If you’re reading this, you are probably either at the point of considering solar for your home, farm or business, or you have already decided to make the switch and want to know more about what type of system will be best for you and your energy use. Whatever your reason, you’ve come to the right place! In this article we will talk about all things solar panels. How to choose a quality panel, the importance of warranties, panel efficiency, and more. Choosing the right solar panel brand can seem daunting, being that all of them generally look the same. Never fear! We are here to help you sort through all of the marketing jargon and break it down to the basics of what makes a solar panel truly efficient.
Determining Solar Panel Quality
Many companies claim to have something called “Tier 1 solar panels”. When reading this, one might assume that this company is automatically better than any other brand without this label. This isn’t necessarily true. What many don’t know is that this phrase was coined by Bloomberg New Energy Finance Corporation to rate solar energy companies on their financial stability, not on the actual quality of their panels. Determining the quality of a panel goes beyond just its labels or classifications. It is not something that can easily be pulled apart or quickly inspected. Solar panels require specialized equipment that pinpoints small faults or defects in the panel’s making. In some cases, it can even take up to about 5 years of use before the owner realizes there is any defect in the panel at all. Because of this, determining the quality of a panel relies heavily on a well established and quality brand.
On average, a quality panel should last its owner about 25 years. It is important to select a brand that has a good reputation, track record, and one that has been in business for an extended period of time. This will ensure that the panels live up to their expected life date. A quality panel often means that it has come from a quality company. You want to be sure to choose a brand that’s reputable, loyal and has a good warranty plan. All in all, to determine the true quality of your next solar panels, do more research into the panel manufacturer themselves rather than rely on all of the marketing jargon that they pack into their pitches. You ideally want a company that has been around long enough, and will be around long enough if any issues with your panels ever arise. The same concept applies when choosing a quality solar installer, such as Solar Sam.
Solar Panel Warranty is of Essence:
Premium solar panel manufacturers understand the essence of a good warranty. There are different types of warranties that most companies offer: product and performance. An average product warranty will last you about 10-15 years, whereas a premium solar panel brand will offer you a 25 year solar panel warranty. The performance warranty will last about 25 years, but choosing a brand whose panels are known for less degradation will be a big part in that. Panel degradation leads to about 10-20% loss in power output after 25 years of the panel’s life. In order to get the most out of your panel’s warranty, you need to make sure you choose a premium solar panel manufacturer that is known for their history, feedback, and quality performance metrics. Some premium brands that we recommend would be SunPower, LG, Panasonic, and Solaria. SunPower being the leader for quality and LG being the best value and quality mix.
Solar Panel Efficiency:
Many perceive efficiency to be the most essential criteria when it comes to choosing the right brand of solar panels. Although this is important, it does not take away from the necessity of choosing a quality brand (as mentioned earlier). The efficiency of a solar panel is determined by the amount of solar energy that falls into a specific area of the panel and is converted into electricity. In other words, the efficiency of a solar panel is the expected output of electricity from a given solar panel. Efficiency is often determined by the quality of the company that produces the panels. More often than not, the more expensive a panel is, the more efficient it is expected to be. This is a general rule of thumb for many products on the market today, but it is especially prominent in the solar industry.
Maximize Your ROI:
In the solar industry, high price often DOES mean higher quality. The additional cost for a premium panel brand is about $1,500-$2,000 on a regular 6.5 KW system. This is not a lot extra considering that these panels generally outperform and outlast cheaper panels by multiple years. When considering the ROI on your solar investment, you want to make sure to get the most bang out of your buck. A cheaper panel will, of course, have a smaller cost upfront, but how long it lasts will depend on the brand’s quality and reputation. This will also determine how much production you get out of the panel itself. Premium panels typically have less degradation, less chance for failures, and operate at highly functional rates that generate higher energy yields and therefore greater returns. If the immediate savings are still more important to you, however, we do have some great recommendations for value based brands. The best value based manufacturers (in our opinion) would be Jinko, Trina, or SunTech. Each company is reputable and all have been on the market for many years.
Let Our Solar Experts Help You Choose:
Choosing the best solar panel brand for you and your energy needs is an important decision to make in your new energy efficient journey. Weighing out the pros and cons between each brand can be time consuming, not to mention confusing. If you’re in the process of choosing a brand that’s right for you, give us a call so that we can take that stress off your plate. At Solar Sam, our solar energy experts are all hands on deck. We are ready and equipped with all of the answers you need to make the best and most educated decisions. Take advantage of our experienced staff, and let us help you make the best decision to maximize your solar ROI.
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