The 7 Most Efficient Solar Panels (2023 Guide)
Solar panel efficiency ratings indicate how well solar panels convert sunlight into usable energy. The higher the efficiency, the better the energy conversion and electricity production. Investing in high-quality solar panels with excellent efficiency rates helps maximize your potential energy savings.
Our team invested over 90 hours researching the most efficient solar panels from top panel manufacturers. Along with our top picks, we’ll explain factors that impact panel efficiency and offer guidance on choosing the best options from leading solar panel companies.
Important Note: Sunpower only installs panels from its manufacturing partner, Maxeon. Get a quote from one of the certified installers below to install any other solar panel brand.
Compare Most Efficient Solar Panels
For a full breakdown of the most efficient solar panels on the market, check out the table below.
Our Top Most Efficient Solar Panels for Homes
Pros 25 years of labor cost coverage Panels offer high efficiency and affordability Various power output options are available Cons Limited model variety for residential customers Low end-of-warranty output levels Some models require more roof space
- Q.PEAK DUO BLK-G10: These all-black panels provide efficiency rates of up to 20.6% with performance output up to 370 watts (W).
- Q.PEAK DUO BLK ML-G10: This panel offers up to 410 W with efficiency rates of up to 20.9%
- Why we chose it: Silfab panels include a 30-year panel performance guarantee with each model, along with excellent efficiency ratings. This is one of the longest performance warranties of our reviewed panels.
- Average Panel Efficiency: 18.9%–21.4%
- Warranty: 25-year manufacturer’s warranty and 30-year power guarantee
Pros 30-year performance guarantee Four high-efficiency panel options Panels made specifically for North American homeowners Cons Lower power ratings than other panels No certified installer program Third-party manufacturing process
- Silfab Prime line: This line includes the SIL-400 HC and SIL-370 HC models with efficiency ratings as high as 18.9%.
- Silfab Elite line: Explicitly made for U.S. homes, the SIL-410 BG and SIL-380 BK models offer up to 21.44% efficiency.
- Why we chose it: Canadian Solar provides monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels, catering to various homeowner budgets. The company also offers do-it-yourself (DIY) solar panel options, including portable solar power kits. It also has high-efficiency heterojunction (HJT) panel options, which combine two cellular technologies into one for increased efficiency.
- Average Panel Efficiency: 18.7%–22%
- Warranty: 25-year performance warranty and 12- to 15-year manufacturer warranty (varies by panel model)
Pros Advanced PERC and HJT panel options DIY solar panel kits and portable energy solutions Monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels Cons Panels are not ideal for roofs with limited space Panel performance declines in warmer environments Product warranties fall below the 25-year industry standard
- HiKu line: This line offers monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels with outputs ranging between 330 W and 555 W and efficiency ratings up to 21.5%.
- HiKu Black line: A line of all-black monocrystalline panels with 20.9% efficiency ratings.
- HiHero line : These new models use HJT technology with a 22% efficiency rating.
- DIY Solar kits: Canadian Solar offers the Maple 3 DIY solar kit. a portable lighting and power solar system.
- Why we chose it: Panasonic solar panels have an excellent temperature coefficient, making them great for hotter climates. They’re also tested to withstand weather conditions such as high winds and heavy snow.
- Average Panel Efficiency: 21.2%–21.7%
- Warranty: 25-year warranty for parts, product, labor, and performance
Pros 92% guaranteed end-of-warranty output Excellent performance in hot climates Lower degradation rates compared to other manufacturers Cons Costs less than SunPower but more than other manufacturers Limited high-performance panel options Outsourced panel manufacturing as of March 2022
- Evervolt H Series: This line includes two models with up to 22% efficiency and 400 W power output options.
- Evervolt HK Black Series: These all-black panels provide efficiency ratings of up to 21.2%.
- Why we chose it: REC puts its panels through testing three times more rigorous than other manufacturers. Its panels can withstand extreme temperature changes and perform well in most climates.
- Average Panel Efficiency: 19.1%–22.3%
- Warranty: REC offers 20–25 year product and labor warranties and 25-year performance coverage. Warranty coverage varies by panel model.
Pros Durability tests are three times more rigorous than other brands Excellent panel performance in extreme heat or cold Panels with HJT cell technology Cons High-end models have very high price tags REC installer required to receive 25-year warranty coverage Some models only offer an 86% end-of-warranty output guarantee
- REC Alpha Pure-R: These panels use HJT technology and offer up to 430 W of output and 22.3% efficiency.
- REC Alpha Pure: This HJT line offers lower power outputs up to 410 W and peaks at 22.2% efficiency.
- REC N-Peak 2: This series includes N-type monocrystalline panels with up to 20.3% efficiency and 370 W power output.
- REC Twinpeak 4: This line offers up to 370 W output and maxes out at 20.3% efficiency.
- Why we chose it: Maxeon has some of the best high-efficiency residential solar panels. These panels work well on roofs with limited space and are offered in sleek all-black models.
- Average Panel Efficiency: 20%–22.8%
- Warranty: 25-year product and power production warranties
Pros 92% guaranteed end-of-warranty panel output 25-year product warranty and power production guarantee High-efficiency panels with ratings up to 22.8% Cons Panel availability varies by ZIP code Panels sold by SunPower installers and authorized dealers only Priced higher than other panel manufacturers, according to customer reviews
- Blue Raven Solar
- Additional authorized dealers and Master Dealers (varies by state)
- A Series: These panels provide up to 22.8% efficiency and offer up to a 420 W output.
- X Series: This model offers similar overall efficiency rates in a more compact size.
- E Series: This line provides offers output levels up to 435 W and up to 20% efficiency
- Why we chose it: Longi offers lower-priced panels with above-average efficiency ratings. Though they don’t have the same high-powered performance as premium panels, they offer good energy generation for less money.
- Average Panel Efficiency: 20.3%–21.2%
- Warranty: Longi offers a 12-year limited product and workmanship warranty, plus 25 years of performance coverage.
Pros Cost less than premium panel options Panel design uses both half-cut and PERC cells for improved efficiency Panels offer above-average efficiencies Cons Only one panel series for residential installations Low end-of-warranty output of 84.8% Shorter product warranty compared to other reviewed panel
- LR4-60HPH: This model ranges up to 385 W with efficiency as high as 20.9%.
- LR4-66HPH: These panels offer higher output up to 425 W with 20.8 efficiency ratings.
