It is quite funny when you think about how a petroleum based company has a division selling solar technologies as well. It is sort of like a corporate oxymoron.
British Petroleum (BP), one of the world’s largest oil producing company has a separate division that manufacturers green technology products, BP Solar.
One of the components they make is the entry level Photovoltaic (PV) module, the SX305. The BP SX 305 is a 5 watt solar module made from high efficiency silicon nitride multi-crystalline silicon cells.
Performance wise, it is rated at 5 watt with a 10% power tolerance. Hence, its actual maximum power output on a clear sunny day is around 4.5 watt. The nominal voltage for the SX305 is 12 volt.
BP offers a 12 year limited warranty of 90% power output on the SX305. Meaning, after 12 years, you can expect the module generating at a minimum 90% rated power output when you first installed it.
Personally, I would prefer a 25 years warranty period because my Return On Investment (ROI) on a home solar power system will take that long. As a sweetener, BP also offers a 2 year limited warranty on the material and workmanship on their solar module.
How big is the SX305? The unit measurements are 9.9 x 10.6 x 0.9 inches and weighs about 2 pounds. It is a tiny solar module compared to other units in the market. Its small size and light weight will make it very easy when installing the solar module on the roof.
The frame of the BP solar panel is made from clear anodized aluminum alloy. The front panel is made from high transmission UV proof tampered glass 3mm thick. This is important in order to allow the maximum sunlight through to the solar cells.
If you are planning to build a residential solar power system by using the SX305, you may need to purchase 15 to 20 units since it has a low power output of 5 watts only. Make sure you do the necessary calculation to determine the size of your roof. With that many SX305 module, you will run out of space very fast.
The other solar components which you may have to set aside budget for are the charge controller, deep cycle batteries and a power inverter. By connecting the SX305 in series, the Direct Current (DC) generated will be sufficient to charge the battery bank of your solar system.
All in all, the BP SX305 solar panel is a small and inexpensive Photovoltaic module which you can consider when setting up a home solar energy system.