You might have read our article on solar panels comparison last year. Here we compared 7 solar panels based on a number of different attributes such as:
- Temperature co-efficient
- Power tolerance
- Photon test results
This is a “fair” way to do a solar panel comparison – without getting too specific on price.
The hard truth is that there is not a great deal of difference between the “top player” panels.
There can be a huge difference between “low tier” and “top tier” panels – but for the most part… Most reputable installers sell pretty decent panels.
Here is the table of “top” panels we published in 2016:
|Photon Rank 2012||68||28||4||N/A||128||26||5|
|Photon Rank 2013||79||36||12||8||4||18||N/A|
|Photon Rank 2014||93||42||13||5||6||65||34|
|90% Performance Warranty||"linear"||10yrs||15yrs||10yrs||92% @ 10yrs||10yrs||91.2% @ 10yrs|
|80% Performance Warranty||"linear"||25yrs||30yrs||25yrs||83% @ 25yrs||25yrs||80.7% @ 25yrs|
|Third party backed||Chubb|
|Solar Proof Rating||6.5/10||8/10||8.5/10||9/10||9/10||8/10||7.5/10|
Solar Panels Comparison – in 2018
What’s different in 2018? A lot has changed in the solar industry actually. But comparing solar panels is still much the same.
Some brands mentioned above remain relevant today, others not so much. So what are the top 7 solar panels in 2018? Here’s our list:
- REC (Read REC Solar Panel Review)
- WINAICO (Read WINAICO Panel Review)
- LG (Read LG Solar Panel Review)
- Trina (Read Trina Solar Panel Review)
- Jinko (Read Jinko Solar Panel Review)
- Talesun (Read Talesun Panel Review)
(In no particular order btw).
All of the above are exceptionally good panels – for different reasons.
Top performance, “premium” panels:
Great all-rounder solar panels:
Excellent value-for-money panel:
If I was in the market for a solar system, I’d seriously consider the first 2 in this list. LG is a fantastic brand with a lot of muscle behind the brand. WINAICO is an exceptional panel with really fantastic build quality from what I’ve seen.
The rest are also good choices and would probable save you at least $400 – $800 upfront.
Solar Panels Comparison – what really matters?
Solar panels aren’t like other electronic products. You need to find out what actually matters to you. If it’s low-budget, set-and-forget, maybe Talesun are right for you. If you want panels that look really good to make your neighbours froth with jealousy, maybe black-frame REC panels?
Or if you want the best because you’ve got the money, go with LG or WINAICO. The bottom line is they all essentially do the same thing.