- LR4-72HPH: These high-power panels have efficiency ratings up to 21.2% and offer outputs as high as 460 W.
What Is Solar Panel Efficiency and Why Does it Matter?
Solar companies use solar efficiency to measure solar panels’ ability to convert sunlight into usable electricity. Efficiency ratings are expressed as a percentage to help you quickly compare the different panels’ performance. For example, if a solar panel has a 25% efficiency rate, 25% of its captured energy is converted into usable electricity.
Building a solar energy system that operates at a higher efficiency leads to a better return on investment (ROI). Below are several significant reasons to consider optimizing your solar power system for peak performance.
Solar panels pay for themselves within six to 10 years on average. However, if your panels operate at peak efficiency, you may be able to close that gap faster. efficient solar panels have excellent energy production, leading to better savings on electricity bills.
Space Efficiency and Lower Impact of Project
High-quality solar panels offer better efficiency and power production, leading to fewer panels in your installation. Fewer panels also mean less crowding and more roof space. Monocrystalline panels work especially well for homes with limited roof space. Although monocrystalline panels are more expensive, their higher efficiency rate means you’ll cut down on labor and material costs compared to buying less efficient, cheaper solar panels.
Efficiency by Type of Solar Panel
A solar panel’s efficiency rate depends mainly on its type. Monocrystalline solar panels are currently the most common, efficient, and cost-effective option for a solar energy system. However, polycrystalline or thin-film solar panels may better fit your home if you have excess roof space or low energy needs. We’ll discuss the different types of solar panels below.
Average per-watt cost based on wholesale (without installation). Cost data from Aurora Solar
Monocrystalline (or mono) panels use a single silicon crystal in their construction. This single crystal provides better sunlight conversion, improving efficiency and energy production. These panels have an all-black appearance, allowing them to blend in better with rooftop designs.
Mono panels come in more compact sizes, making them suitable for homes with limited roof space. They also work well in low-light conditions, which is ideal for cloudy areas. Due to their higher efficiency and production costs, mono panels are pricier than other panel options.
Pros and Cons
Pros Features an average efficiency of 15%–23% Has the longest average life span of 25–40 years Requires less roof space than other panels
Cons Has a higher up-front cost than other solar panel types Less efficient in cold conditions wasteful manufacturing process
Polycrystalline (poly) panels incorporate multiple silicon structures in their design. They have more inconsistencies within the solar cell, resulting in lower efficiency. These panels have a blue hue, making them more visible on rooftop installations. Since they provide lower energy production levels, you’ll need more poly panels to support your energy needs. These panels work best at home with ample roof space and sunlight. Poly panels cost less to manufacture than mono panels, resulting in lower pricing.
Pros and Cons
Pros Features an average efficiency of 13%–16% Costs less than monocrystalline solar panels Has an average life span of 25–35 years
Cons Has a lower power output than monocrystalline Requires more roof space than mono panels Features a noticeable blue hue
Thin-film solar panels use thin layers of photovoltaic substance in their design, making them more flexible. These panels weigh less than mono and poly varieties but offer the lowest overall efficiency ratings. Thin-film panels have the thinnest construction, making for an easy installation. However, they lack durability and have a shorter life span than other panel options. This is why they’re the least expensive solar panel option. Most solar installers won’t recommend thin-film panels for your home. They may be incorporated into smaller-scale solar projects, such as a shed or garage.
Pros and Cons
Pros Most affordable solar panel option Weighs less than poly and mono panels Works well for small-scale solar projects
Cons Features an efficiency between 7%–12% Lasts between 10 and 20 years Requires maximum roof space to perform well
What Factors Impact Solar Panel Efficiency?
Other physical attributes can impact solar panel efficiency. We’ve listed some of the most significant panel features to look out for below.
Solar panel backing determines how much sunlight is reflected instead of converted to electricity. The less sunlight a panel reflects, the more efficient it is. Many companies add antireflective coatings to increase efficiency.
Solar Cell Type
A solar cell is a small electrical device that converts sunlight into electricity through the photovoltaic (PV) effect. Most solar cell technology is made from small components called crystalline silicon (c-Si) wafers. Single crystals are used to create monocrystalline silicon solar panels. Multiple crystals are used for polycrystalline panels. When ordered correctly, solar cells from a single crystal have higher efficiency than those pieced together from multiple crystals.
Thin-film solar panels use cells made from amorphous silicon (a-Si). These cells’ atoms are randomly arranged rather than being in an ordered crystalline structure. As a result, they’re less efficient.
Improper wiring can significantly impact your solar panel system’s efficiency. Different solar modules may have slightly different electrical and wiring components. A mismatch during installation can lead to performance loss. The same issue can occur if inverters between solar panels are mismatched.
For example, you might buy various monocrystalline panels, but each panel’s design may cause a dip in efficiency if they’re not designed to work together. Getting residential solar panels and inverters from the same manufacturer is always best.
What Environmental Factors Impact Solar Panel Efficiency?
Many environmental factors influence a solar power system’s efficiency. A solar installer will consider these factors when calculating your quote and possible savings. Below are the most significant environmental factors that affect system performance.
Typically, solar panels have peak efficiency between 59 degrees Fahrenheit and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Most panels have standard testing conditions of around 77 degrees Fahrenheit. High temperatures can hinder a panel’s performance. If your solar panels get hotter than 130 degrees Fahrenheit, you may experience a performance drop.
Obstructions such as trees, hills, and other buildings may create shaded roof areas at different times of the day. How much this affects solar panel power output depends on how long the shading occurs and the shadow size.
Soiling refers to the accumulation of debris, such as dust or snow, on your solar panels’ surfaces. This debris reduces the amount of sunlight that reaches the solar cells, causing inefficiency. Although most panels are cleaned naturally by rain, you may need additional cleaning if you live in an area susceptible to dust, snow, or drought.
Weather and climate play a critical role in your solar energy system’s performance. Regions that are overcast and have more rain and storms are less suited for solar power than regions with clear skies and plenty of sunshine. Although panels are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, they will impact performance.
Orientation and Angle
The angle of your rooftop and the direction it faces are crucial in determining how optimized your home is for solar power. A south-facing roof is best for solar panels. West and east-facing rooftops also work well but won’t be as efficient. North-facing roofs are often denied for solar panel installation due to their inefficiency.
Additionally, a 30-degree angle is best for year-round solar energy production. Many solar companies will consider an installation if your roof is anywhere between 15–40 degrees, but 30 degrees offers peak performance.
