Sanyo HIT solar panel technology uses less space per watt than most other brands. SANYO silicon wafers located inside HIT solar panels are made in California and Oregon (from October 2009), and the panels are assembled in an ISO 9001 (quality), 14001 (environment), and 18001 (safety) certified factory. Unique eco-packing minimizes cardboard waste at the job site. The panels have a Limited 20-Year Power Output and 5-Year Product Workmanship Warranty.
Currently, the utility in my area pays only with energy credit. It will be interesting if they ever start paying real money, even at wholesale rates.
That's true. But they do get some benefit. We have frequent brown-outs in the summer. At those peak times my solar panels are pumping their maximum output into the grid and alieviating some of the strain. And my panels are not polluting.
As tax payers we all subsidise some things from which we benefit only indirectly.
I bought a very small system, 2kW, about 4 years ago. The price was about $19k. After rebates I was out of pocket about $10k. I gather that prices have come down a lot since then.
Over those 4 years I have generated 15000kWh. The first 3 years I generated more than I used. Last year I added some outdoor lighting. Also, I bought an Onkyo amplifier which I just discovered uses 20W even when it is "off". Anyway, for the last year I am about 500kWh in the red.
I live in an area that gets lots of sunshine. You might wonder whether I really get 2kW out of the system. Well, on a couple of occasions it has spiked up to 2200W, but typically the max on a winter day is about 1200W and on a summer day about 1600W.
I used to get a kick out of watching the meter run backwards, but then SDG&E replaced it with a digital meter, which still runs backwards but is not as fun to watch.
I knew when I bought them that the panels were not a great investment, but I wanted to be green and the panels will pay for themselves eventually.