THURSDAY 02 MAY, 2013 |
Solar Power System Quality - It's The Little Things
When it comes to the quality of solar power systems, much of the focus is on the
big ticket items such as panels and inverters; but even dodgy connectors can
have a major impact on efficiency - and safety.
While many cowboys have been cleared from the solar playing field in Australia;
competition is still intense and margins wafer-thin. Unfortunately, this
sometimes leads to corners being cut on solar installations that shouldn't be.
A system may feature tier
one or two solar panels
and a leading brand solar
; but a way to shave costs is to use cheap cabling and connectors;
which can cost half as much or even less than the best component for the
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and this also applies to solar
has posted several images showing a three year old solar PV system in Australia
with major problems relating to the cable and connectors. One image shows a
connector that fell apart in the installer's hands while in the process of being disconnected.
The amount of money saved using sub-standard connectors and cable can be quickly
gobbled up - and then some - by decreases in system efficiency. These poor
quality items can also add to fire and electrocution risk.
With regard to this aspect, solar buyers should check the cabling in a system
being purchased is certified to PV1-F and solar connectors to EN 50521
Solar panel, inverter, mounting system, cabling and connector quality aren't the
only aspects solar buyers should be aware of. Energy Matters offers free 23-page
power consumer guide
offering additional advice on what to look for - and
what to avoid - when selecting a solar power system and installer.
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