We had some interesting information forwarded from a couple of Adelaide solar installers concerning current (May 2013) pricing being offered to installers on ‘low-end’ Chinese solar panels, direct from the manufacturer in China. By ‘low end’ we mean, panels from small scale Chinese solar panel manufacturers, that generally do not have a strong presence in the Adelaide solar market market and tend to try and gain that presence through offering very low pricing. The quotations we saw from 2 such Chinese p.v. (photo-voltaic) manufacturing companies, both have (or claim to have) certification from C.E. , T.U.V. and C.E.C. approval, amongst others.

Both Companies offered Mono-crystalline panels and Poly-crystalline panels (see the home page ‘commonly asked questions’ section for explanation of the differences between these). Pricing being quoted from the 2 companies is:
Company 1 
Mono-crystalline   US$0.57/watt                
Poly-crystalline      US$0.48/watt      

Company 2           
Mono-crystalline   US$0.62/watt
Poly-crystalline      US$0.52/watt
Minimum order quantities for the panels were less than 100 pieces.  These prices really reflect (in part), the state of the Chinese solar panel manufacturing industry. The current oversupply situation coupled with decreasing global demand (see post: Chinese Big Name’ Solar Panel Manufacturers In Financial Strife for background) continues to put downward pressure on Chinese p.v. pricing – particularly at the ‘low-end’ of the market, and these price examples demonstrate this. This may also account for why potential Adelaide solar power customers are seeing very low prices currently for some of the 1.5 Kwatt systems being offered – no doubt some of these systems are using these ‘type’ of solar panels in their installations.

Thoughts and Conclusion

As we discuss at length on this site, buying solar systems in Adelaide on price alone is potentially problematic. Solar systems should be producing power for 20+ years so, in our opinion, the importance of quality of components used, quality of installation and compliance and enforcability of warranties and ongoing support for your system is more important than saving a relatively small amount of dollars (over the life of the system) in the initial purchase.