With China being in the news for toy’s being coated with lead paint and other controversial issues with quality control it is quite normal to have concerns with their products and whether their solar panels will work for as long as they say it will or will there be any unexpected defects? So how do you know whether you’re buying the right product or not?
The typical factors apply:
1) Have they been around for more than 10 years?
2) Do they have warranties on the performance of their products?
3) Are they certified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) /International Electrochemical Commission (IEC)?
Table of a few Solar Energy Panel brands that are available in Australia:
|QSE||TRINA||CONERGY PP220M||BP SOLAR||SUNPOWER-SPR||CEEG||SUNTECH|
|Country of Origin||China||China||Germany||China||Philippines||China||China|
|Production Capacity*||36MW/year||700MW/year||50MW/year||300 MW/year||90 MW/year||380 MW/year||2GW/year|
*The production capacity of these companies has been gathered from their individual websites.
As mentioned above most of these companies have been in business for over 10 years and have developed high standards of quality control and have been accredited by the respective ISO and IEC standards, the same organization that creates the quality control standards for almost all the other products in our homes.
Furthermore, to ease the fears of the consumers the manufacturers have decided to stand by their products with warranties that, if compared to other products that require the same amount of capital investment, should communicate clearly that these companies are putting in the effort upfront to make sure things don’t go wrong down the road.
Unfortunately there will be incidents similar to other industries where due to unexpected and unforeseeable circumstances things will go wrong, in which case the only form of protection left for the consumer is to thoroughly understand the terms and the conditions of the warranty when choosing a respective company to install a solar panel on your roof.
Another crucial element of installing solar panels on your property is the inverter/storage mechanism you purchase. Why this part of the system is critical, shall be answered in an article soon to come to the SolarChoice blog-site. If you have any specific questions regarding the choice of inverter/storage, or regarding the warranties, feel free to post them here and we will get back to you about them and/or include them in the next article.
Below, is a link to the IEC/ISO Photovoltaic Standards:
Written by Prateek Chourdia
MEngSc – Photovoltaics and Solar Energy, UNSW
Solar Energy Analyst
© 2010 Solar Choice Pty Ltd