Buying Solar Panels
There is a tonne of information about Buying Solar Panels on the web. Buying Mono, Poly, Thin Film Solar Panels…. Pros and Cons of buying different kinds of solar panels… blah blah blah.
Dont get me wrong, I am a Solar Energy Professional. I buy Solar panels for a living. I am distilling my learning here for you to take a short cut to buying the best solar panels.
This is a short and simple primer to help you buy solar panels. I know what works and what does not while buying solar panels.
If you are looking to buy solar panels for an RV, or a boat or for camping, click here.
Buying Solar Panels for your Home
There are a tonne of solar panels to choose from when you are buying solar panels. I am going to make it simple for you.
Follow two basic rules while buying solar panels :
The Solar Panel must be 300 watts or higher.
The Solar Panel efficiency must be 19% or more
Buying a 300 watt or higher Solar Panel ensures you get the newest technology and highest efficiency. And Why is that you ask?
Because 300 watt and higher solar panels are relatively new in the market. All the manufacturers have invested their latest and greatest stuff into making these new panels.
No going crazy about Mono vs Poly, Thin Film vs Crystalline : just follow these two rules and you will be buying the best solar panels for your home PERIOD.
Now lets look at your buying choices for buying solar panels that are 300 watts or higher :
Buying Super Premium Solar Panels
The two top Super Premium Brands are SunPower and Panasonic
These solar panels have efficiency starting at about 19% and going up to 21%. Compare that to Premium Panels which have efficiency in the range of 17% to 19%.
And, What is solar panel efficiency? Its just the amount of sunlight they are able to convert to electricity.
Remember, if you are buying Super Premium Panels, don’t pay a premium of more than 10% over Premium Solar Panel prices. Paying more for just a 2% jump in efficiency is simply foolish.
Buying Premium Solar Panels
Premium Panels which have efficiency in the range of 17% to 19%. And in my opinion these are much better value for money. I would always choose Premium over super premium.
But then I am a value buyer : I dont buy Beamers, I prefer the Honda’s and the VW’s.
The top premium choices for buying Solar Panels ( remember only 300 watts or more) in no particular order are :
And dont be afraid to buy another solar panel brand if they have 300 watt rated solar panels with efficiency higher than 19%.
If you want my inputs on what inverters to buy along with your solar panels, click here.
Flexible Solar Panels
Flexible Solar Panels use thin film solar technology which enables solar cells to be deposited on flexible material.
The advantages are their ease of installation, usually no screws and the ability to peel and stick some of them. The completely flexible varieties can even be rolled up. The downside to these panels are reduced efficiency compared to regular solar panels and much shorter warranties.
Flexible panels are great when you have constraints about weight; your RV or motorhome might not be ready for the increase weight of regular solar panels. If you have roofs which are curved or if you move around frequently, then flexible solar panels are likely to be your best choice. Of course you have to consider the higher prices of flexible solar panels ( about 25% premium) and the reduced efficiency and warranty.
Regular Solar Panels will be the better choice if you plan to install panels on a flat or pitched roof or if you have enough room on the ground to install regular panels. Some RV owners carry solar panel kits which they install once parked and thus they have access to more power than from flexible solar panels. Since, you seem to have settled on the flexible solar panels based on your needs, here are the best of breed flexible solar panels sorted by brand and also the best reviews: Enjoy
Unisolar Flexible Solar Panels
- Easy to install adhered directly to metal roofing pans, no racking system is required, laminates and metal roofing can be installed in one step
- Lightweight and durable; there are no penetrations to the roof deck It has flexible
- Powerbond, flexible solar panel. Peel & Stick.
- Measures 216-inches in length by 15.5-inches width by 0.2-inches in height
- Easiest to install Peel & stick. Felxible rolable easy to carry around.
- Better performance in low light or hot climate comparing silicon panels.
- Durable: solar roofing systems using our technology have achieved wind ratings >185 MPH. Glass-free modules mean you don't have to worry about breakage due to hail or vandalism.
- Lightweight: laminates weigh less than one pound per square foot, with no point loads or increased wind loading, can be installed without costly structural roof reinforcements.
- Home Remote Cabnin RV Boat or Off grid Applications. Made in USA.
- Complete battery charging solution for off grid applications.
- Complete battery charging solution for Off Grid Home.
- Complete battery charging solution for RV and Marine.
- Ideal battery charging solution for Metal Roof Shed or Home.
- Complete battery charging solution for Remote Cabin.
