What does this mean?
Solar panel efficiency has increased substantially over the last year or two, with most manufacturers offering more power per panel in the same size frame. Now over 350w of energy per panel should be usual for all equipment lists, or its old inventory. This does not increase the customers optimal system size, just the number of panels on the roof will be less to get the same output. More importantly for our customers, the increase in volume production means the longer lasting N series technology is replacing the older P series, without increasing panel cost. What is “P”series? There are detailed technical explanations at the link below. Essentially, it means more energy efficiency, less degradation per year for longer system life.
There are three really important things we tell our customers and prospects about decisions regarding solar installers;
- The right equipment
- The right installer
- The right balance of system.
The last one is perhaps the hardest for the customer to be expected to understand, yet the most important, because it’s all the hidden stuff that goes on the roof, and the cabling and isolators that run inside your building. This is often where corners are cut, and can seriously affect the quality of power output, reliability and most of all system safety. “The most expensive way to go solar – is on the cheap!” – is a truism.
This article is only to focus on the new panels we are recommending. There are plenty of very good panels out there, the evolution of solar panels is rather like your mobile phone. They got better and better until the marginal difference between brands, and technical specification becomes so small it is hardly noticeable.
Customers don’t look at their phone and say, “how long will it be before this thing has paid back what it owes me?” We find, most of our customers really care about “how long it will be before that stuff on the roof has paid me back!”
ABS has chosen the Jinko Tiger Series as best value for money. It utilizes Jinko’s leading technology and is the most efficient panel they offer into the Australian market.
The Tiger Series cell technology comes in the more efficient and durable N-type, without going into too much technical detail it has a 30-year performance warranty and an annual degradation rate of only 0.4% after the first year. To be clear, there are slightly more efficient panels available from other manufacturers, but the significant increase in cost, for a very small performance boost increases the customer payback by a year or two which really isn’t worth it. Conversion efficiency has to do with the ability of the solar cells to convert the sunlight hitting them into energy and there is a trade off between this and cost per watt to the customer.
Just to labour the “return on investment” point for a moment, high efficiency 400W+ panel could cost $300 or more while a common 350W panel will typically cost closer to $150 per panel. This equates to roughly $0.42 per Watt compared to $0.75 per Watt. This is about saving the environment, but also about saving money!
We will save the discussion about the heart of your solar system, the inverter for another blog, and you can be assured as a CEC approved retailer we are fastidious about using only the best Australian approved balance of systems.