Cheap solar panels - what's the catch ?

Submitted: Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 10:09
ThreadID: 69229 Views:3427 Replies:6 FollowUps:12
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This site seems to have very low prices for a range of solar panels, brand unstated:

Cheap Solar Panels

Has anyone bought panels from here ? Is there a hidden catch ?


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Reply By: DIO - Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 10:28

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 10:28
Price is generally indicative of quality. BEWARE though as in bold print it claims a 25 year warranty however if you read the finer print the warranty is ONLY for 12 months. MMMM !!
AnswerID: 366938

Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 10:52

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 10:52
At 11.8% efficiency, they are also large and heavy compared with Kyrocera (for example) at 17%.

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome
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Follow Up By: Nic I - Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 11:19

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 11:19
Hi Peter,

Yes, I noticed they were a little on the portly side for their output. Still very cheap though, especially if you get a good auction price.
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Follow Up By: Nic I - Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 11:21

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 11:21
Thanks DIO, yep, spotted the warranty discrepancy - as the inimitable Tom Waits says: "The Large Print giveth, and the small print taketh away" !
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Follow Up By: Member - John F (NSW) - Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 11:23

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 11:23
I think it says one year on manufacturing faults, 25 years on power output.

Regards, John.
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Follow Up By: Member - John F (NSW) - Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 11:43

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 11:43
I think it says one year on manufacturing faults, 25 years on power output.

Regards, John.
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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 18:08

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 18:08
we heard ya the 1st time.....:)))
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Reply By: Mandrake - Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 11:30

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 11:30
I am currently importing Panels from China to sell on Ebay etc..
I am fortunate that I also work for a freight forwarder so I have no overheads - My prices for 80 watt and 140 watt mono panels
with a 5 year / 25 year 80% output warranty are the cheapest in Oz for the quality of panel - these are not BP or Kyocera but they out perform or equal their performance .. So I don't know how the panels you are referring to can sell on Auction and turn a profit ?

Rgds

Mandrake
AnswerID: 366947

Follow Up By: Nic I - Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 11:38

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 11:38
Hi Steve,

Yes, I don't know either - that's why I'm trying to find out how they can be so cheap.

Cheers,

Nic
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 12:19

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 12:19
HI Mandrake - as you know self-promotion is something we ask people to avoid in the Forum, but I realise in this instance you're offering an experienced viewpoint but i thought I should take this opportunity to let you know of the Dealer Listings in the Trader that you may find of interest in promoting your importing business. We put this option into the Trader as we are aware of many of our readers doing business in this manner - which is different to the features of being a Business Member which wouldn't suit you by the sounds of it. And, this would automatically link your ads in your forum footer so its a nice subtle way to let everyone know when you're using the site that you have products for sale.
MM
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Follow Up By: Mandrake - Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 12:28

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 12:28
David and Michelle ,

I try not to promote my products in the forum and I have used Trader and will be advertising in there again once I have stock to sell - Just waiting for a boat to arrive at the moment ..

Sorry if I tiptoed over that line a little bit ...

Rgds

Steve
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 22:44

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 22:44
... a tiny tiptoe, that's ok. The big spiel was also for the benefit of others ;-)
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Reply By: GoneTroppo Member (FNQ) - Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 11:49

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 11:49
If something seems too good to be true, it usually is.



AnswerID: 366950

Reply By: Maîneÿ . . .- Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 13:51

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 13:51
The nominated " Module efficiency (%): >=11.8" is very low when compared to ALL the recognised brands available from reputable retailers which are much higher, (~17%) however yes they do cost more money but that is what you pay for.

I believe it's better to have cold food and no hassles than a few hundred $$$ in the bank simply because it will only be there till you HAVE to buy another decent quality Solar panel or Genny to put the power in the battery system, which will have to be replaced sooner because it has not been fully charged either.

Maîneÿ . . .
AnswerID: 366969

Follow Up By: Nic I - Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 14:16

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 14:16
Very well put, Mainey, they certainly rate well below any others I've seen.
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 14:34

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 14:34
When we chose panels fr the OKA, we chose on the basis of maximum watts for the space we had available. That resulted in a panel of high efficiency being chosen.

Of course"Efficiency" is of no value, in itself, if you are putting panels on a house. What you need then is maximum Watts per $ spent, and these panels seem cheaper in that regard.

What is not apparent, to me from the specs, is their peformance at elevate temperatures. They might be similar to others, or not.

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome
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Reply By: Motherhen - Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 14:29

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 14:29
I was glad we had Kyocera when we had panel failure while in the Kimberley last year. Two were faulty and Kyocera replaced all four with their latest 130 w panels. 25 year warranty with a reputable company that is likely to be there when you need them is something to weigh up in the cost equation.

Motherhen

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AnswerID: 366976

Reply By: Maîneÿ . . .- Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 14:54

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 14:54
What you need for a camping situation is High performance in LOW Light conditions and I believe at the very low performance values stated it will not be as practical as a quality brand panels that do have a proven record of working in low light conditions because their performance characteristics are much higher.

Maîneÿ . . .
AnswerID: 366983

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