A solar panel’s quality is largely determined by how it’s made. The technologies and materials used can significantly improve quality and efficiency. So, choosing the right solar panel manufacturer takes you closer to making the right buying decision.
Let us give you an idea of the different categories of manufacturers and which among them you can trust.
Categories of Manufacturers
Belonging in this category are SunPower, Panasonic, and LG. Panasonic and LG have higher market prices and good quality panels, but it’s not significantly (if at all) better than the quality provided by Tier 1 brands.
What puts these companies in the premium category is their corporation’s strength, not their product specifications. Although the quality of their products can’t justify their market price, these companies are highly reliable.
In addition, SunPower has the premium status because of its solar panel efficiency and the vast network of installation partners it works with. SunPower has been leading the solar energy market for years.
However, SunPower gave its manufacturing business to Maxeon, a separate entity co-owned by a Chines manufacturer. This breeds some uncertainty, but we’re confident it can continue to produce quality products that give good value for your money.
This category is ruled by Chinese manufacturers who have been taking over the global solar energy industry for years. They may not have successfully penetrated the residential US market, but their market share is continuously growing.
Some Tier 1 brands include Canadian Solar (a Chinese company), Jinko Solar, LONGi Solar, GCL Solar, Trina Solar, and Risen Energy.
The solar panel efficiency of these brands is 1-2% lesser than those in the premium category. Still, they continuously improve their manufacturing process, use the latest cell technology, and have large-scale production. So, their prices are lower but still have good quality solar panels not far from those in the premium category. Good value for money ensured!
Second and third tiers
The brands under this category are smaller Chinese manufacturers, and we don’t recommend them. They have no transparency and often shut down when faced with warranty claims.