What To Consider When Installing Solar Power Panels
Several influences, such as average energy use, local climate, and roof structure, can affect your future solar panel system. Below are some key factors to consider before installing a solar system.
- Average energy use and spending: In most cases, solar panels help offset energy costs, reducing your monthly spending. However, that’s not the case for every household. You may not benefit from a solar conversion if your home uses little monthly energy or your electricity rates aren’t high.
- Buying or leasing: Cash payments and solar loans offer the best financial benefits, such as qualification for solar incentives and rebates. Solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs) provide little to no money down and keep panel ownership with the solar provider. Although we recommend buying your system, leasing may be a better option if permanent ownership isn’t right for you.
- Local weather and climate: Areas with plentiful sunlight benefit most from solar panels. Your panel performance will reduce if your area has frequent cloudy days, rain, or snow. You may need additional solar panels installed to compensate for low-sunlight conditions.
- Roof space and structural condition: You’ll need ample roof space to house your solar array. Mono panels require fewer modules and less space compared to poly options. You should also check your roof’s structural integrity to ensure it’s in good condition. If your roof needs repair or replacement, you must complete those upgrades before installing a solar system.
- Surrounding trees and roof shading: Check for nearby shading from trees, tall buildings, or other obstructions that could reduce direct sunlight. Partial shading will reduce energy absorbency, lowering panel efficiency and production. If your property contains too much shading, you may need tree removal services to make your home more viable for solar energy.
PhotoVoltaic Solar Panels (On/Off-Grid)
SunPower – The World’s Standard for Solar SunPower’s products hold the world record for energy production. And SunPower® solar panels are the world’s most efficient: up to 50 per cent more energy than conventional panels. If you want to use to the max your roof top look no further!! Recommend 315W SunPower® Maxeon™ panel – SPR-315E-WHT.
Transparent BIPV – 45% Transparent Double Glass (Blue/Black) for Facade/GreenHouse/Skylight/Tiles CNSDPV’s products are normal monocrystalline/polycrystalline modules that allow 45% of light to pass through wrapped in 8mm glass. These BIPV are slightly more expensive than normal modules and are TUV certified and thus are eligable for goverment rebates as well. Recomanded: 190Wp Size: 1.58m 0.808m CNSDPV190(36)S
Borun New Energy – 100MW manufacturer Company can, on request build custom panels to meet any size and power wattage preferred – Cheap but quality TUV certified mono-crystalline polycrystalline modules. Recommend 230W mono-crystalline panel – BRC230W-156M60.
Jinko Solar – 1.5 GW capacity in 2011 Worldwide manufacturer employ more than 10,000 professionals with factories in Shangrao (Jiangxi) and Haining (Zhejiang) covering more than 165 acres. Our Global Marketing Center is located in the modern business area of Pudong, Shanghai. Expanding our international presence by establishing European representative offices in Munich and Bologna, a US office in San Francisco and a logistics warehouse in Rotterdam (in operation since January 2010). IEC, TÜV, UL, VDE, CE, ISO14001 and ISO9001 certified crystalline modules. Recommend cheap 225W polycrystalline panel – JKM225P-60.
Sharp pv systems – already 324 MW in 2004 Sharp was already fascinated by the idea of generating power from sunlight more than 50 years ago. In 2010, they were the #1 producer of PV cells, in terms of revenues. Sharp Solar produces thin film modules and mono and poly-crystalline silicon solar cells. Recommend anything from Sharp but especially best priced 230Wp polycrystalline panel for good efficiency of wattage per space or cheap thin foil 128Wp panel, if space is not an issue and due to better performance at higher temperatures.
Ningxia Yinxing Energy – 300MW manufacturer This experienced on stock exchange company provides top quality modules – mono-crystalline polycrystalline. Ningxia Yinxing Energy panels are similar to Borun but come at a slightly higher price but give a little more watt per square meter. Recommend 195W panel – YXGF-195M72.
First Solar – 1,228MW manufacturer One of the top biggest PV company in the world operating in USA and Germany using cadmium telluride (CdTe) rather than the more common mono / poly. Can be used as building cladding! First Solar are made from thin film material which is less Watt per meter square and are more ideal for large areas like PV farms. Thin film perform better in sun intensive environments. Recommend FS-277 model 77Wp thin foil panel.
Get the most out of your roof top by using Sunpower panels. This manufactuer produces the most efficient panels on the planet available at just slightly higher prices. These panels come with high voltage allowing to use selected inverter efficiently.
SUNPOWER SPR-305E-WHT – 305Wp panel
SUNPOWER SPR-315E-WHT – 315Wp panel
Certifications IEC / EN Certifications
SunPower module products are certified by TÜV Rheinland to comply with IEC standards for photovoltaic design and safety (61215 ed.2 and 61730).
ISO 9001:2008 Certification
The SunPower Corporation Quality Management System has been assessed and certified as meeting the requirements of ISO 9001:2008 for the following scope: The design, manufacture, and delivery/installation of high performance solar electric systems for residential, commercial and utility-scale power plant customers.
Get a futuristic image and generate electricity by using this 8mm glass, 45% transparent, with PV module inside also TUV certified.
BIPV – Size: 1.58m 0.808m – Thick: 8.2mm – Power: from 160Wp to 190Wp
BIPV – Size: 1.196m 0.556m – Thick: 8.2mm – Power: from 70Wp to 100Wp
Certifications IEC/TUV/CQC/CE/SGS/ISO TUV Certifications
These Transparent Modules are TUV certified:
Jinko Solar modules are produced with nanotechnology-based silicon ink and processing platform and are awarded with certificates from recognized institutes including UL, CSA, CEC, TÜV, VDE, MCS and CE. Our factories have also been certified by quality management system ISO 9001:2008 and environment management system ISO 14001:2004. Widely applied in projects covering on-grid and off-grid systems, our high efficiency modules can resist high wind pressure, snow loads, extreme temperatures and strict mechanical loading tests of 5400 Pa.
Click here for all specifications for this premium polycrystalline panels series – 225Wp/230Wp/235Wp/250Wp is available.
Monocrystalline version panel : JKM-195M-72
Click here for specs of this recomanded monocrystalline panel that give high nominal power voltage required to get high voltage sum up to get high effiency from inverter
Sharp, second to none when it comes to solar energy. Best solar panels producer available!
