Australians are increasingly considering renewable energy as a way of reducing their carbon footprint. So, what are the best solar panels in Australia? This blog post will explore some of the top solar panel brands and provide an overview of how to choose the right one for your needs. We’ve also compiled a list of things you should consider when installing solar panels so that you can be confident about making an informed decision on which ones to buy.
The perfect set-up is different for every person, but there are several factors that need consideration including: Where do I live? What’s my budget? How much power do I use? These questions might sound daunting at first glance, but with this handy guide, they’ll be easy peasy lemon squeezy! Let’s get started!
Best Solar Panels in Australia – Where to Start?
To guide you through the best solar panel brands, we’ve put together a list of things that you should consider. So, before digging into the best solar panels on the market, let’s cover some general points about getting your home set up with renewable energy.
Where do you live?
This may seem like a silly question, but there’s more to it than you might think when it comes to harvesting solar power. Some states receive less sunshine throughout the year than others and this can affect how effective your panels are. The best way to get an idea of how much sun your state gets is to check out the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website.
Does your property get direct or indirect sunlight?
All homes are different and so are the best solar panels for them. If you live in a part of Australia with long hours of direct sunlight, then getting some standard roof-mounted panels will be best. But if you live where the sun hits your roof space at an angle, then solar panels for your home will probably need to be mounted on a stand and angled toward the direction of the sun.
Do you work from home?
If so, this is another factor that needs to be considered when choosing solar panels for your home. If you need to use appliances during the day, then you’ll need the best solar panels Australia has to offer. This holds true even if you work from home and can’t control when the sun is shining. If your solar panels are only going to be functional for a couple of hours each day, it might not be best to invest in them.
How much money can you spend?
The best solar panel brands can vary greatly in price. This may make you think that panels need to be purchased according to your income, but this is not always the case. If you get enough sun on your property, then it doesn’t matter if solar panels cost $5 or $5000. What does matter is how much the solar panels will cost per kWh and this depends on your current energy provider and the best solar panels for your home.
How do solar panels work?
Solar panel manufacturing has advanced rapidly over the years. When you buy solar panels today you are able to access higher efficiency solar energy technology that wasn’t around years ago. In a nutshell, solar panels work by utilising what is known as the ‘photovoltaic effect’. During this process, photons (light particles) hit electrons (negatively charged particles), ejecting them. These ‘free’ electrons are then able to flow through the material, producing electricity that can be used by appliances or sent back into the grid.
Put simply, this is the process where solar panels absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity. This electricity can then be used, sent back to the grid, or stored in a built-in battery storage unit that can be used to power your appliances at a later time.
Types of solar panels
There are two main types of solar panels – standard (or fixed) and modular (or flexible). Standard solar panel brands use a single row design which means they produce less power than their modular counterparts because they only use one side to absorb the light. These solar panels are best suited to people who need a lower wattage system because they typically produce about 16-100 watts per panel.
If you’re looking for solar panels that can accommodate more appliances, then modular best solar panels might be best for you. Not only do they produce higher wattages (up to 300 watts), they also allow the light to be absorbed from both sides instead of just one.
Monocrystalline panels are typically more efficient than polycrystalline solar panels, but they tend to be more expensive as well. They also work best in places where direct sunlight is consistent and uninterrupted. Monocrystalline panels are black in colour, best suited to areas with lots of available space and best placed on stands.
If you’re looking to reduce your solar panel costs and still get a decent amount of power, then polycrystalline solar panels could be a good choice. They are typically dark blue in colour and harvest more light than monocrystalline panels during cloudy or hazy days and aren’t as sensitive to the direction of sunlight. Most solar panels sold in Australia are polycrystalline.
Interdigitated back contact solar cell (IBC)
Interdigitated back contact (IBC) solar cell technology was first introduced in 2006 to replace crystalline silicon because IBCs are more efficient at converting light into electricity. The best thing about IBCs is that they are just as easy to manufacture as their predecessor – you don’t need any special equipment or knowledge when it comes to creating them. This means they can be made in countries with less expensive labour costs than other solar panel brands, meaning lower cost per watt for consumers.
Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell (PERC)
Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell (PERC) are best suited to people who live in areas with spaces that are not abundant. They work best in places where there’s shade like under trees or sun, but not too much. PERC best solar panels are commonly used in places like Australia because of their low costs. The rear of the cell is reflective, thus any light that missed its chance to generate electricity inside the cell can be reflected back through the cell for a second try.
Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell solar panels are suited for people wanting to get the best value for money. These solar cells have a cell efficiency of 21%-24%, which is much better than bulk solar cells, making them best suited to high-energy users.
Thin-film solar panels can be made from a variety of materials, including amorphous silicon, copper indium gallium diselenide, cadmium telluride and zinc sulphide. These solar panels are best for installations where space is an issue because they’re typically a lot smaller than others. Thin film solar panels are suited to people who need a lower wattage system because they typically produce about 16-100 watts per panel. This is best for houses that have limited space and want to get the most out of their best solar panels, without spending too much.
Bifacial best solar panels are best suited to people who want the best of both worlds. These solar panels are dark in colour because they can absorb light from both sides, giving you more wattage for your solar system. Bifacial are best suited to electric cars, boats and off-grid homes.
They can also be mounted vertically, for example, to take full advantage of solar power throughout the day (one side catching the morning light in the east, while the other side catches the afternoon light in the west) – this may be particularly beneficial in commercial solar farms. Depending on how they’re set up and the amount of reflected light available, they can generate anything from 5% to more than 20% more power than a single-faced panel with the same power rating.
Solar Panel Performance and Product Warranty
When choosing solar panels, one factor to consider is product warranty and performance ratings. When shopping around for a solar panel brand, ask how long they’ve been in business and what type of warranties they offer.
For example, solar panel manufacturers SunPower has a 25-year solar panel power output warranty as well as 25-year solar panel materials and workmanship warranty. This solar panels brand is referred to as “the best of the best” in the industry, having won a number of awards including the Smart Energy Council (formerly known as the Australian Solar Council) best solar panel award for five consecutive years.
It is important to check that whichever brand you choose has a local Australian office for support and warranty claims. We only stock and supply brands that are well established in the Australian market and have a track record of manufacturing quality products, backed by lengthy warranties.
Max Efficiency vs Max Power
When solar panels are marketed, they are often shown as either ‘Max’ efficiency or ‘Max’ power ratings. What solar panels do is give an indication of the best performance you can expect under optimal circumstances. These optimal circumstances vary by the type of solar panels, but generally don’t take into consideration factors such as degradation over time, best times of the day for solar panels to get optimal efficiency, ideal direction to face (south or east-facing solar panels are more efficient than west-facing solar panels) and shading.
To get an idea of expected performance of solar panels based on ideal conditions, look for solar panel ‘efficiency’ numbers. For example, SunPower solar panels have an efficiency rating of 22% to 24%.
However, the solar power you can expect from solar panels is determined not only by these best circumstances but also by how your household uses energy throughout the day. During the hours when your solar panels are catching the best amount of sunlight (generally between 10am-3pm), solar panels will only generate power if you use it at this time. For example, during summer in Australia, solar panels might produce more than 1 kilowatt (kW). However, in winter your solar panel might produce only 500 watts.
In the white paper from SunPower, you can see that under optimal conditions power output is about 1kW, but actual power production was only 0.88kW – a difference of 12%. In winter power production was only 5% of what it would be in summer after factoring for best time of day for solar panels to get optimal power.
The ideal direction for most solar panel installations is south-facing, but if your best south-facing window happens to be one facing west, you might want to consider turning the solar panel around during the afternoon, because it will still receive plenty of light in the morning that you can use.
Solar panel efficiency is a way to know whether you are looking at a quality panel or one of the many cheaper panels. If it has higher efficiency, the panel will do well for 25 years.
Solar panel degradation over time is indicated by manufacturers. For example, SunPower solar panels have a performance guarantee for 25 years – while other solar panel brands may only offer a 10-year solar panel warranty.
A good way to determine if you’re getting enough power from your system is with a device called an inverter, which converts the direct current (DC) power that comes from solar panels into household alternating current (AC). You can then compare the amount of energy you are using with what your solar panels are producing.
You can also see your electricity usage and time to get solar power for each day on an interactive graph, which shows how to ideally use your efficient solar panels to get the most power.
Once your solar panels have generated more power than you’ve used, you can sell back any excess electricity generated for a premium price per unit of energy under feed-in tariff laws in Australia.
Clean Energy Council Approved Panels
Since quality solar panels are an investment, it’s important to make sure you install solar panel brands that are approved by the Clean Energy Council, a leading voice of authority in the solar industry. This means they’re installed to Australian standards and have warranties that will protect your investment for years to come. It also means you will be eligible for any solar industry-related rebates offered as many have qualification criteria that the panels and inverters you are using are approved by the Clean Energy Council.
