How do you choose the best solar panels for your Sydney property?
Our 2021 solar panel buying guide will help you find the top solar panel brands across Sydney.
Are you looking to get your hands on the best solar panels Sydney has in store? Solar panels come with a long list of benefits – but they can also come with a hefty price tag. This is why you want to make sure you choose a solar panel system that is right for you.
How do I Choose a Solar Panel?
The best solar panel is one that works for you, your budget, and your needs. In fact, the best solar panel system for yourself may not work out to be the best choice for your friend or your neighbour.
Solar Panel Costs
Solar panel costs are determined by size, power output, material, durability, and efficiency. You’re always going to get what you pay for with solar panels… the cheapest options aren’t always the best options.
Size, Efficiency, and Material
When choosing your solar panels, size and efficiency are important considerations. Your roof typically dictates the actual size of the solar panel system. On the other hand, your electricity requirements usually determine your ideal system’s total output of power.
That’s where efficiency comes in. A more efficient solar panel will naturally produce greater amounts of power by utilising the same amount of space. More efficient panels (for instance, those manufactured with monocrystalline silicon) utilise better materials… but they are also more expensive.
Quality and Durability
Most solar panel installations in Australia have a payback period of around five years. This may seem like a long time, but remember that solar panels also have average life spans of 25 to 30 years.
Solar installation companies often offer insurance on the product and performance of solar panel systems for as long as 20 years or more. You’re essentially looking at decades of discounted electricity bills and clean energy.
The solar rebate program is set to end in 2030. If you have a solar panel system installed this year, you can still claim for a maximum deeming period of 10 years. That’s an approximate $2000 – 8,000 discount on a 5.5kW system installation in Sydney. This discount brings most installation costs down to just around $5,500 to $7,000.
What are the best solar panels?
Here are the ten best solar panels Sydney companies can install for your residential or commercial property:
#1 – LG NeON 2
LG NeON 2 solar panels come in standard 60 cells. While other brands offer panel capacities of up to 300W, LG NeON 2 offers 350W to 370W. This translates to at least a 16.6% increase in power generated per square meter.
If you’re not a fan of bright blue solar panels, LG NeON 2 uses thinner bus wires, black frames, and black cells for a more uniform black aesthetic. This solar panel series isn’t just about looks, though!
LG NeON 2 solar panels are covered by enhanced warranties for product, performance, and labour. LG guarantees that LG NeON 2 products will consistently perform in 25 years, losing only less than 10% of its performance in that time, compared to the industry standard of around 20%. LG also offers a labour warranty with the NeON 2 series, with up to $450 rebates in labour fees for panel replacements.
#2 – LONGi Solar
Monocrystalline silicon panels are LONGi Solar’s specialty. Right now, LONGi Solar has two main product lines: Hi-MO 4 and Hi-MO 5. Both product lines have monofacial and bifacial panels. However, the Hi-MO 4 monofacial modules are the only ones recommended for residential installations. Hi-MO 4’s monofacial panels use half-cut cells for improved durability and performance.
LONGi Solar is a relative newcomer, having only been in the industry for around 20 years. In that time, the company has set world records and made waves using advanced solar technologies. LONGi Solar guarantees solar panel performance reliability for 30 years, with module efficiencies as high as 21.5% for utility panels and 21.2% for residential panels.
#3 – REC TwinPeak
REC TwinPeak 4 is the latest series in REC Group’s residential solar panel offerings. TwinPeak panels are made of 120 half-cut monocrystalline silicon cells with a module efficiency of 19.7%.
TwinPeak panels use REC technologies that promise power generation even on cloudy days and in partially shaded areas. Additionally, there is an all-black variant of the TwinPeak 4, with a slightly lower panel efficiency of 19.4%.
REC now offers a 20-year product warranty for TwinPeak panels and a performance warranty that ensures up to 86% performance efficiency in 25 years. Working with REC-certified installers can even get your warranties extended, and/or provide you access to labor warranties.
#4 – Seraphim
Seraphim is also pretty new to the solar panel industry, having been established a decade ago… but that hasn’t stopped the company from providing top-notch solar solutions across the world to more than 40 countries. Seraphim currently has three active series; namely, S2, S3, and S4.
