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Best solar panels for home 2021
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Best solar panels for home 2021

20 mins 06 Apr 2021
We know how much time it takes to choose good solar panels. Dozens of manufactures, hundreds of reviews and expert opinions… In this article we've collected bare facts about top rated solar panels suitable for residential solar installations. Read and make your own choice.

Top 5 things to consider when choosing solar panels for home

1. Performance or efficiency of solar panels. It is measured in percentage and shows how much of the sunlight hitting the panel can be converted into electricity. Normally, a single solar panel can convert about 20% of the received sunlight into electricity.

Solar panel efficiency is determined under Standard Test Conditions (STC): cell temperature of 25°C and irradiance of 1,000 W/m². It means that a 1 m² PV module with an efficiency of 15% would produce 150 W. You will find the panel's efficiency as well as its power output on the specification sheet. However, be ready to see a slightly lower performance, as there are lots of factors which reduce solar panel efficiency.

2. Durability. Most solar panels for homes can withstand various climates: cold winters, hot summers, heavy rains. However, if you live in a region where hail storms or hurricanes are frequent, you need to carefully check the panel specification sheet for information regarding the temperature range the panel can endure, and whether it has undergone a hail impact test.

3. Size. The dimensions of your panels should fit the side of the roof where you want to install them. In the USA, it is best to place all solar panels on the southern side. If there isn't much space available, you may need to go for more powerful and efficient panels, which won't take up a lot of space while producing the necessary amount of electricity.

4. Warranty. Make sure the solar panel manufacturer you have chosen offers both product and performance warranty. Product warranty typically guarantees 10-12 years without failing. Performance warranty ensures that the panels will produce at least 90% of their rated output in year 10 and at least 80% in year 25 or 30.

5. Price matters, but doesn't always reflect quality. Usually, when buying solar panels for home from premium manufacturers, you pay 10-30% more just for the brand. We recommend you to check the panel's characteristics and reviews before purchasing.
Best manufacturers offer at least a 10-year-warranty

Trina

Trina

Trina is a Chinese company that is well respected in solar panel manufacturing. The company has held the record for having the most efficient multicellular solar panels since 2012. Trina solar panels are a good example of a cost-effective combination of price and reliability.

Panasonic

Panasonic

Panasonic is a well-known and highly respected electronics company which rapidly became one of the leaders in solar cell technology. Panasonic solar panels are 3-5% more efficient than most other panels available on the market. All panels have a 25-year warranty which is 10 years longer than that of average panels.

Canadian Solar

Canadian Solar

Canadian Solar is based in Canada, but most panels are manufactured in China. Canadian solar panels are highly efficient and have been proved to be top quality with good value for your money.

Mission Solar

Mission Solar

Mission Solar is a US-based manufacturer that produces high-quality solar panels for a reasonable price. All Mission solar panels are monocrystalline with a power output of 18% on average. The company is well-known for high manufacturing standards – all raw materials are tested before assembly begins.

Silfab

Silfab

Silfab is a Canada-based manufacturer producing highly efficient solar panels. Also, the majority of Silfab solar panels offer longer warranties than most other manufacturers. Together with their relatively low cost, Silfab panels are a smart choice for your wallet.

Phono

Phono

Phono is a Chinese solar company that has been supplying the solar market with reliable solar panels for more than 10 years. All Phono solar panels are tested independently by the internationally accredited registrar and classification society DNV and have competitive prices.

Longi Solar

Longi Solar

Longi Solar is another Chinese leading company in the solar industry, present in the market since the early 2000s. The company specializes in producing monocrystalline solar panels. Longi solar panels are appealing to customers who are interested in affordable yet high-quality premium solar panels.

Solaria

Solaria

The USA-based company Solaria holds more than 200 patents relating to materials, processes, equipment, manufacturing, including a cell cutting technique that minimizes space between cells. Most of the Solaria solar panels can be recognized by their unique all-black style.

Hanwha Q Cells

Hanwha Q Cells

Hanwha Q Cells is the first manufacturer available on market that achieved an incredible efficiency of 19.5% for polycrystalline solar panels. Hanwha Q cells solar panels are a good choice for people who are not willing to pay a fortune.

Axitec

Axitec

Axitec solar panels are some of the cheapest on the market. Due to the panels' low price, they are appealing to customers who have a lot of space and want to save up some money by buying a couple of cheap panels.

Renewable Energy Corporation (REC)

Renewable Energy Corporation (REC)

Renewable Energy Corporation or shortly REC is a Norwegian company that mostly manufactures its panels in Singapore. The flagship product of the company is Twin Panels, which is a panel divided into top and bottom halves, and if one half becomes shaded it will not affect the output of the other. This makes REC solar panels more tolerant to partial shade. All of their panels are corrosion resistant and produced mostly with hydroelectric power rather than fossil fuels which helps REC to lower its carbon footprint.

JA

JA

JA is another large Chinese producer of reliable and cost-effective solar panels. Most of the JA solar panels are salt, mist, and corrosion resistant, making them suitable for installation anywhere.
Illustrations – Marina Fionova
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