Tag Archives: solar panel quality

wholesale solar panels

Wholesale solar panels: can you buy them?

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If you’re shopping for something wholesale, you’re probably doing so to save money. And when it comes to purchasing a solar panel system, you want to save as much money as possible.

So, can you buy wholesale solar panels? Yes and no – you won’t be able to purchase actual wholesale solar panels from a manufacturer, but you can purchase discounted panels that were bought at wholesale prices from resellers. Just because these panels will be cheaper doesn’t mean they’re the right solution for you and your home.

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solar panel kits

Solar panel kits for sale: how they cost and how to compare them

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Most home solar panel systems are installed by a qualified solar installer, but more DIY-minded homeowners are exploring options like solar panels for sale online and solar panel kits for home available for purchase in hardware stores. If you’re one of the millions of Americans considering solar, you’ve probably come across some of the DIY solar products available – but do you know how to choose the best product out of all the solar panels for sale? Here’s your complete guide to finding the right option for your home.

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100 watt solar panel

100-watt solar panels: are they enough for you?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

As you’re evaluating your solar panel options, one of the top metrics to consider is a panel’s power rating, often referred to as its wattage. The number of watts in a solar panel indicates its overall capacity to produce power, and 100-watt solar panels are on the lower end of the spectrum. Higher wattage panels, like those over 300 watts, are capable of producing more electricity.

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smart modules

An overview of smart modules

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Many solar companies recommend pairing a solar array with power optimizers and a central inverter to enhance the performance of a solar panel system. While many people install power optimizers and panels as separate components, your installer may recommend a solar panel that integrates both components into one, also known as a smart module.

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do solar panels work during winter graphic

Do solar panels work in the winter? Solar snow performance explained

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Memories of cold, snowy winters past can be discouraging even for the hardiest homeowner. If you’re considering going solar, you might be wondering whether solar panels and snow are a bad combination. On the contrary, EnergySage marketplace data has indicated that solar shoppers can often find the lowest quotes during winter months when competition is reduced. After all, if you look at solar as an investment, then it should be able to generate returns throughout the year as other investments do. Luckily, plenty of people have both solar panels and snow, and some of the most popular regions in the U.S. for solar have snowy winters. Don’t let winter weather discourage you from going solar!

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where are solar panels made

Where are solar panels made and should you care?

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One of the things you may have questions about as you shop around for a solar system is where the solar panels are manufactured. This article will help you determine whether a panel’s country of manufacture should be a key consideration for you.

*Note: If you are looking for information on the 30% tariff levied on solar panels by the Trump Administration, read our complete analysis here.

Does it matter where solar panel companies are based and where they make the panels?

When it comes to quality, the mention of any country’s name will evoke an association; each nation has its own brand image, which may or may not be justified. You as a smart solar shopper, however, will want to look at the facts in order to make a more well-informed decision. Our recommendation is to judge each panel by its own merits.

What if the country of manufacture is important to me?

This doesn’t mean that country of origin is never important, of course: everyone has their own preferences. For example, many Americans would prefer solar panels made in the USA to ones that are imported, whether for patriotic reasons or because they trust the ‘American-made’ brand for quality.

American-made vs imported panel costs

American-made solar panels generally cost from $0.50 to $0.80 per watt (W) – about $0.10 to $0.30 more per watt than imported panels. The highest quality, ‘premium’ American panels may even come in around $1.00/W.

For a typical 6kW system, an additional $0.30/W translates into about $1,800, a reasonable amount to pay if the ‘Made in America’ stamp is important to you. Also keep in mind that some states may offer rebates for locally-made panels that can offset some or all of the additional cost.

Check out EnergySage’s list of U.S. solar panel manufacturers for more information about companies that make solar panels in America.

Manufacturing location vs headquarters location

If ‘country brand’ is important to you, be aware that the location of a company’s headquarters is not always the same as its factories. (For example, SunPower is a premium American brand that has manufacturing plants in both the US and the Philippines.) All else being equal, knowing that a company’s head office is relatively close or in a familiar country could help you make a decision.

Where do the top solar companies manufacture panels?

Below, EnergySage has compiled a list of the leading solar panel companies active in the US market based on the most recently available data in 2018. The table is broken down by each company’s market share, headquarters location, manufacturing facility locations and overall quality ranking.

The key takeaways from the table below are that: 1) no single country dominates the market (although the US and China do appear most frequently), and 2) there is little to no correlation between country of manufacture and the company’s quality ranking.

best solar energy companies worldwide

Exhibit: List of solar panel makers in the US by residential market share and country of manufacture*

Solar Panel ManufacturersApprox. U.S. Market Share*Company Headquarters
1SolTech< 1%U.S.
Aleo2%Germany
Axitec< 1%U.S.
Canadian Solar6%Canada
Centrosolar< 1%Germany
Conergy< 1%Germany
Eoplly< 1%U.S.
ET Solar2%China
Hanwha Q CELLS1%South Korea
Hyundai< 1%Korea
Itek< 1%U.S.
KYOCERA Solar2%Japan
LG6%Korea
Lightway< 1%China
MAGE Solar< 1%Germany
Perlight Solar (Zebra Energy)< 1%U.S.
Phono Solar1%China
REC Solar8%U.S.
ReneSola4%China
Sharp Solar4%Japan
SolarWorld4%Germany
SunEdison/MEMC0.50%U.S.
Suniva2%U.S
SunPower17%U.S
Suntech2%China
Trina Solar17%China
Winaico<1%China
Yingli Solar17%China

For any homeowner in the early stage of shopping for solar that would just like a ballpark estimate for an installation, try our Solar Calculator that offers up front cost and long term savings estimates based on your location and roof type. For those looking to get quotes from local contractors today, check out our quote comparison platform.

* 2015 Data, Residential Solar Installations, Source: GTM / SEIA

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three key decisions in solar shopping

The three key decisions in solar shopping

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Most property owners who are interested in solar panels are considering solar energy for the first time. Unlike more familiar products like houses, cars, or televisions, this new product category raises some basic questions about where to start. What are the key decisions that need to be made, what options are available, and what is the best way to approach these considerations?

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250 watt solar panels

250-watt solar panels: are they right for you?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

One important metric to consider when comparing solar panel options is a panel’s power rating, referred to as wattage. 250-watt (W) solar panels are close to the average wattage of solar panels available today and are a great panel option for many types of solar projects.

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60 cell vs 72 cell solar panels

60 vs. 72-cell solar panels: which size is right for you?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

There are many different types of solar panels available on the market, with options ranging in efficiency, wattage, manufacturer, appearance, and more. Panels can also vary in the number of silicon cells they have. Today, most people install either 60 or 72 cell solar panels for their installation- but what’s the difference between the two, and which option is best for your installation?

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