Choosing the right solar system components is a crucial decision and can mean the difference between having a reliable system that makes a real contribution to reducing your bills and having a lemon on your roof that causes nothing but headaches.
The good thing is that the solar industry has now been around long enough that clear market leaders have emerged and it’s not hard to find out what these leading brands are. These brands aren’t that much more expensive than the low quality brands and will pay for themselves in a very short time frame through greater production and lower maintenance costs.
Solar Panels + Inverter + Mounting System = Solar System
Solar panels are the core component of a solar power system, they collect photons from the sun and then turn them into DC electricity.
Easy ways to check for solar panel quality:
Does the company have a website?
If the company doesn’t have a quality website and you can’t find anything about them via a simple Google search, exclude them from your list. If they don’t have information about themselves online, you can be pretty sure that they’ll be hard to find if you have a warranty issue in the future.
Have the panels been used on utility scale solar farms?
If a large corporation is investing hundreds of millions in a large scale system, you can be sure that they’ve done due diligence on the panel and the company who made the panel. Check their website and if they’ve done large scale systems, you’ll be able to easily find info on these.
Are their warranties serviced in Australia?
Check if the company requires you to send the panels back to the country of manufacture at your own expense if you have a problem. If you do, run a mile in the opposite direction, there are plenty of manufacturers out there who will pay to have a panel replaced for you. This should eliminate a few choices.
This refers to the percentage variation in the panel’s power production. A positive power tolerance means that the panel will produce at or above what it is labelled. E.g. a 200W with a 5% positive power tolerance will produce anywhere between 200W and 210W. The same panel with a negative power tolerance will produce anywhere between 190W and 200W. Solar cells with a positive power tolerance are selected by higher quality manufactures and generally indicates a higher quality panel.
As counter-intuitive as it sounds; solar panels don’t work as well in higher temperatures. A measure of how much production a panels loses once it gets hotter than 40 degrees is the Temperature Co-efficient. For every 1 degree over 40 degrees, Suntech panels for example will lose 0.45% production – This is around what most panels lose so don’t be too concerned, plus this is factored into the productions figures given for each city. When looking at panels, go for one with a lower percentage or temperature co-efficient as it indicates a better quality panel.
The solar inverter is responsible for taking the DC electricity generated by the panels and converting it into 240V AC electricity which can then be used by your home appliances. The inverter also registers how much energy you’ve produced and some higher end models even allow you to connect to your computer via Bluetooth and view much more in depth information.
Over the last few years, thousands of homeowners have seen inferior quality inverters fail. As well as the hassle of having to call the installation company, who may or may not charge you to have it replaced (see Choosing a solar installer) you’ll also lose money as you may not realise straight away that the system isn’t working. In this case, compare the solar inverter prices offered carefully. A few hundred dollars more to go for a good quality system would have been more than worth it.
IMPORTANT: The inverter isn’t an area you want to skimp on as this is the first thing to fail in a poor quality system.
Micro inverters are another form of technology that you may be offered in your quotes. They represent a small proportion of systems installed nationally and are best used in situations where you roof may receive a lot of shading at certain times of the day. You can read more on choosing between a standard string inverter and micro-inverter here.
The solar panel mounting system is extremely important as this connects the system to your roof. There are generally 2 ways of attaching a system to your roof and this depends on whether your roof is tin or tile. Most mounting frames in Australia meet Australian standards and this hasn’t been a problem so far.
The video below provides and excellent explanation of how mounting systems are installed on tile and tin roofs and the components involved.
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Includes detailed explanations and diagrams of the various types of solar systems and their parts, solar battery storage systems, Government incentives, expected ROI periods, finance, energy saving tips and more!
Received Quotes Tailored Quotes Suited To My Circumstances
I was able to get some good quotes and actually discuss the system I needed for my circumstances. I was informed on the quality of the parts used as well as the warranties provided. Tradesman were prompt and very professional.
Website Provided The Information I Needed
The information on the Solar Market’s website was great and assisted me in understanding what I needed for my home and what rebates I could claim. I received 3 Quotes within a few days from solar companies near my residence. Cheers for the quick service!
Very prompt response to my enquiry providing several competitive quotes. Also made me aware of what questions I needed to ask when speaking to solar installers. Now I have what I need to make a decision on what installer and system to choose.
Helped Me Understand The Process
I wasn’t sure how to go about adding a solar system. I was pleased after getting quotes and talking with contractors that I could understand what could be done and how much it’d cost. The contractors weren’t pushy and were very helpful.
With all honesty I recommend Solar Market
I made a request for solar panel installation, and Solar Market organised for companies to contact me with quotes. For me it was stress free without the ordeal to do it all myself, very happy with Solar Market service. Managed to find a company within a week to do the solar installation. With all honesty I recommend Solar Market. Thank you, Solar Market.
Solar Market sent out 3 very good companies to give me quotes
Solar Market sent out 3 very good companies to give me quotes.
Solar Market got in touch with a few companies at no expense to us
As a pensioner, funds are limited and we need help finding companies that will supply what we want. Solar Market got in touch with a few companies at no expense to us. It has given us a good start to find what we can afford.
Solar Market delivered
I asked for 3 CEC accredited installers and Solar Market delivered. Cheers!
Solar Market made it easy to get quotes from reputable companies
Solar Market made it easy to get quotes from reputable companies.
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Took The Stress Out Of Searching For Solar Companies
Solar Market were so helpful with giving me 3 different quotes to compare. It removed the stress out of going solo and chasing companies to get quotes from. I would highly recommend the team at solar market.
Prompt Service and Home Visit From Providers
As a home owner looking to upgrade to solar we received prompt and excellent service from Solar Market. We received calls from 3 solar energy companies that arranged home visits with obligation free quotes. Within a week we had all the information and quotes we needed to enable us to make an informed decision. Thank you, Solar Market, for making the process comfortable and easy.
Thanks, Solar Market
Once I sent my request for Solar Market to have solar companies contact me with quotes for solar panels on my house, everything was very quick and efficient. The companies that solar market had contact me were professional and very experienced in the industry. Very impressed with the overall experience and professional way things were handled. It did not take long for me to chose a company that suited my needs to supply solar for the house. Thanks, Solar Market.
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Received 3 quotes from companies all with good reviews. Using Solar Market made the process easy. Thank you.
Contact Solar Market Today. I did!
Solar Market is a great platform to start with when you are looking to install Solar energy to your house. Contact them today, I did and I am very happy that I did. Cheers Solar Market!
Solar Market is reliable and genuine
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Solar Market makes sure that I was satisfied with the companies
Contact from the three Solar Companies was received within two days and the follow up from those contacts was very good over the period of time it took to examine the quotes and make a decision. Contact from Solar Market during this process continued during this time to make sure that I was satisfied with the companies who had made contact to provide quotes.
Great site, I recommend it to everybody looking for solar panels
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I found the Solar Market staff pleasant and helpful
"I found the Solar Market staff pleasant and helpful. The quotes they sent were very quick and I was more than happy to choose the one which was a standout with their experience and proposal presentation.
Their service was very prompt and very professional
Solar Market were great, I had three companies contact me and I have gone with one of them. Their service was very prompt and very professional.
The info on the Solar Market website was fantastic
The info on the Solar Market website with Q&A’s and ratings on the different panels and inverters was fantastic. It then allowed me to talk to the solar companies and know what I was talking about. Every aspect of solar is explained to help you make an informed decision. Thanks for your help, cheers!