Archive

Category Archives for "Solar Panels"

Panasonic Solar Panels: The Complete Review for 2018

Panasonic is one of the most well-known brands in the entire world. When we think of electronics of any kind, Panasonic springs to mind. But aside from making televisions and sound systems, Panasonic has also become one of the powerhouse leaders in the field in the production of high quality and high efficiency solar panels.

In light of the fact that more people are looking to convert to solar energy, we have prepared a detailed explanation of everything you need to know about Panasonic solar panels in 2018.

Panasonic HIT Range

Back in 1997, Panasonic released their HIT range of highly efficient solar panels. They are made up of crystalline cells covered in minuscule layers of a special kind of silicon that makes them super efficient and effective. Up until recently, the manufacturing process of the solar panels all happened in Japan, Panasonic’s native country.

That is until Tesla heard about their new technology and opened a joint factory with Panasonic in the US, so they could produce all of the panels for the Tesla solar project. There is now talk of an even more advanced solar technology being releasedin the near future, which is a result of the Tesla and Panasonic partnership.

How Efficient are Panasonic Solar Panels?

Given that Tesla, one of the biggest energy giants on the planet, has built a factory to have Panasonic working alongside him is a good indication of how efficient and reliable the new Panasonic HIT range solar panels are. They have even recorded results that soar above the standard 20% efficiency level.

Which Cell Technology Do They Use?

The HIT cell structure that has been developed by Panasonic is unique and efficient. It uses both amorphous and crystalline technology to retain the power that is often lost when using traditional crystalline cell technology. HIT technology makes it possible for the solar cells to be leaders in the market when it comes to temperature efficiency. Thus Panasonic solar panels have been proven to experience minimal power losses compared to other products available on the consumer market.

Panasonic Solar Panels: Advantages

Panasonic Solar Panels Advantages

A customers’ biggest concern is often the fear that their solar panels will stop working after a while and they will have wasted a ton of money. This is without question one of the biggest factors that stops people taking the plunge with regards to going solar.

Fortunately, Panasonic believes in their products so much that they now offer a 25-year guarantee on their solar panels. After 25 years, their HIT modules have been designed to retain at least 90% of the maximum capacity they can generate. This is just one step behind the Sun Power X panels that are the industry leaders in solar power in North America.

The joint factory that Panasonic has with Tesla also means that customers will receive solar panels that have been manufactured on American soil, so you will never have to worry about your warranty not being valid or lengthy wait times if you need to replace one of your panels. When you take into account all of these factors, it is clear that their prices are also very competitive, especially the cost of their premium panels.

What About the Disadvantages?

While the HIT solar panels are competitively priced, they are still considered to be relatively expensive. This is what tends to put many customers off, especially first time buyers who want to switch over to solar power in their households.

When HIT technology first came out, it was considered to be a pioneering technology in the solar world. Unfortunately, technology evolves so quickly these days, which may mean that the once groundbreaking technology is in danger of being put on the backburner due to aging.

For the moment, HIT technology supplies the solar panel market with excellent efficiency levels as well as good quality panels, but newer technologies might eventually leave HIT behind.

Why Should You Choose Panasonic HIT Panels for Your Home?

If you are looking to install rooftop solar panels that can match the most respected brands out there with regards to warranty and quality, then Panasonic HIT panels will be an excellent choice. While they can be seen to be expensive, you have to remember that the savings, in the long run, will more than makeup for the initial financial outlay and Panasonic panels aren’t going to break the bank.

The presence of these solar panels in the industry is one that will last at least a medium term, given their partnership with Tesla. Who by the way, could have chosen any other manufacturer on the planet to team up with, but they specifically selected Panasonic.

Therefore, if the Panasonic HIT solar panels are good enough for Tesla, they will be more than adequate to satisfy the needs of the average consumer who wants to invest in high-quality solar panels.

Conclusion

Panasonic solar panels allow you to pack a whole load of power onto your roof. They are robust, weatherproof, and are the ideal solution to freeing yourself from expensive electricity bills each month. The solar panel market is highly competitive, with new technologies and brands emerging every day.

Before installing any solar system, it is important to do your research to be sure that the products you are interested in buying are not only going to meet your budget, but also produce enough power to supply your family’s needs. While there are cheaper products out there, which might seem alluring in the beginning as no one wants to fork out a lump sum of money in one go, longevity and efficiency are key factors with regards to the performance of your panels.

There is no point cutting corners and trying to save money, only to find yourself sitting in the pitch black in the middle of a winter storm because your solar panels have packed up. These panels are also designed to perform in low light conditions,and the inbuilt water drainage feature on each panel stops water accumulating and damaging it in rainy conditions.

Micro Inverter Solar Panels: The Future of Solar Power?

More than half of all of the solar installations in the US use micro inverter solar panels. More people are switching to micro inverters, as they provide a better alternative to string solar inverters, which are traditionally the most common type of solar inverters.

