Not all solar panels are created equal

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Even though every panel is rated out to 20 to 25 years, that does not mean they are all necessarily equal, nor will a panel developed for use in warm, arid areas be the best choice in the colder Northern climates:

Manufacturers can differentiate themselves from their competitors and optimize their module designs for the intended applications, according to a paper summarizing the efforts, “Three-Prong Path to Comprehensive Technical Standards for Photovoltaic Reliability.” Modules built for heavy snow may need not only thicker glass but heavier-duty frames and support rails, all of which increase upfront costs. But money may be saved in the long run by the manufacturer who differentiates, building a hardier module for the most difficult climates and a slimmed-down, less expensive module for milder climates.

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2015/04/assuring-solar-modules-will-last-for-decades?cmpid=rss

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John Fitzgerald Weaver
Solar Power Plant Project Developer at Commercial Solar Guy
John Fitzgerald Weaver is a solar developer, digitally as the 'Commercial Solar Guy.' As a project developer and installer, he’s sold and managed 50+ solar projects, totalling over $25 million - with their sizes ranging from 5kW to 1500kW. He’s been involved in many aspects of the solar supply chain – as a company founder, developer, project manager, manufacturer, permit runner, salesman, contractor and financier, climbs mountains, played football, enjoys an IPA or scotch, needs to get away, and really loves this strange connection between politics, energy, finance, environment, etc in the energy world, and likes run on sentences.