Not all solar panels are equal and there are a variety of factors to consider when selecting the right panel.
Swiss Solar provide high quality panels from well-known manufacturers that have a proven history of
reliability and performance and only choose solar products that satisfactorily meet our quality selection criteria.
CHECKING FOR QUALITY
Is the panel made by a Tier 1 manufacturer?
Tier one includes the top 2 percent of all solar panel manufacturers. This means they have rigorous quality control at each stage of the manufacturing process. These companies invest heavily in research and development, use advanced robotic processes and have been manufacturing solar panels for more than 5 years.
Tier one producers use the purest/best grade of silicon to produce solar cells. The higher the silicon grade, the longer the solar cell will last and the better it will perform in converting the sun’s energy to electricity.
Does the solar panel company have a well-established Australian office for after sales service and support and are their products warrantied in Australia?
An important point to remember about warranty is that it will only be honoured for as long as the company operates. It’s another reason to select a well known brand of module rather than purchase an obscure low-cost brand that may disappear overnight or close it's Australian service.
The durability or longevity of a solar panel warranty is important for a number of reasons – it can be an indicator of the manufacturer’s confidence in its products. Reputable solar panels will have a minimum product warranty of 10 years and a performance warranty period of 25 years.
All our panels feature this 25-year performance warranty (typically warranting that the panel will still produce at least 80% of its claimed power rating after 25 years) plus a 10 to 12 year warranty for the product itself. Sunpower is an exception, with a 25-year warranty for both performance and product, and higher performance criteria in the warranty.
Has the product demonstrated proven performance?
Panel performance can vary greatly from standard testing conditions in the laboratory to real-world conditions. Swiss Solar assess several factors when considering the performance of a panel including:
Technical data -
Manufacturer's test reports
Independent (third-party) test reports
Independent industry reports and experience -
Manufacturer and product reputation
Independent expert reviews
How well will the panel perform in North Queensland's hot climatic conditions?
In North Queensland's hot climate, a panel can generate a lot less energy in the heat if it doesn't have a good temperature coefficient.
Solar panels become less efficient as they get warmer, so you'll sometimes get less power from the panels on a very hot day than on a mild day (and remember, even on a 25°C day, your rooftop panels could be operating at well above 40°C). Some panels have better temperature tolerance than others and are therefore a better choice in North Queensland.
Does the panel meet Australian and International standards?
For safety assurance and to qualify for any government financial incentives, such as STCs (Small-scale Technology Certificates) the panels must meet certain regulations and standards. If the products are not on the Clean Energy Council's approved list of modules then the system is not eligible for an STC discount. Swiss Solar only supply CEC approved solar panels and inverters.