How many solar panels do you need?
A solar panel system, like any other PV technology, converts light into energy. The amount of power generated by a single solar panel varies between 40w and 400w. This implies that increasing the number of panels does not automatically translate to greater electricity generation. Instead, you should consider the entire solar system size.
The system size is expressed in kilowatts, which indicates the maximum amount of power the system can create under ideal conditions (i.e. a perfect day with no clouds). As a result, a 2kW system will produce 2kW for about two hours on a daily basis during peak times.
A 3kW solar system may be installed by professional solar installers for between $10,000 and $30,000. It will require 12 x 250 watt solar panels. Depending on their output, more or fewer panels will be needed. When working out your pricing please don’t forget to consider the cost of your solar inverters which will also be required.
If you have a solar battery to store energy or if your household’s mid-day power usage is particularly high, consider upgrading to a larger system. There is no need for a family of four to buy anything larger than an 8kW system as a general rule.
If you’re unsure about what you need give our Clean Energy Councill approved & accredited solar installers at Skyline Solar a call and we will be able to do a specific comparison against your recent energy bill to recommend the best size for you.
What’s the difference between kilowatts (kW) and kilowatt-hours (kWh)?
It’s critical to remember that kW and kWh aren’t the same. A kWh is a common measurement on power bills, but a kW represents energy use.
1kWh is equal to 1 kilowatt-hour. A watt-hour measures the energy used by an electric device over a length of time, expressed as kilowatt-hours (kWh). An appliance with one kW consumes one kWh in an hour. The amount of kW required to use one kWh varies significantly. For example, a 25-watt bulb uses one kWh in 10 hours, while a 1200-watt hair dryer uses up one kWh of power in just 20 minutes.
There is a rough guideline that says the solar system size you’ll require is equal to your energy consumption in kWh divided by four. Assume you want to install a system that covers half of your electricity usage – 8 kWh. This implies that a 2kW solar system would be enough. If you buy an expensive 8kW system, it will produce half of this per day.
This is why it’s best to use the data on your energy bills when selecting the most efficient solar panels for you, instead of just picking a brand that looks best or is most in-demand in your neighbourhood.
It’s best to measure your best energy consumption in kWh, which stands for kilowatt-hours. This is best done with a device called an inverter, which converts direct current (DC) power from solar panels into household alternating current (AC).
A 2kW solar system will produce between 1 and 3 kWh of power each day. However, this will depend on a number of factors including your location and time of year.
How much do Solar Panels cost?
The cost of the most efficient solar panels for Western Sydney will be determined by the size of the system, any installation costs, and any applicable solar rebates that have been deducted from the original price. Expect to pay between $3,500 and $6,500 for a typical 3kW PV system with about 12 high-quality panels.
While the initial expenditures may raise concerns, obtaining solar can be a sound long-term investment if you’re qualified for a rebate and have chosen an attractive feed-in tariff with your energy provider.
Solar Panels We Recommend
For 12 years, we’ve saved our customers $1.7 million in electricity bills and remained Western Sydney’s most trusted solar power company, offering custom installations and top of the range panels, components and batteries. We’ve taken the time to compile a list of our recommended solar panel brands and the reasons why we recommend them.
SunPower Solar Panels
When our clients come to us requesting the best possible solar panel system for their install we need to be across the latest and efficient technologies that are available in the renewable industry.
While there are a lot of great products out there I wanted to focus on one that is really standing out from the pack so if you’re in the market for a solar system, then you would have heard of SunPower solar panels. They are one of the oldest solar panel manufacturers and are extremely popular across the world in particular the Sunpower Maxeon 5. This is arguably the most powerful home solar panel in Australia, with some of the highest durability you can buy and an industry-leading warranty. When combined with Enphase microinverters, the system generates up to 50% more energy than conventional solar over 25 years.
It is, quite simply, the most advanced solar technology for your roof. We all use technology to make the most of every moment and now there’s a technology that makes the most of every moment of sunlight too!
It starts with a Maxeon 5 solar panel, the most powerful and reliable panel you can buy engineered to work harder even in low light turning on earlier and staying on later than other panels and thanks to advanced microinverter technology each Maxeon 5 panel works independently sending clean energy on its way without interruption.
Why do we recommend SunPower solar panels?
Because most solar systems are only as reliable as their weakest link, should even one panel stop working or be partially shaded every panel is reduced to that level or if the inverter fails everything shuts down.
