In the last decade, the solar industry had an average annual growth rate of 48%. That’s because more and more people are caring about the future of this planet and ensuring that we try to use renewable energies vs. forms of energy that are expensive and cannot be replaced. The growth of solar energy is also due to the Solar Investment Tax Credit the federal government offers to those who purchase and use solar products or energy sources.
The Solar Investment Tax Credit has decreased the cost of using solar energy and buying solar panels. Many times consumers begin by trying out solar energy and then start purchasing products that enhance their solar power experience. Read on to discover more information about the best solar panels you can buy.
You can also review how more people and businesses are now installing solar panels and why it makes a difference to all of us.
Many consumers want to use solar panels, which they know will save them a lot their energy costs, but the upfront price you pay to purchase solar panels is not cheap. But if you were able to determine what the best solar panels were and the tax credits, and other financial incentives you’d qualify for by using solar panels, wouldn’t that make purchasing them a bit easier? The below informational guide on the top solar panels is an excellent place to start.
Before purchasing any solar panels, it’s essential to understand the solar panel efficiency measurements as that determines the amount of solar energy that is falling on any solar panel surface. It’s called the irradiation factor, and that’s what’s ultimately converted into electricity.
Today the average power rating for a standard size polar panel is around 320 watts. When you combine the irradiation factor, with the power rating and lower costs, you have a winning combination that allows you to have clean and renewable energy.
There are different types of solar energy panels that almost all residential solar power is made up of, including crystalline silicon, thin-film, polycrystalline, and monocrystalline solar panels. It’s the purity of the crystalline that determines the solar panels’ efficiency rate.
Monocrystalline is a silicon solar panel that’s made of melted our silicon that’s cut into bars and wafers. It is an efficient solar panel, and you can tell what it is by its uniform dark color with rounded edges. Monocrystalline produces some of the highest solar power outputs possible with the least amount of panel space.
Polycrystalline is a solar panel that some people call multi-crystalline. They cost less than monocrystalline panels, mainly because they are easy to make. Since there are many crystals in each cell, the crystals have less freedom for electrons to move around, resulting in their lower efficiency rate.
The thin-film is the one you that’s layered onto glass, metal, or plastic most of the time. It’s a cheaper manufacturing process than the crystalline-bassed panels; hence they are effortless to mass-produce. But thin-film panels require a lot of space and don’t’ work that will in the residential areas, although any open space buildings situated in farms and fields do well with this type of solar paneling.
The concentrated PV cell is an efficient solar panel, but they are costly. That is why they are used in most of the satellites and research labs and rarely used in homes or buildings.
Right now, there are more than 78 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity installed in over 14.5 million homes all over the nations. That means you contribute to the renewable energy cost savings on your electric bill with a renewable power source that lives on as long as the Earth circles the Sun. There are pros and cons in each of the solar panel companies that provide solar panel products and renewable energy sources, and the below list will give you a breakdown of each.
SunRun offers you purchase, lease, or loan solar panel systems. SunRun uses BrightPath satellite imagine software to deliver customized solar energy systems for their customers that meet their home or mobile needs. On average, the SunRun solar panel system increases efficiency and saves customers money on the front end when procuring the solar panels and on the back-end through energy savings.
SunRun offers a monitoring service that operates 24/7, which includes solar production. If something is amiss or goes wrong, the monitoring service team is alerted and sends a technician to fix it. In the past ten years, SunRun has increased its output to include 22 states with over 100,000 satisfied customers.
In addition, they also offer a lifetime warranty on their products. The SunRun panels are made of monocrystalline and have an efficiency rate of 20%.
Vivint Solar has some of the most innovative solar panels on the market. Strategically, they also offer a product line of solar batteries, powerful chargers, and smart home applications for their customers spread out over 22 states. They offer all homeowners residential solar panel finance options that include purchasing, loans, leases, and solar power purchase agreements, which are often called PPA.
Some customers combine their solar loan with a home equity loan, and by wrapping the two up together, they can achieve different financial and energy-saving goals and objectives. Vivint will provide all the maintenance you need and monitor your panels while offering their 25-year panel warranty.
Uniquely the 25-year warranty includes a partnership with LG Chem that provides you with 9.8 kWh batteries and has a warranty of ten years.
This solar panel provides you with optimum power for your on and off-grid applications. It can be used in your home, or you can use it for any mobile purposes. You can also take it with boating and get full use of its benefits.
