When you’re going solar, it can be overwhelming to find the best solar panels for you. Hundreds of brands offer them, and the price and quality is very different for each one. This guide will introduce you to some different types, from Panasonic, to Hyundai, to Q CELLS solar panels (just to name a few). When we take warranty, efficiency, and cost per watt into account, the best solar panels will be easy to spot!
Why Solar Power is a Cost Effective Option
Despite high initial costs of green energy, it’s the best way to combat the ever-rising energy prices in the US. Fossil fuels are still high in demand but lower in supply, likely due to new environmental regulations. This is good for the planet, but bad for non-green energy bills and prices.
This is why it’s a great time to make an investment in an energy source that never runs out: sunlight! Solar power is 100x less expensive than it was 50 years ago, and companies are constantly innovating to make it more affordable. Local solar installers will work with you so you can find the most affordable option. The numerous incentives drastically reduce energy bills, quickly giving you a return on your investment.
Panel Manufacturers: How To Find The Best Solar Panels
Here are a handful of well-known manufacturers, along with data that can helps decode whether they provide money-saving power. These are the factors each brand will cover:
- Performance and Product Warranties. For each brand, the performance or power output warranty covers energy production for a certain amount of time. This ensures that the panels produce high power for decades and minimally age. The product warranty covers physical damage.
- Efficiency Rates. No need to fear what looks like a low percentage. The efficiency rate tells you how much sunlight coming in is converted into electricity.
- Cost Per Watt. Your cost per watt depends on the model you choose, the tax incentives you qualify for, and how expensive your installation is. This applies to any brand of solar panel, so keep this in mind as you see each cost per watt. The average cost per watt in the US is $2.94.
You may have heard of LG as one of the leading solar panel providers. However, they are ceasing production this year due to material costs and competition.
Hyundai solar panels are a great option for mid-sized budgets. Their initial cost can be lower than more premium brands. Hyundai is a well known brand that’s been in the solar industry since 2004.
Their product warranties are about 10 years and their performance warranties are about 25 years. Hyundai’s average efficiency rate is about 18-19%. Although it’s considered a middle-range panel manufacturer, Hyundai’s cost per watt is on the high side, about $2.48-$3.56.
Sunpower (Maxeon Solar)
Sunpower, also known as Maxeon Solar, is one of the most premium solar brands out there. Their warranties are longer than most – depending on the model you purchase, it can go from 25-40 years. Sunpower’s efficiency ranges from 19.6-22.6%.
Their price is very high compared to other brands. The cost per watt for a Sunpower system is about $4.50-$5.60. The price is on the higher end when you go for a leased or financed option.
Panasonic has been in the solar industry for over 20 years. They offer premium solar panels with high performance and long warranties. Their product and performance warranty is 25 years. These panels have a very high efficiency rate at about 19.8-21.7%.
Q CELLS Solar Panels
Q CELLS solar panels give some of the highest energy yields under extreme weather conditions. They are an excellent option for those who live in areas prone to lots of snow and rain. Their product and performance warranty is 25 years.
Q CELLS solar panels have an efficiency rate of about 19.5-20.8%, making them one of the most energy efficient brands for their cost. Their unique reflector technology catches more electrons and absorbs more sunlight than other panel manufacturers.
They perform better in lower-sunlight environments than other brands, so you’ll get even more power. Even if you don’t need all that power, net metering programs allow you to send that excess back into the grid in exchange for reduced energy bills. To add to the value, Q CELLS has one of the lowest costs per watt at $2.32-$3.16. At Energy Shield of New Hampshire, we use and recommend Q CELLS 400 W solar panels for their quality, performance, and cost-effectiveness.
Need New Hampshire Solar Panels?
New Hampshire weather fluctuates from sunny to stormy. Luckily, solar power still works amazingly despite the temperature rollercoaster. If you’re considering going solar in NH, Energy Shield has been creating energy efficient homes for over 40 years, and can help you with your next project. Check us out for a free inspection and estimate!