The 10 Best Solar Panel Brands in Australia, 2022
Explore the ten solar panel manufacturers we believe are the top brands for solar panel performance, efficiency, price point, reliability, and warranty period.
Explore the ten solar panel manufacturers we believe are the top brands for solar panel performance, efficiency, price point, reliability, and warranty period.
There are many solar brands in the market, and having so many options can be overwhelming. However, a quick way to narrow down your options when installing solar panels is to look for solar panels with a great warranty, efficiency, manufacturer reputation, power output and appearance.
These solar manufacturers produce the best solar panels that meet Australian safety and climate standards.
As the CEC approves these panels, they are also eligible for the government’s many solar incentives.
What to look for in a good solar panel?
Before understanding what makes the top 10 solar panels in Australia the best in class you need to know what to look for. Choosing the best solar panels can be challenging for homeowners, so here are the attributes of a solar panel you should assess to make the right choice.
Here’s what you need to look for:
Solar Panel Efficiency Rating
The panel efficiency rate refers to the rate at which sunlight is captured and turned into electrical energy.
For example, if the solar panel captures at least half of the solar energy falling on the module, its module efficiency would be near 50%.
The panel does not capture most of the energy stored in sunlight.
A conventional solar panel’s efficiency ranges from 15% to 21%.
So why is efficiency even important? A solar energy system produces electricity according to its efficiency and panel size.
If a solar panel has high efficiency, it will produce more power per solar module, requiring less space and fewer panels to achieve the same total power output.
Although high-efficiency solar panels cost more, they are essential for factories or utilities with more significant power needs or residential roofs with less roof space.
Total Cost of the Panel
Budget is an important consideration for homeowners when selecting the best solar panel for your roof.
Besides the solar panel’s costs, you need to consider the cost of solar installation and ongoing solar system maintenance.
Homeowners also need to consider the cost of retrofitting a battery and whether they need to install a ‘future-proofed system.’
Roughly, the total cost of a solar panel system depends on the power output it produces, the complexity of the solar installation, and the additional add-ons such as solar monitoring included in your system.
However, the most significant contributing factor is the solar panel cost.
Some suppliers offer special discounts from time to time.
The federal and state governments also offer solar rebates, incentives, and feed-in tariffs, which can help you cover the cost of the solar system.
Beyond that, homeowners can access many no deposit, no interest financing plans that reduce the impact of purchasing a solar system by breaking down the cost of the system into affordable weekly payments.
Warranty of the Solar Panel
A solar panel warranty refers to the period when the company will replace ta faulty panel, free of charge.
There are two types of solar panel warranties; performance warranties and manufacturing warranties.
A performance warranty guarantees that the panel will perform according to the 25 linear performance degradation model. A linear degradation model means that the solar panel will be 80% efficient after 25 years and 90% efficient after ten years, and not less than that. This performance degradation will happen gradually and not suddenly.
A manufacturing warranty refers to any faults caused by an improper manufacturing process that resulted in a faulty panel.
It is essential to compare the warranties provided by solar panel manufacturers as replacing a solar panel can be costly without one.
However, in many cases, the manufacturer will pay the installer to replace the panel, meaning the cost of re-installing the solar panel is not your responsibility if the panel is in warranty.
The solar energy industry standard for a performance warranty is 25 years. The average manufacturing warranty is between 10-15 years.
There are other ways to assess a warranty as well. For instance, find out where to send the module if it needs to replacing or if the company will even be operational in the next 10 to 20 years?
Specifications of the Solar Panel
Solar panels have many specifications, features, and performance metrics that determine their overall quality. One of the most important specifications of a solar panel is power tolerance.
The solar system’s temperature and voltage rating coefficient are critical for assessing the best solar panels, especially for Australia’s hot climate. A temperature coefficient rating is a rating of the panel’s efficiency loss in high temperatures. The better it is, the less energy is lost at temperatures above 40 degrees celsius.
It is also essential that the specifications follow the guidelines of the Clean Energy Council so that you can be eligible for a solar rebate.
Suppose you want a solar panel that can capture as much solar energy as possible and converts it into electricity for your office. In that case, high efficiency should be your primary concern.
But suppose you want a solar panel for your home that you can easily install on your roof and connect with the primary grid. In that case, you need to look for manufacturers of solar or SunPower solar panels to get residential products.
The flexibility of the solar panel and how easily it can be installed is another factor many people consider looking for the best quality panels.
Some manufacturers offer technical support, while with others, you will have to work with independent suppliers for others. Therefore, make sure the company you are working with also has a head office or supporting staff in the country.
