Broken: The Untold Story Of Buying Cheap Solar Panels

Have you ever bought something a little too cheap only for it to break the following week?

Buying quality electronics is important. Buying quality solar panels is even more important. Unlike a broken headset, you can’t just toss solar panels in the bin. Furthermore, it’s not like the thousands of dollars you paid for your ‘cheap solar system’ was pocket change!

Made To Be Broken

Some cheap suppliers (you may know who these companies are) make products with a built-in lifespan. This also happens in the solar industry.

Cheap solar panels are cheap because the costs involved in making a quality solar panel have been stripped away. This directly impacts the reliability, performance and longevity of the panel and it is becoming a serious problem now that so many Australian homes installed these types of panels in large numbers around 5 years ago.

In other industries, a lot of products are built to just last long enough to see out the warranty. From our perspective, it’s even worse in the solar industry. There are so many manufacturers and installers going into liquidation (often popping up the next week under a different name) that there is the genuine concern that for many cheaper solar panels the warranty isn’t worth the paper it is written on.

We have seen solar panels that fall apart before they’ve even paid for themselves, panels that are installed poorly and get water damage, panels that go brown, and even faulty electronics that can cause a fire. It is really important to buy quality solar panels to ensure longevity.

The Numbers

Worldwide, we create about 40 million tons of electronic waste yearly. That’s roughly 800 laptops being thrown out every single second [1]. These electronics we throw out contain hundreds of metallic substances, many of which are toxic. This includes mercury, lead, arsenic, and flame retardants.

Most e-waste is shipped to massive toxic landfills in Asia and Africa where they pollute the nearby land, air and water. The people who work in these toxic dumps work for less than $2 USD per day.

Danny Muller, Assistant Supervisor of the University of San Diego’s Electronics Recycling Center, says – “E-waste is about 2 per cent of all the waste in a landfill, but it represents about 70 per cent of all hazardous waste—and it’s contributing most quickly to the growth of landfills” [2].

Minimising Waste With Solar Panels

The best way to minimise waste is to invest in solar panels that are going to last over 25 years.

Cheap solar panels can not only cost the homeowner financially, but they can also end up costing the environment due to their shorter life span and much higher failure rate.

Considering all the man-hours and fuel that’s used in the mining and production of solar panels, using low-quality solar power can end up costing the environment more than any solar power you could’ve generated.

When people buy solar panels (or any electronics), they should consider:

Do they trust the supplier?

Have there been many issues in the past? What do others say?

Is there an option that will last them longer-term – saving them on buying the ‘cheap’ option multiple times?

A supplier that passes these 3 tests in our eyes is LG Solar.

Choose Quality Products To Maximise Your System’s Life:

The LG NeON range comes with a 25-year product warranty, a full 15 years longer than the industry average. These better panels typically last over 30 years, and there are a number of German manufacturers that have now been around long enough to back up that claim.

We have installed tens of thousands of LG panels in Australia and not a single house has claimed a warranty from any we’ve installed. When you purchase solar, we love the notion of doing it once and doing it well.

We’re proud to have recently been awarded LG Solar Dealer Of The Year for the second year running. If you’re interested in getting to know more about LG panels and other high-quality solar, fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch to answer any questions you might have:

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