LG Solar Panels- Independent Review

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Overview of LG – Company History

LG initially entered the solar market in 1985 as the company ‘Lucky-GoldStar’. The company developed its first portable solar cell technology in 1988, ‘The Solar Lantern’. Lucky-GoldStar rebranded to LG (Life is Good) in 1995 and proceeded to design solar systems for traffic lights and clock towers. In 2009 LG created its first solar panel and has gone on to win the Intersolar Award in 2013, 2015 & 2016 for its innovations. It also won the Readers Digest Australia Most Trusted Solar Panel Award 2020 after a survey of 3000 readers.

The South Korean multinational conglomerate corporation is currently the 4th largest chaebol (family-owned business) in South Korea. Holding a very impressive panel return rate of only 40 in 1 million, LG has built the reputation of being a premium global solar panel manufacturer. This brand recognition has strengthened through achieving EUPD Research Top Brand PV Award for Modules in Australia each year for the past 5 years.

Key Panel Indicators

LG Solar Panels
Bloomberg Tier 1 RankingYes (Q2)
DNV GL Top PerformerNo
Office location in AustraliaYes

What is a Bloomberg Tier 1 Solar Panel?

Bloomberg’s infamous tier 1 ranking is NOT a measure of Solar Panel quality in any way. It is simply an indication of the bankability of the manufacturer based on publicly released information on the financial health of the company. This should give you an idea if the company is a large, well-known manufacturer.

See full list of Bloomberg Tier 1 Solar Panels

What is PV Evolution Labs Top Performer?

PV Evolution Labs with support from DNV GL independently test solar panel reliability. The tests are voluntary, with solar panel manufacturers paying to participate in the testing. This testing process is internationally renowned and is an accurate reflection of the solar panel’s performance.

Despite the reputation for producing high-quality panels, LG has only ranked as a PV Evolution Labs Top Performer in 2018. After 2018 LG have advised they withdrew from the testing program as they did not agree with the testing methodology, including the fact that manufacturers must make payments to the testing facility.

See full list of PV Evolution Labs Top Performing Solar Panels 

Why is office location in Australia Important?

Most solar panel manufacturers entering the Australian market first set up their distribution channels and worry about customer service later. This has led to many unhappy customers who are left trying to contact Chinese head offices to claim on their 10-year product warranty.

Relying on your solar installer is not always an option as we’ve seen over 700 residential solar installers (including the large ones) go out of business since 2011 – well within the lifetime of the systems they are installing.

LG’s head office and key warehouse is in Eastern Creek in Western Sydney and they have satellite offices in all states except Tasmania. LG also retains a old stock on all Solar Panels they have sold since 2010 to cater to warranty claims where necessary. LG has an Australian revenue of over $1bn meaning their 25 year product warranty is one of the strongest and most trustworthy offers in the market.

 

How much do LG Solar Panels cost?

Based on Solar Choice’s database we have provided the below-average costs as an indicative guide. These prices include:

  • Full turnkey Solar System with LG Neon 2 Solar Panels
  • Installation from a pre-vetted reputable installer from Solar Choice’s network
  • The STC rebate and GST
System SizeAverage Fully Installed Cost
6kW$8,885
8kW$11,830
10kW$14,302

Important Note: Prices will vary depending on location, inverter brand and which installer is used

Compare quotes from up to 7 installers in your area now.

 

LG Solar Panels’ 25-year Product and Performance Warranty

Screenshot of LG solar panel website warranty sectionLikely the most significant point of difference for LG panels is their industry leading 25 year product and performance warranty. The performance warranty guarantees a minimum amount of output from the solar panel, which typically declines annually in line with the natural degradation of the silicon in the panel. LG’s performance warranty for the NeON 2 guarantees an output of 90.08% after 25 years which is a significantly higher proportion that the tier 1 cost-effective panels who offer 80% to 85% after 25 years. Over time you could expect up to 5% higher output of usable electricity from an LG solar panel than most of their counterparts.

The more significant difference in their warranty period is the 25-year product warranty. Most panels stick to a 10-year warranty period which has rapidly become the industry standard. Providing a 25-year product warranty period means that LG will provide a spare panel and covering the shipping and labour costs to replace in the instance of a manufacturing or materials defect. To provide clarity to the customer LG have providing a list of exclusions in their warranty document to provide clarity on where warranty would not be claimable. Many of these reasons relate to improper procedure used by the installer or weather events that are often cover by home and contents insurance.

A Solar Panel product warranty is only valuable to you if the company is still in business and has a clear process by which warranty can be claimed directly be end-users (don’t rely on your installer to still be around). In our opinion, if you are looking for peace of mind, LG’s warranty is one of the best on the market and justifies their position as a top-of-the-line solar panel.

 

LG Launches the LG Mono X in November 2020

LG mono x plus 370w solar panel reviewLG has launched a solar panel into the Australian market which is aimed to win market share of the customers who are looking for a more cost-effective. The panel features many similar characteristics to the NeON 2 series with slightly lower panel efficiency and most notably a reduction in product warranty to 15 years. LG claims this will enable installers to shave off $2,000 from a common 6.66kW which would utilise 18 panels.

The Mono X series will sit towards the top of of the cost-effective panel range and offer buyers on a budget some of the comforts of the LG brand without a premium price-tag.

 

Model Range Available in Australia

Residential LG solar panels are approved by the Clean Energy Council for the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme, which is Australia’s home solar rebate program.

CEC approved models available for residential installation in Australia:

LG NeON® 2 350-365Wp

LG NeON® 2 Black 340-350Wp

LG NeON® R 375-380Wp

LG Mono X Plus 370Wp

 

LG Solar Panel Specifications

LG NeON® 2LG NeON® 2 BlackLG Mono X Plus
Cell Number6060120 (half-cut)
Cell TypeMonocrystalline N-type Monocrystalline N-typeMonocrystalline N-type
Power Output370Wp340Wp370Wp
Nominal Power Voltage35.8V34.9V33.95V
Power Density214 W/m²199 W/m²198 W/m²
Panel Efficiency21.4%19.8%19.8%
Annual Power Degradation0.33%0.33%0.40%
Dimensions1700 x 1016 x 40 mm

(1.72 m²)

1686 x 1016 x 40 mm

(1.71 m²)

1776 x 1052 x 40 mm

 (1.87 m²)

Weight18kg17.1kg19.7kg
Warranty25 years25 years15 years
Operational Temperature Range-40°C to 90°C-40°C to 90°C-40°C to 90°C
Made inSouth KoreaSouth KoreaSouth Korea

Conclusion – Are LG Solar Panels worth it?

When buying a solar system, you need to make a decision on whether you are happy to pay more for something that will last longer, or whether you are happy with something that is more likely to run into issues down the line but will pay for itself quicker. If you’re in the first camp, then LG Solar Panels are one of your best options with proven technology and an excellent track record in Australia.

 

Example of an LG Commercial Solar Project

In November 2017 Kedron-Wavell Services Club located in Brisbane installed 300 LG NeON®2 335W panels. This totaled a system size of 80.4 kW with an approximate annual output of 131,000 kWh. The goal was to install a system as large as possible to reduce the club’s power bill. The installation had its challenges as the roof surface had multiple angles and differing levels. Overall, it was estimated that the club saves $34,000 yearly on their electricity bill. The environmental benefit of this installation is the reduction of approximately 53 tonnes of CO2 per annum. The club’s panel array is pictured below.

Kedron-Wavell Services Club panel array

 

Jack Boutchard

Writer at Solar Choice
Jack Boutchard

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