Check the Manufacturer’s Tier 1 Status
Many Australians have reported they distrust that panels produced in China are high quality. But the truth is that many Tier 1 solar manufacturers make exceptionally high-quality solar panels in China, with a minority of manufacturers producing lower quality products.
So instead of focusing on the country of manufacturing, you should consider the manufacturer’s reputation in the market. Please read about the solar panel manufacturer online, the responsiveness of its customer service, and the quality of its solar panels.
Some companies also buy solar panels from other manufacturers and self-brand them. Therefore, you should always identify who the product’s actual manufacturer is.
Researching the solar manufacturer online will ensure that you only work with trustworthy and authentic brands.
It’s also worth mentioning that it’s essential to work with a solar installer or retailer that the Clean Energy Council accredits.
Consider the Appearance
Although this isn’t mandatory, most people also like to think about the solar panels’ appearance and how good the solar panel would look on their roof space.
There are different types of solar panels available in the market. Generally, thin-film solar panels look the best. However, these panels can take up much space.
So if you want something minimal, you can opt for small solar panels. Some solar installers can also integrate the panels directly on the roof, while some suppliers also sell solar roof tiles.
Many companies have further started to manufacture flexible panels with sleek aesthetics.
However, regardless of your aesthetic, make sure you choose a solar panel that performs well and delivers as promised.
1. Canadian Solar
Canadian Solar is a leading global solar manufacturer. Canadian Solar produced over 8.5GW of panels in 2019 alone, equivalent to approximately 25000 solar modules a year. Founded in 2001, this company has two decades of experience in the renewable energy industry.
Today, the company has the fifth-largest capacity in terms of production of solar panels across the world. The company is a Tier 1 solar panel manufacturer.
Despite its name, Canadian Solar produces its solar panels in China. However, the company was founded in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, by Shawn Qu. Canadian solar is one of the best solar panels for budget and performance. And, for the cost, one of the best quality solar panels on the market.
Canadian Solar’s Solar Panel Cell Technology:
- They produce many monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels, available in many sizes.
- Most panels manufactured by Canadian Solar operate at around a 20% panel efficiency, similar to Jinko.
Canadian Solar has since opened five warehouses and four offices across Australia, including in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth. They have since employed over 60 staff from Australia.
Canadian Solar has done a great deal to invest in manufacturing corrosion-resistant panels better suited for the Australian Climate.
Canadian Solar Efficiency
The highest efficiency of the solar panel systems produced by Canadian Solar is over 20%. The models reaching this efficiency are suitable when roof space is limited, but the requirement for solar power is high.
Canadian Solar Warranty
Canadian Solar Panels further comes with a product warranty of 12 years. Canadian Solar’s warranty is not as long as some manufacturers, such as Longi.
Our Recommended Solar Panel
Nectr works with the Ku and HiKu product lines from Canadian Solar, which have a 12-year product warranty and a 25-year power production warranty. These two product lines include quality panels of various wattages, adapting to the needs of any project.
2. Jinko Solar
Jinko Solar was founded in 2006, and they have become one of the largest solar manufacturers, with 80 GW of solar capacity delivered in over 160 countries. They are one of the leaders in global solar panel manufacturing.
Jinko offers a 12-year product warranty and a 25-year performance warranty across most solar panel ranges.
The rated efficiency of most Jinko panels is around 20%, and the exact value will depend on the specific model used for your installation.
Jinko’s Solar Panels are cost-effective solar panels for homeowners’ considering their budget.
Jinko is well known for investing in research and development to improve the performance of its solar panels. The solar panel manufacturer has an excellent record for producing high-quality panels for the Australian market through enhanced quality control. Jinko solar panels are one of the best solar panels for homeowners looking for a long panel warranty period.
Tiger Pro Series –
This panel has an efficiency rating of 21.35% and an output of 585Wp. The solar systems in this series are high-performing, suitable for companies and factories, primarily for commercial and utility-scale projects.
Tiger Series –
This panel has an output of 470Wp and an efficiency of 21.25%. The series included mid to high-performance panels, which are compact in shape.
Swan Series –
This solar panel has an efficiency of 20.05%, an output of 450Wp, and a 30-year product warranty. These include bifacial and large conferences that fit utility-scale solar projects.
Cheetah Series –
This solar panel has an efficiency of up to 20.45% and a power output of 345W. The models are compact and simple in shape. These panels are perfect for households on a budget.
Jinko makes its solar panels using mono PERC P-type silicon cells.
Jinko has invested in N-type silicon cells to improve the efficiency of its solar panels.
An N-type silicon cell dopes the silicon with phosphorous. Phosphorous has a negative charge in comparison to silicon.
