There are two main components to a grid-connected solar energy system: the solar panels themselves, which create electricity from sunlight, and the inverter, which converts the electricity into a form you can use in your home.
So you have decided to install solar panels at home and produce your own clean electricity but not sure on how to choose solar panels?
When shopping around to get the best value from your solar panel, one of the points that will set different installers apart is the type and brand of PV module they recommend using in the installation.
You should always keep in mind that a solar panel system is a long term investment; hence there are many aspects other than the price that you should take into account.
Determine Solar Panel Efficiency
Solar panel efficiency is how much of the light the panel receives is converted into electrical energy and how much power your system will generate. Why is a high efficiency good? Well, the higher the efficiency, the more watts of electricity you will get per square meter of panel. So, the higher the efficiency – the smaller that solar panel becomes for the same electrical output and the less roof space required. It is not always the best choice to get the biggest and most efficient solar panel, since you might end up spending more money than you should to cover your energy needs.
You should assess your requirements and find the panel that best suits your needs: this means not underestimate, but also not to overestimate your needs.
Check Solar Panel Manufacturer Warranties
It is not easy to determine the quality of solar panels, inverters and installation service from a quote.
What you need to understand is warranty statements and conformance to quality standards can provide a pretty good indication of a solar panel’s quality.
Look for panels that meet the IEC 61215, a reliability standard established by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). IEC 61215 uses an accelerated outdoor stress test for panels to ensure their durability. And the history and experience of the company supplying you. Will the company be around in 10 or 20 years if something goes wrong?
As an absolute minimum, insist on at least a 10 year manufacturer’s warranty (also called product warranty) on the solar panels, which covers defects in workmanship and materials. Be aware this is a different guarantee to the 25 or 30 year “performance guarantee” that every module out there carries. The manufacturer’s guarantee is the one you need to look at and it needs to be at least 10 years.
Compare Cost to Relative Efficiency
When weighing up how much solar panels cost, the obvious calculation you need to make is: How many watts of power are you getting per Naira of module, or alternatively, Naira per watt?
A key guide on how to choose a solar panel is to consider the cost. However, it shouldn’t be the one and only factor to be considered, since the least expensive panel might not be the most efficient and probably not the best option if you consider the long term. As a general rule and like most things in life, you tend to get what you pay for – so be cautious about choosing solar panels solely on price, as low cost could translate to poor performance and reliability.
Finally, after taking your time to consider the points above, you will need to choose the right installer. Your installer is one of the most important factors of your solar installation! When you choose a solar installer, you should review their certifications, licenses, track record and reputation in the market. Most importantly, a good installer will be an effective partner ready to help you go solar.
For over 14 years, Solar Force Nigeria has been committed to taking our customers through the process of selecting the right and cost effective solar products, and all our installers are frequently trained and retrained so as to be up to date in latest solar energy technology.