The Best Solar Panels To Install In Australia in 2022

The Best Solar Panels In Australia For 2022

Choosing the best solar panels has never been so important.

In 2013 there were 454 solar panel manufacturers operating in Australia. In 2019 there were only 67! 🤯

The good news is that out of these 67 manufacturers, there is only a small handful that group together at the top of the industry, with some clear standouts for the best premium panels as well as the best-value panels from reliable installers.

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The Top 5 Best Premium Solar Panels in 2022

Here is our shortlist for the top 5 premium solar panels available in Australia in 2022. This list is based on Solaray’s experience in the solar industry, our position as the largest installer of premium solar systems in Australia, and general feedback from the solar industry.

The Top 5 Premium Solar Panels Are:

  1. REC Alpha Pure Series
  2. Q Cells QPeak DUO Series
  3. SunPower Maxeon 3 Series
  4. Panasonic Evervolt
  5. LG NeON H+ Series

The Top 5 Best Value Panels Are From:

  1. Trina Solar
  2. REC Solar
  3. JinkoSolar
  4. Canaidian Solar
  5. Q Cells

The Best High-Efficiency Solar Panels In Australia For 2022

The best premium solar panels in Australia feature:

  • Over 400W rating, and hence an efficiency rating of around 21-22%
  • A 25-year product warranty
  • Great local service from an Australian-based office
  • Fully automated production with comprehensive quality control at the factory
  • A panel that has proven reliability, and performance in all weather conditions (importantly both on hot days, and on cloudy days with low light)

REC Alpha Pure Solar Panel1. REC Alpha Pure Series

Scandinavian quality with a 25-year warranty. Founded in Norway in 1996, REC Group is recognised for producing high-quality solar panels with long warranties and excellent reliability.

REC Alpha Pure panels feature REC’s innovative design, with high panel efficiency & power output thanks to top-quality monocrystalline cells. This enables you to get more out of the space available on your roof – helping to lower your energy bills and shorten the payback time through increased yield and lower costs.

Choosing a top of the range panel such as the REC Alpha Pure panel is an investment in superior standards of design, manufacture, support and customer service. This high quality is the result of REC Solar’s strong commitment to developing a module that delivers reliable, high output for decades.

REC solar products are rigorously tested beyond industry standards, and those standards apply equally when selecting materials for their solar modules. When you choose REC Solar, you’ll have peace of mind that you are buying the best.

The best news of all is the price – REC Alpha Pure panels are extremely well priced for such a quality panel. REC Solar is striving for industry-leading efficiency, but critically they incorporate this new technology into their production line to ensure all customers have access to the best technology available. It’s not much use if a company releases a new high-efficiency panel (with a lot of publicity) but only makes 1000 of them and/or charges an absolute fortune for them.

More information about REC Alpha Pure Panels is available here

2. Q Cells QPeak DUO Series

Solaray has previously installed Q Cells panels when they were based in Germany. We are excited to once again have Q Cells panels in stock, with the premium QPeak Duo panel as our premium offering.

With a higher efficiency rate than the previous series, the Q.PEAK DUO G10+ panel is the first 400W module from Q Cells for Australia’s residential market and takes high performance to a new level.
The G10+ module utilizes Q CELLS’ zero gap Q.ANTUM DUO Z technology to boost module efficiency up to 21.4%. The module is also backed by a 25-year product and performance warranty that guarantees at least 86% of nominal power up to 25 years.

Innovative All-Weather Technology helps to provide increased yields, whatever the weather with excellent low-light and temperature behaviour.

3. SunPower Maxeon 3 Series

SunPower has been recognised as a global leader in top quality solar panels since 2007, with many successful releases over the decades, predominantly in the United States. In Australia SunPower is known for absolute quality, perhaps the best on the market, however, their panels have always come at a high price point.

The top of the range Maxeon panel is no exception. It is a top-quality panel that comes with an astonishing 40-year warranty, enough to outlast the competition (and perhaps a few of us as well) – by decades.

4. Panasonic Evervolt

In 2022 Panasonic has released an exciting new panel at the premium end of the market called Evervolt. It uses new heterojunction technology and is fully compatible with the Panasonic battery. The 410W Evervolt H panel is made with 66 half-cut cells and features an efficiency rating of 22.2%, which is on par with other panels on this list but is absolutely world-class.

Top-quality solar panels are now featuring improved temperature co-efficients, and the Panasonic Evervolt is no exception. This means that the panel will work better on hot days, something many Australian households will benefit from.

