We had the pleasure to sit down with Anthony Phillips, our Account Executive from LG Solar, to discuss the new addition to LG’s solar panel family: The LG NeON H+ 415W panel.
So solar has come a long way in the last 10 years. What are consumers looking for in solar these days? Are there key questions they’re asking or features that they’re expecting?
I’ve been in this industry, solar, for 12 years now and I’ve seen a lot of change. So probably, when you say a lot has changed in 10 years, for me, I think, wow, yeah and there’s been a lot of cheap solar go through the industry and it’s all cheap. It’s risk, it’s risky. So when you then ask, well, what are people looking for now, what are the questions asked, the features, et cetera, I would be pointing to known brands and assurances around those because it’s a new industry and people don’t know what’s out there.
Some of the questions I see coming up is who are the retailers, who are the manufacturers, and consumers trying to get guidance on that. In terms of those features, look, every time it seems to be power and performance are the expected features and what are asked, but that’s not necessarily all that it is about, but it’s certainly where the question start.
Absolutely. We’ve been watching LG release solar panel after solar panel with higher performance and better efficiency. But now you’ve crashed through that 400-watt barrier with a new 415-watt panel in the new NeON H+. This must be an exciting milestone for LG?
Oh, Krissie, we are delighted. Look, absolutely delighted. We are launching this panel, it’s an all Korean made panel. It’s for the residential market and to be putting a peak power number on there of 415 watts, it’s just fantastic. So we’re certainly excited at this end and really that panel, it’s a performer, it’s reliable, and it’s all backed by LG Electronics.
For people looking to install solar, what does it mean to have a 415-watt panel on the roof compared to a standard panel?
Wow. Okay, that’s a great question to ask actually. What it’s coming down to, because when we talk about 415 watts, that’s more panels or sorry, more power for less panels on a roof. That’s what it means. Now, if you look at a standard panel out there, say 370-watts, for a 6.6 kilowatt system, we’re putting on two less panels.
Now, if we look at, your very first point you made about solar over the last 10 years, if you, we once used to sell, or the industry sold 1.5 kilowatt systems, and then it was four kilowatts, and then it was five, then 6.6. The average system size now is nearly nine kilowatts in the residential market. – Wow, that’s a big jump.
It is. So really this starts to point to a fundamental question about how much roof space is up there and that roof space is a factor in your choice of solar and the panels that are there. So when we’re able to provide a 415-watt, high efficiency panel, less panels up there, or more power for the same number of panel count, where is this market going with that sort of trajectory?
Is it 15 kilowatts that people need and we know energy demand’s actually only growing, air conditioning, pool, et cetera. So the actual rooftop requirements the and solar demand and electricity demand in general, everything’s just going up.
Absolutely. – So it’s actually a great question to ask because we’re well-positioned for that, those bigger systems that are coming.
People talk a lot about efficiency but actually there’s a lot more to solar than just efficiency. So, what are the main reasons that people should buy a top of the range panel from LG Solar, such as the NeON H+, over the cheaper entry-level panels that are out there in the Australian market?
Really what you’re pointing to there is efficiency and that can be seen as the panel size or the peak power, but really it’s a lot more than that. It really is. It comes down to, well, you’re asking the question, why would you buy a top range LG over cheaper systems and cheaper panels that are out there? I’d start with, so when we talk about an efficiency rating of 21.2% on that 415, that is a class leading efficiency, but really we have to drill deeper than this.
So what you get is what you pay for. That is really a saying in life. So our LG panels, they’re Korean made, they’re built to perform, they’re built to last, and I’d like to think we actually sell peace of mind. So all these features add up to a peace of mind solution for customers.
Absolutely and I can, I guess agree with that from a customer perspective. Before I actually started working with Solaray, I was a Solaray customer. I had them install LG panels on my roof. I have a 6.6 kilowatt system at home.
I love that.
