How Do You Choose a Solar Panel
Jeff Hickson LEED AP
Over the years I have walked into thousands of homes and businesses to talk about solar. For many it has been their first conversation. More often than not recently it has been their second or third time they are looking at solar. Often the first question I am asked is "What panel are you selling?"
Usually this lends to me to understand that this customer has been "sold" on certain panels. For the customer this is confusing as everybody advises them that their panels are the best. The companies who have come in have picked a panel and run with it for all their customers. They set their sales pitch around it and work to "sell" the customer. Many times the customer is aware they are being "sold". This can create resistance when actual technical expertise is offered. It is difficult or close to impossible for the customer to weed through all the technical information available and come to a justifiable conclusion.
As an installer we have to look at some key factors in choosing panels. Some of the factors we look at are:
- Availability (if it is not in distribution or sold out should we be advising to use it?)
- Service history (we do not make money servicing equipment)
- Affordability (can we provide a good return on investment for the customer and have a sustainable business model for ours and the customer’s security.)
- Performance (Performance can be measured by efficiency and degradation rate. We require third party validation on these numbers. How does the degradation rate affect the ROI for the customer?)
- Financial strength of the manufacturer and reputation. (Are they diversified with the ability to handle changing markets? Will they be there when the customer and the installer needs them? Is there a litigation or bankruptcy history with them? Have they invested in product to cover any warranty issues that might arise? What are the warranties on performance and product?)
- Appearance and physical design. (We need solid black panels for the front of some houses, clean design and more. Many are not aware that panels vary in size and this can affect the layout and performance of the system. Sometimes we are making design choices based on what fits best among the better manufacturers.)
When you look at the variables that we consider you see that most if not all align with the customer’s best interest. You might also understand from this that there might be more than one answer. You would be correct. We have chosen to offer several panel options from top manufacturers. We have partnered with Sunpower, Solaria, Hanwha, LG, Silfab and more. With these strong vendor choices we are not a one size fits all installer. We have the ability to tailor the design with careful consideration of the client’s needs. We can make the best design choices possible and give the client the best possible outcome.
If you have not had this experience or would like a solar consultation with options please call Solar Wolf Energy at 888-878-4396 to set up your no cost analysis with a professional solar consultant. You can also request a free quote or send us an email via our contact page located here: Contact Solar Wolf Energy