A solar system is first and foremost an investment. It involves outlaying a sum of money which will then start to pay for itself over a number of years. Whilst the payback periods available with solar power can be short (as short as 3 years), any investment doesn’t truly make financial sense until it is still producing returns well after the payback period. This is why quality matters when selecting the components that make up the system.
The biggest single mistake you can make when buying a solar power system is assuming all solar panels are created equal (or even anywhere close to being equal!). There is a huge disparity in terms of quality available on the Australian market.
But the Panel is on the Clean Energy Council Approved List
Unfortunately, the requirements to have a solar panel added to the Clean Energy Council (CEC) Approved Solar Panel list are very easy to fulfill. In fact there are literally thousands of panels on the list and this isn’t in any way a guarantee of quality. In fact a manufacturer can have a single solar panel tested in their home country and the CEC will accept this as a legitimate test.
This is part of the reason Australia is the largest consumer of low quality solar panels in the world.
But my friend bought a cheap system panel and it seems to be going ok
Even low quality panels may perform well “out of the box” for a year or two. But given time in the harsh Australian conditions, inferior quality panels will start to degrade. This can take the form of:
But I have a warranty so that’s ok
A warranty is only as good as the company backing it. If you’re buying a cheaper inferior panel, chances are the manufacturer does not have a presence in Australia, let alone Perth. Remember the 25 year warranty on solar panels is provided by the manufacturer. If they don’t have an operation in Australia, you will have very little chance of getting any type of warranty resolution.
Infinite Energy has produced a number of comparison guides to allow you to evaluate and select solar power components:
Alternatively one of our consultants can assist you either on the phone or via a no-obligation home assessment and consultation.