The S2 series is perfect for residential properties. These laser-cut panels are divided into identical solar arrays, meaning that power generation capability remains unaffected when panels are partially in the shade. Power output for panels in the S2 series ranges from 315W to 450W, with efficiencies ranging from 18.9% to 20.6%. The S2 series also has bifacial modules, with a power output range of 320W to 440W and 18.5% to 19.9% efficiency.
Seraphim used to offer 10-year product warranties, but those warranties have since upgraded to limited 15-year product warranties and 25-year performance warranties. This linear performance warranty ensures that Seraphim panels can perform up to 83.1% of their peak in their 25th year.
#5 – SolarEdge
SolarEdge was established in 2006, and it has since provided solar solutions to millions of homes and businesses in over 133 countries. In Australia, SolarEdge partners and solar companies use monocrystalline PERC panels for SolarEdge installations.
SolarEdge’s smart panels use split-cell technology for increased performance. The company also offers a 15-year panel warranty and a 25-year performance warranty. The limited selection of SolarEdge panels in Australia ranges from 355W to 375W power outputs, with 19.0% to 20.1% efficiency.
SolarEdge is a one-stop shop for solar module needs, as they offer optimisers and inverters too. SolarEdge even has a monitoring app to help system owners monitor and potentially resolve system issues on their own.
#6 – Trina Solar
Trina Solar was founded in China, but it has regional offices and corporate headquarters in Australia, India, UK, and the US. Trina Solar provides solar solutions for residential, commercial, and utility-scale facilities. For residential solutions in Australia, Trina Solar offers four modules under two different series.
The Honey M series and the Vertex S series panels are 120-cell, monocrystalline panels that utilize multi-busbar technology. Honey M panels adopt half-cut cells to effectively reduce power loss and improve overall power generation capabilities in low and high temperatures.
Vertex S panels are small in size but powerful, reaching power outages of 405W. Cells are treated for a sleek black appearance – this is an aesthetically pleasing solar module.
#7 – Canadian Solar
Canadian Solar has established a strong local presence in Australia, employing experts to manage and provide services for homes and businesses in need of solar solutions.
HiDM and HiDM5 are both high-density monocrystalline PERC modules recommended for residential setups. HiKu, HiKu6, HiKu7, and their bifacial counterparts are high-power dual cell modules recommended for commercial installations. Canadian Solar also sells popular residential inverters, which only require one person to install.
Canadian Solar offers a limited product warranty of 12 or 15 years for monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels, and a performance warranty of 25 years for both.
#8 – Jinko Solar
Jinko is one of Australia’s most popular solar brands, with a head office in Sydney and warehouse locations in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, and Melbourne. Jinko solar panels are focused on developing expert, professional, and cost-efficient solutions. Jinko Solar’s popularity is partially attributed to its wide range of panels and models.
Under the Value series, you can get 60-cell, 66-cell, 72-cell, and 78-cell panels with power outputs of 330W to 440W. Under the Professional series, you can get bifacial and monofacial modules with power outputs of 395W to 575W.
Jinko also lists their Eagle, Swan, and Tiger series, offering a wide range of choices to their consumers.
#9 – Q Cells
Solar modules from Q Cells allow for lower BOS costs and higher yield. This results in a shortened investment payback time, and more savings on your electric bills. Solar panels from Q Cells are known for high-rated, consistent performance – even in low-light, shaded, and other less than ideal weather conditions.
There are currently five active series using Q.antum Duo Technology, but the Q.Peak Duo G5 series is arguably the most popular. All Q Cells solar panels are dual panels that provide excellent reliability, even in partial shade.
Their panels also feature extreme weather ratings for heavy snow and rough winds, along with a 12-year or a 15-year product warranty. Their 25-year performance warranty ensures nominal performance of 93.1% in 10 years and at least 83% in 25 years.
#10 – SunPower
SunPower Maxeon offered the first 400w solar panel for residential installation, the Maxeon 3. Maxeon 3 also has an efficiency range of 22.1% to 22.6%. With this much power and efficiency in a residential panel, Maxeon 3 maximizes energy generation potential, delivering more power and greater savings for Sydney residents.
SunPower is also one of the best solar companies when it comes to product warranties – they offer a 25-year coverage for workmanship and material defects. And, while conventional panels only ensure around 81% power output after 25 years,
SunPower solar panels guarantee at least 92% performance in their 25th year after installation.