- White tempered glass, EVA resin and a weatherproof film, plus aluminum frame for extended outdoor use
- Output terminal: Lead wire with waterproof connector
- Certifications: IEC 61215 and IEC 61730
- SHARP modules are manufactured in ISO 9001 certified factories
- Modules are Made in Japan
Monocrystalline Panels @ 185Wp
NU185E1 / NU-185(E3E) 185 Watt Mono Crystalline Sharp’s NU-185A1H has superb durability to withstand rigorous operating conditions and is suitable for grid connected systems. High-power module (185W) using 155.55mm square single crystal silicon solar cells with 14.1% module conversion efficiency Photovoltaic module with bypass diode minimises the power drop caused by shade Textured cell surface to reduce the reflection of sunlight and BSF (Back Surface Field) structure to improve cell conversion efficiency: 15.9%
|Cell||48 Monocrystalline (155.55mm)² Sharp silicon solar cells|
|No. of cells and connections||48 in series|
|Maximum system voltage||DC 1000V|
|Series fuse rating||15A|
|Encapsulated Solar Cell Efficiency||15.9%|
|Dimensions||1318 x 994 x 46 mm|
Pholycrystalline Panels @ 230Wp – ND-E230(A2)
- Nominal power – 230,0 Wp
- Voltage at MPP – 37,0 V
- Current at MPP – 8,24 A
- Open-circuit voltage – 3 0,3 V
- Short-circuit current – 7,60 A
- Maximum system voltage – 1.000 V
- Length x Width x Height – 1.652 mm x 994 mm x 46,0 mm
- Weight – 19,0 kg
A5 – 245Wp/250Wp – slightly better panels that have better temparature coefficient, ideal for warmer countries.
Warranty Statement This Sharp product is warranted against faults in materials and manufacture for a period of 5 years from the date of original purchase.
Additionally, Sharp warrants that if the module displays a power output of less than 90% of the minimum power output specified in Sharp’s written specifications during the first ten (10) years, or less than 80% during the period time of twenty five (25) years from the date of original purchase, and Sharp determines, at its sole option, that the power output loss is due to faults in materials or manufacture, then Sharp, at its sole discretion, will repair or replace the module to bring the aggregate power output to the warranted percentage of specified minimum power output.
Rated power output is determined, as a standard, under the test condition of cell temperature of 25 degrees Celsius and irradiance of 1000W per square metre and AM-1.5 spectrum
If service is required during the warranty period, please contact the dealer where the module/ system was originally purchase from.
The owner is responsible for any costs directly or indirectly related to installation, removal, transportation and insurance or re-installation of modules covered under this warranty.
If after the 5 year warranty period, Sharp determines that the module is not providing warranted percentages of specified minimum power output Sharp may at its sole option, use re-manufactured, refurbished or new parts when repairing or replacing a photovoltaic module, to bring the aggregate power output to the warranted percentage of the specified minimum power output. Replaced modules will become the property of Sharp.
Please retain your sales documentation, as this should be produced to validate a warranty claim.
This warranty is in addition to and in no way limits, varies or excludes any express and implied rights and remedies under any relevant legislation in the country of sale.
Warranty Restrictions and Exclusions
The warranty provided does not apply to:
a) Conditions caused by or resulting from installation procedures that do not conform to well accepted and recognised industry standards, or failures in observing the handling method, cautions or warnings given in the installation manuals or similar documents.
b) Conditions arising directly or indirectly from installation in an aero, mobile, or marine environment, war, riots, destruction, fire, explosion, earthquake, storm, typhoon, cyclone, hurricanes, tornado, volcanic action, tidal wave, snowfall, freezing, salt damage, acid rain, power failures, lightening, indirect lightening stroke, flood, damage by insect, animal, land subsidence, crack or landslide, accident, or abnormal environment or pollution, actions of third parties and other events that occur outside of Sharp’s control and not occurring under normal operating conditions, or any phenomena that can not be prevented with the technology available for practical use at time of this warranty.
c) Conditions arising from misuse, negligence, abuse or any human’s intention or fault.
d) Conditions resulting from a defect in components which are not part of Sharp brand photovoltaic module.
e) What does not affect the basic performance and power generating function notwithstanding any external scratch or stain, or natural mechanical wearing which does not represent a defect of Sharp module, corrosion, mould, deterioration, discolouration, and any other factor of similar kind or nature that occurs after delivery of Sharp module, or does not affect the structure, mechanical strength due to slight corrosion.
Under no circumstances shall Sharp be liable for any incidental, consequential, or punitive damages, in any possible way, connected or associated with the listed, Sharp brand, Sharp photovoltaic module. This warranty is the owner’s sole and exclusive remedy and Sharp’s maximum liability under this warranty is limited to the retail purchase price of the module.
First Solar, Inc.
First Solar, Inc. is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of thin film photovoltaic (PV) modules, or solar panels, which can convert sunlight to electricity at competitive prices. Using cadmium telluride (CdTe) as a semiconductor instead of the more common crystalline silicon, First Solar’s modules are economical and productive in a variety of temperature and light conditions.
The Safety Class II @ 1000V is an old certification. All demands of this test are covered by IEC61730 testing. FSEC certificates are only applicable for the installation of the modules in the US. To create an overall standard for modules the radiation has been fixed on one square meter. With this the conversion to all sizes of modules is possible. The modules are flashed under standard test conditions ( Air mass 1,5, module temperature 20°C, radiation 1000W/m²). The data from NOCT (Nominal Operating Cell Temperature) is adapted to different environmental conditions ( in this case : FS 45°C, AM1,5 Air mass for mid-europe, radiation 800W/m²).
Borun New Energy – Monocrystalline silicon cells (270W to 300W)
Borun New Energy – Monocrystalline silicon cells (215W to 245W)
Borun New Energy – Monocrystalline silicon cells (190W to 220W)
Borun New Energy – Monocrystalline silicon cells (165W to 195W)
This company is ready to provide you with any size and wattage setup for your custom needs. Please do ask us to give you setup advices if the above panels are not what you require.
NINGXIA YINXING ENERGY provides warranty:
Monocrystalline silicon cells
Monocrystalline_silicon expalined on Wikipedia.
YXGF-xxxM72 – Monocrystalline silicon cells
YXGF-xxxM72 solar module is connected in series by 72PCS of 125mm125mm monocrystalline silicon cells. The product performance is produced according to IEC61215, IEC61730 international standard. YXGF-195M72 solar module include 180Wp\185Wp\190Wp\195Wp\200Wp etc specs. It can also be tailored to special requirements of customers.
