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The truth about Solar Panel performance and temperature

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The truth about Solar Panel

performance and


Congratulations! Your 10 Year Solar Panel

January 21, 2011 by Finn Peacock 268 Comments
Product Warranty Is Probably 25 Thanks To
Like 300 people like this. Be the first of your friends. Australian Consumer Law
If your Chinese solar panels are not on one
How does the Aussie heat affect your solar panel performance? of these lists, be careful!
Are They Really Tier 1 Solar Panels? Six
One of the main factors that makes Solar Power so popular over here (apart from the Questions You Must Ask.
The Tesla Powerwall 2: Batteries Can Finally
Aussie Pollies throwing wads of money at in in the form of Solar rebates and Solar Feed
Pay For Themselves
In Tariffs) is the fact that the Sun is so damn strong down here.
How I got a $33 power bill with solar - even
with a crappy 8c buy back rate
Its not rocket science to work out why Solar Power hasnt really taken off in less sunny LG Chem Resu 6.4Ex vs Tesla Powerwall
climes like my homeland; grey, drizzly old England.
In fact the same 1.5kW system on a roof of my Mums quaint cottage in Northern England
Battery Storage (39)
will produce 45% less energy than if it was on my roof here in Sunny Adelaide.
Big Solar (43)
Economics Of Solar (53)
So does that mean the more sun the better, when it comes to generating Solar Power? Electricity Prices (7)
Quick Reads (24)
That would kind of make sense right? Solar and the Environment (3)
Solar Hot Water (7)
Solar Innovations (25)
Unfortunately, as with most things in this life, it is a bit more complicated than that. Solar Installation (61)
Solar Inverters (33)
In fact when it comes to solar power you can have too much sun. Solar Panels (109)
Solar Policy (155)
Uncategorized (1)

Say What?!?
The problem is, most solar panels power outputs start to degrade if the temperature of
the panel goes over about 25C. O

This is why, if you look at the specification label on a solar panel, most manufacturers
Finn Peacock (RSS) (195)
quote the solar power output at a panel temperature of 25degC.
Rich Bowden (RSS) (263)
So does that mean that if it is 25C outside and a clear blue sky then your panels will be
performing to their rated output? Finn Admin (RSS) (22)

Err no. Ronald Brakels (RSS) (56)

Mark Cavanagh (RSS) (1)

Because, if the air temperature outside is 25C, that dark solar panel baking on your roof
is going to be closer to 50C.

So how much solar power will you be losing on a 25C day if the panel manufacturer has
Peter on Congratulations! Your 10 Year Solar
quoted power output at a solar panel temperature of 25C? Panel Product Warranty Is Probably 25 Thanks
To Australian Consumer Law
To work that out we need to know the solar panels Max Power Temperature Coefficient, Lew on 5 Reasons Why Supply Charges On
Electricity Bills Must Go!

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The truth about Solar Panel performance and temperature

which should be on the solar panels specification sheet. Jack Wallace on Will Trump Take A Dump On
Ronald Brakels on This Growatt Inverter

Review is Good.. But What About The
A typical value for this is 0.4% per C. Michael Campbell on This Growatt Inverter
Review is Good.. But What About The
Which means that for every degree that the solar panel is above 25C the power will fall

So on a cool 25C day where the panel is cooking at 50C, you will be losing 10% of your
solar power.
ACT australia buyers guide
Carbon Tax cheap solar china
Heres the calc: commercial solar cost Developing Countries

0.4% x (50C -25C) = 0.4% x 25C = 10%

Efciency Electricity Prices Energy
Efciency enphase Feed In Tariffs
nance Germany Global Warming
Government Grants hybrid solar
And on days when the mercury breaks 40C you can be losing close to 20% of your infographic microinverters nsw Off Grid Solar
solar power.
politics QLD research RET roof shade Solar
Which is why you can often find that on the hottest days those solar panels on your roof Cars solar cell Solar Cowboys Solar Panel Tests
are actually producing less solar power than usual.
Solar Rebates Solar
If you are looking for solar panels that perform well in hot Australian weather, then heres Technology South Australia
a list of some popular solar panel brands and their temperature coefficients, the best
storage sunpower Temperature tesla trina USA
performing (temperature-wise) are at the top. (If Ive left out your favourite panel let me
Victoria video WA
know via the commments and Ill get it added!)

mppeerraattuurree C
Maannuuffaaccttuurreerr M
Mooddeell 27,564 likes
UniSolar PVL-68 -0.21
UniSolar PVL-124 -0.21 Like Page Sign Up

UniSolar PVL-128 -0.21

Be the first of your friends to like this
UniSolar PVL-136 -0.21
UniSolar PVL-144 -0.21
Sanyo HIT-195DA3 -0.29
Sanyo HIT-190DA3 -0.30
Sanyo HIT-205NKHA1 -0.34
Sanyo HIT-210NKHA1 -0.34
Sanyo HIT-215NKHA1 -0.34
SunPower SPR-210-BLK -0.38
SunPower SPR-215-WHT -0.38
SunPower SPR-225-BLK -0.38
SunPower SPR-230-WHT -0.38
SunPower SPR-305-WHT -0.38
SunPower SPR-310-WHT -0.38
SunPower SPR-315-WHT -0.38
SunPower SPR-318E-WHT-D -0.38
Canadian CS6A-150PE -0.42
Canadian CS6A-160PE -0.42
Canadian CS6P-170PE -0.42
Kyocera KD135GX-LPU -0.42
CEEG SST 160-72M -0.42
CEEG SST 165-72M -0.42
CEEG SST 170-72M -0.42
CEEG SST 265-72M -0.42
CEEG SST 175-72M -0.42
CEEG SST 270-72M -0.42
CEEG SST 180-72M -0.42
CEEG SST 275-72M -0.42

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The truth about Solar Panel performance and temperature

CEEG SST 280-72M -0.42

Tweets by @Solar_Quotes
CEEG SST 235-60M -0.42
CEEG SST 185-72M -0.42 Finn Peacock

CEEG SST 285-72M -0.42 @Solar_Quotes

CEEG SST 240-60M -0.42
CEEG SST 245-60M -0.42
CEEG SST 250-60M -0.42
Canadian CS6A-160P -0.43
Canadian CS6A-170P -0.43
Canadian CS6A-180P -0.43
Canadian CS6P-180PE -0.43
Canadian CS6P-190PE -0.43
Canadian CS6P-200P -0.43
Canadian CS6P-200PE -0.43
Canadian CS6P-210P -0.43 7h
Canadian CS6P-220P -0.43
Canadian CS6P-230P -0.43 Finn Peacock
Evergreen ES-A-200-fa2 -0.43
#Renewables hit record high in Oz during October. Will
Evergreen ES-A-200-fa3 -0.43 they go higher?
Evergreen ES-A-205-fa2 -0.43
Evergreen ES-A-205-fa3 -0.43
Evergreen ES-A-210-fa2 -0.43
Evergreen ES-A-210-fa3 -0.43
Evergreen ES-A-215-fa2 -0.43
Evergreen ES-A-215-fa3 -0.43
Hyundai HiS-M215SG -0.43
Hyundai HiS-M194SF -0.43 Renewable energy made up a record 21.7% of
Latest Cedex report says October had the biggest
Hyundai HiS-M218SG -0.43 proportion of renewables of any month since data
Hyundai HiS-M197SF -0.43

Hyundai HiS-M221SG -0.43

Hyundai HiS-M200SF -0.43
Hyundai HiS-M224SG -0.43 Finn Peacock Retweeted
Hyundai HiS-M203SF -0.43 EDF
Hyundai HiS-M227SG -0.43 @EnvDefenseFund

Hyundai HiS-M206SF -0.43 Economic insecurity & dislocation drove the election.
Ignoring climate change will only exacerbate them.
Hyundai HiS-M230SG -0.43
Hyundai HiS-M209SF -0.43
Hyundai HiS-M212SF -0.43
Kyocera KD205GX-LPU -0.43
Kyocera KD185GX-LPU -0.43
Kyocera KD210GX-LPU -0.43
Kyocera KD215GX-LPU -0.43
Tianwei TW175(35)D -0.43
Tianwei TW180(35)D -0.43 Trumps Win Scrambles Climate Change Debate
International negotiators try to figure out what a
Tianwei TW185(35)D -0.43 Trump regime means.
Conergy Conergy P 185M -0.44

Day4 Energy Day4 48MC 160 -0.44

Day4 Energy Day4 48MC 165 -0.44
Day4 Energy Day4 48MC 170 -0.44
Finn Peacock Retweeted
Day4 Energy Day4 48MC 175 -0.44
Guardian Environment
Day4 Energy Day4 48MC 180 -0.44 @guardianeco

Day4 Energy Day4 48MC 185 -0.44 Trump could reverse 'dramatic' progress on clean energy,
experts fear
Day4 Energy Day4 48MC 190 -0.44
Tianwei TW210(28)P -0.44
Tianwei TW215(28)P -0.44
Tianwei TW220(28)P -0.44
Tianwei TW225(28)P -0.44
Tianwei TW230(28)P -0.44
Tianwei TW235(28)P -0.44

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The truth about Solar Panel performance and temperature

Canadian CS5A-160M -0.45

Canadian CS5A-170M -0.45
Canadian CS5A-180M -0.45
Canadian CS5P-220M -0.45
Canadian CS5P-230M -0.45
Canadian CS5P-240M -0.45
Conergy PowerPlus
Conergy -0.45
Conergy Conergy Black 225PA -0.45
Conergy PowerPlus
Conergy -0.45
Conergy Conergy Black 230PA -0.45
Conergy Conergy P 230PA -0.45
Conergy Conergy P 235PA -0.45
SCHOTT POLY 220 -0.45
SCHOTT POLY 225 -0.45
Solarfun SF190-27-P170 -0.45
Solarfun SF190-27-P175 -0.45
Solarfun SF190-27-P180 -0.45
Solarfun SF190-27-P185 -0.45
Solarfun SF190-27-P190 -0.45
Solarfun SF220-30-P210 -0.45
Solarfun SF220-30-P215 -0.45
Solarfun SF190-27-P195 -0.45
Solarfun SF220-30-P220 -0.45
Solarfun SF190-27-P200 -0.45
Solarfun SF220-30-P225 -0.45
Solarfun SF190-27-P205 -0.45
Solarfun SF220-30-P230 -0.45
Solarfun SF190-27-P210 -0.45
Solarfun SF220-30-P235 -0.45
Solarfun SF220-30-P240 -0.45
Solarfun SF220-30-P245 -0.45
SunPower SER-228P -0.45
Trina TSM-165DA01 -0.45
Trina TSM-170DA01 -0.45
Trina TSM-220PA05 -0.45
Trina TSM-220DA05 -0.45
Trina TSM-175DA01 -0.45
Trina TSM-180DA01 -0.45
Trina TSM-230PA05 -0.45
Trina TSM-230DA05 -0.45
Trina TSM-185DA01 -0.45
Trina TSM-240PA05 -0.45
Trina TSM-240DA05 -0.45
ET Solar ET-P672255 -0.46
ET Solar ET-P654190 -0.46
ET Solar ET-P654195 -0.46
ET Solar ET-P672260 -0.46
ET Solar ET-P660220 -0.46
ET Solar ET-P654200 -0.46
ET Solar ET-P672265 -0.46
ET Solar ET-P660225 -0.46
ET Solar ET-P654205 -0.46
ET Solar ET-P672270 -0.46
ET Solar ET-P660230 -0.46
ET Solar ET-P672275 -0.46
ET Solar ET-P654210 -0.46
ET Solar ET-P672280 -0.46

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The truth about Solar Panel performance and temperature

