Category Archives: Buyer’s Guide

Articles about solar products and companies to help consumers understand more about solar equipment/companies and best compare their quotes and options.

chinese solar panels quality

Are Chinese solar panels good quality?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

When homeowners are considering solar offers on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace, we often hear questions about a solar panel’s manufacturer origin and whether it’s a good idea to choose Chinese panels for an installation. This is a common question as the latest estimates indicate that China is manufacturing roughly 70% of the world’s solar panels today – a dominant market share and a clear indicator of China’s key role in the global solar industry. China has a significant impact over worldwide solar trends like pricing, warranties and manufacturing practices. For example, the 80% decline in worldwide solar prices between 2008 and 2013 occurred largely due to improvements in manufacturing costs in China. And because China is such a major player in solar, many U.S. homeowners are asking “should I choose Chinese solar panels and will it match the quality of other top brands?” In this article we’ll break down pricing, quality and brand influence of Chinese solar panels.

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thin film solar panels should you install

Thin film solar panels: do they make sense for residential?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

In a world where new solar panels and breakthroughs in solar technology are emerging almost every month, homeowners have a lot of panel options to choose from in 2019. Among the many innovations in the panel manufacturing space, none may be more appealing and visually exciting than thin film solar panels. In this article we’ll dig into what makes thin film stand out from standard silicon photovoltaic (PV) panels and offer some insight on when thin film solar is an ideal option for homeowners and the residential market.

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solar carport

Solar carports: how do they work and how much do they cost?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

While a typical carport or patio cover provides shading and is undoubtedly a value-add for a home or automobile owner, its one-dimensional simplicity is a missed opportunity. If you’re a PV fanatic following emerging technologies in the solar industry, you may have already spotted the solar industry’s solution: solar canopies, also known as solar carports . 

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vivint solar review

Vivint Solar reviews: what homeowners are saying about America’s third-largest solar installer

Reading Time: 4 minutes

There are thousands of solar companies across the country, from small local businesses to national-scale solar companies, and millions of customer reviews as a result. The third-largest solar company in the U.S., operating in 21 states across the country, is Vivint Solar.

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US solar panel manufacturers EnergySage

U.S. solar panel manufacturers: a list of American-made solar panels

Reading Time: 5 minutes

On January 22, 2018, the Trump Administration announced a 30 percent tariff on solar panels and cells imported into the United States. This announcement raised a lot of questions for solar customers on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace. One of the most popular questions: where can I find solar panels that are made in America? 

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SunPower, Canadian Solar, SolarWorld, LG, Hyundai solar panel warranty

Comparing solar warranties: SunPower vs. Canadian Solar vs. SolarWorld vs. LG vs. Panasonic vs. Hyundai

Reading Time: 4 minutes

When you compare your solar panel options from leading companies like SunPower, Canadian Solar, LG, Hyundai and SolarWorld, one of the biggest factors to consider is the solar panel warranties offered with their products. Solar panels come with two main warranties attached: the materials warranty, also known as the product warranty, and the production warranty.

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best solar inverters enphase vs solaredge vs sma

Best solar inverters review: SolarEdge vs. Enphase vs. SMA vs. Tigo

Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you want to maximize your solar energy system’s production, finding the best solar inverter is as important as the solar panels you choose. For an “uncomplicated” roof – one that faces south and has no gables, chimneys, or other obstructions that can cast a shadow – the best solar inverter for you may be a standard string inverter. However, more than half of new residential solar installations are using module-level power electronics (MLPEs) like power optimizers and microinverters to maximize electricity production.

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solar installation steps

Solar Panel Installation Guide: the 5 Step Process

Reading Time: 5 minutes

More than a million homes have already gone solar in the U.S., and many more homeowners are considering installing solar. If you’re in the market for solar, you probably want to know what actually happens during a solar panel installation. There are five big steps that need to happen after you sign your solar contract before the solar panels on your roof can actually power your home, and a lot of it is behind the scenes. To show you what you can expect, we’ve outlined a simple five-step guide for the typical solar installation process.

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