cost of the module, $58.80, and you will get $.02/Kwhr. without any financial help from anyone. Now add the incentives.

“Oh…” you say, you forgot to  add the cost of the install, inverter, mount, and disconnect switch. Go ahead the PV is always the most significant cost of any installation. You’ll find it’s still way below what the utility wants for their electricity over the next 20 yrs.

These are extremely high quality PV Modules. They are the first Thin Film we have ever sold. The company we purchased them from has sold 50,000 of them and has never had a single one returned. They are tough with robust frames with typical Japanese attention to quality. No plastic laminate, its all glass and with an anodized, heavy duty aluminum frame and a solid 20 year factory warranty.

How did we do it? It’s what we do best. We’re a getter of good deals. These are temporary due to a liquidation and its limited to 15,000 modules.

Oh yeah, don’t forget utility power is likely to rise in price a little bit over the next 25 years. These modules are half the efficiency as crystalline so you will need twice the space. If you don’t have the space, then you can’t use it. If you do, you just saved 50% of the cost of your system  and without sacrificing any quality. In short if you need solar panels that are the most cost effective and you don’t buy these panels, your crazy!

John Kimball, Owner

The Solar Spirit

It’s really interesting to think about the potential of solar energy for your family’s home. If you start looking into it you may find casual interest quickly turning serious, as you learn about the appliances you can run, how much energy they use, the different system choices and the costs of your system. The unbelievably huge incentives available to homeowners and business’ may also stimulate your spirit. www.dsireusa.com

If you end up buying a solar system, you’ll see “it really does work”. Then you’ll find yourself talking about solar all the time because everyone wants to know, does it really work? Are you happy with it? How much was it?  You’ll find yourself in the center of many interesting discussions. You’ll soon be helping a relative or friend get their own system, or you might even go into the business, trust me it’s addictive. 

Solar Energy isn’t like any other energy source.  Solar energy is fascinating. Maybe because there are so many cool things about it. It gives you freedom and independence. It seems super natural running your house or business off some distant star 93 million miles away. At the least, it’s great for nature and our children’s future.

Two weeks ago Sun Electronics disconnected itself from Florida Power and Light. We’re 100% independent now, it works perfectly, and it feels like heaven. Feel the Spirit of the Sun, it’s fantastic. And one other thing, we got the whole system for free. Chances are you can too. Go to  www.dsireusa.com. and find out.

John Kimball, Owner, Since 1973

Inverter Price Comparisons

Sun Electronics:\nTR1512 $698\nReal Goods:\nTR1512 $895\nWholesale Solar:\n\nSun Electronics:\nTR3624 $998\nReal Goods:\nTR3624 $1,495\n\nSun Electronics:\nXW6048 $2,920\nReal Goods:\nXW6048 $4,500\n\nSun Electronics:\nSMA5000 $3,200\nWholesale Solar:\nSMA5000 $3,535\n\nSun Electronics:\nSMA7000 $3,700\nWholesale Solar:\n$4,056

Who has the lowest price panels?