ET Solar ET-P660235 -0.46

REC REC215PE-US -0.46
REC REC215PE -0.46
REC REC220PE-US -0.46
REC REC220PE -0.46
REC REC225PE-US -0.46
REC REC225PE -0.46
REC REC230PE-US -0.46
REC REC230PE -0.46
REC REC235PE-US -0.46
REC REC235PE -0.46
ET Solar ET-M572165 -0.47
ET Solar ET-M572170 -0.47
ET Solar ET-M572175 -0.47
ET Solar ET-M572180 -0.47
ET Solar ET-M572185 -0.47
Ningbo MP-150WP -0.47
Ningbo MP-155WP -0.47
Ningbo MP-160WP -0.47
Ningbo MP-165WP -0.47
Ningbo MP-170WP -0.47
Ningbo MP-175WP -0.47
Ningbo MP-180WP -0.47
Suntech STP260-24/Vb-1 -0.47
Suntech STP200-18/Ub-1 -0.47
Suntech STP205-18/Ud -0.47
Suntech STP270-24/Vb-1 -0.47
Suntech STP270-24/Vd -0.47
Suntech STP275-24/Vd -0.47
Suntech STP210-18/Ub-1 -0.47
Suntech STP210-18/Ud -0.47
Suntech STP280-24/Vb-1 -0.47
Suntech STP280-24/Vd -0.47
Solarfun SF160-24-P165 -0.48
Solarfun SF160-24-P170 -0.48
Solarfun SF160-24-P175 -0.48
Suntech STP175S-24/Ab-1 -0.48
Suntech STP180S-24/Ab-1 -0.48
Suntech STP185S-24/Ab-1 -0.48
Sharp ND-200UC1 -0.49
Sharp ND-123UJF -0.49
Sharp NE-165UC1 -0.49
Sharp ND-167UC1 -0.49
Sharp ND-208UC1 -0.49
Sharp ND-130UJF -0.49
Sharp NE-170UC1 -0.49
Sharp ND-176UC1 -0.49
Sharp ND-216UC1 -0.49
Sharp ND-U216C1 -0.49
Sharp ND-198UC1 -0.49
Sharp NT-175UC1 -0.49
Sharp ND-220UC1 -0.49
Sharp NU-U180FC -0.49
Sharp ND-224UC1 -0.49
Sharp ND-U224C1 -0.49
Sharp NU-U208FC -0.49
Sharp ND-U230C1 -0.49
Sharp NU-U230F3 -0.49
Sharp ND-187UC1 -0.49

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The truth about Solar Panel performance and temperature

Sharp NU-U235F3 -0.49

Sharp NU-U235F1 -0.49
Sharp NU-U240F1 -0.49
BP BP 3210N -0.50
BP BP 3215B -0.50
BP BP3220T -0.50
BP BP3220N -0.50
BP BP3225T -0.50
BP BP3225N -0.50
BP BP3230T -0.50
BP BP3230N -0.50
BP BP 4175T -0.50
BP BP 4175B -0.50
BP BP 4180T -0.50
REC REC205AE-US -0.50
REC REC210AE-US -0.50
REC REC215AE-US -0.50
REC REC220AE-US -0.50
REC REC225AE-US -0.50
REC REC230AE-US -0.50
Samsung ElectronicsLPC235SM-02 -0.52
Samsung ElectronicsLPC238SM-02 -0.52
Samsung ElectronicsLPC241SM-02 -0.52
Like 300 people like this. Be the first of your friends.

300 7 8

! " # $ % &


FFiilleedd U
Unnddeerr:: SSoollaarr PPaanneellss

About Finn Peacock

I'm a Chartered Electrical Engineer, Solar and Energy Efficiency nut,
dad, and founder of My last "real job" was working
for the CSIRO in their renewable energy division.


brandon williams says:

February 1, 2011 at 5:44 am

Golden Solar GS 50E has a Pmax of -.22


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The truth about Solar Panel performance and temperature

Gordon Norris says:

May 15, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Hi Finn
What would be the temperature coefficient of the Bosch Solar Panels, actually
manufactured in Germany.
I am looking at a 5Kw system to be installled in my WA Home on a North & North
East facing roof. Using the Sunnyboy 5Kw inverter. Could you also add the Bosche
Panels please?

Many thanks & king rgds.


Finn Peacock says:

May 16, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Hi Gordon the Bosch are excellent in the heat their temp coeffs vary from 0.33 to
0.46 depending on the model.
If you split a system over 2 roof areas be sure to do this:

kurt says:
January 15, 2014 at 1:13 pm

GDay Finn
Looking at A/C panels and system from Queensland Renewable Energy
Do you know of the pros and cons of a/c compared to d/c .Would like to know
your thoughts.
Regards KURT

Finn Peacock says:

January 15, 2014 at 2:26 pm

No problem!

Here are the pros and cons of AC vs DC
infographic/ if you like infographics

and if you prefer more details

Joel says:
May 31, 2014 at 8:25 am

Hi Finn. Wondering your thoughts on current Simax panels? Im tossing up

btw 4.5kw systems. Simax panels and sma inverter or tdg aps. Both about 8
grand. Am leaning towards Simax/sma system just unsure about quality of
these panels.

Finn Peacock says:

June 2, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Simax are Tier 3 panels according to the classifications I use but I

know a number of good installers that really rate them and have been
using them for years without problems. They tell me they get good backup
from the manufacturer and great power output.

Lynley says:

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The truth about Solar Panel performance and temperature

August 17, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Hi Finn

Just wondering what your thoughts were on Solarworld WA GY250P-60

solar panels? We are looking at a 1.5kw system??

Finn Peacock says:

August 19, 2014 at 6:23 pm

Solarworld are very good, Tier 1 panels.

BarleySinger says:
August 28, 2015 at 10:19 pm

I have the info on the SIMAX 250W for temp but it gives more than one
Coefficient. I assume that Pmax is the Max Power Coefficient.
Temperature Coefficients
Nominal Operating Cell Temperature(NOCT) 452C
Temperature Coefficient of Pmax -0.39% / C
Temperature Coefficient of Voc -0.34% / C
Temperature Coefficient of Isc 0.036% / C

Voc = -0.39% (pretty close to what the example showed)

HOWEVER note that they measure normal temp at 25C on most
panels (which got plugged into that formula). but THIS panel is
measured at 452C.

That ought to mean that they are a lot better in the heat. In fact at 42C
(2C) we ought to have full output.

Ross says:
March 15, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Hello Gordon,
Did you end up with the Bosch panels with the Sma 5kw ?
If yes which model panels and are you willing to advise what the price was fully
installed ?

Billy says:
March 22, 2013 at 9:40 am

I have just signed with a smaller company and I am getting the 5kW SMA
inverter and the Stella Bosch panels.. I had 5 companies come around and
found the smaller guy a lot better to deal with. His total price was a tad over

Very good price I think? Have you had any prices Ross?

Marty Burgess says:

July 24, 2013 at 11:54 pm

The way forward with this issue might be to see the excess heat as a resource and
harvest it. The University of Wollongong and TAFE NSW Illawarra Institute have
built a zero energy house in which the heat is harvested thereby optimising the
efficiency of the panels. A pump moves the heat to under the house where phase
change material stores the heat until its required for other purposes (eg heating
rooms during the night).

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Karl Jensen says:

April 15, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Unfortunately thats only about 1/10 of the story when it comes to the right panel for the

Sure temp co-efficients matter but if the thin film panels take up 3x the space then you
can only fit 1/3 the panels.

If you take the CEC advice you should oversize the array in respect to the panels by
20%. the example given uses 2.6KW panels for 2KW inverter.

This accounts for temp derating in typical conditions and hence little or no energy is
lost but the inverter can work in its sweet spot for efficiency.
Unfortunately most systems even with the best components are poorly designed which
has more of an impact than the panel temp co-efficients.
A decent bird poo on a panel can knock down output as much as 20% from the whole
array, hence we need some perspective here.

Steve says:
July 22, 2013 at 6:07 pm

All solar panels have bypass diodes this means if one panel is partially shaded only
that panels output is reduced not the whole arrays!

Finn Peacock says:

July 22, 2013 at 7:39 pm

Hi Steve,

Yes most panels do have bypass diodes these days but they only kick in at a
certain shade threshold, and typically kill a third of the solar panels output in
severe shade. Until the bypass diode kicks in the shaded panel will drag the
whole array down with it.


Steve says:
July 23, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Hi Finn

Im sorry, I must disagree with you. I refer you to the drawing of a solar panel
with bypass diodes on the following web page. I have two arrays using mono
and poly panels made by different manufacturers and this is how the bypass
diodes are installed in my panels except that instead of the 3 diodes shown
my panels have 6 each single diode has been replaced by two diodes in
parallel. I guess the manufacturer had a surplus of 4A diodes and rather than
purchase 8A diodes he used to 4A diodes in parallel.
For the sake of argument (and to make the maths easy) lets consider a solar
panel that has an output power of 200W ie. a 50Volt/4Amp panel
comprising of 54 cells in series (lets call this a string). These series cells are
then further arranged into 3 sub strings of 18 cells each with each sub string
including a bypass diode as per the above web page.
At the panels maximum output each cell must be generating 0.93V @ 4A
giving us a panel output of 50V @ 4A or each sub string is generating 16.7V
@ 4A. If you were to shade one cell then that sub strings current and voltage
will drop causing the bypass diode associated with that sub string to become
forward biased allowing the current generated by the unshaded sub strings to
flow through the bypass diode. The result is we now have a panel with an
output of 33.3V @ 4A the current of the unshaded cells, and therefore the
entire panel does not drop. The panels output voltage on the other hand does
Now if we connect more of these panels into a series array and one panel is

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The truth about Solar Panel performance and temperature

partially, or completely, shaded, provided all of the other panels are in full
sun, the arrays current will not drop below 4A. What will happen is the arrays
output voltage will drop. The bypass diodes do not limit the current they
simply provide an alternate current path around a sub string that is not
producing sufficient current/voltage to keep the associated bypass diode
reverse biased.
What happens if we made an 8 panel, 1.6 kW system out of these panels
and totally shaded one panel? The maximum possible power loss of the
array would be 200 W (the entire output of one panel) plus the power
dissipated by the voltage drop across the 3 forward biased bypass diodes
(due to the 4A of current from the other 7 panels flowing through them) ie.
200 W + (0.6V x 3 x 4A) = 7.2 W (assuming silicon diodes each dropping 0.6
V) so total loss = 207.2 W.

207.2 W out of a 1.6 kW array = loss of around 13%.

Clearly this % will change depending on how many panels are in the array
and would have to be calculated on a case-by-case basis.
Given the way the panels are assembled you can lose 33%, 66% or 100% of
a particular panels output and this is not dependent on the number of diodes.
The point Im trying to make is that because virtually all panels have bypass
diodes completely, or partially, shading one panel cannot have any effect on
the output of the other non-shaded panels.

Finn Peacock says:

August 6, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Fair point I wrote that reply too late at night and have corrected it! But
bypass diodes are not the golden bullet to shading problems, because the
panel can get pretty shaded before the diode kicks in, and drag the whole
array down with it.

Steve says:
August 6, 2013 at 4:51 pm

I would argue that the bypass diodes would kick in pretty quickly, there
only has to be a 0.6 V drop (for a silicon diode), even less is you use a
Schottky diode, in the voltage generated by any one of the sub strings
before the associated bypass diode is forward biased, yes there may be a
small drop in the whole arrays output but only for a verrrry short time.

John Byers says:

August 8, 2013 at 12:53 am

Diodes in Parallel do not share current equally between them as they

cannot be perfectly matched for equal forward resistance or turnover
voltage. This means that one diode will pass more current than its
paralleled mate (since its intrinsic forward resistance will be smaller) and
may burn out if not adequately overrated. No matter if Ge,Si or Schottky
diodes used this is basic physics. So two paralleled 4 amp rated diodes
will not pass 4 amps each. One will pass more than the other and get
hotter in consequence
And getting exact match between pairs of diodes is an expensively time
consuming and largely unrewarding exercise even diodes off the same
production batch are different to one another in this regard. Unless the
paralleled diodes are both rated at 8 amp each the approach is unreliable

dabbles says:
November 20, 2013 at 7:31 am

er.. this tech chit-chat is fascinating.