The advantages of choosing micro inverter solar panels are endless,and with the increasing amount of customers installing them worldwide, they could be the future of solar power! In this article we will explore everything you need to know about them, to help you determine if they are going to be a good choice for you.

What are Micro Inverter Solar Panels?

A micro inverter is a miniscule inverter that can be directly attached to either one or two solar panels. This means that each solar panel can function independently, and DC power is converted to AC straight away at the source. The primary advantage of choosing solar panels that feature micro inverters is that every single panel you have is optimized and monitored in order to generate maximum power- regardless of what the other units in your solar setup are doing.

One of the many issues with traditional string solar panels is that they are not designed to individually overcome the fact that each panel generates a differing amount of power due to certain factors that we will explore below. This is a major disadvantage.If one panel is performing poorly, it will affect all the others in the chain.

Some of the factors that affect how well your solar panels operate include:

  • If the panel is shaded by a tree or another structure
  • If they are dirty
  • The orientation and angle of the mounted solar panel
  • Alternate Arrow Right
    Some panels might age faster than others and therefore not perform as well
  • Alternate Arrow Right
    Differences in temperature

None of the issues listed above will affect solar panels that are equipped with micro inverters. They will all be able to function at their optimal power capacity and not be affected by the other panels in your solar setup.

Advantages of Micro Inverter Solar Panels

Here are some of the key factors to consider before deciding which solar panel system will be most beneficial for your household needs.

More Flexible

One of the major selling points of these types of panels is that they can be installed on pretty much any type of roof layout. They can be placed at different tilt angles and different orientations, unlike string inverter solar panels. This makes them an excellent option if you have a roof that faces several different directions.

No Single Point of Failure

Fortunately, there are only a few drawbacks to using micro inverters

Micro inverter solar panels do not have a singular point of failure. This is a hugely important factor to consider, especially if you want a larger solar system with multiple panels. If one panel is faulty, it will not affect the rest of the system. And you will never be left without power.

Faster and Easier to Install

Because micro inverters are attached directly and individually to your solar panels, the installation process will be quicker. There is no string system to be wired together, so as the installation is faster and the cost of labor will be cheaper.

Discreet

If we are being completely honest, rooftop solar panels can be ugly. This is especially true when you consider that string inverter solar panels will usually be installed somewhere near to your utility meter, which takes up valuable space as well as being rather unsightly.

With micro inverters, the majority of the solar equipment will be out of sight right up on the roof with the panels themselves.

More Efficient

Efficiency is key when it comes to selecting which kind of solar system to install. No one wants to wake up one day and find themselves without electricity,and this is what frequently happens with solar string technology. If one panel goes down, so do the rest. This is yet another favorable feature of micro inverter solar panels – they are more reliable and efficient, as they all operate independently.

Safer

If you are concerned about safety when it comes to choosing your solar panels, then micro inverter solar panels can offer you complete peace of mind. You won't be concerned about high voltage DC power on your rooftop, as micro inverters only have an AC voltage system.

Cost Effective

While it’s true that micro inverter solar panels can appear to be costlier up front, you have to remember that in the long run they will pay for themselves and are a sound investment. They will produce a greater amount of energy, leading to significant savings on a lifetime supply of power.

When we look at all of the benefits they provide, it is clear that micro inverter solar panels are an excellent choice for anyone looking to convert to solar energy. But, how about the disadvantages?

Fortunately, there are only a few drawbacks to using micro inverters

  • Currently cost approximately 20 /30% more initially than a conventional string system
  • The fact that they are on the roof means that they will be subject to adverse weather conditions, so choosing a robust and well-designed micro inverter is imperative
  • They are on the roof, which means if they need to be repaired or undergo maintenance, access could be tricky

Conclusion

In today’s fast-paced society, people always look for the simplest and safest solution to satisfy their consumer needs and budget. Micro inverter solar panels are becoming more popular because they are safe, effective and highly efficient.

As the world and the environment change with regards to climate change and pollution, more people are turning to solar energy to move towards supporting green, clean energy.

Ultimately, micro inverters produce more energy than their series string counterparts,and that is what is going to seal their fate with regards to the future of solar panel technology.

Leasing Solar Panels vs. Buying Solar Panels: Should I Lease or Buy Solar Panels in 2018?

As we reach the final quarter of 2018, the solar energy market continues to evolve and improve at a faster rate than ever before. This is why buying your solar panels is going to be your best bet in 2018’s energy market.

In this article, we will be taking a look and some of the pros and cons of buying solar panels vs. leasing them, but before we do there is oneimportant fact that needs to be highlighted,and that is the matter of federal tax.