5. LG NeON H+ 415W Panels (Now Discontinued)

Updated Feb 2022:

Feburary marked a big loss for the solar industry coming from one of our long-term solar partners, as LG Electronics announced the decision to close down solar panel production and sales during the 2nd quarter of 2022.

Following the announcement, LG Managing Director Dan Lim said:

“LG Electronics Inc. (LG) has been closely evaluating the future direction of the LG solar panel business from the perspective of the company’s overall business portfotio, remaining open to all possibilities. After a careful review of all possible options, LG has announced it is closing the solar module production and sales business.

“The decision comes as uncertainties in the global solar power market continue to increase due to a variety of contributing factors, including the intensification of price competition and the rising cost of raw materials.”

More information about LG Solar is available here

The Top 5 Best-Value Solar Panels In Australia

We have typically seen all of the big Chinese manufacturers offer a top-quality panel designed specifically for the Australian market. These panels are normally quite similar in terms of price, output, and even most of the technical specs will be the same.

Additionally, we have premium solar panel manufacturers also moving down into this market. For example, LG Solar manufactured a Mono X panel in China (rather than Korea) and offered a 15-year warranty. REC and Q Cells are both good examples of a European company moving to Asia to help lower their pricing to compete with the larger Chinese players.

1. Q Cells

Q Cells was voted by Australian installers to be in the top 5 companies providing a good-value solar panel, which is a great achievement as the ‘budget’ Q Cells Q.Boost panel is a step up in price compared to the likes of Trina and Jinko.

Q.BOOST is a high-tech solar module that is designed with Q.ANTUM DUO Z Technology, and zero gap cell layout (similar to the top of the range panels) to boost module efficiency up over 21 %.
Solaray currently has the Q.Boost G2 panel in stock, which comes with a 20-year warranty and we consider it to be one of the best-value panels we have ever offered, with the right balance of top-performance at an affordable price.

2. Trina Solar Vertex Panel

Trina Solar has once again been voted by Australian Solar Installers as making the best-value solar panel in Australia. In 2022 this is the Trina Vertex module.

Trina is the largest vertically integrated solar manufacturer – meaning they manufacture all the key components from ingots to completed modules. Trina not only performs large-scale solar Research and Development around the world, but they also have teams of scientists working on energy-efficient product research in many of the world’s leading universities – including the Australian National University and the University of Queensland.

Trina Solar Panels were selected for Australia’s largest rooftop installation – an enormous 1.22MW array (5,004 panels) – for the University of Queensland. This facility not only provides a significant proportion of the campus’ power but is also used as a testing ground for ongoing research.

Trina-University-of-Queensland

Trina Solar Panels are positioned to be at the premium end of available Chinese panels and the Trina Vertex panel is considered by many industry experts to be the best value solar panel made by a Chinese Manufacturer.

Trina solar panels are designed and manufactured to the highest quality standards and the products have proven themselves on the field and in third-party testing against other leading manufacturers. This, combined with its high performance under low light conditions allows for consistently high output and the ability to maximise system performance.

Trina Vertex Technical Details

Overall, Trina has an exceptional track record and has led advancements in solar technology for a long time. This new 390W module is setting a new standard in Australia for high performance at a great price point.

The technical highlights of this high-performance panel include:

  • Excellent low light performance on cloudy days, mornings and evenings due to cutting edge technologies including advanced surface texturing, back surface field & selective emitter
  • Trina Vertex panels have a guaranteed power tolerance of +5W, meaning that the module will be rated up to 5W higher than the panel’s 390W rating. It is important to note that this additional output is only of benefit if you install a system with panel-level output such as an Enphase Micro Inverter Solution.
  • Trina Vertex modules are highly reliable due to stringent quality control including over 30 in-house tests (UV, TC, HF, and many more). In-house testing goes well beyond certification requirements.

Find out more about one of the best value solar panels available in Australia: Trina Vertex

3. REC Solar TwinPeak 4

On a standard-sized residential system, an REC Solar System with premium Twin Peak 4 panels is only around $1000 more than a standard solar system (with generic Chinese solar panels). This makes the REC panel one of the best value options on the Australian market considering the high level of performance, reliability and output in shaded conditions.

As a Certified REC Installer, REC Systems installed by Solaray Energy feature an extended 25-year product warranty as well as a 25-year power output guarantee.

REC TwinPeak 4 features REC’s innovative design with the high panel efficiency and power output of monocrystalline cells, helping to lower your energy bills and shorten the payback time through increased yield and lower costs.

