Just an update on my original post. I ended going with Todae for the installation. We had a semi-tricky north and western aspect, and Todae was the only serious contender to offer installation with a dual-feed inverter. Unfortunately the installer (3rd party) couldn't install on the northern aspect as the area was too small (Grrr!). After the error was caught, Todae apologised and gave me a great price for upgraded panels (Sunpower 225W with Fronius inverter). I was told by the installer that given my roof aspect and challengingly small roof, the Sunpowers would outperform.
In addition, I have the Fronius remote monitor that allows me to see instantaneous and cumulative production... great conversation starter regarding PV when friends come over. Seems most our friends are now going down this path.
From Sunpower, regarding other posts about using cheaper panels:
“High efficiency is mostly talk. We don’t see Chinese companies competing with us on energy density,” he said. Werner didn’t give a name of a company, but he likely meant Suntech Power Holdings, which last year unfurled its high efficiency Pluto panels. Pluto panels do not hit the same levels of efficiency as SunPower’s best panels, but the high teens achieved by the panels beat Suntech’s regular panels.
Performance to date:
9 * 225W panels = 2025W
Western aspect at ~15 degree slope
Winter performance on a good day = 9 kWhr
Most days during winter = 6 - 8 kWhr
Origin is out Greenpower supplier and will pay a $0.66/kWhr FIT instead of just $0.60.
We only use 5 kWhrs/day... looking forward to summer!
Posted Wednesday 25 Aug 2010 @ 12:44:27 am from IP #