I know that it’s becoming more difficult for customers to determine what is the best value for money solar power system for their unique needs.
I’m an electrical engineer. I continually assess new and emerging technologies and choose what I believe is best for our customer’s different needs.
Solar panels are the most important component of a solar power system. They are the most expensive component. The best solar panels continue to operate after severe storms, extreme heat, high humidity, extreme variations in temperature, etc. In contrast, solar inverters have a relatively easy job, usually in a garage or under cover.
When I assess solar power panels for Central Solar Systems to offer to customers I look at how long the manufacturer has been in business, their business ethics, the quality of their Australia based support, their warranty support record, the panel warranty and the actual design of the panel. These are more important than the efficiency of the panel. I then look at the solar panel efficiency, particularly for our local conditions so that Central Solar Systems has a well rounded product offering.
I’m not in the business of knocking competition. My advice is to disregard cheap systems and comparisons made by websites with vested interests including those that make their money from providing “independent” reviews and/or from arranging for 3 quotes. These companies can be partially funded by panel manufacturers to favour installers that offer their panels.
Solar Panel Systems Warranties
Most salespeople say that there is a 25 year panel warranty. In most cases the 25 year warranty is a performance warranty. The real part of the warranty is the product warranty. If a panel has a 10 year product warranty and a 25 year performance warranty, the real warranty is 10 years. This also applies to JA Solar below below. I regard the warranty as 12 years. The performance warranty isn’t real unless it is matched by the product warranty.
Over the years Central Solar Systems has offered Silex, JA Solar, Jinko, Hyundai, Phono, Trina, Winaico, LG, SunPower and SOLARWATT. Without going into the reasons, we have selected our current offering. We believe these are the best solar panels for 2019.
- JA Solar for our entry level panel (this panel is actually a mid level panel). We are currently offering a 330W Half Cell Solar Panel. This has a 12 year product warranty and 25 year performance warranty. Click here for more information.
- SunPower P19 for our much better than mid level panel. SunPower was established in 1985 and is the market leader in solar panel efficiency and durability. The SunPower P19 all black solar panel is a newly released lower cost model that is taking the market by storm. This solar panel has a 25 year product warranty and a 25 year performance warranty. Click here for more information.
- SOLARWATT for our higher end panel. Regardless of what detractors say, panels are still made in Germany. SOLARWATT solar panels are manufactured in Dresden, Germany. This solar panel has a 30 year product warranty and a 30 year year performance warranty (87% at year 30). Click here for more information.
- SunPower Maxeon is our high end panel. With power output options from 350W to 400W these are clearly the most efficient panels available in Australia. Actual field testing revealed that SunPower Maxeon panels have almost 4 times stronger reliability than conventional panels. More reliability means more savings. This solar panel has a 25 year product warranty and a 25 year product warranty (92% at year 25). Click here for more information.
Winaico is a great solar panel, but it’s currently hard to fit it into the above list in terms of price and warranty.