A P-type silicon cell instead copes the cell with boron, creating a positive charge. J
At Nectr, we have suggested the Tiger series from Jinko. These solar panels use N-type solar cells, and they achieve an energy conversion efficiency of up to 20.96%.
3. Q CELLS
Q CELLS is an innovative solar brand known for producing some of the best solar panels in the industry and is also a major global manufacturer of green energy products.
Their research and development headquarters are located in Germany, and they also have R&D teams in Malaysia, China, and South Korea. Q CELLS offers above-average efficiency, and their best quality solar panels are rated above 20%.
Benefits of Q CELLS Solar Module:
- Q CELLS developed their own PERC cell technology, which is called Q.ANTUM.
- Their design ensures both the productivity and the durability of solar cells.
- The company has produced over 2.5 billion Q.ANTUM cells, equivalent to more than 10 GW of capacity.
Q CELLS solar panels are known for being reliable and performing consistently. Recently, the company released a new slick quality panel range, called the Q.Home CORE series, which comes with a built-in backup power system.
The panels rated mid to high performance, reliability, and quality. The company has boosted the efficiency of its products by incorporating half-cut cells and multi-busbars on its generation panels.
Q CELLS has also started working with a high-density cell format that removes the gap between the cells and increases the overall surface area of the solar panel. In this way, solar panels can capture more energy, especially in hot climates.
Q CELLS have various ranges of panels, including:
- Residential panels range from 375W to 415W in size, with a maximum efficiency rate of 21.4%.
- Commerical Panels can go up to 21.7% in terms of efficiency.
The company offers a product warranty of 12 years and a performance warranty ranging from 12 to 25 years. Q core also offers home solar battery systems with SDI lithium cells technology.
At Nectr, we use the Q.MAXX-G2 and Q.PEAK DUO-G6+ series from Q CELLS in many of our installations. The Q.MAXX-G2 panels come with a 12-year product warranty, and the Q.PEAK DUO-G6+ panels come with a 25-year product warranty. Both products have a 25-year power output warranty.
4. Risen Energy
Risen Energy is another solar manufacturing giant with a production capacity of over 19 GW. Their solar panels can achieve up to 21.3% efficiency while having a 15-year product warranty and a 25-year performance warranty.
Founded in 1986, the well-known Chinese manufacturer Risen Energy has a long track record in the solar industry. It is known for producing the best solar panels in terms of value.
The company also has offices in Melbourne and Brisbane.
Customers getting products from the company don’t have to worry about customer service or distribution channels later on.
Risen’s Advanced Solar Cell Technology
The product was a response to industrial issues and customer concerns regarding light-induced degradation, reduced capture of solar power, internal power loss, and the cost of BOS. Accordingly, Risen improved its products and produced high-quality, as well as efficient, monocrystalline panels.
Risen Solar Module Efficiency
The company has various ranges for its solar system. For instance, the Risen Jager series offers up to 20.2% efficiency.
Risen standard half-cut and fuel cells panels are also known for their quality and efficiency. The split cell polycrystalline solar panels generate electricity and capture solar power with more than 19% efficiency.
Risen Energy is also one of the brands we use at Nectr. Our solar installers install solar panels from their Titan series, which use monocrystalline PERC cells.
5. LG Solar
LG has become a household name, with a wide selection of appliances and electronic gadgets. However, LG is also a significant player in the solar industry and is known to produce some of the most efficient solar panels. Many consider them to manufacture the best solar panels outright. However, LG Solar’s high performance comes at a higher price point for your solar system.
LG solar panels are considered a premium product, and the Neon R series can convert up to 22% of sunlight into electricity. They come with a 25-year product warranty and a 25-year power production warranty. Some earlier solar power panels from LG have a 15-year product warranty, which is still above the industry standard (10-12 years).
LG products are known for being cost-efficient and relying on a monocrystalline N-type solar cell as the basis for their higher efficiency and low degradation in power over the years. The LG module has one of the best solar pa
LG produces the following solar panels:
|Mono C Plus
LG is also well-known in the market for its IBC solar cell technology. This IBC technology uses 30 busbars that are fit into the rear end of the cell. There are no visible busbars on the cell, and the design reduces cell shading. Most solar panels have visible busbars.
N-type doped silicon makes the solar PV system less prone to degradation, better at performing at high temperatures, and being low in terms of electrical resistance than p-type solar.
6. REC Solar
REC is another premium brand of solar panels, founded in Norway in 1997. REC’s Alpha Series solar panel offers an efficiency rate of 21.7%. REC Solar is known for producing weather-resistant products better suited for the Australian Climate. REC Solar produces the best solar panels for the Australian weather.
