Highly Reviewed Brands & Products

Top Rated Solar Panels

Browsing the market of solar panel manufacturers, brands and models can be an overwhelming experience when deciding to install or upgrade a solar system

Thanks to Clean Energy Reviews and customer testimonials we’ve been able to provide a list of the Top Rated Solar Panel Brands To Install In Australia. 

For even more information on these read our Top Rated Solar Panel Brands To Install In 2020 blog

 

Top Panel Brands Available In Australia

  • SunPower
    Sunpower Solar Logo

    SunPower is viewed as a world leader in manufacturing high-efficiency solar panels which is backed by their performance warranty of 92% retained capacity after 25 years. SunPower started in 1985 and have stood strong for years as one of the top-10 solar panel brands in the world. SunPower panels are suitable for locations throughout Australia with their corrosion resistance.

    What to expect when investing in SunPower Panels?

    More Power / Same Space

    SunPower holds the record for the highest efficiency silicon solar panel, which means you can create more power, on smaller roof spaces, with fewer panels (or leave more roof space free for future expansion).

    Industry Leading Warranty

    SunPower pioneered the solar industry with the first 25-year combined Power and Product Warranty. Unlike most solar warranties that cover just the panels, SunPower’s warranty also covers transport and labour costs to uninstall and re-install the panels. This makes Sunpower one of the safest, long-term solar power investments.

      • Power rating* (W): 340W – 400W
      • Efficiency (%): 19 – 22.6%
      • Price range: medium to very high
      • 25-year product & 25-year performance warranty

    SunPower also had two models rated as the most efficient solar panel models of 2018 with their SunPower X series (up to 21.5% efficiency) & SunPower E series (up to 20.4% efficiency).

  • LG
    LG Solar Logo

    LG has a long history in solar photovoltaics beginning over 30 years ago when they first began research into silicon crystalline cells. LG panels can vary from competitive pricing to premium pricing, covering a range of modules which are highly regarded and widely available, putting them at the top of the list when it comes to both quality and value for money. LG panels are highly rated by customers and professionals within the solar industry with their impressive black anodised aluminium frames, construction quality and detail.

    What to expect when investing in LG Panels?

    Similar to SunPower, LG also offers a 25-year warranty which covers transport and labour costs to uninstall and re-install the panels.

    • Power rating* (W): 320W – 375W
    • Efficiency (%): 3 – 21.7%
    • Price range: medium to high
    • 12-year product warranty & 25-year performance warranty

    LG also had one of their models rated as one of the most efficient solar panels of 2018 with their LG energy Neon R (up to 21.4% efficiency).

  • Canadian Solar Inc

    Canadian Solar Inc is one of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world and produces a wide range of high-quality solar panels at cost-effective pricing

    What to expect when investing in Canadian Solar Inc Panels?

    • Power rating* (W): 270W – 340W
    • Efficiency (%): 16 – 20.1%
    • Price range: low to medium
    • 10-year product warranty & 25-year performance warranty
  • REC
    REC Solar Logo

    REC solar panels are the largest European brand of solar panels. Their panels are sold worldwide and are a popular choice amongst installers. REC provides high-quality panels at reasonable, cost-effective pricing. Many of their models are designed to withstand heavy loads and wind.

    What to expect when investing in REC Panels?

    • Power rating* (W): 290W – 355W
    • Efficiency (%): 18 – 21.7%
    • Price range: medium to high
    • Up to 20-year product warranty & 25 performance warranty
  • Other Highly Regarded Brands
    Trina Solar Logo Jinko Solar Panel Review  

    Hanwha Q Cells

    Trina Solar

    • Power rating* (W): 280W – 340W
    • Efficiency (%): 16 – 19.4%
    • Price range: low to medium
    • 10-year product warranty and 25 performance warranty
    • Read more about Trina Solar Panels

    Jinko Solar

    • Power rating* (W): 280W – 340W
    • Efficiency (%): 16 – 19.4%
    • Price range: low to medium
    • 10-year product warranty and 25-year performance warranty
    • Read more about Jinko Solar Panels

    Seraphim

    • Price range: low
    • Tier 1 panels
    • 10-year product warranty and 25-year performance warranty
    • Warranty Inclusive of Removal and Re-installation of Panels: No

    SunTech

    • Approx. Cost Per Panel incl GST (AUD): $211
    • Country of Manufacture: China
    • Average Warranty Length: 12 years
    • Warranty Inclusive of Removal and Re-installation of Panels: No
    • Read more about SunTech Solar Panels

 

 

Highly Reviewed Inverter Brands

Inverters are an integral part of any solar PV system and certain models can have additional features and functionalities you may or may not require.