Here is what we found:\n\nKyocera KD210GX-LPU\n\nUL, normal factory warranty.\n\nSun Electronics: $512\n\nAffordable Solar: $628\n\nAltE: $639\n\nWholesale Solar: $603.33\n\nReal Goods: $849\n\nEvergreen ES-A-205\n\n(UL, Normal 25 Year Factory Warranty)\n\nSun Electronics: $549.40\n\nWholesale Solar: $718 (must buy 6)\n\nAffordable Solar: $639.60 (must buy 28)\n\nAEE: $1,025 (We all know they only sell wholesale)\n\nReal Goods: ES 190 – $1,159.00 (closest they had)\n\nEvergreen ES-A-200 fa3b (B Grade)\n\nUL, normal factory warranty.\n\nSun Electronics: $448\n\nAffordable Solar: $638\n\nWholesale Solar: $611\n\nKaneka 60 watt thin film (A Grade)\n\nUL, normal 25 Yr. Factory Warranty\n\nSun Electronics: $59\n\nAltE: $120\n\nEco Direct: $237.52\n\nSolar Home: $249.99\n\nWholesale Solar: $227\n\nApprox. 450 watts of similar sized panels $/W Price Comparisons from 5 of the most advertised companies:\n\nSun Electronics: Kyocera 210 – $512, Evergreen 205 – $549.40, SUN 55 – $163.90\n\nAverage price per watt is $2.60/watt.\n\nWholesale Solar: Kyocera 210 – $603.33, Evergreen 205 – $718, BSP 40 -$260\n\nAverage Price per watt is $3.47/watt\n\nReal Goods: Sharp 224 – $749, Sanyo 200 – $849.00 , SunWize 55 -$332\n\nAverage price per watt is $4.02/watt.\n\nMr. Solar: Sharp 224 – $715, Mitsubishi 180 – $745, Alps 55 – $325\n\nAverage price per watt is $3.72/watt.\n\nSun Electronics:\n\nSUN ES-A-195 – $339, Evergreen ES-A-205 fa3C – $356.70, Kaneka 60 – $59\n\nAverage price per watt is $1.64 per watt.\n\n(The Sun and the Evergreen above are not for grid connect systems. The  Kaneka can be used for either grid connect or off grid). They all have 20 to 25 year warranties.\n\nLowe’s and Home Depot sell 175 watt panels for approx. $950.00 or $5.42/watt.\n\nThanks for looking at this and for letting us know if you think it’s realistic.\n\nJohn Kimball\n\nOwner

$.98/Watt

At a certain price, like $.98/watt, it get’s hard for people to discredit solar panels due the nationality of their manufacturer, the efficiency, or even to an extent, it’s expected lifetime. Especially if that panel has UL listing and a 25 yr. warranty.

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Before I tell you about these new panels,  I would like to say something about our B grade and SUN  modules. No one else sells the brand SUN. We have them made for us in the U.S., Germany and China using different cells, depending on the size they might be Evergreen’s, Sun Power’s, etc. B modules have UL and SUN modules do not. They both have a 25 year warranty. SUN modules can be used for off grid independent homes, or any low voltage application of 12, 24, or 48 volts,(boats, RV’s, telecom, etc.). Both our A and B panels have UL and can be used for any grid connected application or any other  type of systems.

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B and SUN Panels: If you have ever actually seen one of our cosmetically imperfect  crystalline modules like the Evergreen ES-A-205-fa3B for $2.24/W or our SUN ES-A-205-fa3 for $1.74/W sitting next to an Evergreen A panel, you will know that you can’t tell the difference. You will probably need someone to show you some tiny spots, if there are any. The power output is identical. Every panel comes with a flash test sheet from the manufacturer’s certified solar simulator showing all panels power output’s equal or exceed  the factories output tolerances –0% to + 5%.   Over the last 10 years we have sold hundreds of containers of them and have never had more than 10 come back over the last 10 years, and even those are kept for testing and repair. All A, B and SUN modules have a 25 year warranty have a 25 year warranty.

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The reason for the excellent quality of B and SUN panels is because solar panels are all basically made, the exact same way. Like sliding glass doors that, last like Stanley hammers, they are very simple and strong. They are built to last 30 to 40 years, some say longer. If you could compare all the different manufacturer’s crystalline solar panels in the world by lining  them up and having a 100 yard dash, they would all end up finishing within a few inches of each other, but the sales guys would be there promoting that theirs was 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. However, the difference in efficiency of solar modules is only about 3% between the best and worst and its been that way since I started in the PV business, for the last 25 years!

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If your system is off grid and low voltage (12, 24 or 48 volts) it’s even safe for you to use modules without certification. Modules are tested to a minimum of 150 volts most 600 volts. We have sold them without UL, into the Caribbean, Latin America as well as North America and we have thousands of customers who will gladly tell you how happy they are to have purchased them and how well they have worked for years.