It’s the monocrystalline solar cells that ensure its maximum output and ideal efficiency. You can charge your 12-volt battery with it, but you can also attach the solar panels to any off-grid energy system and use it. It even has pre-installed diodes in its junction box, which means the solar panels are user-friendly at home, on the road, or in the water.
The unique features of the Renogy are:
Finally, the Renogy can be used with almost any off-grid and on-grid inverter, which makes it unique and user-friendly.
SunLux energy helps consumers by saving them money by determining the overall power usage needed for their properties, homes, and businesses. SunLux will handle all your paperwork and even help you with any site evaluations, installations, and maintenance of your solar system before and during its use.
They have one of the best 25-year comprehensive warranty in the solar panel business. It covers the physical components of the solar system, replacement parts, repairs, and maintenance. The Sun Lux Energy solar panel is monocrystalline that provides an 18.8% efficiency rate.
SunPower has one of the coolest designs of a solar panel ever manufactured. The design and function of SunPower’s solar panel work in residential, portable, and commercial buildings and properties. The Sun Power solar panel offers an attractive design wrapped up in a highly efficient solar cell.
SunPower offers the SunPower Signature Solar Panel, which provides an anti-reflective black roof panel that is lightweight and flexible and can be quickly mobilized if needed. You have payment choices that offer you options like leasing, loans, or cash purchases for a discount. Also, SunPower will handle all of your paperwork, tax incentive applications, testing, monitoring, and maintenance.
What’s more, is that SunPower panels last up to 40 years, and it’s never been easier to sync your panels to your phone, so your efficiency rating can be reviewed in real-time.
The HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Polycrystalline solar panel provides you with enhanced high transparency with anti-reflective glass that bypasses diodes, so you receive top-notch performance even if you’re in a low-light environment. This is such a user-friendly solar panel you can install this yourself.
Each panel has a lightweight construction that contains 36 polycrystalline solar cells, so you receive the maximum efficiency possible. The MC4 is the connection you need so you can charge your solar panel with a battery, and you can use a single group or many panels to help power up your home. As a final added benefit, the panels offer multi-layered sheets that are laminated and provide advanced encapsulation material to improve your cell performance continuously.
The added benefits include but aren’t limited to:
Finally, it gives you pre-drilled holes so you can mount and hang at any of the mobile sites you need it.
This solar panel is a superb back-up power source and can generate electricity for cabins, RV’s, Boats, and in other areas.
You can increase the battery amps for this panel to charge a 12V battery when two or more of the solar panels are wired together in parallel. As a side benefit, you can charge a 24V or 48V battery and connect it to one panel in the series too. All in all, WindyNation is one of the most effortless panels to install and use.
If all of that wasn’t enough, the WindyNation also provides you with Grade A solar cells that are durable and offer heavy-duty anodized aluminum frames. The panels offer 300-600 Watt-hours of power per day and have a very high energy conversion rate. As if that wasn’t enough, you get Grade A solar cells with a 25-year power and five-year parts/labor warranty.
Now that you know some solar panel options, what is left to do is decide which one is best for your needs? Every solar panel needs to work with you and fit your needs. Solar panels already raise your property value, they lower greenhouse emissions and save you money.
By enjoying the benefits of renewable energy first hand with your solar panels, you become part of the future. After all, where else can you use renewable energy that adds value to your property but gives the world a cleaner and better tomorrow?
We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. The offers that appear on this site are from companies from which we receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including for example, the order in which they may appear within listing categories. The scoring is determined at our own discretion and should not be considered an endorsement (express or implied). The information and vendors which appear on this site is subject to change at any time. To the extent that ratings appear on this site, such rating is determined by our subjective opinion and based on a methodology that aggregates a number of factors, including but not limited to, our analysis of brand market share and reputation, each brand's consumer volume, compensation paid to us, and general consumer interest.
The QuickenCompare score is based on multiple factors such as the most popular choice, consumer feedback and our internal evaluation. The score is unbiased and its goal is to provide you with a relative recommendation of offers as you compare the brands listed in our marketplaces. We do receive monetary compensation if you utilize the brands listed which allows us to keep this service free.
Quicken Compare, a LMB Opco, LLC company, is compensated by third-party advertisers, however, any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in editorial content are of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the advertiser. We make every effort to provide up-to-date information, however we do not guarantee the accuracy of the information presented. Consumers should verify any terms and conditions with the institution providing the products. Articles may contain some sponsored content, content about affiliated entities or content about clients in the network. QuickenCompare does not include all lenders or offers available in the marketplace. The content displayed on QuickenCompare or in this video does not provide legal, financial, accounting or tax advice.