Will Balance-of-Systems be a hindrance to lowering cost?

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Moderators: Probir Ghosh, Dr. Rajan Kapur, Dr. John Barnes

Will Balance-of-Systems be a hindrance to lowering cost?

Postby Probir Ghosh » Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:53 pm

Looking into BOS issues, this portion of the cost can actually be higher than the panel from the factory cost, especially as the panel prices (not cost) go down significantly below the $3/W.

What can we do to streamline permit costs to be much lower for avg. rooftop installs and to become an insignificant cost for large on the ground installs >5Mb?

Invertor and Hardware cost (at least for fixed axis) to be less than 3% in the $1.50/W - $1.75/W total installed price around 2015.

With mass scaling, I believe we will see preassembled panel sets, with automated robotics for rapid assembling at site, assuming a 12% margin for installers, I cannot see any reason why BOS is about 20 at most 25% of the total installed cost. With a 10X mass scaling, the absolute $ amount for panel manufacturers and installers will be far more than any returns the industry is seeing so far.

Any comments?
Probir Ghosh
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Re: Will Balance-of-Systems be a hindrance to lowering cost?

Postby Dr. John Barnes » Tue May 19, 2009 12:01 pm

From studies of Germany, the permitting aspect of BOS costs sticks out as a major negative factor for residential installations especially.

It would seem that the state governments can jump in to dictate uniform forms for most residences, and not let each local government get involved with their own forms. In California already local governments have widely different taxes on residential solar installations and are getting too involved on a local level.

Uniformity will cut into the time and cost of residential forms and regulations and help drive BOS costs more toward that will exists in Germany presently.
Dr. John Barnes
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