I solved my shading problem with a small chainsaw: took the top 20 foot
off the offending tree.
.dont recall the relevant technical calculations.

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The truth about Solar Panel performance and temperature

colleen morgan says:

April 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Please let me know the temperature coefficient %/c

of Suntech panel model STP190S-24/AD plus

Thank you for your assistance

grace says:
May 10, 2011 at 12:01 pm

how about conergy p 180


admin says:
December 8, 2011 at 10:25 am

Hi Grace
It is -0.44

kubicko says:
September 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Alright Geniuses of the Solar Tech talk, Please design the ultimate 5kw and
10kw systems for a house. Its great to read how intellimagent you all are. Yet it
would be more useful to us mere mortals if you advise us on ULTIMATE kits for
home users in Australia. Thanks guys, Jake

Marius Fourie says:

July 24, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Everyone tells you that solar cells degrade at .45% per DegC above STC, but how do I
predict the cell temperature?
I know variables like wind direction, ventilation, etc.. makes it quite compilcated, but
does anyone have practical figures? In SA (read Johannnesburg) we have about 5.6
hours sun with very little wind and summer temperatures of 28 to 32 DegC.
Then, is it worth considering forced cooling under hot conditions?

darrol says:
July 30, 2011 at 11:19 am

hi, could you please tell me the temp coefficient of ET m 660250 thanks

admin says:
December 8, 2011 at 10:20 am

Hi Darrol:

It is -0.46

Richard Salisbury says:

August 28, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Marius, heres a web page to go to for the calculations of panel temp

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The truth about Solar Panel performance and temperature

And , if you are in the southern hemisphere, it is best for an array on a north facing
roof, next best easterly facing and west if no other options better still ground mount
facing north or north-east

Richard Salisbury says:

August 28, 2011 at 8:19 pm

National Panasonic has a great product to reduce the effects of power mismatch
caused to mono or poly panel arrays from shading, bird poo, leaves etc.
Its called a Solar Magic Power Optimiser

With thin film panels these shading, dirt and debris problems are not a major factor n
by-pass diodes kicking in or kicking in at different rates

Richard says:
December 7, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Could you add Solon panels please.


admin says:
December 8, 2011 at 10:19 am

Solon Black XT 295 -0.47

Solon Black XT 290 -0.47
Solon Blue XT 285 -0.45
Solon Black XT 285 -0.47
Solon Blue XT 280 -0.45
Solon Black XT 280 -0.47
Solon Blue XT 275 -0.45
Solon Blue XT 270 -0.45
Solon Black 245 -0.47
Solon Black 240 -0.47
Solon Corvus 240 -0.47
Solon Blue 235 -0.45
Solon Black 235 -0.47
Solon Corvus 235 -0.47
Solon Blue 230 -0.45
Solon Black 230 -0.47
Solon Corvus 230 -0.47
Solon Blue 225 -0.45
Solon Corvus 225 -0.47
Solon Blue 220 -0.45

Iain says:
February 6, 2012 at 8:53 am

Silly article! Implies that solar electricity will do worst in sunnier areas. Whilst there are
losses due to the heat coefficient these are compensated by the extra sunlight in most
cases. Have a look at the desert knowledge solar centre or sunny portal in high heat

Finn Peacock says:

February 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Hi Iain,
Thanks for the comment. I certainly dont mean to imply that solar will do worse in
sunnier areas. What I am trying to say (perhaps clumsily!) is that if you have 2
places with the same amount of sunlight, the hotter place will always be worse for
solar electricity than the colder place. The ideal place for solar power is a cold
desert, or the top of a mountain. This is why the temperature performance of a

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solar panel is so important in Australia. And why the STC power of a solar panel is
tested at an ambient temperature of about 5 degrees Centigrade.

terry adams says:

February 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Hi Finn
Whatis the temperature coefficient of Simax. panels used by Sun Trix? Andy is coming
to visit us. tomorrow morning at 11am.

Finn Peacock says:

February 14, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Hi Terry,

The Simax SM572-190 has a temperature coefficient of -0.39%/DegC according to

the data sheet.


sam says:
February 15, 2012 at 12:41 pm

how about sunearth panels


Finn Peacock says:

February 15, 2012 at 12:52 pm

All the 2012 Sun Earth Solar Panels have a temperature coefficient of -0.40
%/DegC which is excellent.

nigel says:
March 12, 2012 at 10:36 am

Hi Finn, I live in Mareeba about 50 klms west of Cairns, we have very hot dry days
durring summer and most days of 25c during winter. What sort of panels do you think I
should be looking for? And what are your thoughts on one of my quotes on a 8.80kW
system running through a SunnyBoy 5000TL of $17,990.00 with $7320.00 of rebate?

Finn Peacock says:

March 12, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Hi Nigel,

I think you should go for a brand name panel (Trina, Suntech, QCells, Solarworld
etc), because you can generally believe their temperature specs. Look for a panel
that is better than -0.5%/DegC. You dont say what panels you are getting but if
they are good panels, then that seems a good price. I assume you will be running
2x Sunny Boy 5000TLs with 8.8kW of panels?

Angus says:

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March 15, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Ive been doing some temperature testing of panels, and have been recording
temperatures that the panels get to averaging 50degC/day (sunlight hours) and some
as high as 85degC. I guess using these numbers you can calculate the percentage
loss of the system due to temperature increase.

Why cant someone make white solar cells???


Finn Peacock says:

March 16, 2012 at 9:26 am

Hi Angus,
Thanks for the comment. Wow, that is hot! At 85DegC most panels will lose 30% of
their power.

Where are you in Australia, and what colour roof are the panels on?

John says:
April 23, 2013 at 9:32 am

I have tested temp on panels in direct sun up to 76C mid north coast nsw

Charlie b says:
May 9, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Yeah they make white solar panels ( ON THE BACK ) the best colour there is
BLACK (remember? blackbody radiation? that same colour as on a fridge
radiator?), so i think i will paint them (not sure if that effects warranty!). The reason
why those blue ones do better could be because they reflect the blue light, rather
than absorb it as heat (i do doubt they turn the blue light into energy as i think they
are designed for IR)

Charlie b says:
May 10, 2013 at 12:36 pm

I checked about the paint and it apparently doesnt matter. White and black
Catalac paint have almost the same emissivity (in fact, white was better). And,
according to wikipedia, apart from colour (this must be a misconception),
emissivity depends also how shiny the surface is (which may actually come
down to surface area instead!). so i admit to being wrong in my last message. I
will have to consider heatsinking and off-peak loading instead.

Don Roberts says:

March 22, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Could you give any details on performance of Q cell panels.


Finn Peacock says:

March 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm

They are generally awesome. Good performers in the heat and well built with
German engineering behind them.
Independent test results from California Here: Q-Cells Solar Panel Comparison

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Hnery says:
March 30, 2012 at 9:42 am

Hi Finn

Sorry I am totally new to this, i just got a new house and need to find the best one for
our home we live in Brisbane and think which one is the best for us and about the
Temperature Coefficient what dos it means its better -.2 better or .-.5 better?

Thank you for your time^^


Finn Peacock says:

April 9, 2012 at 10:56 am

With temperature coefficient smaller number is better (ignoring the -ve sign).

The units are %_of_power_lost per rise_in_temperature_of_1_Degree_Celsius.

So only 0.2% of power lost for every increase in temperature of 1DegC makes for a
better performing solar panel than one that loses 0.5% of its power for every fish of

I explain it a lot more clearly here:

Peter Jensen says:

April 20, 2012 at 8:58 am

Hi Finn, I have found your site very informative and to the point.I live in North Qld. I
have 2 phase coming into my house and one quote is for 11.2kwET panels with 22.5
sma invertors for a price of around $22,000.The other quote is for 4.05kw hyundai
panels with a sma invertor,$12,450. My average consumpton is about 26kw p day
tarif11 and 8kw tarif 31. My question is, bearing in mind that technology moves forward
quite fast, do I spend that amount of money or $12,000 so that if something super
dupa comes on the market later I could spend the other $12000
Regards Peter

Vegelen says:
May 1, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Could you add:

Suntech STP250S-20/WD
Temperature Coefficient of Pmax -0.45 %/C

Vegelen says:
May 1, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Please could you add the Jinko range of solar panels to your list.
Thank you for your help.

Soori says:
May 29, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Hi Finn
I am getting a 5kw solar system with simax sm572-190w panels and JFY inverter / JSI
-1500Tl. Can you please tel me It would work in northeast Vic .( good performance )

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Soori says:
May 29, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Hi Finn
My 5kw system has 26 190w panels that = 4.92w , can I put extra 2 panel to make
5kw. Thanks

John says:
June 5, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Hi Finn,
Im looking at buying a 3kw system using an SMA inverter and i have the option for 2
types of panels 1 that you have listed Tianwei and the other is Senergy not actually
sure as yet of the model of the panels but do you know of the Senergy, and what in
your opinion would be the better panel to go with ? I live in Brisbane.
Regards John

Finn Peacock says:

June 6, 2012 at 5:47 pm

If the Senergy is China Sunergy (CSun) they are OK:
Otherwise Ive never heard of them. Im not familiar with Tianwei panels, although I
believe they are one of the cheaper panels out there on the market so that
probably is for a reason

David says:
June 5, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Hi Finn,
I live in Melbourne and have received 3 quotes for a 5 kw solar package all coming in
at around $11,000 all using SMA 5000 inverter but all using different panels, the
panels are 1- LG 250S1C or 2- Canadian Solar CS6P 250P or 3- Solar Fun panels.
Which panel would you recomend, the roof faces west and is pitched at 15 degress.
Cheers David

Finn Peacock says:

June 6, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Using my solar panel comparison tool:

Canadian Solar CS6P 250P have a Performance Ration of: 91.04%

LG250S1C has a P ratio of 90.08%

Solar Fun is not on the list so I have no 3rd party test data for them so I
personally would not go for them when I can get ones that have got that data.
Either LG or Canadian are the go their scores are almost identical. Be aware that
Canadian Solar are made in China. That in itself is not a bad thing but a lot of
salesmen are implying they are made in Canada!

PeteC says:

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June 24, 2012 at 5:40 pm

How about Lunio 190W panels?


Finn Peacock says:

June 25, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Im not familiar with those panels sorry!


jacki says:
June 30, 2012 at 9:10 pm

We live in yeppoon in qld and we are trying to work out what to do with solar. Our roof
faces north east the panels will need to be split on two sides. Canadian solar cs6p
235px Illumilite is the name of the company we have been talking to any idea if they
are ok. The salesmamn didnt seem to know anythig about the temp. Of the panels.
Please help.

Shaun McCabe says:

August 11, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Another great article. Id keep away from the comparisons with the UK though given
the climatic constraints, UK solar take up is reasonable, and overall renewables
adoption leaves Aus for dead! For example, in 2011, 33% of Scottish electricity
generation was from renewables, and this is despite copious local coal, oil and gas
resources, and an established nuclear industry. Scotland is targeting producing 100%
of its electrical needs from renewables by 2020.

wal says:
August 22, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Hi Finn,

Finn Peacock says:

August 23, 2012 at 10:13 am

JA Solar is the 2nd largest PV Cell manufacturer in the world. They seem yo get all
the major approvals:

Their panels are rated here:

JA Solar Panel Comparison

Shahnaz Khan says:

September 5, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Hi Finn,

whats your thoughts on the Yingli Panda 270w mono panel? been quoted on them
recently and they seem to be very popular in the US but still newish in the aussie

Wade says:
April 22, 2013 at 1:25 pm

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What do you think of the Yingli panda 260 W coupled with a Delta Inverter German
design made in Thailnd.

Finn Peacock says:

April 22, 2013 at 6:02 pm

Both good!

