CAN A 500W SYSTEM BE BUILT FROM EXISTING RETAIL COMPONENTS?

Let us assume for the moment that a 500Watt system is suitable for small households. The final system can have other components including M2M circuitry that interfaces with a SIM card for supply of usage data for lease holding, but our simple starting point has the following components:

  • Panel
  • Charge controller
  • Battery
  • Inverter?
  • Hob

It does seem that even at todays (UK) retail prices, a system with these components could be brought together. One could have the panel, controller, inverter and battery for about $350, and run a 230V hob (which would add $50) – Total $400.

Alternatively one could keep to 12V but would have to design and get built a 12V 500W hob, giving a total system cost of around $300.

These prices have been estimated from data collected in June 2013, and based on retail online prices. It therefore seems more than possible that even at todays prices, a system could be mass produced with a $250 wholesale cost (conservatively).

We started our note by aiming at the year 2020. By then with the decrease of panel prices, and by ensuring a dedicated product design, it would seem more than reasonable to think that $180 retail (including market distribution costs and profit) is a viable target price.

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