N.B. Models covered by TUV certificate are: 180M72, 185M72, 190M72 195M72
|Maximum power voltage||36.5V||37.6V||37.1V||37.1V||37.1V|
|Maximum power current||4.95A||4.893A||5.11A||5.26A||5.41A|
|Open circuit voltage||44.6V||45.1V||44.6V||44.6V||45.3V|
|Short circuit current||5.49A||5.266A||5.56A||5.64A||5.71A|
|Operating Temperature||-40Celsius Degree to90 Celsius Degree|
|Maximum system voltage||1000V DC|
|Series fuse rating||15A|
|Power Tolerance||± 3%|
|Model No.: YXGF-195M72|
|Cells: Monocrystalline 125125mm|
|No.of cells and connections: 72 in series 612|
YXGF-290M72 – Monocrystalline silicon cells – New (Not yet TUV certified)
YXGF-290M72 solar module is connected in series by 72PCS of 156mm156mm monocrystalline silicon cells. The product performance is produced according to IEC61215, IEC61730 international standard.
N.B. This Model is not yet covered by TUV certificate.
|Maximum power voltage||37.1V|
|Maximum power current||7.82A|
|Open circuit voltage||44.6V|
|Short circuit current||8.36A|
|Operating Temperature||-40 Celsius Degree to90 Celsius Degree|
|Maximum system voltage||1000V DC|
|Series fuse rating||15A|
|Power Tolerance||± 3%|
|Model No.: YXGF-290M72|
|Cells: Monocrystalline 156156mm|
|No.of cells and connections: 72 in series 612|
|Installation Dimensions: 1456942 to 956942mm|
Polycrystalline silicon cells
Polycrystalline_silicon expalined on Wikipedia.
YXGF-xxxP60 – Polycrystalline silicon cells
YXGF-xxxP60 solar module is connected in series by 60 PCS of 156mm 156mm polycrystalline silicon cells. The product performance is produced according to IEC61215, IEC61730 international standard. YXGF-240P60 solar module include 230Wp\235Wp\240Wp\245Wp\250Wp\255Wp etc specs. It can also be tailored to special requirements of customers.
N.B. Models covered by TUV certificate are: 230P60, 235P60 240P60
|Maximum power voltage||30.78V||30.96V||30V||30V||30V||30V|
|Maximum power current||7.505A||7.556A||8.03A||8.15A||8.33A||8.52A|
|Open circuit voltage||36.9V||37.02V||36.6V||37.2V||37.2V||37.2V|
|Short circuit current||8.022A||8.067A||8.48A||8.60A||8.91A||8.98A|
|Operating Temperature||-40 Celsius Degree to 90 Celsius Degree|
|Maximum system voltage||1000V DC|
|Series fuse rating||15A|
|Power Tolerance||± 3%|
YXGF-xxxP72 – Polycrystalline silicon cells
YXGF-xxxP72 solar module is connected in series by 72 PCS of 156mm 156mm polycrystalline silicon cells. The product performance is produced according to IEC61215, IEC61730 international standard. YXGF-290P72 solar module include 275Wp\280Wp\285Wp\290Wp\295Wp\300Wp\305Wp etc specs. It can also be tailored to special requirements of customers.
N.B. Models covered by TUV certificate are: 275P72, 280P72, 285P72 290P72
|Maximum power voltage||36.79V||36V||36V||36V||36V||36V||36V|
|Maximum power current||7.439A||7.79A||7.91A||8.03A||8.19A||8.33A||8.47A|
|Open circuit voltage||44.1V||43.9V||44.6V||44.6V||44.6V||44.6V||44.6V|
|Short circuit current||7.961A||8.34A||8.46A||8.48A||8.76A||8.91A||9.06A|
|Operating Temperature||-40 Celsius Degree to 90 Celsius Degree|
|Maximum system voltage||1000V DC|
|Series fuse rating||15A|
|Power Tolerance||± 3%|
|Trademark: Yinxing Energy|
|Company Productivity: 300mw/Year|
|Use: Solar Power Plant|
|Application: Solar Working Station|
|Export Markets: North America, Eastern Europe, Mid East, Eastern Asia, Western Europe|
|Company: Ningxia Yinxing Energy Photovoltaic Equipment Manufacturing Co., Ltd.|
Apart from TUV, our models are certified with ISO, CE for EUROPE and other certificates like RoHS. ETC and meet IEC61215, IEC 61730 and US UL1703 International Electrician Standards.
YXGF-200P60 @ 200Wp, YXGF-205P60 @ 205Wp, YXGF-210P60 @ 210Wp, YXGF-215P60 @ 215Wp, YXGF-220P60 @ 220Wp, YXGF-225P60 @ 225Wp, YXGF-230P60 @ 230Wp, YXGF-235P60 @ 235Wp, YXGF-240P60 @ 240Wp.
YXGF-240P72 @ 240Wp, YXGF-245P72 @ 245Wp, YXGF-250P72 @ 250Wp, YXGF-255P72 @ 255Wp, YXGF-260P72 @ 260Wp, YXGF-265P72 @ 265Wp, YXGF-270P72 @ 270Wp, YXGF-275P72 @ 275Wp, YXGF-280P72 @ 280Wp, YXGF-285P72 @ 285Wp, YXGF-290P72 @ 290Wp.
YXGF-160P72 @ 160Wp, YXGF-165P72 @ 165Wp, YXGF-170P72 @ 170Wp, YXGF-175P72 @ 175Wp, YXGF-180P72 @ 180Wp, YXGF-185P72 @ 185Wp, YXGF-190P72 @ 190Wp, YXGF-195P72 @ 195Wp. Alternative YXGF-175M72 TUV Certificate for other Nongxia plant.
SunPower Tesla Solar — Rooftop Solar Comparison
As part of my family’s journey to learn more about residential renewable energy, I decided to look into solar panels for our house. We are in the middle of Texas, and who can forget power going out for one week across the entire state in February. We were fortunate, but many of our neighbors had to be without power for a week. The state has done minimal winter weatherization for the coming winter. I fear this winter will be bad, and if not this winter, an upcoming one in short order. Natural gas are spiking across the world. According to the Dallas Fed, natural gas and coal make up the majority of power production in Texas. The good news is that wind and solar have made great strides in Texas, but there is much more to go.
