Once you make the decision to install a solar power system on your roof, the homeowner or business owner comes across the most important part of the solar buying process – which solar panel and inverter brand to install? The Australian market is fraught with choices for solar panels and inverter options and as a novice solar buyer, all the choices can feel overwhelming. It is very important to assess the quality and warranty of the options available to you while making this decision.
Solar panels that you decide to install on your roof need to have a high rate of maximum efficiency and a good reliability in terms of the warranty offered by the brand. Solar panel efficiency is a measure of the amount of sunlight (irradiation) that falls on the surface of a solar panel and is converted into electricity by the technology used by the solar cells to convert AC power in DC power. Due to the many advancements made in photovoltaic technology over the recent years, the average panel conversion efficiency has increased from 15% to over 20%. This large jump in efficiency resulted in the power rating of a standard size panel to increase from 250W to 370W and even 450w in the present time.
The high-cost IBC cells are currently the most efficient (20-22%), due to the high purity N-type silicon cell base and no losses from shading as observed in the older solar panel models. The monocrystalline PERC cells with MBB and the latest heterojunction (HJT) cells have also achieved efficiency levels well above 20% thus making them a great option to ensure maximum production by your solar power system.
The common 'Tier 1' rating given to solar panels to categorise them as a reliable brand option was initially developed by Bloomberg New Energy Finance Corporation to rate the solar panel manufacturers in terms of their financial stability. A solar panel categorized as “Tier 1” does not equate to high performance or quality of the solar panel brand. It is important for a potential solar buyer to be aware of this Tier 1 rating given to solar panel brands and what it actually means as this rating can be somewhat misleading as it does not guarantee that the particular solar panel brand is free from defects or will perform efficiently over the life of the system. While doing your solar research, it is equally as important to study the solar panel manufacturers’ reputation and history as they are just as important as their perceived quality and efficiency. SunPower and LG are two manufacturers widely known for producing some of the highest quality solar panels with low degradation over time and have extremely impressive warranty conditions, however, these panels also come at a premium price. Other trusted, quality solar panel manufacturers include REC, Winaico and Qcells.
It is true that just like most products available in the market, higher quality does come with a hefty price tag. This remains true in terms of premium solar equipment. SunPower solar panels are considered the top brand in the solar industry due to their impressive quality and reliability. However, these solar panels cost around 30% more than the competition and the large variety of cheaper options available now in the Australian market. LG, Panasonic and Solaria solar panels are more examples of premium brand options available now in the market which are priced much higher than some options now being sold across Australia but have a much higher reliability and performance output because of quality production and manufacturing of these solar panels. REC and Qcell are other premium brands that have a wide range of solar panels known for quality, innovation and service.
The Solar Industry has made great advancements over the recent years through great technological developments through the production of highly efficient solar panels and inverters. Although there are a wide range of “value for money” options now available in the market as a result of this advancement, it is very important to do a thorough research as a potential solar buyer. For technology like a solar PV system, it is important to value the quality of the product over the price point to ensure a smooth transition to relying on this renewable source of power. By doing sufficient research on the performance and efficiency of the solar power system, you can stay rest assured that you will definitely reap the benefit of the longer years of functioning and reliability that comes along with purchasing the more “premium” range of solar products.
Contact One Solar today for all your premium solar needs and let us advice you on the best quality system for your home!