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Published on July 30th, 2012 | by Joshua S Hill


New Solar Module Reduces Payback by up to 5 Years

July 30th, 2012 by  

Full service solar solutions provider ecoSolargy has released three new solar module lines: the Lotus, Apollo, and Zeus series. The new series have been designed in order to improve the efficiency and reduce the investment payback time by up to five years.

“An increasing number of businesses have begun recognizing the environmental and cost-effective benefits of going solar,” said Alan H. Lee, CEO at ecoSolargy. “ecoSolargy’s objective is to facilitate the use of renewable energy through the provision of reliable and affordable solar solutions. The features in our new lines embody our commitment to sustainability, quality and cost-savings for our customers.”


The new high-efficiency, black-on-black Lotus solar modules come in three different wattages to fit a variety of solar projects. The Lotus panels are engineered at the molecular level using state-of-the-art nanotechnology. Unlike regular solar modules, nanotechnology-built panels have a smooth surface that prevents water, dust, and dirt accumulation, making them self-cleaning, anti-fading, anti-fogging, and anti-bacterial.

The modules’ buildup resistance improves solar energy absorption by up to 6% and increases efficiency by 35% over a 20-year period. This feature also eliminates the need for periodical cleaning maintenance and ensures the panels are always performing at maximum efficiency, resulting in cost savings equivalent to a three- to five-year decrease in payback time.

The Lotus series also offer excellent performance under low light conditions, and the black aluminum frames withstand the severest of environmental conditions.

Apollo and Zeus

ecoSolargy’s Apollo and Zeus mono-crystalline photovoltaic modules come in five different wattages that adapt to many budgets and project sizes. In addition to durability benefits — including corrosion and high wind loads resistance — both Apollo and Zeus panels rank high in performance. The Zeus 300W module has the second-highest PTC* rating out of all 300w mono crystalline PV modules in the market; the Apollo 250W module, when combined with a M215 micro inverter, delivers one of the most efficient system performances in the market.

Alpha, Orion and Titan

ecoSolargy is also revamping three of its existing module lines. The Alpha, Orion, and Titan series have been improved for maximum efficiency and cost-savings. All the updated panels have more power, are more efficient, and ensure quicker investment payback.

*PTC (Practical Test Condition): Power a module produces in real life testing conditions — 1,000 Watts per square meter solar irradiance, 20 degrees C air temperature, and wind speed of 1 meter per second at 10 meters above ground level.

Source: ecoSolargy
Image Source: ecoSolargy

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About the Author

I’m a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we’re pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket!

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  • A word of caution, all these pay-back estimates are based on ‘perfect’ operation through-out the year!  It is NOT the case for many!  Things can go wrong in PV arrays.  Owners and operators should check up on their arrays periodically. Free analytics is available at http://www.pvwizard.com. Check it out.

  • Dcard88

    This reads like sales propaganda 101.  I would want to see specs if I were considering a system.  I am still waiting to see anything close to a 5 year payback, and thats in CA where the rates are .25 per kW +++.  I would challeng anyone to prove a 10 year payback if your rates are below .18 per kW.  Cos that quote 12 year payback for Resi are usually best case scenario, meaning no shading ever, and assuming rate increases of 5% annual.. 

    • Bob_Wallace

      US average rooftop solar installed $4.44/watt, first quarter 2011 so less now. But let’s go with the older price.

      Southern CA with an average of 5.5 solar hours, 23% capacity factor. 1kW of panels * 5.5 solar hours * 365 days = 2008 kWh/Yr.

      2008 kWh @ $0.25/kWh = $501.88. A kW of panels would be offsetting a $501.88 electricity bill for the year.

      $4,440 financed for 5 years at 6% = monthly payments of $85.84 or $1,030 for 12 months. Pay older ‘full price’, pay off in five years, and you get to break even in less than ten years.

      But take off the 30% federal subsidy and the $0.65/W SCE subsidy and the price drops to $2.65/W. $51.23 monthly payment or $614.76.

      So it looks to me as if the subsidized price of rooftop solar is getting pretty close to a five year payment. Perhaps all the way there with more current installation rates.

      Open Neighborhood, an LA community installation program has been reporting $2.78/W installed prices. Clearly they’ve hit a five year payback when you include subsidies.

      Oh, if you assume $0.25/kWh and 3% inflation over a five year period then you should be using an average grid price of $0.27/kWh. Over a ten year period utility power will average $.29/kWh.

  • Bob_Wallace

    So, Joshua, what’s the cost per watt?

    Are these folks dropping prices below $0.75/watt or are they just writing copy?  Perhaps they’re making a lower BoS claim due to higher efficiency?

    Self cleaning is interesting, but many arrays are never cleaned now so there’s little to no savings coming there.

  • Payback periods are already at 5 years.  In the Caribbean it is 3 years. 

    • Paxildog2004

      Payback in So. Cal. for my system is about 3.8 years since it functions at 142% of design for some reason. I won’t argue.

      • Bob_Wallace

        These products promise to “further reduce”  “up to five years”.  That would make the 5 and 3.8 periods shorter (but almost certainly not 5 years shorter ;o).

        Rule of 72.  A five year payback/payoff is a 14.4% return on investment.  A 3.8 year payback is a 18.9% return on investment.  A 3 year payback is a 24% return on investment.  Fixed and guaranteed.

        Just try to find that sort of investment opportunity available for us mere mortals in the real world. 

        The best current money market rate for $10k+ accounts is 1.05%.

        If you borrow the money to install at 12% you’ll still be making the spread between 12% and [14.4% to 24%].  And then enjoying many years of free electricity.

        What’s not to love?

      • Anne

        Is your house located close to a body of water?

      • Wow, that’s awesome! What model?

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