Suaoki Flexible Solar Panels
- SUNPOWER SOLAR CELL: Suaoki utilizes SunPower Solar Cell with a higher-than-average 23% to 25% efficiency and an internal blocking diode which prevents reverse current drain at night
- SUPERIOR DURABILITY: the water resistant semi-flexible solar panel is ultra durable and ideal for RVs, boats, tight spaces, or crowded areas that are typically off limits for traditional glass and aluminum models
- BENDABLE PANEL: the panel can be gently flexed to follow a smooth curve of 30 degrees max, and can be mounted on a coach roof, RV, boat, cabin, tent, or any other irregular surface
- POWERFUL AND LIGHTWEIGHT: this solar panel packs 100W of power yet is only 0.1 in thick and weighs only 4.85 lbs., making it easier to transport, hang, and remove
- EASY INSTALLATION: unique frameless design features 4 metal reinforced mounting holes at each corner for fixing screws and for easy installation
- CAR BATTERY MAINTAINER: output voltage of 18V and 18 watts of energy; perfect for maintaining batteries of automobile, motorcycle, tractors or snowmobile
- 18W SUNPOWER SOLAR PANEL: made of premium quality SunPower solar panel with high solar cell efficiency of 22.5%; 18W output works better than 4.5W, 7W of other similar products
- BUILT-IN BLOCKING DIODE: prevent your batteries from discharging backwards through your solar panels at night when charger's voltage is lower
- PORTABLE & DURABLE: weighs only 345g/ 12.49oz for easy transport; made of water resistant and heat resistant material; designed for long term use
- CHARGE VIA CIGARETTE LIGHTER PLUG: no need to open the car hood, you can charge the car battery directly using cigarette lighter plug. 18-month warranty and friendly customer service.
Sunpower Flexible Solar Panels
- HIGH EFFICIENCY: use the most efficient 22-25% Sunpower solar cell to fabricate the flexible solar panels; Excellent weak light sensitivity,making efficiency even higher
- LIGHT WEIGHT: this 100watt monocrystalline solar panel is only 0.12 inch thick, weighing 4 Lbs, far less than conventional solar panel of 20 Lbs, easier to carry, move ideal for mobile applications,
- GOOD BENDABILITY: Sunpower flexible solar panel can be flexed up to 30 degrees, allowing the panel to be flush mounted to curved surfaces of RV, boat,sailboat ,yacht,truck, car, coach, cabin,camper , tent , trailer, golf cart or any other application scenarios. .
- WEATHER RESISTANCE: solar panel and junction box are water resistant, adaptable to all weather,rain or snow, hot or cold, making the flexible solar panel more durable.
- EASY INSTALLATION: The special designed 6 evenly spaced stainless eyelets at the edges of the flexible solar panel are for easy installation;Can be affixed by adhesives, silicon glues,double sticky tape or 3M tape, zip ties or velcro; can be installed without costly structural roof reinforcements.
- SunPower flexible panels are the #1 choice for customers due of the combination of high power and cell ruggedness.
- The panel can be installed with adhesives and/or use of stainless steel grommets in the panel.
- The panels have standard quickconnect cables. An easy-to-follow installation guide is provided with each panel.
- SunPower's panels are constructed with top-grade, light-weight polymer materials, allowing the for easy transport, installation and panel flexing up to 30 degrees.
- Made with SunPower's highest power Gen II back contact cells, SunPower's flexible panels deliver the highest power output and the highest charging capacity in their product class.
- Semi-Flexible: the panel can be flexed to a maximum of 30 degrees. This allows the panel to be flush mounted to curved surfaces like RV's, sailboats, campers, tents, etc.
- The solar panel and junction box are completely water resistant. Suitable for outdoor use in all weather conditions.
- Extremely light weight and efficient. The solar panel weighs only 4 pounds and utilizes highly efficient (~ 24%) SunPower solar cells. The panel is easy to transport and mount, which is ideal for mobile applications.
- Very easy to mount. Six evenly spaced metal grommet mounting holes are available to attach fasteners. The panel can also be mounting using adhesive or Velcro.
- Blocking diode is included in the junction box to eliminate battery discharge/draining at night. The solar panel arrives ready for installation.
There is a lot more you can do with solar. Check out these solar articles and thank you for visiting MySolarHome.us
|Solar Panel Kits||Home Solar Systems||Solar Panel Technology|
|Car & Truck Inverters||Types of Solar Panels||Solar Charge Controllers|
Buying Solar Panels
Last update on 2018-04-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API