A friend of mine mentioned that their average electric bill has increased to 170 a month this year from 140 a month last year. That’s a 20% increase. Retail consumers may have been isolated if they had a fixed rate plan during the freeze. Utilities had to keep buying at ridiculous wholesale prices. I’m sure they will lobby the government for rate increases to make up for all their losses. We can assume electricity will go up over the coming years. If the world continues warming, and summers get longer and hotter, that’s another reason our electric bills will go up.
Enter rooftop solar and batteries. The first step is having 12 months of electric bills handy. You want to calculate your total kilowatt-hours used in one year. That starts with finding your current electric rate. Ours is 10.9 cents per kWh. Our energy consumption was 14,400 kWh in a year. Our average electric bill was about 131 a month.
Second step: contact many solar providers to get a quote. Tesla makes it easy on its website. Enter your address and Tesla will tell you how much solar and how many Powerwalls you need. Our address was not found, so Tesla asked us to enter some house information.
Below is what Tesla recommends for a Solar Roof. Tesla is quoting 69,500 after the US federal tax credit, 100% estimated energy offset of our annual monthly bill, and 3 days of backup power using a Powerwall. Considering my roof was 35,000 to fix three years ago, and labor and construction costs have increased since then, this seems competitive.
Below is Tesla’s quote for solar panels. This is a great price. Tesla would provide a 8.5 kW solar panel system along with 1 Powerwall battery. The cash price is 20,412 after the federal tax credit. The estimated energy offset is 73%, which means 73% of 140 would be offset. Be wary of solar companies providing you a 100% solar offset of your energy bill. Your roof’s potential has to take into account trees, roof shading, weather, pitch of your roof, and which direction the solar panels would be facing. The solar panel preference in the northern hemisphere is south facing or an azimuth of 180 degrees. Azimuth is the angle of your roof position from true north, with roofs facing true north having an azimuth of 0 degrees, and those facing south having 180 degrees. The opposite will be true for those in the southern hemisphere. A pitch of 30 degrees is ideal for solar production. Tesla offers financing of 10 years, with 10% down and 2.99% APR. For the below system, that comes to a price of 240 a month. Readers will note that is almost double our 140 a month in current electric costs.
Savvy readers may ask, how long is the system guaranteed for? How much will it produce after 25 years? Tesla informs us on its Service and Warranty | Tesla Support page:
Your solar panels are guaranteed by their manufacturer to at least 80% of nameplate power capacity for at least 25 years.
Your entire Tesla solar system is covered by a 10-year comprehensive warranty.
This includes the following aspects of your solar system. For details and exclusions, you can check your specific purchase agreement.
I’m not thrilled the worst case capacity of the system might decrease by 20% over 25 years. That would leave us with a system size equivalent of 6.8 kW after 25 years. The average production size over 25 years is 7.65 kW (8.5 6.8, divided by 2). According to my utility, each 1 kW of system capacity facing south will generate 1,533 kWh per year. Taking the average system, we calculated that multiplying by 25 years and multiplying by 1,533 kWh gives us a total of 293,186 kWh produced. Our total cost is 240 12 months 10 years, for a total cost of 28,800. That’s a cost of 9.8 cents per kWh after the credit. This cost would be locked in for as long as we own the panels. As a reminder, that includes one Powerwall battery, which makes this a great deal, especially if the power is to go out. There is a new option that allows you to remove a Powerwall if you don’t want one.
If you are interested in Tesla Solar, feel free to use my referral link.
Use my referral link to purchase Solar Roof or Solar Panels and get up to 500 award upon system activation: https://ts.la/vijay59877
We recently mentioned SunPower’s move to help historically marginalized communities here. I’m supportive of the move. SunPower is listed on the Nasdaq as a public company. This week, the company decided to FOCUS purely on residential systems and sell off its commercial and industrial solar division. CNBC has more info.
I contacted the company on its website and set up an appointment. I met with Salvador V. twice over the course of a week. Below is some key information from the proposal we reviewed.
Above: A picture of our roof. We upsized our system by adding four more panels from the original proposal (dark orange).
SunPower would install 22 panels, with a total solar system size of 7.194 kW. Lifetime production is estimated at 264,337 kWh. To repeat, we had calculated my monthly bill to be 131. Based on that, the system would offset 78% of my electricity consumption.
The total out of cost was noted as 24,287 after the US federal tax credit. (Note: This does not include a Powerwall battery or any kind of energy storage battery.) The monthly cost of the system would be 109 a month over 25 years. That is how long SunPower will warranty the system, 25 years, which is phenomenal. Salvador noted a Powerwall from SunPower is an extra 16,000. Tesla Solar has a Powerwall listed for 10,500. The interest rate they offered me was 1.99%. Over 25 years, the total cost is 32,700 (109 12 25). If we divide that by a total production of 264,337, that gives us a total cost of 12.4 cents a kWh.
SunPower’s warranty specifies the DC power will decline by no more than 2% a year for the first year, and the following years will not decline by more than 0.25% a year for the next 24 years. That means the system will be guaranteed to generate 92% of its capacity after 25 years. SunPower will repair, replace, or refund the original purchase price over 25 years for any valid claim. In their own words:
“… will be at least 92% of the Minimum Peak Power rating (the “Guaranteed Peak Power” rating) and the AC power of the system will be at least 90% of the Peak System Power for the full 25-year warranty period.”
That is an impressive warranty. When you install a solar system, the parts can be from different distributors and labor from another subcontractor. Who do you go to if you have a warranty claim? What happens if your part is no longer available? SunPower makes it easy. The company sells all of its equipment to one state distributor, and that distributor is captive to SunPower. In our case, Freedom Energy is SunPower’s captive distributor in Texas. If we had a warranty claim, I would contact my rep, Salvador. Freedom Energy would be responsible for the labor, fixing the system, and any parts needed under a claim. If needed, we can add a battery or more panels in the future. If you are in Texas and have interest in SunPower, you can contact my rep Salvador at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mention my name, Vijay Govindan, to him and you’ll save money on the system, I’ll make money, and we’ll being doing good together.
After all was said and done, we went with SunPower for a few reasons. Reason 1: the lower monthly cost. Reason 2: no down payment. We can invest the down payment and 111 monthly savings compared to Tesla Solar in outside investments. Reason 3: the higher production capacity of the panels over 25 years. This advantage is offset by the larger Tesla Solar system size. Reason 4: time. SunPower estimates it can get the licensing, permitting, HOA approvals, and installation done within 2 months. I do not know how long it would take for Tesla Solar to do the same. I might not know until I finalize my order. Reason 5: the peace of mind of the long warranty period and ease of getting claims resolved. Reasons against the SunPower system are the expensive cost of the battery, higher system cost, smaller system size, and no battery being included in the proposal. If you can pay cash for your system, it’s a no-brainer — go with Tesla Solar and invest your savings. The SunPower app is not as good as Tesla’s, but with the changes at the top of the article, I am sure they will work to improve it soon.
