Q-Cells

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Q-Cells

Postby bootsnall » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:05 pm

Has anyone installed any of the Q-Cells panels. They are one of the top performers in the desert knowledge site in Alice Springs (http://www.dkasolarcentre.com.au/flash/graphing.html).
LC Energy here in Brisbane are agents and installers. Has anyone used LC Energy to install panels?
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Re: Q-Cells

Postby karlajensen » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:22 pm

I've studied the data from desert knowledge carefully and unfortunately
its not all apples vs apples.
Different configs end up in the sweet spot for the inverter and others simply dont.
hence although a panel may appear to perform well unless you can match it to the rest of the system
you may have a problem.

Take for example the myriad of 27-29VMP panels -in a 1.5KW system they are lucky to turn some inverters on as they run at 175-200V -pretty poor for a transformerless inverter designed to run (peak efficiency) at 360V
But for 13 panels they run sweet 330-377V.
Likewise the 44VMP 250W panels for 1.5KW they are good at 240-264 but at 2kw your looking at almost 500Voc and typically the cheap inverters these panels are mated with dont like it and prefer to be two strings of 4 making a terrible combo again.
One might work a treat in QLD but be a disaster in Melbourne
Hence its not just about the panel but the system size and location too.

I heard the other day of some cheapie 1.5KW inverters tripping out "PV overload" where an SMA SB1100 you can safely connect 10KW of panels to and it will run happily at 1.1KW all day.

Photon magazine found the REC panels to be their 2nd best and amazingly the cheapie inverter to come up trumps against the big brands, guess they haven't seen the piles of broken ones around in every big installers warehouses.

In short i've read reviews either way so do your homework carefully, in the end all comes down to who is supporting the warranty. and having a good combo not just good components
8E + 8W + 8Nth Garage CMS2000-1 with ~4500W in 3 strings of 8.
Fronius Galvo 3.0 inverter with ~6.6kW panels
12x ZNShine + 12x 180W Solarfuns both NW + ZNShine 12x190 facing SE.
Edwards Solar Hot water


Luck Favours the well prepared.
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Re: Q-Cells

Postby bootsnall » Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:10 am

I've had a look at the Inverter types for many of the Desert Knowledge site in Alice Springs and it seems that a majority of them use SMA inverters. Q-Cells as well as Sanyo HIT all use SMA so the comparisons between them are valid. Q-Cells Thin Film is performing as well as Sanyo HIT but I am not sure if Thin Cells is the way to go.

If anyone does have Q-Cells installed then please let me know what your results are. The company LC Energy is a large company and Q-Cells are around the 4th largest producer in the world so warranties and backup service is not in question.

Or if anyone has direct comparisons with another panel that may be a better performer here in Brisbane I'd like to here from you as well.
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Re: Q-Cells

Postby bootsnall » Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:12 am

Thanks for the feedback karlajensen. Do you have any comparisons between the REC panels and the Q-Cells panels in performance.
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Re: Q-Cells

Postby bootsnall » Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:46 pm

Here's the link to my roof on Google http://maps.google.com.au/maps?hl=en&q= ... 3&t=h&z=20
for any one who wants to see what I have available
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Re: Q-Cells

Postby bpratt » Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:00 pm

bootsnall wrote:Here's the link to my roof on Google http://maps.google.com.au/maps?hl=en&q= ... 3&t=h&z=20
for any one who wants to see what I have available



Here's a more recent one from nearmaps :-

http://www.nearmap.com/?q=@-27.639586,153.050266&ll=-27.639586,153.050266&z=19&t=k&nmd=20110324

I see your neighbour has painted their roof since the google earth images were taken. :)
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Re: Q-Cells

Postby bootsnall » Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:19 pm

Whereabouts are you and how do the west facing panels compare with the east facing?
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Re: Q-Cells

Postby bpratt » Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:25 pm

bootsnall wrote:Whereabouts are you and how do the west facing panels compare with the east facing?



Just down the road from you. ;)

http://www.nearmap.com/?ll=-27.75981,153.14341&z=21&t=k


I started with 9 on each side, and when I got another 6 panels I left 8 on the west side. We seem to get a lot more production on the eastern side than the western side. Perhaps that might be due to a couple of things, including cooler panel temps in the morning and the fact that generally speaking we get more clouds and storms in the arvo than in the morning.
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