Leyland gale says:

April 3, 2014 at 12:44 pm

Everyone is talking heat causing power loss. Fin what about the inverters
being used.I done some research before choosing solar and I found that
German Sma and omnik were good inverters and didnt loose as much power
when converting from Ac to Dc.the cheaper brand such as jfy were very
average inverters.

Finn Peacock says:

April 3, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Yes the inverters efficiency is directly proportional to how much energy

you will get. Also most of the cheap inverters (and some expensive ones)
will start to derate at a not-too-high (for Australia) ambient temperature
so look out for that. And always mount them in a shaded spot. I see so
many inverters in direct sunlight it is not funny!
You can compare inverter efficieny here:
Hope That Helps,


Shahnaz Khan says:

September 5, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Hi Finn,
I also have a question about the lines in each cell which I believe they are called Buz
bars? ive noticed most so called better quality panels usually have 3 and the cheaper
ones have 2. is there a reason for this?

Caroline says:
September 10, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Im wondering about STS panels, particularly 250S-60. Brochure says 0.3


Gilbert says:
September 19, 2012 at 8:50 am

I am looking to install a 5KW solar system in the next few weeks and have a dilema
how to choose. All the quotes are similar, premium quality materials and workmanship.
What your opinion between Simax SM660-250, ET-M660250 and Green Triplex
PM250M00 panels and inverter SMA Sunny Boy, 5000 MTL Growatt and Delta

Finn Peacock says:

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September 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm

I have never heard of Green Triplex so personally Id avoid those.

The best inverter is the SMA, then Delta, then Growatt. But all 3 are good inverters.
I know some great installers that are very happy with ET and Simax panels.

Gilbert says:
September 20, 2012 at 8:23 am

Thanks Finn for your quick reply. Yesterday I received my last quote that is based with
the Schott SW 240 poly panels, German technology and made in the US, do you know
this one.
By the way thank you for this great site it help me understand the solar technology, I
recomended to few of my friends. Continue on your good work

James says:
October 20, 2012 at 7:22 am

Hi Finn
Im getting a choice of 2 panels the first is a Blue Sun 250 watt and the second is a
Simax sm660 250 watt I have to make a choice very soon can you tell me which you
think is the better panel. I live in Brisbane and they will be north facing the inverter will
be a delta 2.5kw. Ive looked at both specs but cant see much between the two


Finn Peacock says:

October 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm

I would go the Simax they should be a lot cheaper and Ive heard good things
about them from a number of installers I trust.

James says:
October 22, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Thanks F
I was leaning that way and Im sending the contract back tomorrow . Great

James says:
October 22, 2012 at 4:29 pm

oops forgot the INN in Finn


anne gallagher says:

October 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Hi Finn,
One quote i have received has given me the choice of monsterland panels made in
Germany, (apparently) the other choice I have is Tianwei, who the installer seems to
think is the better way to go???? I live in Mt Molloy FNQLD on the Nthn end of the
Atherton Tablelands. Could you give me some advice as to which I should choose.

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paul jacobsen says:

November 14, 2012 at 9:58 am

very informative mate. any opinion on samil power inverters 5KW


Jac says:
November 24, 2012 at 8:31 am

Hi Finn,
Thank you for the article which I found very helpful. Im new to this and have been
given a quote for a 5kw system using 20 BLD250-60M 250W panels and a JFY
5000TL inverter from my local electricity company. I couldnt find much information
about either of these and was wondering if you had any advice for me. Much
appreciated, thanks, Jac

Anthony penny says:

December 2, 2012 at 11:41 am

Do you know the actual output / operating characteristics of these Simax SM660-250 ?
The manufacturer states excellent data figures for a relatively cheap panel or is it a
case of to good to be true?

Finn Peacock says:

December 11, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Simax are good panels from what I can tell / have heard.

Reviews of simax panels from customers that have had them for more than 12
months are here:

Hope That Helps,


Luke says:
December 7, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Hi Finn,
Thanks for the great article. Have you investigated the quasi-mono technology a lot
yet? Renesola and some others like JA solar are already producing with the
quasi-mono tech and it seems to have a much better temperature coefficient than
mc-Si. In the 0.38-0.39 range. This is really important for guys like us because we can
optimise a lot more yield out of our plants especially with very large modules as the
land-efficiency ratio goes up. I am just searching now for their measurement methods
to see how real these TC numbers are.

Frank says:
January 13, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Hello Finn, Your a busy fellow replying and people like myself thank you for your
commitment to helping us through this minefield of choice. I live in Metro W.A and
looking at getting a 4 to 5 kw system. It would have to be west facing. What would
YOUR choice of panel and inverter be as i have had a response from your site of 5

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installers . Can you also comment on (1) australian solar panels ASP-60-6M , and
ASP-72-5M . (2) AS-5M 195w , and AS-6M30 250w by amerisolar australia (3)
Delta inverters , (4) YC 200 EU Micro inverter . Is it true that i could possabily lose up
to 30% efficiency with west facing installation and more due to Max Power
Temperature Coefficient loss. A lot to consider. Thanks again , Frank.

Finn Peacock says:

January 15, 2013 at 6:37 am

You will never get more than 3 installers responding from
Are you sure you used my site or was it a copycat? I dont recommend
Australian Solar Panels because I consider their marketing deceptive. The panels
are made in China. Delta inverters are good.

dennis says:
January 18, 2013 at 11:30 am

Hello Finn great site what is your opinion on a system using 5.00 KW TrinaHoney 20
X250 W Solar Panels with Samil 5200TL-D inverter in central victoria
Any other recomendations

Finn Peacock says:

January 21, 2013 at 10:17 am

Trina are good panels. But it will only be a good system with a good inverter,
racking and a good installer!

Andrew says:
January 29, 2013 at 11:36 am

HI Finn,

Can you comment on Hosun panels in the Australian market?


Finn Peacock says:

January 30, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Im not familiar with those panels sorry! They dont appear to be approved in
California, and Ive never seen a review of them so I have no data with which to
make a judgement!

Rob says:
February 10, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Hi Finn,

I am looking for a system that is efficient in the Netherlands. In this search for the
optimum, I encountered a question and could not find a credible answer yet.
Is the monocristalline (eg. Canadian solar panel CS6P 240 (all black)) better than a
polycristalline (eg. Canadian solar panel CS6P 240) or is it equal.
My roof it headed to the west and the technician told me that polycristalline is not less
efficient because (1) the cristals in the polycristalline panels are directed to all sides,
and monocristalline get its energy mainly from the light that falls approx. perpendicular
on the panel (2) the cells in the black monocristalline panels get warmer than the cells
in the blue polycristalling panels, because obviously black surfaces absorb more heat
Theoretically the monocristalline panels should be better, but these effects are

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supposed to compensate the difference and in cloudy weather (with scattered light)
polycristaline could be even superior I was told. Could you give your opinion on this?
Rob, Netherlands.

Finn Peacock says:

February 12, 2013 at 10:51 am

The sales guy is full of crap! Sorry.

Please watch this:

Rob says:
February 13, 2013 at 9:34 am

Thanks for your explicit opinion. I watched your video and also your blog about
the efficiency of panels.
In this case that makes my choice quite clear. Ill just forget those arguments.
And the 4 important numbers, that you mentioned in your blog, of the two panels
are about the same, only the prize is significantly different. The all black panels
are just 25% more expensive in NL.

john says:
March 10, 2013 at 3:59 pm

i have NESL (2KWH system) specs say normal operating temp is 48c+/-2c. ibelieve
this means that there is no loss due to temp until the ambiant temp exceeds 28c then
.48c for every degree over that so what is being said does not seem to be correct
on the other hand i am told that i should not expect my system to ever reach 2kwh
output . to date it has not 1.7kwh which i do not believe is satisfactory
any comments

Finn Peacock says:

March 12, 2013 at 11:47 am

Hi John,
1) You need to look at the NOCT on the spec. I explain how here

2) You are getting kWh and kW confused a common mistake I explain the
difference here:
3) You are unlikely to get 2kW from 2kW of panels for these reasons:
Hope That Helps,


Mick says:
March 14, 2013 at 8:45 am


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Great thread,
I live in Brisbane and Im looking at a 5kw system with a 5kw PVI-5000-OUTD inverter
and x24 Tianwei TWYxxxM660 250w monocrystaline panels with a temp Coeff Pmax
of -0.47/ deg C. (apparently part of CSGC global fortune 500 Co. .. blah blah). I
have 3 phase to the house and a 3 ph split aircon. What do you think of the system? I
guess the extra 4 panels is to do with inofficiency reduction ? Quote $8.5k from

Mick says:
March 14, 2013 at 9:17 am

Forgot to mention,Inverter is made by Aurora with 10yr warranty and panels have a
10 yr warranty with average degredation over 23yrs of no more than 0.6%.

Finn Peacock says:

March 15, 2013 at 9:58 am

Enviren are good guys so your install should be good. I think thats a good price.
Power-one Aurora is a great inverter. The panels are budget panels, but one of the
better ones from what Ive heard. An upgrade to Trina Honey panels would perform
slightly better in hot conditions.

Mick says:
March 15, 2013 at 5:46 pm

I guess thats why they supply 24 panels to reduce the inefficiency during hot
conditions. I dont that I can justify paying what some are asking for better
panels some as much as $5k moreand only 20 panels so cant see any
room for effieciency loss when hot.

khalid says:
March 14, 2013 at 8:45 pm

hi finn

which one is better honey trina or simax .


Finn Peacock says:

March 15, 2013 at 9:50 am

Ive heard good things about Simax, but Trina is probably better; bigger company
(Tier 1), better temp coefficient (so good for Aussie conditopns)

Mick says:
March 16, 2013 at 10:09 am

What about Infi solar panels IN6P60 225 poly. (200-255w). What have you heard
about these panels? Also the JFY-Tech Inverter jfy5000tl?

Finn Peacock says:

March 18, 2013 at 2:06 pm

I dont know those panels but if they are really cheap they are probably really
Im not a fan of JFY inverters.

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Mick says:
March 18, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Yeh, Ive moved on from this system


John Watson says:

April 13, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Hi, I am looking at installing a 5kw system. Been recommend to go with a Delta

5000HF Inverter and 20 x 250 Watt Mono panels made by Hanover from China

Have you any opinion or knowledge about these items


Finn Peacock says:

April 14, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Deltas are good. Never heard of the panels although Im always wary of Chinese
panels with pseudo German names!

John Watson says:

April 14, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Ok, I wonder what other panels I should ask for. Have you any suggestions

Finn Peacock says:

April 16, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Good budget panels include CSun, Renesola and Simax. Mid range panels
include Trina and Canadian Solar, top end panels include QCells and

John says:
April 23, 2013 at 9:28 am

To help overcome the problem of heat on solar panels I use a sprinkler with constant
water flowing over the panels on very hot days this will increase my panels wattage
from 260w to 360+w so I would assume on bigger arrays its increase would be

Myles says:
April 26, 2013 at 1:29 pm

I have seen Solar panels with a rear water jacket to keep the panels cooler and also
provide hot water.
Perhaps finned heatsinks need to be added, aluminium extrusions would be the best.

Adrian says:
May 5, 2013 at 8:57 am

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About to install 5kw Aurora inverter and installer suggested these panels: STS 250-60
high efficiency Mono Solar Panels,new with QCells?,with 6 Bypass Diodes.
Do you have any information on these panels ,manufacture etc


Mick says:
May 5, 2013 at 11:38 pm

Dont know where else to post this. Just had a 5kw system installed, 22 x 250kw
panels with tilt brackets on the roof and 5kw SMA inverter . 2 storey skillion roof and a
difficult installation as power box no where near panels or inverter. Producing 4.6 kw in
late afternoon. Installed by Ozzy Solar (Qld Gold Coast) , Keith the sales guy very
well informed and no preasure or BS, Russell install co-ord was easy to deal with and
very accommodating, Damion and Corey install guys good work-manship and easy to
deal with really knew what they were doing and were able to include my wishes in
the install and finish. Would recommend to anyone who wanted a well fitted system.
Wasnt the very cheapest system and by no means the most expansive but good
equipment (panels and inverter) $1100 extra for tilt brackets and labour, total under

cam says:
May 14, 2013 at 10:45 pm

What is your opinion of Amerisolar AS-6M30-250w Panels? thanks


ronald oxman says:

July 9, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Hi finn, we live here in tasmania about four months ago we had 11 x 260 watt yingli
panda panels put up on our roof and the results have been fantastic, on a sunny cold
day here in july we are getting over 11 kw on the average

Crystal says:
July 10, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Hi Thanks for the article sharing. I had been recommended for LG panels and SMA
inverters for residential use in QLD. Now after reading, Im slightly in doubt as to
whether I should change to other panels. Has anyone used LG panels or have heard
their pros and cons and in terms of comparison with bigger brand like REC, Trina etc?
Any comments would be very much appreciated.

