Additional tips when buying a solar power system
Not all solar panels are equal
Top 2 % of solar manufacturers
– Vertically integrated
– Invest heavily in Research and Development
– Manufacturing solar panels for longer than 5 years
Small to medium scale manufacturers
– Use only partial robotics also reliant on manual work from human production lines
– No or little investment in Research and Development
– Usually producing panels for 2-5 years
Assembles only -90 % of new solar PV
– Uses human production lines for manual soldering of solar cells instead of advanced robots
– No investement in Research and Development
– Assembling panels for 1-2 years
Have realistic price expectations
Quality equipment and installation isn’t cheap and, like all other purchases, you often get what you pay for. Compare components and warranty periods and carry out checks into the company providing the installation.
Solar panel certifications
This applies to all solar panel purchases, but especially to the purchases that could attract a government incentive. The certification on solar panels indicates the type of testing that has been done on them. For instance, TUV IEC 61215 confirms that the solar panels have been tested by an independent laboratory and have met their advertised specifications. Other certification types are often self-assessed and so rely on the company being honest what it claims.
More on panel types
Even if you have ample roof space you may still want to consider panel size vs. output as filling up your roof with inefficient panels will affect your ability to add more panels at a later date, and does not maximize the power output of the space.It is also important to bear in mind that regardless of claims, no solar panel technology will produce a significant amount of power in full shade and even partial shade may have a substantial impact.
Compare all components
Compare solar panels, inverters – everything. Package deals are great way to save cash, but not all packages are created equal. For example, a company might use top quality solar panels, but skimp on inverter cabling and mounting system quality in the hope that the panel brand name will dazzle you and you will ignore the other components.
Beware of hidden costs
A low advertised price might not be just due to low quality components. While it’s not unusual for prices to vary based on the type of structure upon which a solar power system is placed, any extra cost should be clear and not buried in fine print.
Get a few solar quotes
It always wise to gather a few solar quotes when making a major purchase as you will find that prices vary widely between providers. Don’t be swayed by price only as inferior components can be used to reduce the up-front cost of the system – but they may wind up costing you more in the long run in terms of reliability and efficiency.
Avoid high pressure sales people
High pressure sales tactics are unfortunately common in the solar industry. Try not to make decision on the spot but ask the person to let you consider the offer. If it is as good as they claim it will still be a good deal tomorrow. Pressured decisions on the spot often turn out to be less advantageous in reflection.
Solar fever sweeps the nation in waves and during these times providers can become backlogged. While you can expect a wait of up to a few months for a solar installer to perform your installation in some circumstances this is something you should be made aware of by the system provider.