Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Australian PV Solar Energy Exhibition
There were a lot of Chinese PV Solar cell manufacturers on hand and it seems like wholesale prices are diving to an incredible 77 cents per watt (we pay around $5 per watt retail so there's a good margin somewhere).
Interestingly, polycrystalline panels seem to be almost as efficient as monocrystalline and the extra area due to them being rectangular may be the reason.
The gentlemen at Alco Battery Sales were very kind and patiently answered a bunch of questions I had.
Something seems to have gone wrong with the show's timeline and apparently about two-thirds of the Chinese exhibitors didn't get time to clear customs to allow them to attend so it was much smaller than planned.
Several of the manufacturers commented that the withdrawal of the NSW solar rebate scheme had impacted them in a very negative way along with the instability in Europe. Happily, Germany, which has the largest solar program remains strong.
The standout in the show for me was the LED lighting, which I believe will take off in the next twelve months.
Above is a demo showing an incandescent 40W bulb producing the same output as an LED replacement using less than a tenth of the power. LED lights last much longer and in summer there are also savings in the need for air-conditioning.
Awaiting approval are 240V bulb drop-in replacements, 12V AC halogen replacements and 240V fluorescent tube replacements (you remove and bypass the starter).