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Cost effective solar is happening now, if you know what to buy, when to buy it, how to use it, where to get it and who you can believe.  I have been in the solar business since I started the Energy Center in Tucson, Arizona in 1973, 36 years ago, during the Arab Oil Embargo. I have worked on the staff of three U.S. Congressmen on energy issues, Udall, Sharp and Brown who was the Chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee, Arizona Gov. Babbitt’s Solar Energy Commission, Photowatt’s PV Factory and Kyocera Solar as  U.S. and International Sales Engineer and and of course I have owned and operated  Sun Electronics International, Inc. for last 20 years.

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Sure we sell the more expensive panels, for 20 years, Kyocera, Evergreen, Solar World, etc. and we take our reputation seriously here at Sun Electronics. But we need to lower the cost of solar and not just by using other people’s money. All solar systems are good but cost effective ones are better in our opinion. B and our SUN modules help lower the cost of solar by up to 50%.

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No one has prices like Sun Electronics, it’s not because we are unprofessional it’s because we are realistic.  And because I have been shopping for deals for 20 years and I have contacts in the industry from 36 years of experience.  We are known for it and manufacturers call us with special offers from all over the world including the U.S. (Evergreen, BP, Solar World, Sanyo, Schott, AEE etc.)as well as from Germany, Japan, China and Spain.

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Don’t let people scare you.  “Cosmetic blemishes” are just that “cosmetic”. And, some panels  may have different or no certifications at all because many manufacturer’s have customers who don’t require it. It’s also unbelievably expensive (approx. $50,000 per panel type) and takes forever to get. Most countries don’t even have grid connect type high voltage systems and thus don’t require any certification,  maybe half of the countries in the world.

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Remember; however, on high voltage grid connect systems you should always use modules with the proper certification such as UL, TUV or CE. Our B “cosmetically blemished” modules always have certification.

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As of Monday Dec. 7th solar power is available, at least until we run out, for $.98/Watt. It’s not crystalline, it’s thin film, it’s made in Japan, it’s less efficient, but at this price, especially with UL and a 25 yr. factory warranty, I ask you, is there any reason why not? We will have 1,000 of them. These are the kind of deals I have spent years looking for and find. And, there will be more, the world economy and over production in the industry has assured that. Solar can stand on it’s own two feet, but for now it means starting off with the lowest price solar panels, balance of system components, energy efficient appliances and energy conservation, I think.

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Please send us pictures of your systems, especially those that are using B and SUN modules and let us share them with others.

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\n\nHappy Holidays\nJohn Kimball\n\nSun Electronics International., Inc.\n\nwww.sunelec.com\n\njohnkimball@sunelec.com\n\nDock

Coments from Steve Curry

my sysetm is do it yourself type. i did it because i was tired of utility company\nover charging me for power, (greedy bastageses). no one knows what the future holds,\npower may triple in price by the time i retire so now while i  can afford it i did\nsomething about it.\n\ni did business whith your company because your prices are the best anywhere, i have\nalways had good honest dealings with your company, and still plan to purchase 12\nmore panels to complete my system.\n\nEven a Blind hog finds an Acorn sometimes.\n\nby: Steve Curry.

Installation

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Sun Electronics Installations
The angle of the array can be adjusted by hand turning a wheel.\nThanks to Thommi Huber for sending us a picture of his installation Switzerland.

AMAZING PROOF

Mr.Mike Wells, an electrical engineer stopped by Friday. He happened across a solar system being torn down on radio station in Bascom, Ohio 37 yrs. ago. The Spectrolab 10 watt modules made for land not space use were being thrown from the racks into a dumpster. He bought them for the aluminum .50/lb.\n\nToday he has at least 100 of them still on his house all working the same as the day he got them. You can call him. He also has a friend who has modules from Bell Labs, Henry Forbs, who has some that are even older that still work.\n\nToday Mike has 6.5 KW off grid systems using SUN modules and a 1 KW grid tie systems using surplus Global Solar unframed modules.\n\n37 years and they are still putting out their exact rated power says Mike.