Based on performance, quality and value, what are the best solar panels currently based on your own experience from installing solar panels?
I love the idea of the companies with a 25 year warranty, it sounds like you can buy those and trust they will last a long time. But I was thinking, won’t the technology be immeasurably better in 12-15 years (the warranty of some of the others) so it would be better to go with one of the best but a cheaper panel now that you would look to replace in 10-15 years with a more efficient and advanced panel?
I had that theory with computers for a long time, it was best to buy a good brand but their cheap model and replace it more often rather than the best model because the technology increases were just so big every year. These days the improvement in computer speeds have slowed down considerably. Is solar technology improving rapidly or are the improvements slower?
Good question Anwar and it is true that the technology will be far more advanced in 10-15 years but on the other hand if your solar array is performing well and covering your costs then it would be waste to replace functional panels simply because there are more efficient panels available.
The payback period is also anywhere from 3 to 10 years depending on the type of system and whether battery storage is included so you would want the panels to last as long as possible.
In addition if you did decide to upgrade then fully functioning panels are worth more to sell as second hand modules and can help recoup the cost of a new system
I would just like to personally point out a bit of information on the JINKO Solar Panel. The worlds largest Solar Panel Manufacturer.
Jinko has become our most popular Solar Panel in both Residential and Commercial solar systems over the last 2 years.
The fact that they are a very large successful Solar Company offering Tier 1 Products and an Australian Warranty that meets and exceeds industry standard is mandatory in our choice to use these panels.
The Jinko Panels have also been proven in Australian Conditions against the competition in many private tests. Photon Lab and DNV-GL showed them as superior to all other competitors in its test and the CSIRO and Choice Magazine conducted there test on 15 of the most common Solar Panels sold in Australia over 12 months in Aussie Conditions and have found JinkoSolar was one of just two module manufacturers( the other being over 70% more expensive) to receive a score of excellent and above 90%. They also had an energy yield that per 1000w was significantly above all other competitors.
There are a lot of Great Panels in the market and i agree there are more Premium Panels to the Jinko, but what the Jinko offers for the price has made them one of my favorite Panels to install and
they never seem to let me down. They also offer a great low temperature co-efficient and excellent performance in low light conditions.
You sir are becoming my new best friend! With your information on heatpumps I read earlier & now jinko panels! I was going to do a post to see if anyone could offer information on jinko panels, as a system that has caught my attention & am intersting in intalling has jinko panels in their deal! So thank you very much for this post!
Anwar, I’d like to answer a few of your concerns… I am a Tech Sales Advisor for a Sunpower Master Dealer in New Mexico, USA; and I firmly believe that Sunpower modules yield the highest value for a number of reasons, and I would suggest that this forum conduct their own testing, research, and include findings in the reviews since the Sunpower modules were not even examined as far as I can tell.
The key elements to value are:
- efficiency: more power in less space. Sunpower #1 at 22+% with X series
- degradation: annual energy over time. Sunpower #1 at <.25%/year
- production: temperature coefficients and ‘low angle production’. Sunpower #1
- failure rates: how many fail over time. Sunpower #1 with about 50/Million installed/10yrs
- warranty: duration and coverage. Sunpower #1 with 25 years parts and labor
and as to your concern with ‘better tech coming’… this becomes irrelevant if the system you buy does not degrade and is still producing all the energy you need (not degrading as conventional panels do). A transferable warranty is what basically insures your value when you sell the home; a great warranty means you can collect full value whether you are in the home 1 year or 25.
it is important to look at ALL factors to maximize value over time with the lowest risk and highest resale value.
BHekman, were Sunpower modules included in your tests?
Thanks Dan, that all sounds pretty reasonable. Do you know who sells Sunpower in Australia?
Hi thanks for your advice on Jinko. That has narrowed down my choice of panels. Im in the process of booking my solar installation. I need a quick compariion between Eagle AC60 300watt & Eagle 60M 275watt panels. Not in terms of weight or wattage but in terms of performance & reliability(longer durability & performance) which is better.
@dtbaker61 yes as a matter of fact Sunpower was included and received a Very Good test Result of 85%. I do rate Sunpower as one the better modules on the market.
Hello @Aal I am not 100% sure on your part numbers here.
The Eagle 60M 275W Panel is a 60 Cell Mono Panel in there standard Eagle Range, the other part number im not sure what you mean.
Do you mean there new AC Panel, which has a micro inverter built in and outputs 240V or did you mean HC, which is a 60Cell Mono Half Cell, which increases conversion efficiency and decreases losses in the panel?
Thanks Brett, I was curious because I did not see Sunpower in the list reviewed by CleanEnergyReviews or anywhere else in the discussions regarding best panels, or inverters. Compared to any other brand, they are at the top of every test category I’ve ever seen from 3rd party labs.
@dtbaker61 yes these tests were conducted by CSIRO, CHOICE Magazine and Photon Labs and DNV-GL.
They are all publicly available and can be googled to be found, or I am happy to show you copies.
However technology is changing rapidly and other companies are releasing better technology all the time.
Some of these Tests can be outdated fairly quickly.
I would be very interested in seeing copies of the test data/results you based your ratings on… As far as I am aware, Sunpower X series is number one versus any other brand in every head-to-head category for efficiency, degradation rate, temp coef, low light production, salt water, humidity… and warranty.
4 posts were merged into an existing topic: Solar Quotation Review - Fronius & Jinko Eagle 285 or 300W
I did not see Sunpower in the list reviewed by CleanEnergyReviews or anywhere else in the discussions regarding best panels
Hi @dtbaker61, Jason and I think very highly of SunPower and they are right at the top of our Top 10 Solar Panels list in fact. They are quite expensive in Australia, but as you point out, may well be worth the extra up front cost over the long run.
To add to the discussion it is worth noting that the ‘Product Warranty’ period is another good indicator of the level of quality and reliability of a solar panel.
The Performance Warranty is one indicator but with most manufacturers offering a 25 year performance warranty it is a little harder to distinguish between the different panels.
The Product Warranty is clearer with only two manufacturers offering a 25 year performance warranty. Several other notable manufacturers also offer longer than the standard 10/12 year warranty…
- 25 Years - SunPower
- 25 Years - LG
- 20 Years - REC
- 15 Years - Winaico
Most well known manufacturers offer the standard 10 or 12 year Product warranty, however this does not mean that they are not good quality. But the longer warranty period does suggest some manufacturers may have a higher level of confidence in their manufacturing or quality control processes.
Read more about the best quality panels here… https://www.cleanenergyreviews.info/blog/best-quality-solar-panels-manufacturers