The bottom line is, whoever you go with — Tesla Solar, SunPower, someone else, or doing it yourself — it’s a good idea to explore renewable energy production for your home. Give it back to the governor, legislature, and utilities on escalating energy costs, brownouts, blackouts, and poor maintenance of the grid.
I’ll leave you with the final slide in the SunPower proposal. Outside of the financial savings, the savings to the environment are significant. Below is the estimated impact form switching to the solar panels, every year. Stick it to the fossil fuel companies, their lobbyists, and favored donation recipients known as politicians. Take control of your energy production. At scale, this would dent natural gas and coal plants until they become unprofitable.
Final note on net metering
What happens in those months when we produce more than we consume, such as spring and fall? According to our utility, we would get no credit for those kWh, and they would go back to the grid for free. The utility will give us credit for what we produce at our retail rate, and charge us only for the net amount of electricity consumed. The catch is the full retail credit is only given if the solar panels did not produce more energy than our house consumed at the end of the billing cycle. That’s Texas for you.
The ultimate goal for our family is creating apartment complexes that are sustainable, fashionable, and low cost. Solar and renewable energy will play a big role in bringing that vision to life. It’s one reason why we want to learn more about solar panels.
Note: I own shares in Tesla, I own no shares in SunPower. You know by now this is not investment advice. Do your own diligence, read from a variety of sources on what you need to move to solar, and do what’s best for you.
Thanks for reading and warmest regards.
I don’t like paywalls. You don’t like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don’t like paywalls, and so we’ve decided to ditch ours.Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It’s a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So.
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you! Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Where to Buy Affordable Solar Panels (2023)
Each product and or company featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Written by Karsten Neumeister
Karsten is an editor and energy specialist focused on environmental, social and cultural development. His work has been shared by sources including NPR, the World Economic Forum, Marketwatch and the SEIA, and he is certified in ESG with the CFA Institute. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the solar energy sector, studying energy policy, climate tech and environmental education. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace. Learn About This Person
Reviewed by Melissa Smith
Melissa is an avid writer, scuba diver, backpacker and all-around outdoor enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in journalism and sustainability studies. Before joining EcoWatch, Melissa worked as the managing editor of Scuba Diving magazine and the communications manager of The Ocean Agency, a nonprofit that’s featured in the Emmy award-winning documentary Chasing Coral. Learn About This Person
Why You Can Trust EcoWatch
We work with a panel of solar experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other site has covered renewables as long as us, which means we have more data and insider information than other sites.
Jump to Section:
Find the best price from solar installers in your area.
Where Can You Buy Solar Panels?
There are three ways to purchase solar panels:
- Going through an approved solar company in your area that has certified deals with top manufacturers
- Purchasing DIY kits at Home Improvement stores like Home Depot and Amazon
- Purchasing Solar panels straight from Manufacturers websites
Home and business owners typically purchase solar panels through solar companies, which are certified to deal and install products from top manufacturers. These solar installers then plan and execute the installation.
However, solar panels and solar panel kits are also sold directly from distributors in the event you’re qualified to carry out your own DIY solar installation. Consider the following when making a decision about where to purchase your panels.
SunPower designs and installs industry-leading residential solar and storage solutions across all 50 states. With a storied history of innovation dating back to 1985, no other company on this list can match SunPower’s experience and expertise.
SunPower earns its position as the top national installer on our list for a handful of reasons: It installs the most efficient solar technology on the residential market, offers the most expansive service area and backs its installations with a warranty well above the industry standard. All the while, SunPower pioneers sustainability efforts within the industry.
If that weren’t enough, SunPower systems come packaged with products all manufactured in-house by its sister company, Maxeon. This means that your panels, solar cells, inverters, battery and EV chargers are designed to work together and are all covered under the same warranty.
SunPower’s biggest downside? Its high-efficiency panels are considerably more expensive than most of its competitors’ products. However, its powerful panels are workhorses that make up for the initial cost with more backend production (think about this like spending more money for a car that gets more miles per gallon).
Facts and Figures: SunPower
|Solar Panels, Solar Batteries, EV Chargers, System Monitoring|
|25-year all-inclusive warranty|
Blue Raven Solar
We like Blue Raven Solar because it understands that, for most homeowners, the cost of solar presents the biggest barrier to entry.
For that reason, Blue Raven Solar developed an innovative solar financing plan that offers in-house, flexible, zero-money-down options. The results speak for themselves, as Blue Raven Solar is now one of the fastest-growing solar companies in the nation and was recently acquired by SunPower. Its BluePower Plus plan (exclusive to Blue Raven) mimics the flexible structure of a lease while still providing the greatest benefits of owning your system.
Eligible homeowners enjoy 18 months of solar power before having to pay their first bill. When coupled with the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC), the initial energy savings can offset more than a third of the overall cost of a system before requiring a dollar down.
In contrast, other installers can only offer similar financing through solar leases, PPAs or third-party providers (such as Mosaic or Sunlight). Third-party loan providers can complicate the process, while opting for a loan or PPA will disqualify you from some of solar’s biggest benefits (additional property value, federal solar tax credit and local solar incentives).
Facts and Figures: Blue Raven Solar
|Solar Panels, System Monitoring|
|Trina Solar, Canadian Solar, SolarEdge, Silfab, SunPower|
|25-year manufacturer warranty; 10-year workmanship warranty, 2-year production guarantee|
ADT Solar sets the industry standard for warranty coverage by including a multifaceted guarantee, making it one of the top installers for homeowners who want added peace of mind.
Its warranty coverage includes all of the following for 25 years:
- Power Production Guarantee: Also known as a performance guarantee, this ensures your solar system will produce the amount of electricity that’s outlined in your proposal, or ADT will write you a check for the difference.
- Labor Guarantee: This covers any issues with the installation of your system and is also known as a workmanship warranty.
- Panel Module Performance Guarantee: This is what ADT Solar refers to the manufacturer warranty as, and it ensures that any manufacturing defects are repaired or your ineffective panels replaced.
- Enphase Microinverters Guarantee: This backs the performance of your inverters.
Though in recent years other solar companies have started to offer similar guarantees, ADT Solar has been at it since 2008, performing over 30,000 installations across the country.
