When we look at solar panels, we find that in general panels are all similar in performance, although these all have slightly different characteristics and warranties. Over the past twelve years solar panels have become more efficient each generation. In the early days we had two options in the UK market, Polycrystalline & Monocrystalline. Poly panels were much more economical to purchase than Mono panels because these were much cheaper to manufacture. Larger installations such as the big solar farms would always decide on Poly panels. However, over the past ten years the marketplace has changed with the worldwide take-up of solar. I was at a solar panel conference last year and all the solar panel manufactures where there such as LG, SunPower, JA Solar etc. They all confirmed that Poly panels will become obsolete over the coming years mainly because Mono panels have become as cost effective to manufacture as Poly panels.
There are so many manufactures producing solar modules and to be honest, I am not going to go through all of these, but will highlight my recommendations and what could be right for you.
These are an excellent choice. They have been designed with the aesthetics in mind, and they have designed some of these with the absence of electrodes on the front creating a much sleeker appearance. They also have the bifacial panels with cells at the front and back, but to be honest for a house with dark tiles on the roof your generation wouldn’t be much improved because the light would need to bounce off the tile and hit the underside of the panel. Dark tiles will struggle reflecting the light. Warranties are excellent 25-year product and 25-year performance.
The only disadvantage I can really think of is cost, in general you pay double for the LG panels than you would for a standard panel.
JA Solar Panels
Are a market leader within the industry founded in 2005 with a cumulative shipment of over 50gw with sound financial conditions, I would always recommend these as a good quality Panel. They offer a full range of 60 cell up to 72 cell panels and wattage range between 270w up to 545w with Perc technology and a full range of Bifacial mono panels. Standard warranty is 12-year manufactures and 20-year power output warranty.
To be honest, I have been installing these for many years and highly recommend these on performance and are extremely competitively priced.
Residential and commercial panels are backed by the industry-leading 25-year coverage of the SunPower Complete Confidence panel warranty. Each panel is manufactured with the absolute confidence to deliver more energy, reliability and savings over time—and reinforced by extensive third-party testing and field data from more than 35 million panels deployed worldwide to ensure you get the best warranty available and complete peace of mind.
The only thing I can say is they are not the most cost-effective panels in the marketplace, but like LG these are again an excellent choice.
Solar Panel Conclusion
I have been in the industry for some 12 – years and have installed systems ranging from the standard 4Kwp up to 1mw, I have found generally they very rarely go wrong, this is why I always question installing the most expensive panels. As an example, some of the more expensive panel manufacturers estimate an increased generation of 30% more power over 30 years, which is still an increase, but it is a very insignificant increase considering the extra cost involved. In my opinion you need a good quality manufacture who has been around for many years, which should give you confidence when purchasing knowing that they will be there if you need to claim on your warranty.