Choosing the Best Solar Panels — SunPower Leads the Pack
Sunpower produces the World’s Most Powerful Solar Panels. Not All Products are Created Equal. Solar systems are often described in watts and kilowatts, however, the most important factor to consider is the amount of actual electricity it is expected to generate during its lifetime (kilowatt-hours). When compared to other brands, SunPower panels produce the most electricity in a range of conditions. Recently, Sunpower announced a new 25-year warranty on its solar panels that guarantees the amount of energy they will produce.
Solar panels slowly degrade over time. SunPower guarantees its products will produce at least 95 percent power for the first five years, followed by a maximum degradation rate of 0.4 percent a year each year thereafter. SunPower’s warranty guarantees that its panels will still produce at least 87 percent power at the end of 25 years.
“This is a big deal,” SunPower CEO Tom Werner said in an interview. “Not all solar cells are created equal. As the solar industry matures, we’ll be focusing less on the cost of panels and more on durability and the reliability of the technology. It’s as good as it gets from a warranty perspective.”
Solar cells produce direct current electricity from sun light, which can be used to power equipment or to recharge a battery. The first practical application of photovoltaics was to power orbiting satellites and other spacecraft, but today the majority of photovoltaic modules are used for grid connected power generation. In this case an inverter is required to convert the DC to AC.
- Monocrystalline solar panels such as SunPower, are the most expensive as they have the highest
power output. These modules are made from a single large silicon crystal. Typically, a monocrystalline panel will begin producing electricity at about 5% of maximum sun energy while a polycrystalline panel will start producing power at about 10% maximum sun energy. This means that the monocrystalline panel will produce energy for more hours per day and in lower light conditions. Additionally, the monocrystalline panel will perform better and produce more energy in hot conditions.
Polycrystalline solar panels are made by taking raw silicon and forming it into an ingot. This ingot is sliced into cells. Polycrystalline cells typically are less efficient than are monocrystalline panels as they require slightly more light to start up and they output less energy at higher temperatures. Typical Polycrystalline panels are the Sharp 208, 216 and 224, Solon and Trina and most of the Chinese manufactured product.
- Amorphous solar panels come in a film that is deposited on a substrate. This substrate can vary and include glass, plastic or metal. This is often called thin film. While polycrystalline and monocrystalline panels will have efficiencies of 13% to 20%, amorphous silicon is typically around 8%-9%. Amorphous silicon is much less expensive. However, the cost of installation is typically much greater for residential installations due to the fact that it requires much more area, more material and more labor.
Introducing the SunPower E20 Solar Panel Series
Solar Panels come in many varieties. All of the solar panels we carry are high output mono and polycrystalline with a 25 year warranty. The things to look for in a solar panel are:
1. Cost per watt
2. Warranty of 25 years
3. Output tolerance
4. Temperature Coefficient
4. CEC rating vs. STC rating
Not All Warranties Are Created Equally
Sunpower Solar Panels are designed to last more than 25 years. Most solar panels have basic instrinsic design flaws that will reduce there longevity, regardless of the stated company warranty. Sunpower is different.
Why Do More Homeowners Choose SunPower® Solar?
Superior Solar Panel Electricity Production
According to third party tests, SunPower solar energy systems produce more electricity than other solar solutions. This means you can virtually eliminate your electric bill while greatly decreasing your environmental impact.
The Planet’s Most Powerful Solar®
SunPower solar panels produce more power than other panels within the same amount of space. This means you’ll need fewer solar panels to produce the energy you need. And you can maximize your available roof space to choose the best, unobstructed location for electricity production.
Greatest Savings from Solar Energy
Among the many benefits of a SunPower solar energy system, the fact that it offers the greatest savings on your utility bill may be the most important. There is no better way for you to maximize the return on your solar investment and increase the resale potential on your home than with a SunPower home solar system.
The Bottom Line
If you have decided that you want to put Solar Panels on your home, talk to one of the experts at Heritage Solar. There are so many solar panel choices available that it is hard to find the best modules and inverters. Contact us if you have any questions or would like a free site visit.