If you’re looking for the best solar panels and a quality installation at your Sydney home or your business, you must first consider your budget and your specific needs. Australia has no shortage of excellent solar panel brands. Just take a look at the table below, and see for yourself!
|Brand||Series||Panel Efficiency||Power Output||Key Features|
|LG||NeON 2, Black||19.7% to 20.0%||340W to 345W||Uniform black for aesthetics, perfect for sunny days|
|LG||NeON 2, Bifacial||19.4% to 19.8%||430W to 440W||Bifacial, generates steady power even on cloudy days|
|LG||NeON 2, 60 Cell||20.1% to 20.4%||365W to 370W||Low temperature coefficient, better performance in heat|
|LONGi Solar||Hi-MO 4, Mono||20.2% to 21.2%||355W to 460W||For residential, commercial, and industrial installations|
|LONGi Solar||Hi-MO 4, Bifacial||19.8% to 20.9%||360W to 455W||For PV plants, utility, commercial, and industrial installations|
|REC||TwinPeak 4||19.4% to 19.7%||360W to 370W||Great performance in partially shaded areas|
|Seraphim||S2 Series||18.9% to 20.6%||315W to 450W||Uses half-cut solar cells for higher power yield, reduces hot-spot effect|
|Seraphim||S2 Series, Bifacial||18.5% to 19.9%||320W to 440W||Dual-glass reduces micro cracks, amazing performance even at low irradiance|
|SolarEdge||Smart Panel||19.0% to 20.1%||355W to 375W||System owners get access to monitoring app to help maintain the system and resolve issues|
|Trina Solar||Vertex S||20.5% to 21.1%||390W to 405W||Great balance of power, weight, and size|
|Trina Solar||Honey M||20.7% to 20.8%||330W to 380W||Half-cut cells for increased power generation and reliability|
|Canadian Solar||HiDM||19.4% to 20.4%||320W to 420W||Reduced hot-spot effect, maximized light absorption, and high-efficiency cells that minimize microcracks|
|Canadian Solar||HiDM5 All-Black||19.0% to 20.2%||320W to 340W||Aesthetic, high-power, and efficient solution for residential installations|
|Jinko Solar||Cheetah||18.7% to 20.74%||330W to 440W||Wide range of choices for number of cells, power outputs, and efficiencies for solutions that cater closer to actual energy and cost requirements|
|Jinko Solar||Tiger PRO||19.6% to 21.30%||395W to 575W||High-power panels, longer and more reliable performance for commercial and industrial applications|
|Q Cells||Q.Peak Duo G5||19.3% to 20.1%||305W to 400W||High performance in less ideal weather, and extreme weather rating|
|SunPower||Maxeon 2||19.2% to 20.4%||340W to 360W||Solid metal foundation for better breakage and corrosion protection, high efficiency residential panel|
|SunPower||Maxeon 3||22.1% to 22.6%||390W to 400W||Highest efficiency in residential panels, more power generated in the same amount of space|
Look for product and performance warranties when you’re considering a solar panel company or brand – these warranties are telltale signs of the quality and durability of solar products. The best solar companies provide extended warranties, because they have confidence in their products. Highly regarded solar companies will offer free repairs, replacements, and labor if the quality and materials used in the solar modules aren’t up to par.
|Brand||Minimum Product Warranty||Minimum Linear Output Performance Warranty||Minimum Power Output After Performance Warranty|
|LG||25 years||25 years||90.1%|
|LONGi Solar||10 years||30 years||84.8%|
|REC||20 years||25 years||86.0%|
|Seraphim||15 years||25 years||83.1%|
|SolarEdge||15 years||25 years||84.8%|
|Trina Solar||10 years||25 years||83.1%|
|Canadian Solar||12/15 years||25 years||83.1%|
|Jinko Solar||12/15 years||30 years||83.1%|
|Q Cells||12 years||25 years||85.0%|
|SunPower Maxeon||25 years||25 years||92.0%|
The team at Nationwide Solar Solutions has been in the business for long enough to know that it’s just no use having the best solar panel in Sydney without a professional, reliable and accredited solar installer to set it up for you.
Get a free solar quote from us to learn how much you should invest for optimal results, and figure out just how much you can save on your electric bills. It’s never too late to switch to solar!