What solar panel should I choose?

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Velocity Solar offering the best solar options
Velocity Solar offering the best solar options

How to pick a good solar panel!

When trying topick a good solar panel there are questions below that need to be answered.

Are european panels better than Chinese panels?

What is the difference in quality of solar panels ?

What makes the panels you supply better than others?

IS monocrystalline beter than polycrystalline Solar Panels?


What is a Tier one solar panel?

Velocity Solar recommend very highly that you look very clossly at installing Tier 1 solar panles in Geelong.  There is no one exact clarification to what makes a Tier 1 solar panel, although a generalised concept has been accepted for the industry.  This can be broken down into 4 specific sections.

Requirement 1:  Solar History

Solar manufacturer / company must have been producing solar panels for more than 5 years minimum. There must be a proven track record to show that the company has proofed itself in the industry

Requirement 2:   Verticle integration of solar panels

Quality and reliability, all Tier one manufacturers need to have a fully vertically inter grated manufacturing process with there materials. What this means is that they do not outsource there materials from other suppliers.  They produce there own components and have full control over every item that goes through there production line

Requirement 3:  Solar panel assembling line

The process in which the solar panels are manufactured.  Tier one manufacturers have primarily a fully assembled robotic assembly plant . The benefit of this? If every item runs through the exact same process day in and day out there shall be no room for human error from panel to panel.  Obviously these panels still require periodical testing to maintain quality control but much less room for error occurs in robotic production lines

Requirement 4:   Research and design.

You  will hear the terminology of R&D in the industry a lot amount the larger players on the market. To be classified Tier one, proof of a large quantity of research and design has to be shown, to make sure that the manufacturing is only getting better and the companies are not letting there design capabilities slip. There is no actual fiscal amount denoted to pass this criteria , but an understandings that the companies are maintaining high levels of R&D.

In conclustion , regarding Tier 1 solar companies

A lot of people are under the understanding that to become a Tier 1 company you need to have great fiscal backing and stability.  This is not actually the case but if you find any company that is whiling to pass all these criteria mentioned above, then there is a good chance that they are a feasible company.  A general understanding though is that most if not all Tier one companies are bankable (most likely to still be around) in the short to mid term.  Knowing the solar industry there is no guarantees that manufacturers will not come and go.  Just look at the latest closer of Solarmax inverters. Solar max was a high quality Swiss manufacturer of solar inverters and quality was not an issue, financial constraints in the market pushed their per rant company into recievership.

What solar panels should I choose

A common question asked is, what the difference between monocrystalline vs polycrystalline solar panels and which is better?

The differences in panels has narrowed quite a lot and people will still tell you one over the other is better, I tend to say that they both have slightly better attributes than the others in different areas.  It’s still more important to choose the right manufacturer over a monochrystalline (mono)  / polycrystalline (poly) cell specifically. As a good quality poly manufacturer will bet a ave mono manufacturer and vice versus.

So what is the difference between mono and poly solar panels

Mono crystalline cells – solar panels

Typical monocrystalline solar cell is a dark black colour, and to make a further discrepancy between the panels you will usually find the corners of cells are usually missing as a result of the production process.

Monocrystalline solar panels have for a long time been denoted the better solar panel because of the technology advanced and the higher peak output achieved on an average across the board. This alone does not make mono panels better than poly panels. Following previous results published by the Photon testing statistics show clearly that the mix of mono and poly is quite varied through the results.

Poly crystalline – solar panels

Polycrystalline, on the other hand, is easily identifiable by its signature light or dark blue colour, although not uniformed in its appearance you will find patches if different colours and if sun hits the panels in the right light it might even look like you have two different sets of panels on your roof.  This is no issue but only a variation caused from the manufacturing process if the solar panels.

Poly crystalline solar panels over the last few years have increased their market share in Australia, and this trend is maintaining its self.  The general cost of producing poly over mono is up for discussion but pricing across the board usually between the same brand panels sits a few percent below mono panels.

Poly crystalline, is also referred to as Multi crystalline panels, one of the better known solar panels / manufacturer is REC. REC is a Norwegian company and well known in the industry.  Other companies like Yingli solar have both mono and poly solar cells in their range.

Under testing specifications at testing facilities it does show that mono solar panels in general do have a higher peak output, the general thought in he industry though is that the poly panels seem to have a higher output generically in low light conditions, (first thing in the morning and last thing at night). Also low light conditions.  These conditions are not tested under testing conditions because only one reading is required.

Solar panel efficiency

How important is the panel efficiency?

The panel efficiency is a good starting point in regards to the quality of the panel and the technology that has gone into making the panels . However if you have plenty of room on your roof then the panel efficiency really has no bearing on the installation.  The solar efficiency related to the amount of solar power that can be produced over a certain footprint if a solar panel.  For example a 250 watt solar panel is the exact same size as a 270 watt solar panel but because it produces 20 extra watts it’s efficiency will be greater. But the actual output if total of panels is more important than how many panels are required. especially for buildings with ample roof. When picking the solar panels for your installation please make sure that all the components for your solar system are decided on a manufacturer by manufacturer basis on top of the above information. Other items like solar inverters, railing and installing solar company are just as important

The Company behind the solar panels

Quality technology is important in selection of solar panels, monocrystalline and polycrystalline are both proven technologies though and should be treated as good quality solar components, Niether mono or poly should be seen as better than the other silicon solar cells are proven technologies, and one should not automatically be considered better than the other. Manufacturing equipment for silicon wafers is now more readily available now than it ever has been in the past, importantly though R&D (research and design) investment by a manufacturer is usually indicative of the company’s intentions to quality and the initiative moving forward to better their products. Also showing that the company is whiling to spend the money on the assumption they will be around for a while to come, to recoup the costs their whiling to put into R&D.

Solar panel warranty

Nearly all the solar panels on the market now, whether they be mono or poly have a 25 year performance warranty, this s now standard across the board. This warranty can be as high as the 30 years with some manufactures.  This is showing an understanding in the industry that solar panels should be good for 25 years.  The manufacturing warranty of nearly all solar panels though should be at least 10 years now as this is also the induxtry standard.  When using these two warranty details, please keep in mind that if the manufacturing warrantyruns out after 10 years and the panel malfuntions at year 11 then the perforance warranty that may be 25 years, most likely will be null invoid.

So in summing up, if you were looking for a good top of the range Solar panel there is a good chance that the solar panel your looking for will be a tier one panel manufacturer and you should have a little price of mind that the panels we want installed are more likely to have the quality and design with customer service you require.  By no means does this discount some solar panels on the market that do not fit into the Tier one category, it nearly means they don’t fit all criteria above and due file fence should be made before making any decision.


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