There is currently only one way to benefit from a 30% federal tax credit on the cost of your solar system,and that is if you go ahead and buy your solar panels as opposed to leasing them from an external provider. If you decide to lease solar panels, then you will be limited to experiencing just a few benefits that solar power can provide, as you will always be a renter and never an owner. This means that the company you decide to lease your panels from will always be the sole owners who will financially benefit in the long run. And isn’t becoming the sole owner of the primary power source in your home for the rest of your life the type of freedom we all desire?

Leasing Solar Panels is Undergoing a Downward Trend

As a homeowner, the decision you make with regards to buying or leasing your solar panels is going to be determined by your long-term financial goals. And there are three main options when it comes to paying for your solar panels if purchasing:

  • Paying in cash
  • Secured loans
  • Unsecured loans

If you want to receive the best return on your investment, then cash up front is going to be the best option for you, if you are in a position to do this. To help you make a decision, here are some pros and cons of buying solar panels that you can consider.

Pros:

  • Your long-term financial savings are going to be enormous, as you won’t have to deal with increasing energy rates
  • You will be entitled to a 30% federal tax credit
  • Some states offer a renewable energy incentive or rebate
  • check
    If you pay using a secured loan, you can deduct the interest paid when completing tax returns in the future
  • check
    Owning your solar system entitles you to benefit from all of the financial incentives associated with it
  • check
    You can significantly increase the market value and buying appeal of your home should you want to sell up and move
  • check
    Never worry about your electricity being cut off due to routine maintenance or bad weather

Cons:

  • The only significant drawback of purchasing solar panels is the upfront cost that is required. Fortunately, more banks are recognizing the demand for going solar and are now facilitating secured loans.

The Pros And Cons of Leasing Solar Panels in 2018

The Pros And Cons of Leasing Solar Panels

There are a few distinct advantages to leasing panels, but they all revolve around instant gratification. Sure, you will be able to start benefitting from immediate savings on monthly bills,and your lease repayments are still going to be lower than your standard costs each month even after installation.

But when you compare these two positives, to the plethora of negatives, then suddenly taking a loan out to buy your solar panels becomes more appealing.

  • If leasing, you won’t be able to claim a 30% federal tax credit
  • You won’t be able to make interest deductions on income tax returns in the future
  • You will be tied into a contract and be required to make monthly payments on time, if not you could incur penalty fees
  • Alternate Arrow Right
    The market value of your home won’t benefit from an increase in value
  • Alternate Arrow Right
    You will be paying way over the odds for your solar system over time compared to the value you benefit from when purchasing panels outright

And these are just a few of the drawbacks of leasing. So here is our recommendation:

Buy Your Solar Panels!

Any solar energy expert in the world is going to tell you the same thing. When it comes to installing a solar system- if you want maximum returns for a minimum amount of hassle, then buy.

As solar technology advances, prices are dropping. Largely because solar energy is becoming more mainstream and manufacturing products are more readily available.

A recent survey revealed that homeowners would only have to wait between 5-7 years to experience a complete return on investment, which is encouraging more people to skip the idea of leasing and move straight towards buying a solar system to power their home or small business.

Few people these days are lucky enough to find themselves in a position where they can part with a considerable chunk of cash to pay for solar panels, so taking out a loan is always going to be a feasible option for making a purchase.

Provided you do your research on interest rates and repayments; you can make an informed decision about buying solar panels.

Final Thoughts

Before making any decisions regarding whether to lease or buy solar panels, it’simportant that you always turn to reputable and trusted experts to get your information. It is quite clear that solar power is going to be the future of energy, due to the harmful effects traditional power sources have on the environment.

As people are becoming more affected by climate change, the need for each individual to do their part towards making a positive change is becoming increasingly urgent and apparent. Additionally, when you can have an endless power supply for free, who is going to want to keep paying an electricity provider each month only to be subjected to rising costs and power cuts?

The solar energy market is growing by 24.2% each year,and with more affordable solar panels becoming increasingly available, leasing is set to become a thing of the past.

High Efficiency Solar Panels: The 5 Most Efficient Solar Panels on the Market in 2018

When looking for the most efficient solar panels on the market, the first thing you need to be aware of is that just because a solar panel boasts that its main feature is efficiency, that doesn’t always mean that you are going to be provided with the best return on your investment.

There are several factors to take into account when it comes to solar efficiency and when the time comes to make a decision about which ones you are going to buy, you might find that cheaper panels that offer a lower efficiency are going to be a better solution for you if you have a lot of space, as you can just install more of them and they will still produce the same amount of energy as the more efficient (and often more expensive) premium models.

If you are amongst the thousands of people on the quest to find the most efficient solar panels on the market to complete your PV rooftop system, then you don’t need to spend any more time researching. In this article, we will be reviewing the 5 most efficient solar panels on the market this year, so you can make an informed decision about which panel is going to be right for you.

Which Type of Solar Panel is Most Efficient?

