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The Best Solar Panel Brands in Australia

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A set of solar panels can be one of the most important purchases for your home, especially now when the spotlight is on renewable energy sources. Superior quality panels will reliably deliver the energy you need, dramatically reduce your power bills, and help Australia reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.

But not all solar panels are created equally. The market for solar panels in Australia is vast and can be confusing for the average consumer. When weighing up factors such as price, materials and technology, there is so much to choose from.

So, how do you work out which brand delivers the quality you need? We’ll give you the rundown on the best solar panel brands in Australia and what to look for.

Warranty

When investing in solar energy, the warranty of the product is a key consideration. In Australia’s highly varied and sometimes harsh climate, you might have to contend with a few major weather events over the lifespan of your solar panels. A long and generous warranty is essential for peace of mind and is a mark of high quality.

We supply panels with some of the best warranties available in the market, so our customers can rest easy whenever they buy a product for their home or business.

The stand-out performer in this category is Hyundai Solar, which gives customers a 25-year product warranty and a 25-year performance warranty. Considering that most manufacturers offer fewer than 20 years on their product warranties, Hyundai Solar’s offering is very generous indeed.

The runner-up is Sunport Solar, which offers a huge 30-year performance warranty, along with a 15-year product warranty.

Other great choices are AE Solar (30-year performance warranty) and REC Solar (20-year product warranty. In fact, solar panel customers are a bit spoiled for choice when it comes to ample warranties.

Winner: Hyundai Solar

Runner-up: Sunport Solar

Energy Efficiency

The efficiency rating of a solar panel shows you how much sunlight converts into electricity you can use. The higher the efficiency rating, the more sunlight that panel can turn into usable power.

For example, if a solar panel has an 18% efficiency rating, that means 18% of the solar energy directed at the panel is converted into electricity.

Currently, the industry standard for energy efficiency hovers between 15% and 20%. With this in mind, REC Solar is an excellent choice. REC Solar’s Alpha range has an impressive 21.70% efficiency rate on its 380-watt panels. At that rate, you’re guaranteed to keep your home or business powered with Solar energy throughout the year even with large variations in sunshine levels. It’s worth giving Sunport a mention, too, as the Maxeon 3 solar panels are some of the most efficient out there in the market, with the lowest degradation.

Coming in second place is Longi, with its superb Hi-Mo range that offers 21.30% efficiency. With such high-quality products available in the market, choosing an efficient solar panel often comes down to a difference of one percentage point or less.

Winner: REC Solar

Runner up: Longi

Weather Resistance

Whether you’re in sunny Perth, tropical Queensland or any place in between, your property will be exposed to potentially wild weather all year round. Solar panels in Australia must be able to pass national industry standards for durability before a sale, so you can be assured that your panels will withstand rain, wind, salty sea air, hail and even snow across the seasons.

However, just as vehicles can sometimes get damaged by Aussie weather, solar panels can also suffer storm damage if they’re not top quality. Potential induced degradation (PID) quickly becomes an issue in poor-quality solar systems when they’re exposed to high temperatures and humidity. In some systems, the photovoltaic (PV) modules inside panels can lose power by as much as 70% in the first 18 months due to PID.

The REC Solar brand is an outstanding choice for weather resistance. Manufactured in Singapore, REC Solar panels are built to withstand hot and humid climates, making them a top choice for your solar energy solutions. In some of the industry’s toughest tests, REC’s panels have shown zero power loss due to PID. They also sport a rating for withstanding hailstones as large as 35mm wide, while most brands can resist up to 25mm.

Judging this category is tough as there are so many great products available, but we are especially proud to sell Ulica Solar, which comes a close second thanks to its 3800pa wind load rating and proven anti-PID strength.

Winner: REC Solar

Runner up: Ulica Solar

Cell Technology

Knowing what a solar panel is made of is just as important as any other factor, but things can get technical here, so we’ll just outline the essentials.

Looking closely at the cell technology of solar panels, there are several distinctions to look out for. Monocrystalline panels, for example, are usually black in colour and tend to work more efficiently than multicrystalline (or polycrystalline) models, which usually appear dark blue. Monocrystalline panels offer a sleek, modern appearance that looks great on a roof from afar.

Panels containing PERC cells (also known as Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell or Passivated Emitter and Rear Contact) are known to be more efficient than non-PERC cell panels, as they can reflect more light at the back of the cell. We won’t skimp on quality, so we stock a wide range of Monocrystalline and PERC cell panels. To be fair, it’s hard to pick a single winner! However, we’re going to talk about Sunport.

Founded in 2012, Sunport is a pioneer of the MWT – metal wrap through – technology. This advanced technology ensures that every panel provided by Sunport has an impressive cell efficiency over 21.5%! In 2018, Dr. Martin Green – Scientia Professor at the University of NSW – joined Sunport as their Chief Scientist. His contributions to photovoltaics are well documented, and that includes holding the record for silicon solar cell efficiency for 30 years. Our winner is a clear one when it comes to cell efficiency.

In second place is AE Solar, a solar panel brand of outstanding quality. AE Solar panels are PERC cell-based, so they will last for many years to come with reliable power output.

Winner: Sunport

Runner up: AE Solar

And the winner is…

The competition is tight, but we’ll have to name REC Solar the winner. It’s an outstanding brand in all the key criteria. As you can see, the choices of solar panel brands in Australia is of remarkably high quality in accordance with local standards, so you’re more likely to find a great system that suits your budget.

Here at Think Renewable, we live and breathe solar. If you’d like to learn more about investing in solar energy, reducing your power bills and saving the environment, contact us to get started.

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