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stinka says:
July 11, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Too bad bosch is now going out of business for solar panels and warranties will be a

Finn Peacock says:

July 11, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Bosch the parent are not going anywhere and should honor all warranties. But
anyway a failed Bosch solar panel is rarer than rocking horse poo so you are highly
unlikely to ever make a claim.

grant says:
July 22, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Ive been quoted on some ZNshine panels from Electroy, Can you tell me their temp
co. I have the measurements in kelvin

asgard says:
July 23, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Okay, so where is the combined Solar Power Solar water panels, taking care of both
problems. Power side can run the pumps free and cool the panel in the process by
circulating cooler water from the bottom of the tank. Use a heat pump water system
and its all free.

Mark says:
July 26, 2013 at 12:35 pm

What about 235 watt Q-cells? Where do they rate?


Finn Peacock says:

July 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm

They are generally awesome. Good performers in the heat and well built with
German engineering behind them. One of the few german engineered solar
panels that comes from a company that employs German engineers and has a
German factory! (Although they also have a Malaysian factory making their panels

Mark says:
July 29, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Thanks Finn, but how do the rate regarding temp coefficiency? I installed some
2 couple of years ago and I wanted to see if I made the best choice.

Finn Peacock says:

August 20, 2013 at 9:55 am

Q PEAKs are -0.43%/C

Q PROs are -0.45%/C

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Danny Cox says:

July 30, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Hi Finn,thanks for your reports,can you advise on Tindo panels made at Mason Lakes
in Adelaide,they claim they are the only ones made in Australia and are the best, see
their web site for techno info you may be able to clarify.

Finn Peacock says:

July 31, 2013 at 5:53 am

Hi Danny,

I know the Tindo guys personally. Yes: they are the only panels made in Australia.
Are they the best? I dont know I need more data.

I have 6kW of Tindo on my roof. They are built like tanks! And I love microinverters.
They arent actually switched on yet as it is a new house and the second fix
electrical isnt complete yet. But as soon as they are up I will be placing the
data/live monitoring live on my site.
They are expensive. (20-30% premium), but they are fantastic quality from what
Ive seen so far.

clivehume says:
January 20, 2014 at 7:01 am

Hi Finn
Can you point me to some information on data/live monitoring please? I am
about to install a system (I live in Adelaide and am swinging towards Tindo).

Finn Peacock says:

January 20, 2014 at 2:58 pm

If you choose Tindo with microiverters they certainly provide live monitoring
via the SolarBridge portal:

In fact most microinverters come with free, panel level monitoring.

If you are considering a central inverter you can get usually get whole of
system monitoring through wi-fi. Let me know what inverters you are
considering and Ill let you know whats available.

Roger says:
August 3, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Had a 3KW Xantrex inverter with 1.9Kw of 10 x 190W A Grade Monocrystalline panels
( Solar Array ), then added another 6 x 195 Kw panels later on. Hembrows Electrical
Service in S.e Queensland. Are the panels / Xantrex inverter any good ? They have
cancelled my Bills into a small credit ( with the 1.9Kw panels they stopped my bills
($180-190 ) and got $240.00 credit over 3 bills. Was happy with install and they are
doing what the salesman said. My 1st winter with lots of cloudy , rainy days ( $5 .00
credit / 3 mths and used my A/c as a heater , saving me about $135.00 in gas.

Ronald says:
August 4, 2013 at 8:51 pm

You have put your decimal point in the wrong place to start with.
You can play with figures but we have a 1.5 KW unit and we do not pay any electricity

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charges and we receive about $800 per year from feed in. .
I cannot tell you how much carbon pollution is being saved by our unit, but they do not
burn coal for us, so our footprint is clean.

Alice says:
August 5, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Hi Finn, is there scope for multi-storey unit dwellers (in a body corporate set-up), to
have solar panels installed? If so, how complicated could the installation be, and what
brand panels to use? I live in Cairns, Australia.

Thankyou Finn,

Finn Peacock says:

August 5, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Yes you can use 1 solar system to feed into the meter that feeds the common
areas. Or depending on your set up you could have multiple or micro inverters and
feed a small number of panels into each units meter. Your goal is to find a system
that minimises solar electricity exports.
More info here:

Minimising exports:



Glenn says:
August 6, 2013 at 10:50 am

I am about to install SR-P660230 Sunrise 230W solar modules. What are thier
Temperature Coefficient (%/C)? A mate just forwarded me this page.


Finn Peacock says:

August 6, 2013 at 11:38 am


SR-P660230 have a Temp Coeff of -0,44%/C and a NOCT of 45C.

Hope That Helps,


Andrew says:
August 7, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Does anyone know of Adelaide based Solar companies / distributors that are stocking
the Yingli Solar PANDA 60 Cell Series in 270w?

Paul Margereson says:

August 8, 2013 at 3:53 pm

How about BYD 240PG-30 panels please?


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Finn Peacock says:

August 20, 2013 at 9:47 am


Gillian says:
August 10, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Hi Finn
Can you please advise your view of the Hanwha Solar SF 220 Poly x-tra. 2kw system.
Combined with aurora 3kw inverter.
Thanks for your great site.

Finn Peacock says:

August 10, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Auroras are one of my fave inverters. Im not familiar with those panels -although
the manufacturer is very respected so they should be OK. Even better are Q-Cells
panels owned by Hanwha SolarOne.

Bryan South says:

August 12, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Could you add Csun Mono 190w panels please


Finn Peacock says:

August 20, 2013 at 9:49 am

-0,423 %/C (very good btw!)


Albert says:
August 12, 2013 at 3:17 pm

hi Finn,
recently installed a 5Kw system with an Aurora 5Kw inverter and 20 x Hareon 250watt
We live in Bathurst NSW and at the moment experience winter temps and lots of
overcast cloud cover.
Results so far indicate an average daily production of approx. 15.3Kwh.
I have not seen any comments on the Hareon panels but found the temp.coef. to be
-0.44 which from your excellent chart would seem to be middle of the road.
The system cost $6500 all up including new meter and instillation and was done by Dr
from Sydney. When the weather improves (higher temps/longer daylight hours) will
post again for comparison purposes.

Jeremiah Alvarez says:

August 13, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Hello Finn,
Kindly advice still undecided whether to go for Simax or Trina. Price wise Simax not
sure about panel quality. Trina panels is a sure bet. Any reviews on Simax from last 12

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Please do advise.
With deepest gratitude.

Finn Peacock says:

August 13, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Trina are probably a slightly better panel and a bit lower risk as they are Tier 1.
Although there has been a lot of chatter about their finances (huge losses last

But Ive heard very good things about Simax from a number of installers I trust. And
they have an Australian presence so they should be a safe bet.

If price was equal Id go Trina, but if Simax are a lot cheaper then Id be tempted
by Simax.

Stephen Hunter says:

August 14, 2013 at 12:27 pm

I think that even with the Temperature Coefficient its still better to have solar panels
then not!

Trevor Glossop says:

August 17, 2013 at 1:18 pm

I live in western Australia so

what if put shade cloth over my solar panels. would that help?

Finn Peacock says:

September 17, 2013 at 10:23 pm

you cad, you!


ebswift says:
August 18, 2013 at 6:24 pm

You can easily do your own test in warm, sunny weather. I have SunPower panels,
and on a hot day I got the garden hose and sprayed the panels pretty slap-hazard.
Anyway, I saw the production increase about 10% almost instantly. Some people are
implementing their own spray cooling systems but using tap water might cause more
issues with minerals buildup on the panels. Rain water would likely be much better.
You need to work out the cost of spraying the water up there vs the benefit, though on
the face of it, it looks worthwhile with rainwater.

Geoff Martin says:

August 29, 2013 at 6:02 pm

Finn thanks for this useful info. The temp coefficient quoted by Tindo is -.3871. I
have just contracted for 11kW on the roof. As you say, they are beautifully built.

Sandy says:
September 9, 2013 at 10:58 am

Im considering solar from 2 different companies. One uses CSUN 250w panels and
the other uses Tianwei 250w panels. There is a $2000 price difference between the

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two companies (Tianwei company is cheaper). Same amount of panels and same
inverter. Can you tell me if one panel is better than the other? We live in Brisbane.

Finn Peacock says:

September 11, 2013 at 11:30 am

In my opinion CSuns are a much better panel that Tianwei


Sandy says:
September 11, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Hi Finn,
Thank you for your reply. The other ones we are considering are Sungrid High
Performance Series panels. Are they as good as their name suggests? The salesman
talked them up, as they do with the products they sell.
Thank you,

Finn Peacock says:

September 11, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Im not familiar with those panels sorry!


Neil Churches says:

September 11, 2013 at 3:02 pm

What temperature did you use for the PMax data on your examples? My Suntech 190
Watt STP190S 24/Ad+ (11 panels) Temperature Coefficient is rated at 0.48 at a
nominal operating cell temperature of 45 degrees +- 2 degrees?

Finn Peacock says:

September 11, 2013 at 8:16 pm

I use a cell temperature of 50degC, which is an ambient temperature of 25degC.

Remember the temp coeff is based on cell temperature. A black cell in the sun will
be 25-45 degrees hotter than ambient.

Mark says:
September 11, 2013 at 3:09 pm

What about Renesolar poly panels, you have no mention of them?


Neil Churches says:

September 11, 2013 at 9:43 pm

I am interested to know what was the Nominal Operating Temperature (NOT) used for
your Temperature Coefficient data? My Panel data sheets from my Solaheat
installation say that its NOT is 45 degrees +_ 2 degrees rather than the 25 degrees
your blog alludes to. My PMax data is detailed as 0.48 presumably for the 45 degree

Finn Peacock says:

September 17, 2013 at 10:26 pm

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NOCT = 45degC

Yang says:
September 17, 2013 at 5:41 am

Hi Finn,
Have you heard of muchen solar panels?

Finn Peacock says:

September 17, 2013 at 7:08 pm

Im not familiar with those panels. Be careful they are not pseudo-German named
to make them sound European:

My experience is that many pseudo-german panels are pretty shitty.


dabbles says:
November 20, 2013 at 7:50 am

Funny, that.
I;m old enough to remember when no sane person would ever buy cheap
massed-produced junk for Japan.
Now look!
Ignore the brand-name ~ rely on the figures, and ~ more importantly ~ the
warranty from someone wholl be around for the longer term.

Yang says:
September 18, 2013 at 12:53 am

Thanks Finn, I decided to purchase simax panels.


Matt says:
September 19, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Ive had a quote for (all 4kw systems) Simax SP660-250 + a Growatt 4200MTL for
$6,675 and one for Trina Solar TSM-235 PC05 solar panels and an Italian made
Power One inverter for $7,644. Im not sure if i should spend the extra bit and go with
the Trina Panels with Power One inverter
I was also quoted for LG255S1K-G3 panels with a Power One Inverter for $7,861, but
not sure about the LG panels
any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Finn Peacock says:

September 23, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Power One inverters (aka Aurora) are great. They would be my first choice. But the
Growatt will do the job they are pretty good these days. All those panels are good
(including LG). Trina would pip the post for me all else being equal.

