Highly Reviewed Brands & Products

Highly Reviewed Solar Panels

Browsing the market of solar panel brands and models can be an overwhelming experience when deciding to install or upgrade a solar system. To the naked eye, all solar panels look pretty much the same with slight variations of colours, sizes and makes. So how do you select a brand and model of quality that will be sufficient for your energy needs and be reliable throughout its lifetime?

Thanks to Clean Energy Reviews we’ve been able to source a list of the best reviewed and highest regarded solar panel brands available. Reviews were based on quality, performance, value and feedback by solar industry professionals.

 

Top 4 Panel Brands Available In Australia

  • SunPower
    Sunpower Solar Panel Review

    SunPower is considered the world leader of solar panels but can generally cost around 30% more than their competition. World record holder for the most efficient rooftop solar panels, SunPower is at the forefront of the solar PV industry.

    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.

      • Approx. Cost Per Panel incl GST (AUD): $512
      • Country of Manufacture: Malaysia/Philippines/Mexico
      • Average Warranty Length: 25 years
      • Warranty Inclusive of Removal and Re installation of Panels: Yes

    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 Panel Review

    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 range 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.

    • Approx. Cost Per Panel incl GST (AUD): $386
    • Country of Manufacture: South Korea
    • Average Warranty Length: 25 years
    • Warranty Inclusive of Removal and Re-installation of Panels: Yes

    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).

  • Winaico
    WINAICO Solar Panel

    Winaico is a relatively small volume manufacturer offering a premium range of very high-quality panels which are reasonably priced. Winaico is highly regarded in the solar industry and trusted by installers due to their track record of reliability and performance in the harsh Australian conditions.

    What to expect when investing in Winaico Panels?

    • Approx. Cost Per Panel incl GST (AUD): $231
    • Country of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Average Warranty Length: 15 years
  • REC
    REC Solar Panel Review

    REC manufacture quality, cost-effective panels which have proven to be very popular among solar professionals, in particular, the TwinPeak range of panels. Those in the solar industry rate REC for their reliability and good performance, especially in the harsh Australian climate. REC is now the largest European owned supplier of solar modules and growing rapidly with a total production volume increase of almost 40% in 2018.

    What to expect when investing in REC Panels?

    • Approx. Cost Per Panel incl GST (AUD): $197
    • Country of Manufacture: Singapore
    • Average Warranty Length: 10 years
    • Warranty Inclusive of Removal and Re-installation of Panels: No
  • Other Highly Regarded Brands
    Trina Solar Panel Review Jinko Solar Panel Review JA Solar Solar Panel Review Canadiansolar Solar Panel Review Phono Solar Panel Review Hyundai Solar Panel Review

    Hanwha Q Cells

    • Approx. Cost Per Panel incl GST (AUD): $202
    • Country of Manufacture: South Korea/China/Malaysia
    • Average Warranty Length: 12 years
    • Warranty Inclusive of Removal and Re-installation of Panels: No
    • Read more about Hanwha Q Cells Solar Panels

    Trina Solar

    • Approx. Cost Per Panel incl GST (AUD): $185
    • Country of Manufacture: China
    • Average Warranty Length: 10 years
    • Warranty Inclusive of Removal and Re-installation of Panels: No
    • Read more about Trina Solar Panels

    Jinko Solar

    • Approx. Cost Per Panel incl GST (AUD): $216
    • Country of Manufacture: China
    • Average Warranty Length: 10 years
    • Warranty Inclusive of Removal and Re-installation of Panels: No
    • Read more about Jinko Solar Panels

    JA Solar

    • Approx. Cost Per Panel incl GST (AUD): $188
    • Country of Manufacture: China
    • Average Warranty Length: 12 years
    • Warranty Inclusive of Removal and Re-installation of Panels: No
    • Read more about JA Solar Panels

    Seraphim

    • Approx. Cost Per Panel incl GST (AUD): $221
    • Country of Manufacture: China
    • Average Warranty Length: 10 years
    • Warranty Inclusive of Removal and Re-installation of Panels: No

    Canadian Solar

    • Approx. Cost Per Panel incl GST (AUD): $187
    • Country of Manufacture: China
    • Average Warranty Length: 10 years
    • Warranty Inclusive of Removal and Re-installation of Panels: No
    • Read more about Canadian Solar Panels

    Phono Solar

    • Approx. Cost Per Panel incl GST (AUD): $177
    • Country of Manufacture: China
    • Average Warranty Length: 12 years
    • Warranty Inclusive of Removal and Re-installation of Panels: No
    • Read more about Phono Solar Panels

    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

    Hyundai Solar

    • Approx. Cost Per Panel incl GST (AUD): $250
    • Country of Manufacture: South Korea
    • Average Warranty Length: 12 years
    • Warranty Inclusive of Removal and Re-installation of Panels: No
    • Read more about Hyundai Solar Panels

    Tindo Solar

    • Approx. Cost Per Panel incl GST (AUD): $319
    • Country of Manufacture: Australia
    • Average Warranty Length: 12 years
    • Warranty Inclusive of Removal and Re-installation of Panels: No

     

 

Highly Reviewed Inverter Brands

Inverters are an integral part to any solar PV system, and are responsible for converting the DC electricity generated by solar panels into AC electricity that can be utilised in your home or sent to the grid. While different inverter products may have distinct features and characteristics, they must perform the DC to AC conversion to be considered an inverter.

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

  • Fronius
    Fronius Solar Inverters

    • 5-10-year warranty for inverters with 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 Inverters

    • 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 INVERTER

    • 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 Inverters

    • 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 Inverters

    • 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 due to batteries becoming more affordable in recent years with more brands and options becoming available. Once you’ve determined what battery storage setup you require or want for your solar system (retrofit, hybrid/battery ready, plug in 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

    • 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

    • 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

    • 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

    • 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 February 2019

For a complete list of brands available in Australia see reviews on Canstar Blue

 
Ready to start comparing quotes on panels, inverters or battery storage? Receive Obligation Free Quotes!

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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.