Monocrystalline solar panels have been proven to be the most efficient by a long shot, with an efficiency rating of between 15-22%. While this might sound like a low figure, it is actually more than sufficient to power an entire household.

The reason these panels are so efficient is that theyare made out of high purity rating silicon that is designed to withstand high temperatures and extreme weather conditions. These types of panels also have the added benefit of requiring less space, making them a perfect choice if you live in the city or completely off-grid.

SunPower X-Series Solar Panels

SunPower X-Series Solar Panels

SunPower is the largest manufacturer of crystalline solar panels in the world. They introduced the SunPower X22 360W Premium Plus solar panel to the consumer market last year,and it remains the most efficient solar panel available worldwide.

These panels boast a remarkable 22.2 percent efficiency rating, featuring the latest technology in solar PV panels. They are incredibly durable- built to withstand extreme climates, making them an attractive option for customers worldwide.

Key Benefits

  • High Efficiency: the X-series solar panels generate more energy per square foot and produce 38% more power per panel than competitor brands
  • Maximum Performance: the panels have been cleverly designed to deliver optimal energy in realistic conditions like partial shade and hot temperatures
  • Advanced Technology: X-series panels will deliver unmatched power and performance thanks to innovative Maxeon technology
  • check
    Extremely Durable: the only cell in the world that is built on a solid copper foundation, making it resilient to corrosion and cracking with age

Drawbacks

  • Price: they are more expensive than other solar panels, but it's not surprising given the premium features and quality they promote
LG NeOn R Solar Panels

LG used to be criticized for the efficiency of their solar panels, but the new NeOn R panels are testament to the fact that the electronics giant has taken the time to make some incredible improvements with regards to the cell wiring in their panels to enhance their efficiency rating. These panels are now just one step behind the SunPower X series, yielding an impressive 21.1% efficiency rating. 

Key Benefits

  • Enhanced Output: maximum efficiency yielded even in limited space
  • 25-year product warranty: for customers’ peace of mind
  • Durable: improved durability thanks to newly reinforced frame design
  • check
    Improved temperature coefficient: enhancing performance on hot sunny days
  • check
    Good price point: making LG panels an affordable option for efficient solar power

Drawbacks

  • Space requirements: you will need enough space to install the right number of panels to meet your power needs, so if your surface area is restricted, these panels may not be the best option for you.
Panasonic N 330W

The all-time favorite solar panel providers have outdone themselves with their new and improved approach to the manufacturing process of their solar panels. Their new hetero junction cell technology features two separate layers of high-quality material to create each cell. This means that the failure rates of these solar panels are incredibly low, and they also provide an efficiency of 19.7%.

Key Benefits

  • Higher energy outputs: thanks to new and improved heterojunction technology
  • High efficiency:an industry-leading temperature coefficient guarantees efficiency even at high temperatures
  • Unique water drainage system: meaning your panels won’t get dirty as quickly. More sunlight results in more power
  • check
    25-year product and performance warranty: the power output after 25 years is superior to that of its competitors
  • check
    Well priced: these panels fall in the mid-range price bracket

Drawbacks

  • Space: similar to the LG solar panels, if your roof space is limited, you might not have enough space to install enough panels for your energy consumption needs.
TrinaSolar Allmax

TrinaSolar is one of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world. Their Allmax solar panels provide versatility, as well as efficiency.

Key Benefits

  • Excellent Price: while they are not as efficient as the product above, they are significantly more affordable
  • Generate high amounts of energy: even when space is limited, the Allmax solar modules still perform very well
  • Good Quality: these versatile solar panels are built to last

Drawbacks

  • Not as efficient as other panels available on the market, but this is compensated by the price.
Solaria Power XT

Solaria’s Power XT solar panels are some of the sleekest, reliable and most efficient solar panels for a rooftop solar system you can find. With regards to quality and design, they are on par with Sunpower panels, yet more affordable- always good news for the bargain hunters among us.

Key Benefits

  • Very robust: unique shingling process reduces the number of electric losses found in soldered ribbons
  • Good shade tolerance: these panels are designed to perform well despite being shaded depending on the time of day
  • Impressive Warranty: a 25-year warranty is provided
  • check
    Budget Friendly: more affordable than many products on the market, especially when you consider their efficiency
  • check
    Superior aesthetics: a sleek design means they are more discreet

Drawbacks

  • We didn’t find any significant drawbacks. They are efficient, reliable and incredibly well designed.

Final Thoughts

In life, you are always going to get what you pay for. This is why it’s so important to understand WHY the most efficient solar panels are more expensive than their counterparts.

It is clear from looking at the efficiency ratings that the SunPower are far superior to other solar panels on the market, but if you don’t have that much money to invest, then you still have several other options that are financially accessible.

 You might have to start with fewer panels than you hoped for if you want to invest in the best, but providing you have space, you always have the option of adding additional solar panels in the future.