The Drawbacks of the Aldi Balcony Power Plant: A Comprehensive Review

Aldi balcony power plant: That's why we wouldn't buy it

The hype surrounding small photovoltaic systems has been unbroken for a year now, with sets available in hardware stores or online shops of discounters. On June 1, however, Aldi-Nord will sell a balcony power plant, which includes two 116 × 75 centimeter solar modules with 175 watts each, suitable MC4 extensions, a mounting kit for balcony railings, and a 600 watt inverter with a 5 meter cable, for a package price of 469 euros. The set comes with a protective contact plug that does not conform to the standard, and the inverter offers yield monitoring through the NEPViewer smartphone app. Aldi only includes two 175-watt solar modules with the 600-watt inverter however, raising questions about the balance of the package.

Furthermore, it remains unclear where the solar modules come from and who offers a 25-year performance guarantee, despite lengthy research. Aldi states that the set was put together by “Solovoltaik”, which is only the brand name of the German import company monolith GmbH, not a manufacturer of photovoltaic modules. The guarantee information in the Aldi offer is similarly unclear, with 25-year performance guarantee on the solar modules, 10 years on material and workmanship but only three years “manufacturer’s guarantee”.

The excessive price for a 350-watt system and opaque manufacturer structure for the solar module are good reasons not to buy the Aldi offer. The offer on the market is only interesting for customers who have difficulties installing bulky modules, and planning is vital before buying and installing it. The bid for solar modules in particular needs to be well thought out, after all, they have to survive decades in the sun to make the investment worthwhile.

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