Let’s face it – warranties aren’t the easiest (or most gripping) documents to read. There are often a lot of details and fine print included that can be hard to digest, leaving many to wonder: what does the warranty actually cover? Am I vulnerable? Anything I might be missing?
To make it as easy as possible, we’ve read warranty documents for the top solar equipment manufacturers–and talked to them to confirm what is and isn’t included–and plan to point out the most important aspects of each in a series of articles. In this article, we are reviewing the warranty of Aptos Solar Technology, a solar manufacturer based in Silicon Valley.
Highlights of Aptos Solar Technology’s warranty
- Covers replacements and shipping at no cost to you
- Extended warranty offering is a 25 year product warranty and a 30 year power warranty at 82.4% of the original expected production
- Aptos Solar Technology saves a 1% cash customer reserve on every panel that they sell
Visit the EnergySage Marketplace to compare solar options from local installers.
Quick overview: Aptos Solar Technology history and warranty
Aptos Solar Technology was founded in 2018 as a designer and producer of panels for other major solar equipment manufacturers. In 2020, when Aptos Solar took their own brand to market, they took an old school marketing approach and drove a van around the Southwest with one of their panels attached to the back – and it seems to have worked! After travelling through California, Nevada, Arizona, El Paso, and New Mexico, demand for their panels has steadily increased.
Aptos solar technology is also unique in how thoroughly they test their panels. Their standard is to test their panels up to three times the industry standard of 300 testing hours, and they also confirm their panels performance using third party testing. Aptos Solar achieves three times the industry standard in Thermal Cycling, Humidity Freeze, and Damp heat testing. This extensive testing is intended to help Aptos Solar’s panels perform well in the adverse weather conditions found throughout North America.
Aptos Solar's panel warranty at a glance
|CATEGORY||APTOS SOLAR's STANDARD (DEFAULT) WARRANTY||APTOS SOLAR's EXTENDED WARRANTY||INDUSTRY STANDARD|
|Product||15 years||25 years||10 years|
|Power||85.1% at year 25||82.4% at year 30||80% at year 25|
|Shipping of parts||Yes||Yes||No|
|Extended warranty offering||Yes||Yes||No|
Aptos solar technology’s product warranty
Also known as a material warranty, a solar panel manufacturer’s product warranty covers the integrity of the equipment itself – if your solar panels have a defect, mechanical issue, or experience unreasonable wear and tear, that should be covered by your product warranty.
If there’s a defect with your solar panel, it’s typically apparent “out-of-the-box”. In other words, you or your installer should be able to tell that something is amiss and fix the problem immediately–often before the panel even makes it to your roof. Regardless, it’s good to consider products with longer warranties for the peace of mind it provides.
Aptos solar technology includes a 15 year product warranty for all of their solar panels, and a 25 year extended product warranty for their panels.
Aptos Solar Technology’s power warranty
Like every other type of electronic, the performance of your solar panels will degrade over time: fortunately, solar panel manufacturers offer a power (or performance) warranty for their products. Power warranties help protect you against atypical degradation of your solar panels, ensuring that the output of your panels won’t fall below a certain level after a set period of time.
Different types of solar panel technologies degrade at different rates. Generally speaking, the highest quality solar panels offer long power warranties (25 years or more) that guarantee at least 80 percent of the original output by the end of the warranty term.
Aptos Solar Technology provides a 25-year power warranty for both their panel and shingle technology, which guarantees that their products can still produce at least 85.1% of their original output by the end of the warranty term:
- 98% output at the end of year 1
- No more than 0.54% degradation from years 2-25
- Power output of 85.1% by year 25
You can review and compare Aptos Solar Technology’s solar panels in the EnergySage Buyer’s Guide.
Aptos Solar Technology’s extended warranties offering
Need a little extra protection for peace of mind? Many solar panel manufacturers offer extended warranties for their products. Depending on the company and the product, extended warranties can come at an extra cost, or only be available for certain installers who have been certified and endorsed by the manufacturer.
