CertainTeed solar panels review 2023: Roof masters
- 20 May 2022
- 8 min
Sometimes solar panels aren’t the primary product of a company – instead they complement the things that the brand already offers. American roofing company Certainteed and its PV modules are a clear example of that model. What kind of solar equipment can you expect from a brand like this? Let’s see it in our Certainteed solar panels review.
|Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company in Illinois||More than 60 manufacturing facilities in the US and Canada||More than 6,300 employees|
Certainteed offers solar tiles, shingles and panels
All solar products from Certainteed are designed primarily for residential roofs. While solar panels fit almost any type of roof, there are special options for tile and shingle roofs from the brand. Let’s briefly go over them.
Solar tiles called Apollo Tile II replace or go on top of roof tiles. One solar tile has 14 cells and together they produce 70 W of energy. They withstand up to 250 lbs and, if installed correctly, are watertight. Solar tiles win over standard panels in terms of the look since there is no need for rafts.
Solar shingles are a similar option for an asphalt shingle roof. They are installed the same way normal shingles are. You can get a new roof from solar shingles or just fix them on top of existing ones. Solar shingles weigh just as much as standard shingles do and when installed right, they make a sturdy watertight roof.
And then there are, of course, solar panels. This is a more complicated product and we’ll take a detailed look at them.
Certainteed panels: Warranty for everything
18%-20.5% average efficiency
Solar panels from Certainteed have a rather average efficiency that ranges from 18% to 20.5%. Since the panels are designed to be installed on the roof, there aren’t really any high output modules for ground-based installations of a huge scope. The most powerful panel in the Certainteed product line is 440W.
$0.6-$0.8 per Watt
Certainteed solar panels prices are fair and range around $0.6-$0.8 per Watt. That’s in the middle of the industry price range. The cost of Certainteed panels is comparable to the product of other NA manufacturers, like Mission Solar or Aptos Solar.
10-year product and 25-year power output warranty
Certainteed offers one all-encompassing warranty for all the parts of your solar system if you work with Certainteed solar installer. There is a 25-year warranty for the power output of a system and for its parts: microinverters, optimizers, mounting systems. Inverters receive a 12-year warranty. Workmanship warranty depends on the installer level: credentialed installers provide a 15-year workmanship warranty and Master level installers ensure a 25-year warranty. The product warranty for solar panels isn’t mentioned in the Certainteed guide, but apparently it lasts for 10 years.
The panels from Certainteed are well-prepared for extreme weather conditions. Most of them can withstand 5400 Pa wind or snow load. The brand has adopted half-cut cell technology which increases the shading tolerance of the modules. Temperature coefficient is rather high and ranges from -0.36%/°C to 0.42%/°C which means the panels lose around 0.4% for each degree above operating cell temperature – 44°C in this case. Its impact on the performance of your system, however, should be noticeable only if you live in a hot area – Arizona, for instance.
We’ve looked at the general data about Certainteed panels: efficiency, cost, warranties. Let’s list down strong and weak sides of their product. Here are some good points:
• Certainteed offers solar tiles and shingles. These are great modern roofing solutions that can cover all of your electric needs just as a normal solar system does.
• One all-encompassing warranty. Certainteed issues a warranty for power output, workmanship and all the parts of the installation. The product warranty for panels is rather short though: only 10 years.
• Affordable price. The cost per watt ranges from $0.6 to $0.8 on average, which is good for American panels – even a little cheaper than the average.
• Old and reliable brand. Certainteed was founded in 1904 and has gained a good reputation since then.
Now let’s look at the weaker points of Certainteed products. This will help to keep our review fair and unbiased:
• No high-output modules. The most powerful panel in the Certainteed product line produces 440 Watts. Therefore, PV modules from Certaineed are suitable mostly for residential and small/medium commercial systems.
• Average efficiency. Conversion rate isn’t the most impactful metric, but Certainteed panels certainly lag behind in that regard. Certainteed solar panel system is going to take up more space than, say, the one from Canadian Solar.
Certainteed solar panels overview: For home and business
We’ve explored the specifications of Certainteed solar modules and listed down the pros and cons of the brand. Now we pass a word to our engineer who’s going to look at the modules that Certainteed currently ships out and share his opinion with us.
Solar Installation Expert
Since Certainteed is a roofing company, it’s no big surprise that it offers mostly panels of a small and medium output for roof-based systems. Doesn’t make much sense to go for a solar farm with this brand. Solar shingles and solar tiles are great too. They can be a nice option if you have your house built from scratch or consider replacing the roof.
US Series 60-cell solar modules – Solid home choice
This is the simplest panel from Certainteed, a 60-cell module that provides up to 315W power output. The panel comes protected from Potential Induced Degradation and is ready for all kinds of harsh weather. Very basic design, 3 bypass diodes provide the minimum shading resistance. Overall, a good inexpensive panel, though a bit outdated.
CT Series 144 cell solar modules – Bigger and stronger
This model from Certainteed is designed for commercial systems of a small and medium size. You can use it to build a home installation as well, but notice that a 144-cell panel is larger than a standard 60/120-cell one. Half-cut cell design increases the durability of a module and its energy harvest from a square foot. Shading tolerance is also improved since a half-cut cell design essentially makes out of one module two independent panels that are connected in parallel.
A1SolarStore recommends CT Series 120 Split Cell Solar Modules
CT Series 120 half-cut cells PV module is probably the most solid choice for residential systems from CertainTeed. The panel provides 315 Watts of power output with 19% conversion rate. Half-cut cell design makes the panel sturdier and increases its shading tolerance. All-black solar panels complement any roof well. CT Series panels withstand 5400 Pa pressure which is equivalent to 210 mph wind speed and they become another layer of protection from tornadoes and hurricanes for your house.
A1SolarStore verdict: Situational choice
Time to round up our Certainteed solar panel review. We’ve covered the specifications of PV modules, warranties, pros and cons of the product, and even looked at the actual panels from the manufacturer. Let’s list down the most important points about the brand and its product.
• Certainteed first and foremost is a roofing company: they offer solar panels, but that’s not their main product. They also have solar shingles and solar tiles for sale.
• The panels are manufactured in North America.
• The efficiency of Certainteed PV modules is average: 18%-20.5%.
• They come at a fair price: 0.6%-0.8% per watt, which is close to the average cost of American-made panels.
• Certainteed offer one all-encompassing warranty for all parts of installation (10-25 years), power output of the modules (25 years) and workmanship (15-25 years).
• Their panels are designed mostly for residential projects: there are no modules with output higher than 440W in the product line.
Solar panels aren’t the main product that Certainteed offers and counts on, therefore it’s no surprise that their panels aren’t the most modern and efficient. They’re inexpensive, sturdy and they look fine though – and sometimes that’s enough. Certainteed is an old and reliable brand and trusting yourself to its product can be a good decision. With that, we finish our Certainteed solar panels review 2022 – subscribe to receive our latest updates and best solar deals in your mailbox!
Learn about the latest arrivals and discounts first!