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suprz

rhode island

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Posted: 01/20/20 10:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Can someone explain why they aren't more in use? They seem to be great at still providing power in cloudy situations as opposed to regular monocrystaline or polycrystaline solar panels. I see amorphous panels used in a lot of outside flood lights and small stuff. But not much in the way of larger panels except flexible ones


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BFL13

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Posted: 01/20/20 10:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

They are larger in area for the watts (not so efficient in other words)

You see a lot of them in the small portable sets sold for crazy high prices in hardware stores. Go to a real solar panel store for proper prices for the wattage you get for any type of panel.


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naturist

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Posted: 01/20/20 03:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Amorphous panels have major drawbacks: Longevity and power density. You'll get maybe 5-10 years use out of them, whereas polycrystalline panels are usually guaranteed for 25 years or so; mono crystalline panels should last even longer. But amorphous panels are cheaper. For a device you don't expect to last more than a very few years, such as a flood light or pathway light, cheaper is better. But if you are putting up roof panels, you want long service life. You also might have space limitations such that you need to keep the surface area under control.





2manytoyz

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Posted: 01/21/20 07:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A visual demonstration of what has already been said. When I was getting started in solar power at my home, I initially purchased amorphous panels (Harbor Freight 15W, and Northern Tool 15W). I then added silicon Kyocera panels.

[image]

The silicon type panel on the left is 130 Watts. The Amorphous panel on the right is only 15 Watts. If space is premium, silicon panels are the way to go. It would take nine panels on the right to equal the one on the left.

[image]

Four 15W Harbor Freight panels, followed by three 15W Northern Tool panels, then four 130W Kyocera panels, and two 135W Kyocera panels.

About 5 years, the amorphous panels started dying. I only have one still functional. All the silicon panels are still supplying at least 100% of their rated capacity, and carry a 25 year performance warranty. My current setup: http://2manytoyz.com/kyocera135mi.html

Prices have come way down on silicon panels. Don't waste your money on amorphous. A good deal in the past was $5/watt. Now you can get quality panels for $1/watt or less.


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landyacht318

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Posted: 01/21/20 10:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I put a Unisolar PVL-68 watt panel on my roof in 2012.

Back then it exceeded its output for a month or 3.
Now it does not, but it has not degraded a huge amount either.

But I did not collect hard data then to compare to what I could collect now. In general the maximum output Mid June has gone down by 0.6 amps or so compared to when it was new.

I have it in parallel with a kyocera 130 watt framed panel in use for 13 years now, so the total maximum harvest must include the degradation of the Kyocera too, since 2012.

The low light abilities of amorphorus is a bonus as an equal 68 watt rating of mono/poly crystalline would prehaps push back the time of day that it reaches absorption voltage daily, some unknown degree.

If you got the space for enough amorphous wattage, go for it. It will likely harvest more in winter and in cloudy weather.

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