Matt says:
September 23, 2013 at 3:53 pm

I got quoted for less by replacing the LG panels with REC panels, so im going
with an Aurora Power One Inverter with 16 x REC 260PE Panels.
Makes it hard when theres so many options, your site is a great source of

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Eric Coyle says:

October 7, 2013 at 10:11 am

I had a 4Kw system installed in Berwick Victoria and find it was a waste of money as
we both work during the day so no one is home so we sell our solar produced
electricity to the retailer at $0.08c per kW. While we are home and using electricity
when it is dark and we are not producing we pay over $0.35 per kW. The sales men do
not tell you this when selling there product.

Finn Peacock says:

October 7, 2013 at 3:56 pm


A good salesperson will not quote you before understanding your electricity
consumption patterns so that they can establish how much solar electricity you will
export. Then they will size the system for maximum payback and give you accurate
financial projections for you to make a decision from.

Sadly, it looks like the salesman you went with did not do this. Can you let us know
which company he was from?


Eric Coyle says:

October 7, 2013 at 10:00 pm

They are one of the firms that have gone broke I am glad to say i now deal with
a local firm in hallam for any maintenance that I need.

Ann Mischlewski says:

October 24, 2013 at 9:35 pm

Weve been quoted by Electroy Solar for ZN Shine panels. I dont see them mentioned
anywhere in your list of panels. do you know anything about them? We are in Qld

Finn Peacock says:

October 25, 2013 at 8:39 am

I would class ZNSHine as a Tier 3 manufacturer. But the actual panels are pretty
good from what Ive heard.

John says:
October 27, 2013 at 1:57 pm

If you want to double your output of your solar panels on hot or any day run water over
them, quite often the power used by the pump to cycle the water is much less than the

Graham says:
November 3, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Hi John,

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I done this but would seriously not recommend it.

I have 12 x 190 Suntech panels and a Sunny boy 3kw Inverter. I ran garden
irrigation pipework round it and connected to a timer to come on every 20 minutes
for 5 minutes.
The performance during the water on time and after the panels cooled was
phenomenal. Unfortunately during the water off time the water on the panels
evaporated and the performance soon went down as the heat built.

So i put the water on time on for longer and eventually had it on for 25 minutes then
off for 5 for 7 hours a day and was using near-industrial amounts of water which i
was collecting and pumping into my veggie garden. Im a control system engineer
so had a PLC controlling everything. It was beautiful. It took so much water I was
killing my veggies so I cut a hole in the fence and piped it to the neighbours garden
to water his garden too in return for watermelons etc.
Additionally, when the residual water on the panels evaporated it left a calcification
on the panels which degraded the performance to such an extent that I stopped
and had to use a caustic solution to get rid of it. I removed the system after this the
performance was so bad without using cooling. I dont know if the panels have
really recovered as it was murder to get rid of all the calcium (limescale).
As I said amazing performance and I would run water over it if continously if I had
my own source of demineralised water but beware.

jason1738 says:
November 1, 2013 at 2:06 pm

I find it hard to believe that the number one selling panel in Australia being the TRINA
250W Honey module with a 0.41% temp de rating is not even on this list!?

And does anyone know if the Sanyos are even available in Australia and their relative
cost to other panels?

Why is a 68W panel number one on this list? This list makes no sense at all and is
completely misleading in the extreme!!

Finn Peacock says:

November 2, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Hi Jason,
If you check the date youll see the post was written January 21, 2011.

Sanyos are available, they were bought out by Panasonic and are sold under that


f says:
November 2, 2013 at 3:54 am

I farm in WAs Midwest,its hot dry and near the coast (Dongara) ,though only 35 km
from town , no power ! You refer to government subsidies ? Joke they work for city
folk who do not need them .My experience ,with subsidies is ,I engaged several known
firms to quote . I was getting excited about the fuel savings etc.Shock ,horror best
quote $70,000 for 3 bedroom small farm house .Government subsidy was $35,000, I
pay $35,000. I received good advice from the government solar subsidy office
,suggesting $12,000 was a more honest quote.I found an honest young tech guy who
helped me e-bay buy and install a combination of solar panels and an excellent wind
turbine to provide 24 hour power luxury, cold water,a fridge,freezer etc.Because my
helper is not registered no subsidy for me .But I still feel ok , at $4,500 total cost , I
saved the taxpayer y myself $65,000.
This type of discussion board is a huge help to me .thanks

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Ray brown says:

March 27, 2014 at 2:10 pm f who gave you a hand with your solar set up regards ray brown I live on
neaves rd out of wanneroo

Eric says:
November 2, 2013 at 9:04 am

Could you throw some light on the Yingli solar panels 250 w,just signed up for them

Finn Peacock says:

November 2, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Hi Eric,
Yingli are the biggest solar panel manufacturer in the world. Their panels are
excellent. I think youll be happy with them.

They are on my comparison chart here and get excellent scores:

John Tapscott says:

November 2, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Does anyone know why existing energy companies are not offering their customers
solar electricity paid for as part of their regular energy bill? It seems to me this would
make excellent sense.

Finn Peacock says:

November 3, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Off the top of my head, Ingenero ( ) and Sungevity ( ) offer leasing schemes which are very close to what you are
looking for.
Hope That Helps,


Ernest LEWIS says:

November 10, 2013 at 12:48 am

Whats your opinion of BlueLine XT 195W Photovoltaic Modules and BlueLine M15000
Single Phase Inverters?

Finn Peacock says:

November 10, 2013 at 10:19 am

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From what I have heard they are overpriced and their performance is massively
exaggerated by some of the people selling them.

Meghan says:
November 10, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Just wondering if you could tell me how effective they are in Darwin?

Finn Peacock says:

November 11, 2013 at 2:01 pm

THey work very well in Darwin. Expect to get 4.4kWh per day per kW of panels

Ian Silvester says:

November 11, 2013 at 11:30 pm

Hello Finn
Could you give an opinion on Hanover Mono please, I assume they would be made in
China, just had these suggested to me by a sparkie.

Finn Peacock says:

November 13, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Im not familiar with the panels, except that they appear to be Tier 3 and Im always
wary of Chinese panels that feel they need a German name:

truthsayers1 says:
November 26, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Great post and lots of great responses. I have to admit I havent read them all.
We have solar we have a 5kW SunPower Panels and a top West German Inverter. We
are happy with the 18.5% return on capital spent to install..
Now the question. If you buy a panel best suited to Australia high roof top heats lets
say (its optimum) 38 degrees. On a colder yet sunny day does its high temperature
efficiency rating work in reverse against you if its roof top temp has not got up to its
optimum op temp..?


Finn Peacock says:

November 27, 2013 at 9:16 am

No the temperature coefficient will not work against you if it gets colder. Panels
can;t be optimised to work at their best at an ambient temperature of 38 degC, they
will always work better if it is colder than that. A good temperature coefficient just
means that their power output degrades less as the panel temperature goes over
25 degrees C.

And remember for a panel temperature of 25degC, the ambient temperature only
has to be about 10 degC.

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Roy -Geelong says:

November 27, 2013 at 11:01 am

All this temperature co-efficiebt stuff might give guidance to the best performing panel
on a hot day but that doesnt mean the same panel will produce the most electricity
over its expected life. A similar survey of the expected power drops over 5, 10, 15 and
20 yrs needs to be added into the calculations. A panel with a co-efficient of 0.2 may
not be worth putting in if it only lasts half the no. of yrs as other panels.

Ernest Lewis says:

November 27, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Hi Finn, thanks for your reply altho it has left me apprehensive as I have bought a 5kw
system. If the system doesnt come upto its published literature, isnt that false
advertising? They quote Nom. Operating Cell Temp as 47+/- 3C. would that be with an
ambient of 25c?

Finn Peacock says:

November 28, 2013 at 8:51 am

Yes the cell temperature will always be 20+ degrees above ambient because
they are black plates sitting in the sun, they get a lot hotter than the air.
This might be useful:

Robert Harris says:

November 29, 2013 at 6:24 pm

I have had my solar panels on my roof for about 3 years now. When they were first
placed on the home I had ongoing fights with the then ETSA and Origin Energy from
who I purchased the system from that the numbers that I was given at the time of
purchase did not add up to my power bill. This was ongoing for over 12 months and
got me nowhere as the deal was done over the phone. I asked to hear the recorded
conversation of the deal but was told that they did not record what the sales man said
only what I said when I agreed to buy the system. Even today it still does not add up to
the BS I was given and have to put up with what I now have. Crap system with crap
service from the power supplier and ETSA who supplied the import export meter with
a hefty price that I do not own.

Ross McColm says:

December 11, 2013 at 11:50 am

Hi Finn
Thanks for your very interesting article. We are building in Brisbane and want to instal
solar power as we were happy with it on our previous house. The electrician says they
instal a brand called Solarland Australia. Can you give me any advice about this
brand? Their quotes installed are:

3kW Solar system $6,314 incl GST, minus current STC value of $1,798 = $4,516
(your out of pocket expense)

5kW Solar system $9,406 incl GST, minus current STC value of $2,958 = $6,448
(your out of pocket expense)
Ross McColm

Finn Peacock says:

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December 11, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Hi Ross,

Be wary of brands that claim to be Australian! The only panel made in Australia is
Tindo Solar.
Ive never heard of Solarland Australia, so cannot recommend them.

I would be a lot more comfortable with a mainstream brand, for example:

Canadian Solar Inc
Trina Solar
Conergy AG
First Solar Inc
Hanwha SolarOne
LG Electronics Inc
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Q-Cells SE
REC Solar AS

Hope That Helps,


Chris says:
December 14, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Do you have a rating and opinion on Seraphim panels?


Finn Peacock says:

December 16, 2013 at 9:25 am

I dont have an opinion on them (unusual for an opinionated git like me) as I
have never seen one. I know Seraphim is a small Chinese, Tier 3 panel

I do have ratings on their panels though on my comparison chart. This also

means that they are approved for use in California (which IMHO has a higher
bar than Australia):

They seem to get good Performance Ratios.


billy price says:

December 20, 2013 at 11:18 am

we have a heat bank hot water systemtht attracted the solar rebate so we got it for
$200 at the time just wondering on yr opinion o whether they r worth buying if ya gotta
pay full price .i was told they use %75 less power than a standard elc hot water

Finn Peacock says:

December 20, 2013 at 1:37 pm

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Hi Billy,
Do you mean a heat pump ?

If so yes they do use up to 5x less power than the old style electric heaters.

chris rourke says:

December 22, 2013 at 4:00 am

Hi, what about using the material they use in self-varying spectacle lenses? would this
be any help in the heat/efficiency drama? chris

Jack Wilkins says:

December 22, 2013 at 10:44 am

Hi Finn, I have just bought a home on the NSW central coast.

The company that installed them on the 21/9/2010 are no longer in business, they
used Ningbo Sola Sun-Earth TDB125X solar panels with an Orion High Efficiency
Grid Feed Inverter, model number SPG-360-2KO.
Whats your opinion on this system??
I have also been told the panels are German and are positive earth.
What does positive earth mean and is it good or bad.
I am entitled to the 20 cent rebate till 2016, so this will be good.

A friend has just installed 19 panels from a company who is an agent for Diamond
Energy in Victoria, they are giving him 25 cents feed in price, whats your thoughts on

Finn Peacock says:

January 5, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Hi Jack,

1) Make sure the panels really are German. Sun-Earth panels are good but they
are not made in Germany.

2) I would go for a more mainstram inverter brand personally:

3) Positive earth simply means that the positive wire on the panels is connected to
earth. Most panels are negative earthed. But it does not affect their performance.
Sunpower panels are positive earth and they are one of the best panels money can

4) The 25c FiT is a legitimate offer. They are happy to pay a few hundred dollars to
get you as a electricity

Hope That Helps,

Finncustomer because the costs of acquiring a customer are very high (about
$300+) in the electricity retailing industry.