Aptos Solar Technology’s extended warranty offering increases their power warranty to 30 years and their product warranty to 25 years. The extended warranties come at an extra cost on a dollars-per-watt basis, so the cost for the extended warranty varies based on the panel wattage. Additionally, their extended warranty also warrants percentages of the original output on a year-to-year basis rather than over the entire warranty period. If you are interested in reading the entire extended warranty or reviewing the yearly warranted percentages, you can do so here.
Aptos Solar Technology’s workmanship warranty
More often than not, solar installers are the sole party responsible for providing workmanship warranties for a solar installation. However, some manufacturers offer additional protection by tacking on their own workmanship warranty for a limited number of certified installers in their network. Aptos solar technology does not back up their installer’s workmanship warranties.
You can learn more about manufacturer endorsements and how they impact installer warranty offerings in this article.
How to make a warranty claim with Aptos Solar Technology: shipping & labor costs
Ideally, your solar panel system will continue operating smoothly for 25+ years, and you never have to worry about Aptos Solar Technology’s warranty. However, if you experience any defects or performance issues with your solar panel system, Aptos Solar Technology will be there to help.
If you notice an issue with your system, your first phone call should be to your original installer: having designed and installed your system, they are the most equipped to diagnose (and fix!) any potential issue.
If your installer determines that you need to replace a piece of equipment–like a solar panel– they can file a warranty claim directly with Aptos Solar Technology on your behalf. Importantly, under their warranty terms, Aptos Solar technology does pay for the replacement product and for the shipping, but they do not pay for the labor necessary to install additional equipment or to repair existing equipment.
Unfortunately, solar installers can go out of business, and you may find yourself in a position where you can no longer call the business that installed your system for help. In this case, you can work with Aptos Solar Technology directly to make a claim. In this situation, Aptos Solar Technology will connect you with another nearby installer of their products, and they will pay for replacement equipment and shipping costs.
Limitations and exceptions to Aptos Solar Technology’s warranty
Every warranty has its exceptions – Aptos Solar Technology’s is no different. Warranty limitations aren’t meant to make it harder for you to take advantage of the offering; companies simply try to protect themselves from unjust or unreasonable claims.
Here are a few things that aren’t covered in your Aptos Solar Technology warranty:
- Defects or damage caused by extreme weather events (i.e. lightning, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, fires, flooding) However, it is worth noting that Aptos Solar panels are tested to withstand extreme environmental conditions and have a very low failure rate, so you may not need to call in your warranty even in extreme conditions.
- Damage caused by unapproved maintenance, repair or alteration
- Cosmetic defects, dents, or markings that do not impact the performance of the products
- Removal of the equipment and reinstallation at a new site
- Installation of the equipment on an moving structure other than single- or dual-axis trackers
- Direct contact with corrosive agents or saltwater
- Pest damage
Other warranty considerations, and how Aptos Solar Technology stacks up
- Bankability: Aptos Solar Technology is a relatively new company, as it was founded in 2018. However, their extensive testing makes product failure unlikely. In fact, in their 3rd party backed testing, Aptos Solar Technology found that failure in their panels occurs less than 0.001% of the time. Additionally, in the event of a large influx of claims, Aptos Solar Technology has a cash reserve to ensure that their warranties are paid out.
- Escrows/insurance policies: Aptos Solar Technology saves a 1% cash customer reserve on every panel that they sell. This makes it unlikely they will ever have a warranty claim that they will be unable to meet.
- Customer reviews: Another critical aspect of understanding a manufacturer’s warranty offering is investigating how their customers feel about their equipment and the services that they provide. Any warranty can look promising on paper, but how the installer or manufacturer performs when honoring their warranty is also critically important. If you are interested in reading Aptos Solar Technology’s reviews, you can do so here.
Finding the right solar panels for you
Finding the right solar panel system for your home means comparing multiple quotes from solar installers. Using the EnergySage Marketplace, you can find local solar installers near you, and make easy side-by-side comparisons of all your solar options, including equipment. By shopping around first, you can find the right option at the right price – warranties and all. If you have a preference for one type of equipment over another–Aptos Solar Technology or otherwise–simply note it in your account when you sign up so installers can quote you accordingly.