Are German solar modules in Australia the best on the market and are they worth the money?
German companies are known for their high manufacturing standards, and this is especially true of the solar industry a few years ago.
Buying a panel from a company like Q Cells or Solar World was a reliable way to ensure you were buying a quality system without delving into the mysterious world of Chinese solar manufacturing to try to tell one panel from the next.
Unfortunately, all major German manufacturers now either manufacture their panels in Asia or do not have a local office here in Australia. In the past few years, companies like LG Solar have taken over the premium end of the market, offering a 25 year product warranty, ultra high efficiency and a panel that really works in all weather conditions.
Here is the latest information on German solar manufacturers:
SolarWorld (updated 2017): SolarWorld has just announced that it will file for bankruptcy because it cannot meet its debt obligations. This is what we have been concerned about for some time and why we stopped selling SolarWorld panels when they pulled out of Australia. If a company does not have an Australian office and becomes insolvent, the dealer or importer is responsible for its warranty obligations. It's a risky business and we see this happening over and over again.
Q cells: Around the time Q Cells was relocating its manufacturing to Asia, Solaray made the decision to remove the popular Q Cells Q.Pro panel from our price list. Q Cells were bought by the Asian giant Hanwha in 2012 and have now relocated their production to China, Malaysia and South Korea.
Bosch: Bosch stopped manufacturing solar panels in 2014.
German Engineered Panels: This sales line has attracted a lot of people over the years which is unfortunate as it is a one-liner that typically sells some of the cheapest panels on the market. It's one of those sales lines that means nothing. One could argue that all solar panels were made in German, considering that the solar panels were first designed there.
These companies trying to associate their products with Germany tend to make very cheap panels in China and not have a presence in Australia so they can get away with misleading or false statements about Germany. Here is one that we heard about almost every day a few years ago, before they were banished from Australia:
Why should you choose high quality solar panels?
Our staff constantly hears feedback from customers who have bought a cheap system or know someone who has and who now regrets the decision.
“I bought a 4 kW system and achieved a maximum output of 2 kW.”
Performance is everything in household solar energy. The more solar energy you generate, the lower your electricity bill should be. When buying a quality solar panel, make sure your panel has the built-in technology to maximize solar performance in all lighting conditions, especially in NSW where cloud cover and cloudy days are common.
“I'm calling to get a price on new panels. My system isn't working and I can't get in touch with my installer.”
The other problem is the cost of replacing cheap products that don't work and are not adequately covered by warranty. Reputable solar manufacturers are listed companies with legal requirements for compliance with their guarantee obligations. It is important that they have an Australian office so that defective products are not only covered by the guarantee, but are replaced on time and include installation and labor in their service.
Purchasing a quality system will reduce the risk of costly repairs over the life of your system.
LG Solar Premium Panels
For those looking for the best solar panels available in Australia, the Solaray team recommends the LG NeON module. LG is a leading global manufacturer of solar modules with over 20 years of experience. The latest NeON panel benefits from years of research. The next generation panel has seen many important improvements, from longer warranties and higher efficiency to a stronger frame and increased wind load.
Solaray is a preferred partner of LG solar technology. Solaray is the market leader and has proven the best quality value and service in power and battery technology to thousands of customers for years. Solaray offers both reliable and professional services at extremely competitive prices.
LG solar modules provide decades of clean and reliable energy. Choosing a top quality panel like the NeON 2 module is an investment in superior standards of design, manufacture, backup support and warranties. The high quality is the result of LG's strong commitment to developing a module that has decades of reliable, high performance for a reassuring solar solution.
LG solar products are rigorously tested beyond industry standards, and these standards apply equally to the selection of materials for their solar modules. When you choose LG Solar, you can rest assured that you are buying the best.
Positive performance tolerance
LG panels have a performance tolerance of 0 / + 3%. With a 360 W LG NeON 2 panel, for example, the flash test of this panel is between 365 W and 375 W. You can only use this if you have a panel-level output, a function of Enphase Micro Inverter Systems.
LG deregistration for each cell
Driven by LG's own N-Type cell technology, LG Solar offers a high degree of efficiency in order to generate solar systems with a higher power generation than standard systems. LG deregisters every module with the LG brand. The logo reflects the cutting-edge technology and durability of LG products.
Developed to last
LG solar modules are made with durable glass that is light in weight (19 kg) and at the same time can withstand strong wind loads and even hail.
Highest test standards
After a strict process, LG's product test laboratory was certified by both TÜV Rheinland and UL – a first in the solar industry.