Before diving into brands and models you will need to have chosen what type of inverter is most suited to your needs and system (Standard String, Micro, Hybrid, Grid- Tie, Battery etc.) Read more here if you’re still determining which Inverter type is for you.

Based on reviews from industry professionals and customers, here are some highly regarded inverters available in Australia. These inverters have been reviewed favourably due to their quality, warranty, features, monitoring, reliability and value.

  • Fronius
    Fronius Solar Logo

    • 5-10-year warranty for inverters with the option to extend
    • Award winning service and support
    • Easy installation
    • Highly regarded by professionals and customers
    • Compatible with retrofit batteries
    • Australian presence with an office based in Melbourne
    • High price range
    • Fronius inverters average maximum efficiencies of 97 to 98%
    • All Fronius Inverters are WiFi enabled for easy monitoring, commissioning and warranty.
  • SolarEdge
    SolarEdge Solar Logo

    • Cost-effective and reliable
    • 12-year standard warranty which is extendable to 25 years
    • Unique use of power optimisers to maximise power generation at the individual panel level
    • Wide range available inclusive of residential, commercial and small utility-scale solar installations
    • Australian presence with an office is located in Victoria
    • SolarEdge inverters have a weighted max efficiency of greater than 97%, independent of string length and temperature
    • SolarEdge’s high quality results in a high price for their inverters
    • All SolarEdge inverters can be monitored by a web-based portal
  • SMA
    SMA Solar Logo

    • Highly reliable technology requiring less service than competing models, saving time and money over the long-term
    • Australian presence with an office in Sydney, NSW
    • One of the most popular inverters in Australia
    • SMA Sunny Boy Inverters have average maximum efficiencies of 97%.
    • Renowned for their high quality
    • Premium cost for their superior technology
    • 5-year warranty with option to extend up to 20 years (dependent on model).
    • Warranty includes all costs in the unlikely event of an issue/failure, including shipping and on-site replacement
    • Offer a number of different internet-based monitoring solutions
    • Reliability – these guys deliver unparalleled power output all year round
    • Easy installation
  • ABB
    ABB Solar Logo

    • Australian presence with an office located in Sydney, NSW
    • Max efficiencies of up to 97%
    • All ABB inverters come with a 5-year warranty that can be extended to 10, 15 and 20 years for a fee.
    • ABB solar inverters offer remote monitoring via the Aurora Vision Plant Management Platform
    • Highly regarded customer service and reliability
  • Delta
    Delta Solar Logo

    • Australian Presence with an Australian office located in Victoria
    • Average maximum efficiencies of 96-97%, depending on model
    • Manufactured exclusively in China, they are less expensive than the inverters
    • Delta inverters come with a 10-year product warranty as standard
    • Delta string inverters can be monitored wirelessly with the SOLIVIA Monitor 2.0. Also compatible with third party monitoring systems Web’log and Solar-lo.

 

 

Popular Battery Brands

Battery storage is becoming increasingly popular with more brands and options becoming available. Once you’ve determined what battery storage setup you require for your solar system (retrofit, hybrid/battery ready, plugin and play or standalone) you can then discuss with installers what may be the best brand and model to make the most out of your excess energy. Here are some popular brands you’ll see around the Australian market.

  • Tesla Powerwall
    Tesla Powerwall Logo

    • Lithium-ion battery
    • Global leader in technology innovation
    • Life expectancy of 15 years and comes with a 10-year performance warranty
    • Doesn’t include a solar inverter or an in-built energy management system
    • Simple installation and low maintenance
    • Modern design
  • Enphase Energy
    Enphase Energy Logo

    • Modular lithium-ion phosphate battery
    • Expected life expectancy of 10 years
    • Built in monitoring option
    • One of the lowest costing systems ($1,900-$3000)
    • Compatible with most solar systems meaning no need to upgrade to a hybrid inverter
  • Magellanpower
    Magellanpower Logo

    • WA company
    • Hybrid Energy Storage System
    • Output efficiency of 97%
    • All in one unit
    • Easy installation
    • Compatible with most solar systems due to inbuilt hybrid inverter
    • 10-year performance warranty
    • Mobile app monitoring option
  • LG Chem
    LG Chem Logo

    • 15 to 20-year life expectancy
    • 10-year warranty
    • Large range of sizes
    • Low-voltage and high-voltage options
    • Lithium-ion battery technology

 
Last updated November 2019

 
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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.