Bruce Simmons 351 Firetower Rd Koonya Tasmania 7187 says:

February 9, 2014 at 7:01 am

Hi Finn. I also have Sun Earth Mono Crystalline Panels 250w TDB125x125-96-P
and a Fronius IG 70 Inverter by Beacon Solar. I was told that it was all German
made and also what is the Coefficient of this unit.

Finn Peacock says:

February 10, 2014 at 1:28 pm

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Sun Earth are good panels but are made in China. I would ask
Beacon why they think theirs are made in Germany. Misleading people on
the origin of goods is very serious, and the ACCC recently fined EuroSolar
about $150,000 for implying their panels were made in Australia.
Fronius are an Austrian company. Im fairly sure the inverters are still made
there. They are very good too.

Owen says:
December 23, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Had an Aurora aka Power One inverter fail within warranty and replaced FOC.
Problem found no qualified sparkie prepared undertake work and bill vendor for his
services. Evidently with good reason!
I paid up front & six months on have not been re-imbursed for costs incurred within
Powerones guidlines. Subsequently unable reach parties I had dealt with calls
shielded & emails remain unanswered. Hopefully the equipment generating on
average 22 units : 7-8 usage holds up and I do no have to contact this supplier again.
Caveat emptor!

Liz says:
December 23, 2013 at 3:03 pm

What about Kaneka Thin-film Silicon PV (PV (a-Si) sold by Solarshop?


Su says:
December 24, 2013 at 8:01 am

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year !

Would appreciate your advice on Tindo solar system suitable for a retirees own house
in Balwyn, vic 3104. To minimise panel heat up at 25 C+ ambience what cost effective
pre- installation set up is required? How much would it cost?
Thanks, Flynn,


Larry Carter says:

December 26, 2013 at 10:03 am

The panels we had installed are supposed to be Munchen Solar. You might be able to
find them & add them to your list.

Geoff Sherrington says:

December 29, 2013 at 7:41 pm

Has anyone done the sums now that there are a few panels installed in Australia and
worked out how much fossil fuel use has been saved by going solar?

Hildergarde Hammhocker says:

February 4, 2014 at 11:10 pm

There is a lot of MIS information this guy is twerking on about. Solar panel ratings are
published at an output specified as the testing temperature in order to rate all of them
to compare. The co efficient quoted here does not necessarily relate to the particular
panels efficiency when compared to another brand. Obviously this is a commercial con

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Solar Tipping Point says:

February 11, 2014 at 12:22 am

What about Kyocera that have 40kW+ systems running for over 30 years with less
than 10% deterioration. Most of the panels mentioned are new market entrants and
youre going off datasheets, not real world performance

drsmyth2013Louise says:
February 13, 2014 at 11:51 am

My supplier explained the performance loss on hot days when I purchased. Guess
what? My summer bills used to be around 50% of the winter bill.
The winter bill is now around 50% of what it was even after 8 years.
And the summer bill? Its about 10-20% of the current winter bill.
Only 3 plausible explanations:
1. Ive changed my usage pattern No.
2. There is something funny about the way SECWA charges Quite possibly, but I
dont think that is the explanation for this, based on my non-solar friends & my own bill
3. The theory is sound but, in practice, it has no appreciable effect..

Max Howe says:

February 19, 2014 at 5:32 pm

Can you give opinion on LG panels

Finn Peacock says:

February 24, 2014 at 3:23 pm

LG panels are good.


John Crocombe says:

February 21, 2014 at 3:35 pm

Im still not convinced that the power produced by solar panels (as we know them)
during their lifetime, equals, let alone exceeds, the power consumed during their
production. Ive heard that using aluminium frames contributes to a large part of the
power usage during production, so to help them actually save the planet, we need to
find a cheaper way to hold them together. If panels actually generate more power
than they use to make, why arent all the Chinese factories covered in them, rather
than relying on burning our coal in thermal powerstations?

Finn Peacock says:

February 24, 2014 at 3:17 pm

The argument is over. There are a shed load of studies that show the energy is
paid back in about a year on an Aussie roof.
Perhaps the studies referenced here will convince you:

BarleySinger says:

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The truth about Solar Panel performance and temperature

August 28, 2015 at 10:34 pm

The Chinese have a horrible pollution problem in built up areas. The also just
passed a bunch of clear air always which means that Aussie brown coal is no
longer clean enough for them to buy, The are abandoning coal as fast as possible.
They are building the largest PV power station in the world in the Gobi desert.

Ted Smith says:

February 23, 2014 at 10:46 am

Brisbane. I have 14x250w panels into a 4.5kw inverter. Panels are mounted flat due to
my flat kliplock roof. In summer I am generating 1kw at 6am while my neighbour who
has 30 degree mounting facing due north doesnt generate this until 9am because the
sun rises here south of east. Also I generate more when cloudy because flatter panels
see more sky area. Moral is dont mount panels at steep angles in northern Aussie

John Crocombe says:

March 3, 2014 at 8:02 pm

The recommended panel angle, for best overall performance, is supposed to be

equivalent to your latitude, which is about 27 degrees. If the neighbours inverter
and panels at 30 degrees are of a similar rating to yours, they should be producing
a fair bit more than yours from Autumn through to Spring and end up producing
more kWh for the full year.

Finn Peacock says:

March 6, 2014 at 9:07 am

Hi John,
It would be a little bit more power for the perfect angle but not a lot! perhaps
0.5%, depending on your location.
These power loss tables quantify the effect:

Janet Redbond says:

February 28, 2014 at 10:50 am

I am reading a lot of technical stuff and while I am not desputing any of it all I know is
I decided to get solar panels put on over 12 months ago. I am not really sure what type
they are but I am REALLY pleased with them. My power bill has reduced by about
3/4. Mine was set up by True Solar the guys were brilliant and I am very happy. !!!!

dennis Chamulke says:

March 16, 2014 at 1:20 am

I live in Alberta Canada and work on various solar systems we get on average 6to
8hours of light during our 6months of winter. from Dec to march we can expect -30 to
-40 ambient temperatures what I am wondering about is . What does extreme cold do
to the outputs of solar panels?
Dennis C

Trish Bourke says:

March 21, 2014 at 11:37 am

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It is great to read about the efficiency of solar panels under differing climate conditions.
Would hosing panels to cool and clean on hotter days in Melbourne help keep the
panels working to their maximum capacity?

Jon Kendall says:

March 21, 2014 at 2:13 pm

I want to be environmentally friendly but have heard that the total energy cost of
mining raw materials + manufacture and distribution is actually more than the total
energy produced by solar cells over their lifetime even if they are not damaged by hail
or compromised by bird poo. Is this true?

Finn Peacock says:

March 22, 2014 at 11:33 am

No it is not. More info here:

Dennis Chamulke says:

March 26, 2014 at 12:22 am

My comment is still the same. Does anyone know how 30 degree or -40degree
temps affect solaor panels?

Finn Peacock says:

April 6, 2014 at 9:05 am

Hareon are a Tier 1 panel manufacturer. I initially thought they did not have an Aussie
office but after a prod from their Aussie office I now know that they do have an
Australian Office!

By all accounts they are pretty good. They are in the comparison chart here:

and they are on this list:

Cathy says:
April 6, 2014 at 11:22 am

Mark Group were a no show, they cancelled and I have to make another app with
Soltek were really good, they gave me two quotes, one with 20 Simax 250 W Poly
Panels and the Growat 5000 MTL 3 Phase Inverter, this was their sought of budget
quote at $6,900. There better quality quote was the Hareon Tier1 255 W Panel
with SMA Tri Power Inverter for $7,700.
Never heard from Solaray.
Horizon called out of the blue, I must be on some mailing list now. They matched
the Soltek quote but using the 4BB panel saying it was better ?
The third quote I got from a smaller local which was way too high in comparison.
So at this point I am now just

Cathy says:

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April 7, 2014 at 9:29 am

If I went with the Hareon panel which one is better?

3BB HR-245-18/Cb HR- 265 -18/Cb
4BB HR- 240P 18/Bbf-1 HR- 260P-18/Bbf-1

Finn Peacock says:

April 7, 2014 at 2:52 pm

The 4BB panels are the newer design and should be slightly more efficient (they
have 4 Bus Bars instead of the usual 3).

Cathy says:
April 7, 2014 at 10:46 pm

Thanks heaps Finn,

so my choice for a 5kw system with sma inverter
Trina Honey or newer design 4BB Hareon.
Both at the same quote price so its not a price thing just a panel decision.
Which would you choose Finn

Finn Peacock says:

April 9, 2014 at 11:46 am

Tough one both are Tier 1 Chinese Panels Trina is a better known
brand but the new Hareon panels perform very well in this test:

If you want the reassurance of a bigger brand go Trina, if you want a

panel that has performed slightly better in recent testing go Hareon.

Shannon says:
May 1, 2014 at 11:28 pm

Please help. We have had a quote from Solar World WA for 16 panels with a total
output of 4kW. The overall price including micro inverters was $21900, but has been
reduced to $17750 after rebates. This seems excessive considering the costs
everyone else has mentioned. Are we being ripped off?
The micro inverters are APS YC500/YC250 and the panels are GY250P-60.
The salesman spoke of these panels being tier 1 panels as opposed to lesser
performing tier 2 or 3 panels. We signed the contract today but have a 10 day cooling
off period

Finn Peacock says:

May 2, 2014 at 1:13 pm

$17,550 for 4kW is a rip off. Dont do it. Expect to pay approx half of that. These
guys are all good in Perth:

Nath says:
May 10, 2014 at 1:00 pm

please help, I have two quote for 5KW. 22250 Renesola panels and SMA Sunny Boy
5000TL @$8000

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24XGY250 Panels and JFY Suntwin 5000TL @$5000.

Please give your advice

Finn Peacock says:

May 10, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Ive never heard of GY Solar. JFY Inverters are probably the cheapest inverters on
the market. And, well, you get what you pay for in my experience.
Renesola and SMA is a good combination(Tier 1 manufacturers). And it is a good
price -if well installed.

Nath says:
May 10, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Thanks Finn, I will go with SMA and Renesola. They are not a big player in WA,
but small local company (very close to my place) and happy to give 10 years
workmanship warranty. Before I give them a green light, do I need look at
any-other thing.

Anthony says:
May 20, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Hi Finn, your site is great and I very much appreciate the knowledge I have gained. I
will recommend it to my friends.

I have two quotes for a 5 kW system

Electroy a local Brisbane company who will use Yingli 250 watt panels $7100
and Solar Freedom (a national company using local contractors) who have quoted
$5850 using Trina Honey Panels. Both companies have recommended an Aurora

Electroy have said they will arrange for my electrical hot water system to go to a
daytime tariff and be powered from the solar panels.

Which Panels ?
Which company?
Hot water change over?
Thanks so much for your help

Finn Peacock says:

May 21, 2014 at 10:18 am

Yingli and Trina are both good Tier 1 panels. Yingli is the biggest panel
manufacturer in the world. There are quite a few grey imported Trina panels
around at the moment so just check that the ones you are offered are official
Australian imports.

Im not familiar with Solar Freedom, so cant advise on them. Electroy I know and I
can recommend them (disclosure: they are a client).

Yes if you can arrange your hotwater to only be powered by any *excess* PV, that
may be more valuable than exporting it at 6-8c per kWh. But you need a pretty
smart sparky to do this properly.

Ted says:
May 22, 2014 at 12:08 am

Very dubious regarding changing controlled hot water to solar!

Regarding electric hot water, you should ONLY change hot water from controlled to
solar power if your total refund rate you get for the solar power you export is LESS

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than the tariff rate for the controlled hot water.

