How Do I Know What’s a Good System and What’s Not?
There’s huge variation in the quality of solar power systems in Australia, so it makes sense to know what to look for when buying a system.
The trick is to buy equipment (panels and inverter) that’s made by major companies that have been manufacturing solar panel components and inverters for at least 10 years.
The general rule of thumb is ‘you get what you pay for’.
There are some incredibly cheap systems available, but be mindful that what’s far more important than the upfront cost is the amount of electricity your system will generate over its lifetime – and as a result, how much it will save you. You’re better off paying a bit more for a high-performance system, than not paying enough for an inferior one
More than 90% of solar panels these days are made in China. TrinaSolar, Jinko, SunTech and REC are reputable Chinese brands, but many others are best avoided.
The Energy Experts preferred panels are the US-designed and made SunPower 327W and 360W modules and Korean-made LG NeON2 330W and 350W modules, which are independently ranked as the most efficient commercially-available solar panels in Australia.
Higher-performance panels produce around 30% more electricity and take up approx. 30% less roof space than conventional panels. If you start thinking of your roof space as an asset, it’s easy to see why high-output panels make sense.
Both SunPower and LG panels perform better in shady/low light/cloudy/rainy conditions, as well as in cold/frosty and hot/humid conditions (not to mention beautiful, sunny days). They’re also more durable, they degrade slower and come with a longer warranty than conventional panels. The 25 year performance and product warranty includes both the labour and/or transport for replacement panels.
If you’re thinking battery storage, panels performance is critical. For example, with high-output 350W LG NeON panels, 36% fewer panels are needed to produce the same amount of power as a conventional 260W panel. In this case, only 16 LG 350W NeON panels are needed to achieve a 5.7kW system (rather than 25 conventional panels to achieve the same system size). More power; less space. Smart.
Take a look at the LG Beginners Guide to Solar to get a good understanding of the importance of high performance panels.
You don’t want to cover your roof with inefficient panels. You’ll want to give yourself space to grow with electric cars soon to become mainstream and most households preparing for the installation of a battery storage system. Your roof real estate is now more important than ever before.
The Energy Experts is proud to be an approved LG Dealer and works with the Illawarra and Southern Highland’s preferred SunPower Partner.