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. This article reviews the warranty offering of AXITEC, a German-engineered solar panel manufacturer with locations around the world.
Highlights of AXITEC’s warranty
- Includes a 15-year product warranty
- Guarantees 85% of initial power output at year 25
- Backed by a 20-year-old company
Visit the EnergySage Marketplace to compare solar options from local installers.
Quick overview: AXITEC’s history and warranty
AXITEC was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Böblingen, Germany. AXITEC’s first U.S. solar installation took place in 2012 in New Jersey. Now, they have a U.S. headquarters in Logan Township, New Jersey, as well as warehouses throughout the U.S. They focus on providing equipment suitable for both residential and commercial applications – generally they provide panels for systems between 5 kilowatts and 5 megawatts in size – and have recently begun manufacturing battery storage in addition to solar panels.
AXITEC offers a competitive warranty for their solar panels that includes a 15-year product warranty and a 85% power warranty at year 25. In the event that your solar panel installer goes out of business, you’ll likely have to pay for the labor and shipping necessary to repair or replace your AXITEC panels.
AXITEC's solar panel warranty at a glance
|CATEGORY||AXITEC'S COVERAGE||INDUSTRY STANDARD|
|Product||15 years||10 years|
|Power||85% at year 25||80% at year 25|
|Shipping of parts||No||No|
|Extended warranty offering||No||No|
AXITEC’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.
AXITEC includes a 15-year product warranty for all of their solar panels.
AXITEC’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.
AXITEC provides a 25-year power warranty. This guarantees that their products will still produce at least 85.0% of their original output by the end of the warranty term:
- 97% output at the end of year 1
- No more than 0.5% degradation from years 2-25
- Power output of 85% by year 25
You can review and compare AXITEC’s solar panels in the EnergySage Buyer’s Guide.
AXITEC’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. AXITEC does not offer workmanship warranties for installers of their products.
You can learn more about manufacturer endorsements and how they impact installer warranty offerings in this article.
How to make a warranty claim with AXITEC: shipping & labor costs
Ideally, your solar panel system will continue operating smoothly for 25+ years, and you never have to worry about AXITEC’s warranty. However, if you experience any defects or performance issues with your solar panel system, AXITEC 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 help you file a warranty claim with AXITEC, which needs to be done in writing. If, for whatever reason, AXITEC cannot fix or replace your panel, they will replace it with another module that performs similarly.
Your original installer will be the best-suited to replace the equipment. Importantly, AXITEC does not cover any labor costs to un-install or re-install solar panels. This shouldn’t be an issue if your installer covers repairs in their workmanship warranty and you’re still within their warranty term, but be aware that workmanship warranties vary from one installation company to the next (so remember to read your installer’s workmanship warranty thoroughly before signing any contract!)
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, because AXITEC does not provide coverage for labor costs or shipping in their warranty, you will likely have to pay for the labor to replace any solar panels.
Limitations and exceptions to AXITEC’s warranty
Every warranty has its exceptions – AXITEC 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 AXITEC warranty:
- Defects or damage caused by extreme weather events (i.e. earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, flooding, lightning, etc.)
- Damage caused by incorrect installation, commissioning, or operation
- Damage from faulting wiring or installation work
- Cosmetic defects or microcracks
Other warranty considerations, and how AXITEC stacks up
- Bankability: There is little available information on the bankability of AXITEC.
- Escrows/insurance policies: AXITEC does not provide information on whether they have insurance policies or an escrow that ensures their warranties will be upheld if they go out of business.
- 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 SunPower’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–AXITEC or otherwise–simply note it in your account when you sign up so installers can quote you accordingly.