Why REC Solar is Great for the Australian Climate:
- Many solar panels lose around 0.40% – 0.50% productivity for every degree above 25°C.
- However, REC solar panel modules have a temperature coefficient of only -0.26% per °C.
REC solar panels are very durable, and they come with a 20-year product warranty and a 25-year performance warranty.
These solar panels have a great track of achieving low failure rates. The efficient panels of REC are a favourite in the Australian renewable energy market.
REC Half Cut Cells
REC also offers a half-cut cell design and a split module that effectively divides the mon0crystalline panels into two halves. The two halves operate separately but complement the performance of each other.
Traditional full-size panels lose about 40% of the total power. Accordingly, the half-cut cell format reduces the power losses and resistance from the cells that are shaded. The design also comes with busbars that further improve the overall efficiency of the panel.
REC also has an N-Peak series that uses N-type silicon. This series puts the company in the same league as Panasonic, SunPower, and LG solar panels.
SunPower currently has the most efficient solar panels globally, achieving up to 22.8% efficiency. Sunpower offers a great solar module with an excellent temperature coefficient (-0.29% per °C), a 25-year product warranty, and a 25-year performance warranty.
As you might expect from a premium brand, SunPower panels are among the most expensive. However, they compensate for that with their superior efficiency and extended warranty. Founded in 1985, SunPower is one of the oldest brands in the industry.
Accordingly, SunPower has a vibrant history of manufacturing high-quality solar panels. High performance does come at a cost. But SunPower has a very efficient research team that looks after innovating the company’s most famous products.
Using the most advanced cell technology, the company has already won the world solar challenge car race held in Australia. These achievements speak volumes of the company’s calibre in the market.
The solar panels under this brand have a power rating usually between 360W to 500 W.
Hyundai is an established brand in the automotive sector, but they also have an energy business unit that produces solar panels. Hyundai is considered a value brand in the solar industry, balancing high performance and affordable prices.
Hyundai Solar Panel Warranties
Hyundai solar panels come with 25-year performance warranties.
Hyundai Solar Panel Efficiency & Temperature Coefficient
and they achieve a conversion efficiency of up to 21.3%.
Their temperature coefficient is -0.34% per °C, surpassed by brands like REC and SunPower, but still considered decent in the solar industry.
9. Trina Solar
Trina Solar Panels are one of the most affordable solar panels in the market that lives up to industry standards. They are also one of the largest manufacturers in the world, having delivered more than 70 GW of total capacity.
The most efficient solar panel from Trina operate at around 20% efficiency, and they come with a 10-15 year product warranty and a 25-year performance warranty. Like Canadian Solar, Trina Solar offers a broad selection of monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels.
This is another brand that balances performance and price. Today, Trina Solar is known for being one of the biggest manufacturers of vertically integrated solar panels that are also very affordable.
Over the last few years, the company has also stood out in the industry in terms of innovation since its latest Vertex range has one of the best solar cell technologies, improving the efficiency of its products and bringing it close to the premium manufacturers.
The most popular range of solar panels under Trina is the Honey series. Commercially, Trina Honey Range is available in sizes up to 370 W.
Trina has products ranging from a 15000 V larger format to half-cut 144 cell panels for utility-scale and larger commercial projects. You can also find dual glass panels within its range, making it a great choice.
Panasonic is another well-known electronics brand that entered the energy industry, focusing on premium solar panels. Panasonic offers one of the best solar panel performances at high temperatures, matching REC (-0.26% per °C).
Panasonic panels achieve up to 21.2% conversion efficiency, and they have 25-year product and performance warranties.
Thanks to their excellent temperature coefficient, Panasonic solar panels are a perfect option for places with hot weather.
Our Guides to Solar Panels and More
We have a series of unique guides to solar, solar finance, batteries and more, if you are looking to do more in-depth research into solar panels check the below:
To explain this in simple terms, solar panels generate current when sunlight knocks electrons out of the atoms. This current then powers the entire house. Read on for a more in-depth analysis.
The term photovoltaic (PV) was first used in 1890. The term derives from the Greek terms photo, ‘phos,’ which means light, and volt, which means electricity.
You might also be wondering what is the ideal number of solar panels for your home, and the answer depends on several factors.
Are you looking for good solar panels for your home? If so, ensure that you choose the right solar panel for optimum efficiency.
Interested in solar? By clicking below, you can use our smart solar calculator to find out just how much you could save with solar, what rebate you are eligible for, and the impact you will have on the environment.
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