Facts and Figures: ADT Solar
|Solar Panels, Solar Batteries, EV Chargers, Energy-Efficiency Upgrades|
|Silfab, Panasonic and others depending on location|
|25-year all-inclusive warranty|
Choosing a Solar Installer in Your Area
Certified solar energy companies carry out the vast majority of solar panel installations. When hiring a professional solar company, you can either go with a local or national installer.
A local solar installer will usually be able to offer you more personalized service, more affordable and more intimate knowledge of local solar incentives and policies. The flip side is that nationwide installers can often have access to a wider range of solar products, like the most efficient solar panels and the best solar batteries in the industry.
This can give you more options to maximize the power output and durability of your system. There’s not really a right or wrong answer here, and in fact, the best approach may be to consult with two or three installers that service your area before making your decision.
DIY Solar Panel Installation
Installing your own solar panels provides the opportunity to save money on labor and also gives you greater control over the final configuration of your home solar system. Be aware, however, that there can be significant downsides to do-it-yourself solar jobs.
First, it is complex, technical work, requiring electrical expertise and thorough knowledge of how solar works. If you’re unskilled or inexperienced in working with electricity, installing solar panels presents concerns to both your safety and the integrity of your roof and electrical system.
Additionally, going with DIY solar panels means you won’t reap the benefits of experienced solar designers, who can help you design the optimal energy-generating, money-saving system. If you do choose to buy solar panels and install them on your own, you can purchase panels from:
- Manufacturer websites
- Hardware stores
- Amazon.com (where you can buy full solar panel kits)
How to Buy Solar Panels
Now you know where to purchase panels, but as for how to buy solar panels, your next steps will again depend on whether you hire a professional or go the DIY route.
Hiring an Installer for your Solar Panels
For most of our readers, we recommend hiring a solar installer that will plan your system and purchase the solar equipment on your behalf. Note that installers buy in bulk and have access to wholesale prices, so they can actually help you save money on your equipment costs, though of course, you’ll then have to pay for the labor. The general steps in the process are as follows:
- Consultation: Meet with a few of your area’s top solar companies to compare pricing and proposals outlining the pros and cons of solar for your home.
- System design: Once you choose a solar installer, a representative will take a look at your roof and design a solar system that meets your energy goals. The importance of this step usually outweighs that of the installation itself, as a solar system will only be as effective as its design.
- Permitting: Depending on where you live, you may require permits and approvals from your municipality before your solar system can be installed. Your installer can handle all of this on your behalf.
- Net metering: If your local utility company offers net metering, you’ll need to apply and enroll prior to the installation itself. This step should also be handled by your solar company, though it may require a signature or two from you.
- Installation: Once you receive the needed approvals, your installer can begin work to assemble your system. This may take anywhere from a day to a full week depending on the complexity of your project. Most installations are finished within a day.
- Review and approval: Most municipalities will require you to have your system inspected for safety before it’s “switched on.” Both cities and utility companies usually require inspections. Again, your solar company will handle the logistics of these inspections.
- Using your system: After you get your final approvals, you’ll be ready to turn on your solar system. Your installer will advise you on how to do so.
- Applying for tax credits: Any reputable solar company will walk you through how to apply for solar tax credits, rebates or grants available in your area. Some will even do so on your behalf.
If you want to know more about installing a solar panel system, you can click below to connect with an EcoWatch-vetted installer and get a free estimate.
Buying Your Own Solar System (DIY)
If you’re a more qualified homeowner looking to research, design and install your home solar system, you’ll need to purchase equipment on your own. First, determine how many solar panels your home requires.
This hinges on an array of factors: the amount of electricity your household consumes, the surface area available on your roof, the amount of sun exposure your roof receives and more. For residential installations with limited roof space to work with, we recommend looking into highly efficient solar panels.
This will ensure your investment is worthwhile. (We’ll get more into the different types of solar panels below.) Also, remember that designing a solar system requires a lot more than just panels. Consider what equipment you’ll need before purchasing your solar panels.
Do you want a string inverter or microinverters? Do you need a battery? A charge controller? (We’ll also get more into this later on). Even if you carry out your own installation, you’ll still need to apply for any necessary permits and interconnection agreements. In the event you perform an off-grid installation, you may not need permission from your utility.
What Are The Types of Solar Panels For Sale?
There are three basic types of photovoltaic panels available today: monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin-film. The factors differentiating these options have to do with the efficiency, flexibility, solar cell makeup, size and cost of the solar panels. These can all impact which solar panels you purchase.
|Solar Panel Type||Advantages||Disadvantages|
|Monocrystalline solar panels||Highest efficiency and best performance||Highest upfront cost|
|Polycrystalline solar panels||affordable than monocrystalline||Lower efficiency than monocrystalline|
|Thin-film solar panels||Portable and flexible||Lowest efficiency and power output|
An important note we’ll repeat: For homeowners with a limited surface area on their roofs, efficiency is the name of the game. Make sure to buy solar panels with high efficiency ratings, as this will maximize the sunlight available to you, making your investment more worthwhile. Most of the best solar panels will be monocrystalline.
Other Equipment You’ll Need to Buy for Your Solar Panel System
If you’re doing your own installation, you’ll need to consider purchasing the following when you buy your solar panels:
- Inverter: This converts direct current (DC) solar energy into the alternating current (AC) electricity needed to power your home. Most options will be string inverters or microinverters.
- Battery: A solar battery allows you to store excess energy for future use rather than feeding it back into the electrical grid. Having a battery maximizes your solar energy use.
- Mounting system: This stabilizes your solar panels and ensures they stay in their proper rooftop position.
- Wiring: Wiring is used to connect your solar system to your electrical panel.
- Solar charge controller: A charge controller regulates voltage and prevents batteries from overcharging.
Final Thoughts: Where to Buy Solar Panels
Installing solar panels involves a number of decisions, starting with where to buy your panels. Are you qualified to install solar panels yourself? What type of solar panel is best for your energy needs? What other equipment will you need to buy along with your panels?
If you choose to go with a solar company:
Make sure you do your research and hire a vetted, experienced solar contractor with a track record of success. Ask any friends or neighbors with solar who they hired and how their experience was. Some solar companies have programs that reward 1,000 or more for referrals. You can also continue your research on the best solar companies, or look for local solar installers in your area.
If you want to know more about installing a solar panel system, you can click below to connect with an EcoWatch-vetted installer and get a free estimate.