471 System Costs

Installed prices are quite different from factory costs because many other costs are involved. The balance-of-system (BOS) costs increase the noted factory costs by 30 to 50%. Included are:

• Control equipment — maximum power point trackers, inverters, battery charge controllers (major BOS cost)

• PV array support structures (major BOS cost)

• PV array to field wiring (major BOS cost)

• PV panel to array wiring

• Disconnects (major BOS cost)

• Panel protection diodes

• Battery storage if present (major BOS cost)

• Installation labor and fees (major BOS cost)

• Data acquisition system and sensors (moderate BOS cost)

Because of cost variation among systems in various locations, it is essential to develop a cost estimate early in the design process by consultation with local suppliers. Because of the dynamic nature of the market, costs for similar systems may not be a good reference basis. Of course, the major cost items noted above deserve the most accurate estimation.

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

The solar Stirling engine is progressively becoming a viable alternative to solar panels for its higher efficiency. Stirling engines might be the best way to harvest the power provided by the sun. This is an easy-to-understand explanation of how Stirling engines work, the different types, and why they are more efficient than steam engines.

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