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Cost vs. Value: What is more important when switching to solar?

The cost of installing a solar power system in Australia has significantly reduced over the recent years. It is of utmost importance to do sufficient research regarding certain specifications of the solar brands you shortlist. These factors that you must consider go beyond just the price of the solar brand. In order the get the best return on your investment, the solar brands you finally pick should be reliable and a quality option as you’ll be living with this system for a very long time.
It is important to note that not all solar panel manufacturers are equal. There are a variety of other factors that should influence your purchase decision rather than focusing solely on cost. Some of these factors in addition to the cost are –

1. Temperature co-efficient

The temperature co-efficient rating is important to determine what the impact heat has on a solar panel’s operation after installation. The lower the percentage per degree Celsius, the better. The price of a solar panel with low temperature co-efficiency can be a little more, but in Australia’s often hot conditions, a little extra cost will definitely prove to be worth it.

2. PID resistance

PID stands for Potential-Induced Degradation. Caused by stray currents triggered by certain climate conditions, the phenomenon can cause substantial power loss. A quality solar panel brand will display little or no PID.

3. Conversion efficiency

The efficiency of how a solar panel converts light into electrical energy will determine how much power your system generates. If two solar panels cost the same, but one has a higher conversion efficiency, then that module provides the better value for money. That is assuming the claimed efficiencies are correct.

4. LID resistance

LID stands for Light Induced Degradation. This is a process that occurs in the first few months after solar panels are installed. While this stabilises after a period, it can reduce the amount of power the module produces. A good solar panel will have little or no LID.

5. Tolerance

This is the range a panel will either exceed or not meet its rated power. For example, a solar module you purchase may have a ‘nameplate’ wattage of 200W. However, due to quality control issues, the output in ideal conditions may in reality only be 195W. A positive tolerance rating means the module will not only generate 200 watts, but perhaps more under standard testing conditions.

6. Warranty offered and reliability

The durability and reliability of a solar panel warranty is important for a number of reasons – it can be an indicator of the manufacturer’s confidence in its products. Reputable solar panels will have a performance warranty of 25 years and have a good reputation in terms of after installation service.

Generally, you are most likely not going to buy solar panels directly from the manufacturer which means that the selection of the right solar company and solar retailer with licensed solar installers is very important.

Contact SunMate Solar today to find out more information about the installation of a solar power system for your home or business in Australia.