As a larger Australian population shifts towards solar power for their energy needs, the demand and the competition in the solar market also continues to grow. However, as you decide to go green with the installation of a solar power system, it is important to remember to not base your solar buying decision on the solar panel cost alone. In this blog we discuss a few tips to keep in mind while choosing the best solar modules for your needs specifically.
Factors that determine solar panels cost
There are a number of factors which effect the cost of solar panels available in the Australian market. Generally speaking, in relation to solar modules suitable for use on a home grid connect system installation, they cost a few hundred dollars each with subsidies taken into consideration.
The cost of a solar panel is determined in part by the following factors-
1. The capacity in Watts for each solar panel
2. The physical size of the solar panel
3. The brand name and where it is manufactured
4. The quality of materials used for the solar panel’s manufacturing,
5. The durability / longevity or warranty offered by the solar panel brand
The total price for a solar power system fully installed on your roof will also depend on the number of solar panels as part of a package if you’re buying a full system. Generally, the more solar modules are sold for a system, the less cost per unit.
However, it is not recommended that you choose solar panels based on price alone. Do not get swayed by seemingly “quality” cheaper priced solar panels. The solar panels you end up choosing solely based on price may not fit the area you wish to install it, or the brand/model may not have the necessary certifications to qualify for government rebates. The cheaper solar panels may not provide the best performance to help ensure a good return on your investment. The cheaper priced panels generally will not have a solid warranty from a well-established company and are likely to not offer the best after installation services.
3 Tiers Of Solar Panel Quality
In addition to cost, when choosing the best solar panel for your installation, it’s important to consider both its manufacture and the materials used. There are three tiers of manufacturer quality and SunMate Solar only supplies solar panels from the first tier.
Tier 1 Solar Panels
The following are some key features of tier one solar panel manufacturers –
1. Tier One Solar panel companies invest heavily in research and development of solar technology and use advanced robotic processes. Tier One solar panel brands have been manufacturing solar panels for more than 5 years.
2. Tier one includes the top 2 percent of solar PV (photovoltaic) panel manufacturers. Tier One solar panel manufacturers are vertically integrated, which means they control each stage of the manufacturing process.
3. Tier one producers use the purest and best grade of silicon to produce solar cells. The higher the silicon grade, the longer the solar cell will last and the better it will perform in converting the sun’s energy to electricity.
4. Tier one manufacturers produce some of the best performing solar panels and these can often be acquired at a very reasonable price.
However, “Tier 1” is a claim that some manufacturers make that don’t fit the definition above. Therefore, it is important to understand that not all solar panel companies claiming to be Tier 1 are equal. Your due diligence is therefore required while searching for the best solar panels for your needs as quality can vary greatly between Tier 1 manufacturers.
Therefore, when making the transition to solar power, apart from the cost of the system fully installed, it is necessary to keep a few other key factors in mind.
Some of these factors to consider are –
1. The manufacturing process of the solar panel module and the materials used.
2. It is also highly advised that you research how the panels perform in real world situations. This includes positive tolerance, temperature co-efficient rating, PID and LID resistance and efficiency.
3. Only consider those solar panel brands that offer reliable warranty.
4. Research more about the company that manufactures the solar panels you are considering to install.
Contact SunMate Solar today for a free quote and make the shift to solar power a smooth and hassle free process.