How To Choose A Right Solar Panel
Installing a home solar energy system is a smart financial investment for many homeowners. Among all the components of a solar system, solar panels, which create electricity from sunlight, are one of the main ones. But how do you know what brands of solar panels are worth to buy? In China, there are probably hundreds of brands of solar panels. How do you know a good brand from bad ones?
Well, I thought long and hard about this. And the most straightforward answer to that is for me to put up all the brands that I trust simply on my roof, so I can decide which one is right for me.
OK, it’s just a joke.
Now, let’s talk about some factors that may help you select better solar panels.
The first one I’d like to go through is “Tier 1“. “Tier 1” is an industry ranking scheme. It is used by the banks to decide if they are going to use a particular brand of solar panels in multi-million dollars of funds. “Tier 1” does not mean it’s a high-quality panel directly. Actually only “Tier 1” manufacturers exist. I’ve consulted experts with respectable knowledge in the PV industry and they told me the same. And remember that solar panels from Tier 1 manufacturers are not the be-all and end-all, there are a couple of brands that are “Tier 1” that I personally wouldn’t have on my roof.
Now, let’s move to the second point. When we’re looking at solar panels, warranties are essential. Many solar panels are advised with 25 years warranties. But what you may not realize is that there are two main warranties with a solar panel, and the really long one is probably not the one you should be looking at. Why? Because that’s called the performance warranty. And in my experience, the solar panel manufacturers, even the good ones, try to wriggle out of this warranty.
The one that’s really hard to wriggle out of is the short one, which is called the manufacturer’s warranty or the product warranty. On a typical solar panel, the product warranty is about 10 years, whereas the performance warranty is about 25 years. Compared to that, Coulee Limited has been providing its 12 years product warranty and 25 years linear performance warranty. Now what you need to do is always looking for the longest product warranty. That’s the easiest one to claim. Good solar panel manufacturers are now going over 10 years, some are going for 13 years, like Jinko Solar, Suntech, Coulee Limited, LDK. So when looking at solar panel warranties, be aware there are two, and it’s the manufacturer’s, or the product warranty is the essential one.
Solar panel specifications
A solar panel will have dozens of specifications on its datasheet. People can really get their knickers in a twist comparing the specs. I’m here to say, don’t worry about it. If I had to choose three specifications to worry about. They would be, is it mono or poly? That’s the type of silicon that a solar panel is used. Let’s start with that one. Mono is a little bit more efficient. So, many people think, “Oh, I must get a mono solar panel.” Now the fact is that whether you get a mono panel or a poly panel on your roof, they’re going to have similar performance in many cases. So don’t worry about it. Just get it a good brand that’s well warranted. Don’t worry if it’s poly or mono. Don’t let the salesman talk you into getting one or the other.
The second specification that I will be looking at is efficiency. Now, this is an interesting one. Because intuitively you think a more efficient panel will give you more energy, right? But that’s not the case. A less efficient panel is simply bigger for the same amount of energy that’s been produced. So if you’ve got a small roof or if you’re worried about getting the maximum amount of energy from your roof, which can make sense. But generally, the higher efficiency ones are more expensive. If you’ve got a big roof, if you can easily adjust the system size you want, and you’re not worried about getting more in the future, the lower efficiency solar panels are excellent. Just a little bigger and they are a fair bit cheaper. So don’t worry too much about efficiency.
The third solar panels specification is what we call a temperature coefficient. Now, this is important because it is bloody hot in Summer, right? The better the temperature coefficient is, the less efficient the panel loses as it gets hot. That’s right, the hotter a solar panel gets, the lower the efficiency becomes. So you can dig into this temperature coefficient if you want. Another good use of this specification is when a salesman goes
“Oh, mate, our solar panels are designed for your local conditions. They work better than any other ones.” Well, ask him to show you the temperature coefficient, compared with other ones, and you’ll probably see that it’s not that different. So he’s probably gilding the Lily.
So, if you do want to consider specifications, you should think about mono or poly, solar panel efficiency, and the temperature coefficient.
Also, go for a good brand, like Jinko, Coulee.
It is always a bonus to select a good brand. Choose a company that invests in its Research and Development, and effectively operate its production process and constantly increases the product quality and fits the market needs.
That’s all. Hope above information has been helpful. If you like it, please click the like button below. Thank you!