Renewable energy assets – your solar panels and solar batteries – are considerable, long-term investments. That’s why it’s important to know you’re getting good products that will last as they were designed to.
The good news is, there are plenty of good-quality solar panel and battery options available in Australia – it’s no wonder nearly a quarter of Australian households have already made the move to solar.
But like any electrical system, sometimes unexpected glitches arise and that’s where having a comprehensive warranty is important. So here’s what you need to know about solar and battery warranties.
1. Understand your product & performance warranties
Solar panels are often covered by separate product and performance warranties, though some manufacturers bundle them together.
The product warranty covers defects in product materials or workmanship. In Australia, the minimum solar product warranty standard is 10 years but some may be as high as 25 years.
The performance warranty outlines the expected performance of a system over time. This includes the level of decline and overall performance remaining. Performance warranties are usually around 25 years.
When it comes to batteries, there is usually one warranty that covers both product and performance elements. Manufacturers guarantee that the product will remain free of defects and retain a specified level of performance for a number of years or a number of battery cycles (how many times a battery charges and discharges), whichever comes first.
Most quality batteries in Australia are guaranteed to perform to their outlined standard for around 10 years from installation.
At the end of the specified number of battery cycles. You should expect a battery cycle life between 4000 – 8000 cycles.
The other important piece of the puzzle is of course the inverter. Inverters are generally covered by a 5 year warranty but parts-only warranty upgrades are often available.
2. Quality installation is a key piece of the puzzle
Solar panels and solar batteries are based on established, proven and continuously advancing technologies. The fact is, if you choose a quality product, the chances of there being a product fault within the warranty period are relatively slim – as long as it is installed correctly.
Most product manufacturers have a list of installation requirements that must be met to protect product and performance warranties. In Australia, this often includes having the product installed by a Clean Energy Council accredited installer with very specific knowledge and training. A quality installer will also provide you with their own installation workmanship warranty of a minimum of 12 months and up to 5 years.
3. When adding a battery, keep your existing solar warranties in mind
When adding a battery onto your existing solar system, you have two main installation options: an AC-coupled installation, where the battery and hybrid inverter are installed alongside your existing solar system; or a DC-coupled installation, where the solar panels feed directly into your new battery.
There are pros and cons for each scenario but a big factor is that, because the DC-coupled installation ‘disrupts’ your current set-up, it will affect your existing solar warranties. Your solar system will need to be updated in line with the latest electrical codes to enable your battery installer to take over the solar warranty obligations. Because the installer takes on this additional risk, they need to factor this into their cost structure – and the end bill you receive.
4. Look for products with remote diagnostics
If an issue occurs with your solar panels or battery, its source may not always be clear. It can be as simple as a disconnected cable or as severe as a product fault.
Using remote diagnostics to identify the issue remotely can save time and money, and get you up and running quicker than if you have to get someone out to look at your system in person.
5. Choose a quality brand with a local presence
In addition to the warranties communicated to you in the sales process, Australian Consumer Law provides its own protections. Knowing who to turn to, however, can get difficult if the business you purchased your solar panels or solar batteries through is no longer around. The importers also have responsibility but they too are often small businesses.
While you can always reach out to the manufacturer directly, executing your warranty claim can be tricky if they only have overseas operations. The process is much simpler if the manufacturer has an Australian office and is bound by local laws and regulations.
See how our battery package stacks up
We know that investing in a solar battery is a big decision, but it doesn’t need to be a complex one. Our Sungrow Battery Package is a simple yet powerful solar battery package with flexible installation options and great warranties backed by a leading manufacturer brand.
Find out more about the battery package
If you don’t have solar yet and are looking to get solar panels and a battery, check out our Solar and Redback Battery Package.