How to choose a solar panel
This guide will help you to choose the best solar panel for your project. Use this handy reference table to compare the facts. Quickly see the difference in features, performance, warranty and more. Make an informed decision so you know what you are buying. However, these products are ever-changing, with new models or capabilities being added all the time. We'll do our best to keep you up to date with the industry.
|DESCRIPTION||Highest power and best value for larger roofs or ground mount, commerical-grade or residential||Best fit for residential or commercial||More power per inch for smaller space residential or commercial|
|POWER RANGE, WATTS||370 - 480||280 - 340||320 - 400|
|COMMON DIMENSIONS||80 inches x 40 inches||65 inches x 40 inches||65 inches x 40 inches|
|FRAME||silver||silver or black||silver or black|
|SOLAR CELLS||72, 144||60, 120||60, 96, 120, 132|
|EFFICIENCY||17% to 21%||18% to 21%||19% to 22%|
|UL TEST CERTIFICATION||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|WARRANTY||up to 30 years||up to 30 years||up to 30 years|
as of Dec 2001
|$210 to $335||$180 to $260||$310 to $465|
What to know about solar panels
To keep things simple, there are THREE basic types of solar panel: XL-size, standard-size, and premium.
XL-size solar panels are the most powerful because they have physically larger dimensions, generally 80 inches by 40 inches. That adds about one foot to the size. XL-panels usually offer the best value in terms of price and performance. These panels are considered commercial-grade, designed for larger roofs and ground mounts. They typically provide more power and are a better value with a lower price. They have similar manufacture, testing and warranty as other panels. If you have the space to fit XL-panels, they usually offer the best deal.
Standard-size panels are generally 65 inches by 40 inches. These are considered residential, rooftop panels. They often have black frames and can come with a white or dark backsheet for that sleek, all-black appearance. For a smaller roof, the standard-size could be the best fit.
Premium panels are generally standard-sized, but they can vary a few inches in height or width. Premium simply means they are more efficient because they generate more power per square inch. However, the premium panels can cost 30% to 50% more for the greater efficiency. If the roof space is limited, then a premium panel may be the way to go.
Keep in mind that your fridge does not care about the solar panel. They all make the same electricity. They all have similar manufacture, testing and warranty. They all have the similar UL test certification. They all qualify for same incentives and tax credits. They all have a long lifespan to work for a long time.
On any given day, SunWatts has around 60 different models of solar panel in stock. We can build a solar kit to meet your needs.