Even so, if you connect your hot water to the normal circuit so it gets some solar
power, you will then be charged at a much higher rate whenever the solar system is
not generating enough to power the hot water heater plus anything else you have
running. (eg. when cloudy)

In summer when you run air conditioning, because of clouds and/or hot panels,
having the hot water on top of this will push you demand over what the solar panels
can produce so you will be paying a much higher rate for your hot water.
Youll be very lucky to generate 2kw on a cloudy summer day in Brisbane.
If you must change it, install a timer so it only heats between 9am and 3pm (with an
override when you expect smelly visitors from Melbourne!)
Depending on how much hot water you use, your solar power generation pattern
over the day and your refunds, I think you will find it is still overall cheaper to keep
on controlled supply.
Id be keeping a weekly log of controlled water meter, solar generation, exported
and imported for 3 months or so to see before I changed.
Only if you are an experienced DIY and your refund tariff is LESS than controlled
water tariff you could put a current sensing relay (coil) in the solar supply AC that
only closes contacts for hot water when the panels are supplying current. This
would ensure the hot water always ran on the solar.

Ted says:
May 22, 2014 at 1:09 am

Some info that might be of interest and a few questions

Does anybody know about STS 260w panels? (China)

Performance report:
I have had 14x260watt panels (3.6kw) installed since July2013. Connected in 2
parallel strings of 7 to a 5kw JFY inverter.
In that time they produced nearly 4mwh, I imported 2.4mwh regular & 850kwh
controlled and exported 2.6mwh
I have a total credit for around $300 so far because I just got in at the 50c export
rate the day before it closed so I cant complain.

Is this a fault?
One panel had developed 5 pale greyish smudges under the glass about 2cm
wide in a few spots (Id attached a photo if I knew how to!).
The power produced at midday (May) under bright sun seems about 20% less than
it did last August so I am wondering if the panel is faulty. (Measured after cleaning)
I wonder what happens in this case. Does the good string effectively blank off the
string with a dead panel from realising its full capability like paralleling a good and
bad battery or does it automatically adjust?

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Is it OK to cover each panel with a sheet of cardboard in turn to see if the slight
reduction in power is the same for each panel or will this create any damage? The
panels are supposed to have 6 reverse diodes each but if these are faulty then the
whole reverse volts would be across the panel I blanked out.
I also notice that in the afternoon when the trees to the west shade half of each

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string, the output drops to 500watts even though 8 of the panels are still in bright
sun. I would have thought that I should get twice that.
Is this normal or is it because the inverter is incapable of capturing at lower levels?

Hidden benefits.
My panels mounted flat, straddle the center of a slightly domed metal kliplock
insulated roof. The shade of the panels has made the house noticeably cooler to
the point where we have only run the 3kw air conditioning on the very hottest of
days. As the whole house concrete floor doesnt heat up so much, it ends up cooler
at night not needing air conditioning at all like previous years.
Previously when we entered the shut up house at a hot midday, the wife rushed for
the airconditioning knob but now we find it cooler than outside! I guess we have
saved hundreds $ from this effect.

Finn Peacock says:

May 22, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Hi Ted.
Im not sure what that is. There is a thing called PID that creates whitish
patches, but it is usually accompanied by black lines.
But it certainly is a sign of premature degradation in my opinion, and any solar
company who cares about their products should be taking it off for
inspection/testing at their expense.
The cardboard test would not do any harm, but would not tell you anything
useful. You really need a sparky to test it with the proper gear. Some tests can
be done on the roof, but Id recommend putting it on a proper flash tester to see
exactly how much power it is losing. If it is losing power it will be dragging your
whole array down with it.
Hope That Helps,


Ted says:
May 23, 2014 at 12:05 am

Hopefully you got the photos of STS panel blemishes (from my other email

I may have a sort of stalemate with the company.

The system is still under full warranty
Initially before they agreed to looked at the panels, they wanted me to sign
an agreement that I will pay a $100 + hourly charge call out if they find
nothing wrong with the system and want my credit card details!

I have sent them the photos and not had a reply yet and I am going to have
another go at them!

Do you think placing a sheet of cardboard over each panel in turn and noting
the drop would indicate if one was faulty? The faulty ones would give the
least drop.


Finn Peacock says:

May 28, 2014 at 9:13 pm

Heres what a friend who has expertise in faulty solar panels says about your
panel Ted:

Without inspecting the modules I can think of two possible causes:

1. Some sort of residue left from the manufacture of the panel (eg solder flux
residue). In this case it could be an early sign of delamination.
2. A corrosion issue similar to that seen with snail trails.
In both cases I would expect minor reflection losses and if there is corrosion

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some small Rs loss as well. However, if the panels were IV tested they would
almost certainly fall within their warranted power. EL testing would confirm the
extent of the issue, but this is probably not warranted.

If it was my system, I would either get the panels replaced at the manufacturers
expense, or install Solar Analytics to monitor my system and determine there is
any power loss. If the panels were not replaced I would also get the
manufacturer to write me a letter stating that these panels remain under
warranty, and that if there is any further increase in visual or power loss
degradation that they will replace the affected panels at their cost.
[note: Ted has just emailed me to let me know that his solar company has
replaced his panel for him. Good on them!]

Arjay Gementiza says:

June 7, 2014 at 9:17 am

Hi Finn,

Would like to ask which is better string inverter (SMA) or microinverter (APS)? And for
mono panels, Renosola or Simax? Thanks

Finn Peacock says:

June 10, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Id go SMA, as I would rate them as more reliable than APS microinverters.

Ive heard good things about Simax, but price being equal, Id probably go for
Renesola, as they are widely accepted as a Tier 1 manufacturer.

kerrin says:
August 9, 2014 at 9:21 am

hi finn looking at getting a 3kw system using sma inverter and either et or lg solar
panels what would u recommend as I live Adelaide thanks

Finn Peacock says:

August 11, 2014 at 10:30 am

SMA is an excellent low-risk choice for the inverter. Both ET and LG panels are
good. Im hearing a lot of good things about the performance amd build quality of
LG at the moment, so Id be tempted to go with them.

Nath says:
August 11, 2014 at 11:47 am

I think SMA and LG is best option. I installed 5kw system (SMA- 5kw inverter
and 22 250w LG panels) at my house(WA Canning Vale) 2months ago.It is
producing 30kw/day on good sunny day(August). Even with lot of rainy days in
July, It has produce average 20kw/day in July. It is beyond my expectation. I am
really happy about product, appearance and quality.

kerrin says:
August 11, 2014 at 1:32 pm

which lg panels are they thanks


Nath says:

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August 11, 2014 at 3:21 pm

They are LG mono X Black panels.

kerrin says:
August 11, 2014 at 12:28 pm

thanks finn theres a ruffly 1200 dollars diff between the two but the lg panels ur
getting 3.3kw instead of 3kw with the et panels

brett says:
October 23, 2014 at 5:16 pm

hi Finn looking at some different quotes on a 3kw benq 14260 panels with delta inv,or
ja solar 14255 panels with delta inv, jinko 12250 panels with a delta inv, 12x
daqo250 and fronius inv
living in WA the benq is $500 dearer (than the other 3 quotes of $3900)
would the extra 2 panels make up for any loss in performance or efficiency.
or jump $1000 and have canadian solar panels and jfy inv

Finn Admin says:

October 23, 2014 at 6:20 pm

Hi Brett,

They are all good panels. Im not a fan of JFY inverters personally (many installers
disagree with me on that one though!).

Id be very happy with JA or Jinko panels. They are good, bankable, Tier 1
manufacturers. If price is equal then the extra 2 JA panels will certainly boost your
system output. Deltas are good inverters. Built like tanks!
Hope That Helps,

Gregory says:
May 15, 2015 at 12:46 pm

Hello my friend

Im installing emphase inverters

Should I go the Simax sp660 route
Or the trina route
Apparently simax has a coefficient of 0.39


Finn Peacock says:

May 18, 2015 at 1:05 pm

Ive heard great things about Simax panels but personally, Id go for the peace of
mind of a Tier 1 manufacturer like Trina.

Crystal says:
June 11, 2015 at 5:52 pm

Just bought a house in WA and looking to install solar power. Currently looking at 5kW

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systems but dont know much about what products to go for! Wanting to know whether
to go for Growatt 5000 MTL-S Dual MPPT with either ReneSola 250W Virtus2
JC250M-24/BBV-2 or iSolar ISP6-250/60 panels. Or go for the Fronius Primo 5.0-1
inverter? There is a big price diiference between the two, and it is considerably more
expensive for the ReneSola panels over the iSolar. Ive been told the Growatt is just
not reliable at all, but dont know if this is just a marketing ploy to get me to upgrade!

Finn Peacock says:

June 12, 2015 at 9:40 am

The Growatt will do the job and is well supported in Australia (so warranty should
not be an issue), but the Fronius is better (more reliable). Further the Fronius is
more likely to be compatible with a battery system in the future. Hence the price
Ive never heard of iSolar, so I would avoid them. Renesola are a good Tier 1 panel.

Make sure you get more than 1 quote though.


Tracey Collison says:

June 24, 2015 at 1:26 pm

Hi Finn
Just wondering if you have heard of a company called Empyreal from Qld? They use
Q cells and Sunnyboy inverters.

John Price says:

October 5, 2015 at 6:16 pm

I got a 5.13kw oversized system in Sydney comprising 19 x 270watt Yingli Panda

panels and a Fronius Inverter.

The first few weeks in September the power at its peak was around 4.8-4.9kw. On one
particular day the inverter noted that 5,074 watts was coming down the system for a
period of about 30 minutes. The peak days were sunny days around 23-27 degrees.
Since that peak day we have had only power on warm sunny very bright days of
around 3.8kw (maximum) with temperatures hovering around 30 degrees and little
breeze and completely cloudless skies.
I understand there is some loss of power when the temperature rises or some cloud
My concern is that maybe one panel has gone out either through a fault or a possum
or something. The consistency of not going above 3.8kw all sunny week has me
concerned after the previous higher peak readings.
The 19 panels are 7 facing north and 12 facing west/north west.

What could explain the much lower peak power reading in comparison to previous


Finn Peacock says:

October 6, 2015 at 8:35 am

HI John,

They are great panels and one of the best inverters so unlikely to be a hardware
The most likely thing is a bird poo or other soiling of one panel this can affect
the whole array for the reasons shown in the first 30 secs of this video:

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Solar Panels and Shade - What you need to know

If you can safely inspect them check for this. Cleaning the affected panel should
fix it.
If the panels have no obvious soiling then it is probably time to get the installer to
do a system check on-site.
Hope That Helps,

Georgia says:
November 27, 2015 at 6:23 am

Im thinking of using select conect offering 3 1/2 kw 14 panel (gyn co) $5590 sma
inverter covers all out of pocket expences 25 yr warenty aficency 10 yr warenty
workmenship 5yr warenty ? +5 or 10 yr warenty inverter is there anything else i need
to be asking whats the story of hail damaging the panels regards georgia

Finn Peacock says:

November 30, 2015 at 3:36 pm

I have no ide what gyn co panels are. Id go for a Tier 1 panel. e.g. Trina, Yingli,
Jinko, Canadian, JA Solar, Suntech, Hanwha, Q-Cells, Sunpower, Renesola, ET
Solar, LG etc.
SMA inverters are fine.

Read this re: warranties:

Kush says:
February 15, 2016 at 12:31 pm


I want to install a 5KW system in melbourne with a microinverter, which panel would
be a the best way to go.

is APS better than Canadian Solar


Finn Peacock says:

February 15, 2016 at 1:51 pm

Hello Kush!
Canadian Solar is a solar panel brand. They are good, tier 1 panels.

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APS is a budget micro inverter brand. I personally would recommend Enphase

micro inverters as I believe they will be more reliable. They can go on almost any
250-260W panel.

Hope That Helps,



Weebbssiittee ssaayyss::
AAuugguusstt 22,, 22001111 aatt 55::4422 ppm


The truth about Solar Panel performance and temperature | Solar Power Blog


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[] wrote a blog post in January explaining that a Solar Panels Performance actually
degrades with temperature. It is the amount of sunlight that determines the power
output. If you can get a strong sun without []


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Pmax tells us how much power it loses for everyC that the panel is hotter than 25C


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output. When one set of panels is receiving less []



53 of 54 15/11/2016 10:32 pm
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