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What’s the difference between standard and premium solar panels?

Posted in Getting solar

What’s the difference between standard and premium solar panels?

When you get a solar quote, there will often be an option to go with either standard or premium solar panels. We’ve outlined some of the differences below to help you understand each option and make an informed decision.

 

Standard solar panel

Most solar panels are standard panels. These are usually good quality panels that are designed to last on your roof for 20-25+ years. They use good quality materials and will deliver reliability and long-term performance, usually backed by 10-12 year product warranties. When it comes to solar panels, standard panels are great value for money. 

When looking for standard solar panels, we recommend choosing ‘tier 1’ panels. Solar panels are rated into three tiers and tier 1 solar panels are in the top 2% worldwide when it comes to quality and reliability.

You can also get some good tier 2 and 3 panels however there’s a higher risk of getting poor quality panels or buying from smaller companies that may not be around in the future to honour your warranties. 

 

Premium solar panels

Premium solar panels are more expensive than standard panels but are a step above when it comes to performance and durability. They too should last 25+ years on your roof and are backed up by longer 20-25 year product warranties to guarantee it. 

Premium solar panels also have a better tolerance for higher temperatures than their standard counterparts. This is reflected in their lower temperature coefficient (usually around 0.15% for premium panels compared to around 0.4% for standard) which refers to the level of solar production loss for every degree Celsius over 25 degrees.

For Australia, this means better performance during the hot summer months when the temperature on your roof can often exceed 45 degrees Celsius. 

When it comes to durability and efficiency, premium panels usually have a lower degradation rate than standard panels. So instead of losing, for example, 0.55% of their efficiency each year, premium solar panels may only lose 0.33%. This makes a difference over your solar system’s 25+ year lifespan. 

Finally, premium solar panels are sometimes manufactured by bigger and more diversified companies that are simply more confident in their product and their ability to service warranties for a long period of time. In some cases the manufacturing process is also superior, using materials that are more expensive and better performing.

 

Should I go with standard or premium solar panels?

Whether you choose standard or premium solar panels, the main thing to ensure is that you’re getting a proven product from a reliable installer. 

Do some research into the solar panels your installer recommends to ensure it’s a reputable product. Is it a tier 1 solar panel? Is the installer accredited by the Clean Energy Council? Don’t be afraid to ask for their accreditation number. 

 

Our solar and battery package uses world leading, tier 1 solar panels

We’ve selected world leading, tier 1 standard solar panels for our Solar and Redback Battery Package. These are high efficiency, quality panels that offer great value for money. 

We also have premium panel options available from the best of the best, like LG, Sunpower, REC, and Winaico. These products are some of the best performing solar panels around and are backed up by market-leading warranties to prove it. 

Coupled with an Australian-designed battery solution and our experienced installer network, it’s an all-in-one streamlined package that can pay for itself in less than 7 years.*

View the solar and battery package

 

If you already have solar, but want to add a battery, check out our solar battery package.

 

 

*This scenario is the 6.6kW system and a mid sized battery (7kWh). Assuming typical generation in Victoria and assuming battery gets cycled 90% of the time at 90% depth, solar savings are estimated at $1,734 ($0.20 average value of the solar generated, which could be 10c FiT and 30c usage rate at 50/50% as an example). Battery savings would be an additional $440 per annum, for total savings of $2,174.

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