A 25 year ‘performance warranty’ doesn’t cover you for any problems that affect your system. It’s very easy for solar manufacturers to get out of this ‘performance warranty’, by claiming that any defects in the panels fall under the ‘product warranty’, which is usually only 10 years.
There are 5 separate warranties that you get with a solar system:
- a 25 year performance warranty on your panels
- a 10-25 year product warranty on your panels
- a 5-10 year warranty for your inverter
- a 5-10 year warranty on the rail/racking system
- a 5-10 year warranty for the workmanship
Check that the warranty is backed by an Australian entity. You don’t want to deal with a manufacturer’s warranty that states that the customer has to post the panels back to China at their own expense to get them tested or replaced!
Also remember that for a warranty to be honoured, the manufacturer needs to still be operating; so be cautious of brands without a decent track record in Australia.
Make sure that the installer is prepared to honour the manufacturers’ warranties. If they use sub-contractors to install your system, you want to make sure that the responsibility is on the solar installation company, not the sub-contractor to fix or replace any components that fail.