If you’re thinking about investing in solar PV, it’s important to make sure that you get the best solar panels for you and your home. This includes picking the right manufacturer, type of panel and installer. Installing solar panels can be quite a big investment, so it’s worth taking the time to get it right.
Picking a solar panel brand
There are several solar PV panel brands around that are worth considering. Generally, picking a bigger brand like Sharp, Yingli or Suntech Solar is a pretty safe move. But that’s not to say that other, smaller brands aren’t worth looking into.
For all the brands you consider, check them out online, read customer reviews and look at the length of the warranties they provide. Above all, make sure that their panels comply with MCS regulations (most big brands do) so you can benefit from the Feed-in Tariff.
Choosing the best solar panels
There are several different types of solar PV panel available. These include monocrystalline, polycrystalline and multicrystalline. What end up being the best solar panels for you will depend on you and your home.
Work out how much space you have available for solar panels, the maximum weight they can be and your budget. Then you can pick a solar panel type. For example, monocrystalline panels take up relatively little space, are highly efficient but are also quite expensive. Thin film solar cells, on the other hand, take up more space but are cheaper.
Efficiency vs. profit
When you’re choosing your solar panels, you’ll also need to decide what’s more important to you: efficiency or profit. The most efficient solar panels tend to be the most expensive. This means that although they’ll generate a lot of electricity, it’ll take you longer to start getting a return on your investment than if you bought cheaper, less efficient panels.
You can work out how long it’ll take for a solar panel system to start generating profit using these simple equations:
Feed-in Tariff yearly income + export tariff yearly income + annual energy bill savings
= total yearly benefit
Solar panel costs (including purchase, installation and maintenance) ÷ total yearly benefit
= number of years before you start generating a profit
It’s sensible to have a rough idea of how long you’re likely to be living in your home when you’re trying to find the best solar panels for you.
If it’s a relatively short amount of time then you’ll probably want to pick cheaper, less efficient solar panels. But if you have plans to stay in your home for a very long time, you might want to go for a more efficient and expensive system. This is because it’ll make you more profit in the long run.
Finding a solar panel installer
A reliable installer can be a big help when you’re searching for solar panels. They can assess the area you want to fit your system and give you expert advice to help you pick the best solar panels for you. They can also help you work out what your solar panel profits will be and when you’ll start earning them.
It’s very important to check that the installers you find are MCS-accredited. Otherwise, your solar panel system won’t be eligible for the Feed-in Tariff. You should also look at customer ratings and reviews, to make sure that you get a reliable and skilled installer.
When you’ve done some research and are ready to find some solar panel installers, complete our online form. We’ll connect you with up to 4 local professionals who should be able to help you find and fit the best solar panels for you.