Choosing solar panels that can last for decades
High electricity prices and climate change awareness have led to the meteoric rise of the Australian solar market. More and more Australians are disconnecting from the grid and switching to solar energy to power their homes and businesses. However, with thousands of solar panel installers out there, it can be overwhelming for a beginner to choose the right system.
Does quality really matter when it comes to solar panels? Many people have this misconception that all solar panels are the same, but the truth is only a handful of manufacturers in Australia provide reliable, top-quality solar systems.
Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when purchasing solar panels.
1. Assuming that all solar is equal
No, not all solar panels are created equal. Poorly made panels can severely affect the performance and longevity of a solar system.
The first thing to look for when purchasing solar panels is approval from the Clean Energy Council (CEC). This is just the bare minimum. It does not take more than a few tests to get CEC approval in Australia.
Beyond the CEC seal, it is more important to go into the details of how the panels were made. What type of sealing materials were used? Are the panels assembled by hand or machine? How many steps were involved in quality control? Some brands like LG cost more because they are designed to deliver decades of performance.
Beware of companies that install inferior solar products. Unfortunately, there are quite a few reports of Australian installers closing shop, leaving consumers with defective solar panels on the roof.
2. Choosing the cheapest components
While it can be tempting to choose the lowest bid, this is not the way to go when investing in solar power. When comparing quotes from different installers, be sure to weigh all factors such as capacity, efficiency, quality, warranty, and customer service – not just the price.
Low-priced solar panels may provide decent performance upon installation but can quickly degrade due to the harsh Australian weather. Below are some of the common problems you might encounter if you choose low-quality PV panels.
- Significant reduction in the amount of electricity generated by the panels
- Discolouration of the solar panels, which most warranties do not cover
- Burnt spots or snail trails on the solar panels are also not under warranty
- Peeling of the back layer of the solar panels could expose the internal connections and pose a fire risk
Some people buy cheap inverters to save money for premium panels. This is not a sound strategy. Remember that the inverter is the most hardworking component of a solar array. The inverter is responsible for converting direct current (DC) from the solar panel into alternating current (AC) to power your home or business. Whenever there is a change in the weather – cloud cover or intensity of sunlight – the inverter adjusts the converted electricity. Therefore, the role of the solar inverter is crucial in yield monitoring and management.
Selecting the best inverter ensures that your system makes the most out of the available sunlight. While cheap solar inverters break down after a year or two, quality inverters installed back in 2005 are still running today. Invest in a good solar panel and a well-known brand of inverter for maximum results.
Sealants are also a vital component of solar systems. They keep moisture from seeping into the junction box on the rear of the module to protect internal connections. Sealants also bond the laminates onto the metal frame. Thus, the material could react with the plastic and cause premature degradation with the wrong sealant. Note that non-flammable sealants are a better option than cheaper flammable alternatives. When assessing solar panels, look closely for evidence of good workmanship. Sealants must be applied with precision with no excess material leaking into the glass.
Accessories that are certified to Australian standards are also essential for the long-term performance of a solar power system. Top-quality mounting accessories keep your panels secure and help extend the life of the system.
3. Taking solar warranties for granted
When it comes to solar panel warranty, company credibility is crucial. You want to buy from a manufacturer that has an office in Australia. As mentioned earlier, most solar panel manufacturers that supply the Australian market do not have any local operations. This makes it almost impossible for customers to claim product and performance warranties when problems arise.
Why does solar panel quality matter?
Australian weather can be brutal for any electrical device. When it comes to solar panels, the upfront investment can be expensive. That is why you want to ensure that your system performs well for a very long time. Most companies offer a 25-year performance warranty. During this period, your solar array will be exposed to more than 100,000 hours of sunshine plus wind, rain, and hail. Low-quality panels will not be able to withstand these hot and cold extremes for many years.
Here at Aztech Solar, we are committed to providing our customers with high-quality solar products sourced only from reputable companies. We have been serving clients in Sydney, Newcastle, Central Coast, Hunter Area, and North Coast for over a decade. Over the years, we have built good relationships with the best brands to ensure the delivery of premium solar components to our residential and commercial solar clients.
Aztech Solar is 100% Australian owned so you will never have to worry about warranties not being honoured. Our in-house electrical engineers, accredited installers, Level 2 electricians, and service team guarantee top-notch installation and aftersales service.
If you work with Aztech Solar, you are guaranteed:
- Custom installation specifically designed for your needs
- Smart solar monitoring
- 12-year workmanship warranty
- Free home energy assessment
The quality of solar panels is one of the most important things to consider when installing a solar array on your roof. Switching to solar power is an expensive and long-term investment so you want to make sure that your panels, inverters, and accessories perform efficiently throughout the years. Call us on 02 4067 2634 or get your free onsite quote today.