REC TwinPeak 4 panels are packed with the same advanced REC TwinPeak technologies that have won REC multiple awards. This p-type mono variant offers higher power output per square meter of panels installed.

Find out more about the REC TwinPeak 4 Solar Panel here…

4. JinkoSolar

JinkoSolar is one of the world’s largest solar panel manufacturers and has a long history of supplying good quality solar panels to the Australian market at a great price.

The new generation of solar panel technology has been featured in the N-type cells in the Tiger series. Following on from previous years, Jinko is once again firmly in the mix for offering a good value panel for Australian households.

5. Canadian Solar

Canadian Solar is in the same boat as Trina and Jinko; a global leader that makes a good quality panel at a great price for the Australian market.

Importantly, all Candian panels that hit the Australian market are made in Asia, however, the company still has strong ties to Canada.

What About Australian Made Solar Panels?

Tindo Solar is currently the only large Australian solar panel manufacturer, and actually one of the only large manufacturers that haven’t yet made the move to Asia.

Tindo Solar is well regarded by the Australian Solar Industry and will likely play an important roll for solar in Australia depending on the stability of supply chains as the world emerges from the Covid crisis.

Tindo is based in South Australia and is fairly limited by its production volume. Because of this, Tindo Solar panels can be a little difficult to source here on the East Coast.

What’s The Best German Made Solar Panel?

German companies are renowned for their high standards of manufacturing, and this was particularly true in the solar industry a few years ago.

Buying a panel from a company such as Q Cells or Solar World was a reliable way of ensuring you were buying a quality system, without delving into the mysterious world of Chinese solar manufacturing to try and differentiate one panel from the next.

Unfortunately, however, all of the main German manufacturers are now either making their panels in Asia or do not have a local office here in Australia.

More information on this is available here…

Solar Panel Performance Isn’t Always As It Seems

An independent study by CSIRO for Choice Magazine tested one panel from 15 of the most common solar panels available in Australia. During the test, they found that 12 out of the 15 panels performed under their claimed nominal power, some by as much as 10W.

Because only one panel was used in the test, it is impossible to draw strong conclusions about certain brands, however, it certainly drew attention to the fact that there are some large inconsistencies between a manufacturer’s claimed nominal power and real-world output.

For example, a 260W panel from one of the largest manufacturers in China scored a test result of 251W. This inconsistency highlights just how critical it is to have access to panel-level output and monitoring, which is a feature of Smart Solar Systems.

The star performer in this test was LG Solar; their 300W panel produced a test result of 307W. As the largest installer of LG Solar panels in Australia, this test result is in line with what we have seen from our LG Solar installations and emphasises the importance of buying good quality panels.

Solar panels are manufactured with a power tolerance

Each manufacturer is different, however, the better brands tend to have a +3% range. For example, a 390W panel from LG Solar will be anything from 390W up to 401W. The only way to take advantage of this is to use a system such as Enphase that features panel-level output, otherwise, you will be outputting power at the rate of the worst performing panel in your array. At best this will be at the panels’ rating, at worst it may be much less.

Output in low light conditions is also critical in Sydney due to our weather. We only get around 100 ‘perfect’ days a year, the rest have some rain our cloud cover. The better panels (such as the panels listed below) not only perform well in the testing laboratory, they also output more power across the year in all weather conditions. Increased output in low light conditions can make a significant difference to your power bill over the years.

Manufacturer’s Financial Strength & Local Representation

Cheap solar panels are pumped out of China at a dime a dozen. They are often re-branded with a slick logo, or they are simply shipped to countries like Australia and sold without a brand at all! Have you ever seen a quote for “20 x 300W solar panels”? We see it all the time. It is literally a no-name system!

Cheap solar panels can often have no claimable warranty despite the marketing claim of a full 25 year Power Output Warranty.

Often there will be a phone number that no one answers or contact details for an office in China where no one speaks English. Furthermore, if it wasn’t brought into Australia through an official distributor the warranty is lost if the manufacturer goes bust (or simply changes their name).

For the warranty to be of any value, the product must be supplied through official distributors and the manufacturer must have an office in Australia. The company must also be in a strong financial position and committed to the Australian market.

In fact, it is such a problem, it is estimated a huge 1 in 3 solar systems in Australia are unsupported!

This is why Solaray only supplies panels from the top handful of manufacturers, and why we have a strict vetting process before we bring a new brand in for our technical team to begin testing.

Comments

    • Solaray

      Hi Kevin, no, we don’t have any information on this panel. We strongly recommend looking at panels from the main manufacturers that have strong representation in Australia, such as Trina Solar and LG Solar.

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