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Brand Preferences?

Discussion in 'Photovoltaics' started by Bert Raphael, Apr 2, 2004.

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  1. Bert Raphael

    Bert Raphael Guest

    I'm having a 5.5KW (AC) PV system, grid-connected but with battery
    backup, installed on my house in Northern California. The vendor has
    offered me a choice of
    * Xantrex (SW4048) Inverter, or an equivalent new model from Outback
    Power Systems-- The salesman says the Outback is more efficient so,
    although the inverter will cost more, I can use 5% fewer panels so the
    overall system cost will be the same; and
    * Shell SQ-160-PC (mono) panels, or equivalent BP (poly) panels.

    Anyone have any advice on these choices? Any experience (good or bad)
    with these vendors and technologies? Thanks.
  2. Outback is a company formed by the core Trace engineering group that
    Xantrex absorbed. The products are newer, and arguably less
    field-proven, but they haven't just fallen off the back of the
    proverbial cabbage truck.

    Experiences differ, but there has been a lot of frustration expressed
    in this n.g. about a lack of customer support from Xantrex. Prior to
    inhaling most of the major names in the renewable energy electronics
    business, it seems they were pretty much exclusively a manufacturer of
    industrial power supplies, and not used to dealing with "the little
    people." There's some indication that they still "don't get it"
    although to be fair I've found that they've eventually answered my
    emailed questions.

    OTOH, you'll find folks from Outback actively participating in this
    forum and frankly discussing their designs.

    Again - not everyone has had the same experience, but you should ask
    your vendor about their impressions of customer support from the
    manufacturers you're considering. Even if the hardware was identical,
    this can really make a difference if something goes sideways after the

  3. Klaus Ossmer

    Klaus Ossmer Guest

    Have a look to my BP-Solar Powersystem in Germany . You will see that the mono cells are
    very effectiv. And please take a look to SMA America for the
    different concepts of converters. The SMA are very efficient.


    Sun to the roof (Latin: tecto sol) Europe's most popular site for
    solar power yield
  4. Windsun

    Windsun Guest

  5. Bert Raphael

    Bert Raphael Guest

    I live in an area that normally experiences power failures of several
    hours each, several times a year, due to storms or accidents. Also, we
    are very close to the San Andreas Fault and expect a MAJOR earthquake
    in the next decade or two. The grid tie plus battery lets us get extra
    power from the grid as desired, sell excess solar power to the power
    company at premium rates on sunny summer afternoons, and still have
    partial power from the solar-plus-baterry system during grid outages.
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