I agree that for consumer or commercial buyers, higher quality is better. And I was afraid you'd say that, Mydesign--that the "cheapest is best" philosophy is so widespread. Apparently, from the manufacturer's/seller's standpoint it makes for higher profits.
Mydesign, some Chinese manufacturers do make quality products. There are many of these products in the US. There are also many cheaply made, poorly made products that don't last or even work right. A similar range of quality used to exist in the US, before most of our manufacturing went to China. The difference depends at least partly on what the US-based/global company requires of those manufacturers. I have noticed that the low end of "cheaply made/doesn't work right" products has dropped even lower since we offshored so much manufacturing. I think part of the problem is also because consumers, at least here in the US, have been taught that cheap is good and cheapest is best.
"After the 6 year wait period, how much longer will those panels function? Will maintenance be costly to a point where the only option is to junk the panel? Keep in mind, after 6 years or a decade, parts may be impossible to come by"
Cabe, what I understood is under normal situation, panels can function well up to 20 years. But the tubular battery has to be replacing once in 5 years and other electronics parts like UPS/Inverter functionality cannot be predictable.
After the 6 year wait period, how much longer will those panels function? Will maintenance be costly to a point where the only option is to junk the panel? Keep in mind, after 6 years or a decade, parts may be impossible to come by. If you bought a panel from USA based Solyndra or Flebeg Solar U.S. Corp, you are out of luck. They both went bankrupt.
I would like to know if solar is useful or not. I will have to do some research... (I'll make a post too)
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.