Why are solar panels expensive

Solar panels prices

Solar collector prices: comparative factors and price development

Unit prices are not a sufficient indication of a price comparison for solar collectors. Flat and tube collectors are manufactured by different manufacturers in different sizes. Solar collector prices are therefore based on the price per square meter of collector surface. For solar installers and system planners, the square meter of collector area is also the basis of how much heat the collector produces per year and how large the system must be designed accordingly. Solar collector prices of the manufacturers are usually always gross prices without sales tax (catalog prices).

Development of the collector prices

According to surveys by the European Solar Thermal Technology Platform (ESTTP), solar collector prices have fallen by around 40% since 1990. However, in recent years there has been a slight increase in collector prices for end users. This is mainly due to the increasing costs of copper and aluminum on the world market.

According to studies by the Institute for Thermodynamics and Heat Technology (ITW) in Stuttgart, solar collector prices make up around a third of the total costs of a solar thermal system. Therefore, here is an example of the development of collector prices for flat and vacuum tube collectors in recent years.

Database: ITW 2011 (most recent survey)

In recent years, not much has happened in the downward trend in solar collector prices. Especially in comparison to the sharply falling module prices in photovoltaics, solar collectors have remained relatively constant in their price.

The slight increase in price, which is related to the increased costs for copper and aluminum on the world market, becomes clear against the background that a commercially available flat-plate collector is made up of 30% aluminum (housing) and around 16% copper (absorber) in terms of mass distribution. consists. In the end, the costs of the housing make up 20% of the manufacturing costs of a flat-plate collector, the costs for the absorber amount to 46% of the manufacturing costs.

Solar panels prices 2015

As an example, we have compiled the collector prices of the manufacturer Buderus as shown by the company on its website as a catalog price without VAT.

Collector typeGross collector area
in square meters
Unit price
(without VAT)
Price per square meter
Collector area
Flat plate collector for heating drinking water
with heating support
2,37997,00€ / 1.045€420€ / 440€
Flat plate collector for heating drinking water2,37727€306€
Vacuum tube collector for drinking water
heating with heating support
Vacuum tube collector for drinking water

In view of the relatively constant solar collector prices for years, the Bafa improved the funding for solar thermal collectors for the last time in August 2012. In the existing building, a solar thermal system for hot water and heating is subsidized with at least € 1,500 on top of the collector price.

Since the craft still adds a bit of its own margin to the solar collector prices of the manufacturers, interested parties should inquire about the range of collector prices as part of a solar consultation with specialist companies in the region.

Read more on the subject of "solar funding"

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