You may not need to cram all these details, because, of course, you’re not a professional installer and you have better things to do with your time. But, having a broad idea of these points can help you have an informed conversation and better negotiate with your installer.
So, these are the items to check when determining the quality of your solar panels
High-quality solar panels use efficient and durable solar cells. The most common type of solar cell is made of silicon, but there are variations like monocrystalline and polycrystalline cells. Monocrystalline cells, made from a single crystal structure, tend to be more efficient and durable compared to polycrystalline cells.
The encapsulation material is responsible for protecting the solar cells from external factors. Quality solar panels use materials like ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) or polyvinyl butyral (PVB) as encapsulants. These materials have excellent UV resistance and provide a strong bond between the cells and the panel’s glass cover.
The glass cover of a solar panel should be strong and tempered to withstand impacts and weather conditions. It should have high light transmittance to allow maximum sunlight penetration. Anti-reflective coatings on the glass can further enhance the panel’s efficiency.
The backsheet is the layer behind the solar cells and provides electrical insulation and protection from moisture and heat. High-quality solar panels use backsheets made of materials like Tedlar or TPT (Tedlar/PET/Tedlar), which offer excellent durability and resistance to UV radiation.
The frame of a solar panel is for structural support and protection of the panel. Quality panels have strong frames that are made of corrosion-resistant materials like aluminum or stainless steel. The frame should be designed to withstand strong wind and be properly sealed to prevent water from seeping into the panel.
The junction box is where the solar panel’s electrical connections are made. It should be made of durable materials and be sealed tightly to protect against moisture and other environmental factors. Look for panels with IP67 or higher ratings for dust and water resistance.
Reputable solar panel manufacturers often have certifications like IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) and UL (Underwriters Laboratories), which show that the panels meet international safety and quality standards.
When selecting solar panels, look for reputable manufacturers that are known for their commitment to quality and reliability. Look for panels with positive customer reviews and long-standing warranties.
We have a separate post on some of the world’s leading manufacturers. Read it here.
Consider working with experienced and trustworthy solar installers who have the knowledge about reliable panel brands and can guide you in making the right choice for your particular needs.