The size of the solar power system is directly proportional to the electricity consumption needs of the house owner. You need to also assess the amount of electricity you need and your own power usage patterns to decide the side of the solar panel system you need for your home. On average, an Australian household uses 20kWh of energy per day. Solar experts suggest that a 5kW solar system is more than enough to meet the daytime power needs of such homes.
The total cost of a solar panel installation also depends on the number of panels installed and the modules used that reduce the cost per unit. All in all, homeowners must always compare the costs of whole solar installation systems that they plan to get, instead of prices of individual panels.
Solar buyers must consider both manufacturing and material details in addition to cost when choosing the best solar panel for installation. There are three tiers of manufacturer quality of solar panels
Tier one solar panels are manufactured by the top 2 percent of solar PV (photovoltaic) panel manufacturers. Tier one manufacturers are usually vertically integrated, so they control each stage of the solar panel manufacturing process. They invest in R&D for their products, use advanced robotic technologies and have built their own brands in the solar landscape. These top-quality manufacturers use the best grade of silicon to produce solar PV cells that excel in terms of longevity. Tier 1 Solar Panels are cost-efficient in the long run. However, buyers should be wary of false claims of being 'Tier 1' that certain manufacturers make. A little due diligence will help you determine the best solar panels for your needs.
Tier two solar panel manufacturing companies invest a little less in research and development. They count on a mix of robotic and manual assembly on production lines and have only limited experience in manufacturing. Although they produce good panels at reasonable prices, it may or may not work in favour of the buyer..
A big chunk of Tier three solar PV manufacturers belong to this category. They only assemble panels and never manufacture their own cells. There make no investment in research and development. Offering the cheapest solar installations in the market, Tier 3 manufacturers serve as human production lines for manual soldering of solar cells. This is why the quality of Tier 3 solar panels varies from operator to operator and day to day. Although a cheap option at the point-of-purchase, these solar panels cost much more in terms of reliability and electricity output in the long run..
The money you save when you install solar panels depends on the span of daily sunlight and the size and angle of your roof. It also depends on the local electricity rates you pay for conventional power generation
On average, solar power installations like solar panels can reduce the routine power bill by around $400 per year per kW of solar.
With a solar battery, you can replace your entire power consumption with solar power installations. Solar batteries help you store the excess solar power to be then used in the evening or as and when needed. Solar experts size up the solar power generation system in such cases based on the average daily power usage during 24-hour windows. For a rough idea, a small 5kW system usually generates around 20kWh per day. It can save you up to about $500 on a quarterly bill.
Here are some significant points you should keep in mind when buying solar panels aside from looking at their prices
The power generation capacity of solar panels is determined in watts and is a significant determinant for its pricing. You must assess the output of each solar module in watts before making any purchase
Tolerance factor describes the range that a solar panel will either exceed or fail to meet its rated power. In an ideal case scenario, the solar module has a positive tolerance rating where the module generates power equal to its nameplate wattage and sometimes even more in stars testing conditions. In case of negative tolerance rating, the solar module generates an output below the nameplate wattage even in ideal conditions due to quality control issues.
The longevity of a solar polar panel warranty is a measure of the manufacturer's confidence in its products. Premium solar panels boast of a performance warranty that pays back for their cost in full.
The temperature coefficient rating determines the impact of heat on the way a solar panel operates after installation. Buyers must choose solar panels that come with a low percentage per degree Celsius for better outcomes. Although the price of a solar module with low-temperature co-efficiency can be a bit steep, given Australia's extreme heat, the extra cost would pay for itself
To estimate the efficiency of a solar panel, assess how well it converts sunlight into electrical energy in terms of how much power your system generates. For solar panels priced the same, one with a higher conversion efficiency would be better value for money
PID is an abbreviation for potential-induced degradation. Stray currents that result from certain climate conditions can cause substantial power loss. However, the right solar panels offer little or no PID
LID is an abbreviation for Light-induced degradation. LID Resistance occurs in the first few months after installation. This kind of resistance usually stabilises after a period and can reduce the amount of power the module produces. Choose solar panels with low or negligible LID resistance
Australian residents must look for a CEC-accredited company for solar panel installation. Choosing a solar panel vendor that is CEC-accredited makes you eligible for Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs).This useful commodity can be applied against the purchase of a renewable energy system
Also, the warranty is only honoured as long as the company operates. Choose a trustworthy, established brand of the module instead of an obscure one
Since you would buy the best solar panels from retailers or installers, the choice you make here is important too. An installation company that is a certified service agent for solar panel warranty work with the manufacturer you select would be the best choice.
A solar panel vendor that is a signatory to the CEC's code of conduct and has significant experience in the field would be the perfect fit. Choose a solar panel manufacturer who has a distinguished track record, specialist expertise and relevant experience.