Solar panel brand reviews 1.1

ARTICLE 1 OF 2 IN THIS GUIDE Solar panel brand reviews Make the most of your solar panels We carried out a unique audit of 22 solar panel factories to help you choose the best-quality solar PV panels, and asked owners what they really think of theirs. To find out how good the solar panel brands’ processes and quality checks are, we audited each stage of the manufacturing process. This means we can tell you which brands have strong quality checks in place. You can use the results of our research to choose solar panels that have gone through rigorous checks – so you know you’ll be buying good-quality panels. Our assessments took place in summer 2015, and are still useful to help differentiate between brands, and highlight how a good solar panel should have been prepared. 

Solar panel owners’ views In June 2017, we asked more than 1,000 solar PV owners to tell us about their panels. This included whether they’d recommend the brand, and if the panels produced as much electricity – or earned them as much money – as they hoped when they bought them. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for customer scores for seven of the most popular solar PV brands. Best solar panel brands A solar panel factory’s production process will affect the long-term quality of the panels you buy. Factors that can have an effect on quality include the glue used, backing sheet material, how weatherproof the frame is, and what quality checks are in place. So we rated each stage of the production process to see how well the panels were made.

All the 14 manufacturers who opened their doors to our expert auditors scored well. We found they had strong quality checks in place to prevent and detect defects in the cells or panels, which could cause the panels to lose efficiency over time. So these are all brands you should consider when choosing solar panels. Most should offer at least a 25-year performance warranty – make sure you check with your installer before signing up. It wasn’t possible to audit some big brands, such as Panasonic, Yingli, LG or Hanergy (Ikea). This was either because they didn’t wish to participate, or it wasn’t practical to audit them in the time we had. But, anecdotally, trusted installers we’ve spoken to told us they would recommend Panasonic panels.

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