So what’s important in choosing a solar solution for your home or business?
Well, it really depends on what is important to you.
Price, longevity, performance, payback time, quality, warranty and service???? It can be a little confusing for a first time buyer just looking to get lower power bills.
We have created this simple guide to try to make it easier. At Lumax we believe in helping build solutions for informed customers.
Price; how much should you spend on your solar system to get the best return on investment?
The answer is really about what is more important to you. Ask yourself, is the system lasting a long time with a better long term payback, more important than short term gain through cheaper price?
Cheaper systems will certainly return a payback time that is a little better than a higher quality one, (at the start anyway) simply because they are cheaper. However they usually do not have great warranties and tend to have issues a lot earlier than a higher quality product. So spending a little more to get a higher quality system can often be a good idea if you plan to be in the premises more than a few years.
However if you are looking for the fastest payback time and do not mind about long term performance, then spending less may be a suitable idea, keeping in mind that longer term you may have to replace it much sooner than a good quality system.
It is also important to keep in mind that spending too much, also does not mean you will get the best return, some premium brands can be as much as double the price of other quality solar panels, without offering anything in the way of added performance or warranties. so finding a happy medium can be tricky. This is why it is important to get advice from reputable companies who build solutions, not hard sell you a product of their choosing.
How long will my solar panels last?
Solar panels all have two warranties. A “performance warranty” and a “product warranty”. The performance warranty is usually 25 years, but is very difficult to claim. Particularly if the brand does not have local offices in the state or even the country. The product warranty is usually 10-12 years for quality systems and 1-5 years on cheaper systems. this means if the solar panel develops physical defects like broken glass or faulty cables it will be replaced. Quality brands will always perform better, over a much longer period. Often repaying the extra initial investment many times over. For example tier 2 panels may degrade a double if not triple the rate of a quality brand.
What about the inverter thingy?
The inverter is very important on a solar system. Cheaper brands of inverters can be half the price of their more expensive counterparts but often have superior warranties. However they are usually more reliable and have better performance. Inverters are the brains of the operation so if ease of use and reliability is important to you. Its a good idea to get one of the better brands.
Some of the top brands include Sungrow, Fronius, Huawei and ABB.
What type of solar panel should I get?
There are many brands of solar panel on the market and of terms like “tier one” and “high performance” are thrown around alot. But what does it really mean for me the buyer?
There is very large differences in price between panels and they can be simply broken down into three areas.
- Budget brands.
They are usually much cheaper than higher quality brands and generally do not have offices in Australia. They often degrade much faster than quality brands (despite the warranty promises) but do offer great value in that there is a much smaller investment cost.
- Quality brands.
These offer trusted long term performance usually with a reasonable price. They always will have local offices in each state and warranty claims are rare. they are the biggest brands in the world as they offer a good medium between quality, performance and price. Examples of these are Canadian Solar, Jinko and GCL.
- Premium brands.
If your looking for the best and don’t mind a higher initial investment. These brands offer the highest efficiency, best long term performance and after sales service. the downside is you will pay a higher initial investment in return for long term high performance. Examples of these brands are Q-Cell, LG and Sunpower.
You can download the brochures on our solar panels here. Brochures