The independent panels keep performing at their very best even when conditions aren’t so you can be sure you’re getting the highest energy output to power your savings. It’s important that you can see the real-time performance of each panel right in the palm of your hand and since your ac modules are warranted for 25 years you’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing you’re always covered. This system is making the most of every moment of sunlight.
What makes SunPower solar panels so good?
SunPower Maxeon solar panels are designed to be different and proven to be better across more than five cell generations, 3.5 billion cells and 30 million panels, even in the harshest of conditions.
Conventional solar cells lose power over time because of corrosion and breakage. The unique design of SunPower Maxeon solar cells eliminates 86% of the reasons that conventional cells fail. So your SunPower panels – and savings – continue to deliver. Year, after year, after year.
Invest with confidence, knowing that the panel quality is proven. In actual field testing across 8 years and 800,000 panels at 264 sites, SunPower Maxeon solar panels demonstrated the lowest degradation rates in the industry, almost 4x stronger reliability than conventional panels.
SunPower solar panels are definitely one of the best options in the Australian market, there is a good argument to say SunPower Maxeon 5 panel is the best. You would be getting top-of-the-line specifications across efficiency, temperature characteristics, power degradation and an excellent warranty offer.
SolarEdge Solar Panels
SolarEdge has extended its already generous residential product line with the addition of best-in-class smart panels. SolarEdge’s award-winning inverters are integrated with the smart panels, which combine with power optimizers to allow for faster and easier PV installations than previously possible.
SolarEdge is best known for its high-performance inverters, which are seamlessly integrated with the best-in-class smart panels. It has an expanded product line that is best suited to rooftop installations of all sizes.
Why do we recommend SolarEdge Solar Panels?
Other than the premium quality of their panels one of the other main reasons we recommend SolarEdge is because they can be installed very quickly, because the SolarEdge smart panels are already integrated with the best-in-class inverter. Panels made by other manufacturers can take up to 4 or 5 days to install, while SolarEdge systems can be installed in as little as 1 day.
SolarEdge’s products are well-suited to installations of all sizes, from small residential systems to large commercial arrays. SolarEdge also delivers best-in-class support for its products, including online training videos that can be accessed through your smartphone or tablet and local support through their Australian office.
SolarEdge is one of the best solar systems available in the Australian market today.
What makes SolarEdge Solar Panels so good?
One of the main points of difference in this system is in the optimiser device that’s installed in every panel. This optimiser is connected to your SolarEdge inverter through the use of specialised cables that provide panel-level data at rapid speeds. The system works best if each module has an optimal view of the sun, and this system ensures optimum power output at all times by adjusting the position of each panel throughout the day.
SolarEdge’s mySolarEdge software includes a wealth of energy data. Users can monitor their solar power generation, use, and self-consumption with ease using the app. The app enables users to monitor solar production, consumption, and self-consumption at any time. Enhanced performance monitoring down to the panel level is provided by the application.
SunTech Solar Panels
Suntech has led the world in high-efficiency solar cell production for more than 8 years.
SunTech Solar Panels are best known for their best-in-class reliability, thanks to their UL certification and 20+ year power output warranty. SunTech offers quality panels that can last up to 25 years under normal conditions.
SunTech Solar Panels are best known for their best-in-class reliability and best-in-class warranty of 20+ years. SunTech have been around for more than 30 years, making them the longest-running solar panel manufacturers in Australia.
Why do we recommend Suntech Solar Panels?
One of the main reasons why we recommend Suntech is because they offer best-in-class service and support. Their dedicated team works closely with customers and installers to ensure optimal results every single time. Suntech has also partnered with other leading brands like Tesla and Enphase.
What makes Suntech Panels so good?
Suntech modules are designed to adapt to living and sun circumstances in Australia, regardless of where you live or work. From bright, sunny days to the most severe climates, our solar products provide power for your house or business.
Suntech guarantees a 97% power output in the first year, with no more than 0.7 percent decrease through the module’s 25th year. As a result, one will have 80.2 percent nominal power guaranteed in the 25th year after the warranty start date has passed.
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when choosing the best solar panels for your home. We hope that this article has helped answer any questions you had about what type of solar panel is right for your situation and budget.
If you want to make an environmentally friendly and sustainable choice for your home or business, quality Solar Panels are the best option. We recommend the best solar panels available in the Australian market today: Sunpower Solar Panels. If you’d like help deciding which solar panels may be a good fit for your needs or if want more information on a customised solar installation by an accredited solar panel installer, please contact the Clean Energy Council approved team from Skyline Solar today!