And a big reason that my family decided that we wanted to spend more and go for the LG panels at the higher end of the scale was the performance warranty. I see a lot of big product warranties out there, but the fact that LG was willing to, yeah, warrant that my system would still be performing above 90% after 25 years compared to the industry average, which I think is around the 82% mark, but that really, that really sold me.
Like I’m going to be in my house for a long time and I want a panel that I can rely on for a long time and after 12 months with my solar, I’ve produced about eight megawatts of power already and I can already see though, compared to my next door neighbours who have the same size system but with a cheaper panel that I’m already outperforming them and getting more bang for my buck.
And imagine what that’s going to be like in 10, 20 years when my system has degraded a lot less than the average. I know that that investment is going to be returned to me, you know, tenfold over the lifetime of the product.
So I’m really glad that the Solaray team was able to talk me through the differences because I’m already seeing those returns and I know that that’s only going to increase exponentially over the coming years and I like having that confidence, you know, from a customer perspective.
You’ve touched on some excellent points there because you’re actually, solar it is a cost abatement exercise. You’re offsetting your electricity bill and the only way to do that is actual generation of kilowatt hours per day. That’s the measure. So we can talk peak power and system sizes, but it’s actually how much power it generates.
So look, an LG solar panel is a high performance panel. It will produce and delight customers and what we really put behind there is when we say that we build to perform and we build to last, that we sell peace of mind, but what’s really sitting behind there is the performance of the LG. So here we are in Australia with one of the best performing temperature panels. So in high temperature situations, our LG panel, this NeON H+ 415-watt panel will perform. Equally in low light it will perform exceptionally well.
The reliability of the panel. So hail is a common factor that we’re all aware of out there. We will test panels to 35 millimeters of hail size, shot at speed at high velocity, and that is over and above the 25 mils required by the IEC standards. So we’re building panels to be strong and to last. That reliability factor is backed by 25 years of LG Electronics, this is this business here that you see, here in Australia. 25 years of product replacement warranty. That includes the labour, the transport, the product itself for 25 years.
We will say to you that this panel will still produce over 90% of that peak power in 25 years time. It’s a heck of a statement and that performance number itself at 90.6 is very, very impressive. So that’s a degradation, right and still all the while running at an efficiency of that 21.2%. So, these are excellent numbers that anyone can have a look at across the spec sheets.
But to your point, it’s really the generation in kilowatt hours that we’re looking for because that’s what is offsetting against your electricity bill. Now, what I put behind that is that we have been making things as LG here in Australia for 25 years, but we have as a manufacturer 60 years of manufacturing experience so we can make these things well and then so behind that assurance of warranty is the strength and stability of LG Electronics in Australia.
Yeah, LG’s not going anywhere. (chuckles)
Well, we have 300, I’m sitting here in an office here in Sydney and we’re over 300 staff across Australia and New Zealand. As I said, 30 years in Australia. We’re a trusted brand. We’re a multi-award winner in the solar space for trust and for awards for innovation on this panel and yeah, that largest consumer brand in solar in Australia is the one backing your warranty. It is the same for all these other products you see around me. So you’re in good hands.
Absolutely. Absolutely. I can vouch for the hailstone test. I’ve had a couple of significant hailstorms at my house in the last 12 months and my panels are unscathed despite the fact that car windows on the same street were smashed.
Wow, there you go.
So I can vouch for the fact that the panels do stand up to our beautiful Sydney hailstorms.
There’s been a lot of talk at the moment about global supply chain issues and how certain solar panels are no longer available in Australia as a result of some of these challenges. So I guess what I wanted to ask is how does the future look for LG Solar and are people going to be able to get these new NeON H+ panels installed once they’ve placed an order?
Well, another excellent question, Krissie, and one of I’m delighted to answer because those NeON H+ 415, all Korean made, are in country right now. In fact they’re sitting here behind me in the warehouse. So we’re ready to sell along with Solaray when you’re ready to go.
Excellent. Well, I know here at Solaray, we’re proud to be LG’s number one solar installer year after year. And we’re proud to stand behind the LG NeON range because we know that those warranties are warranties that our customers can rely on for years and decades to come.
Yes, they can.