As with many things in life, trying to cut costs in the long run by buying a cheaper product, rarely pays dividend, and just as with solar panels, you should always buy the best quality that you can afford. This also goes for the company that you choose to install them too: try not to let cost be the only factor you consider when hiring them, and look instead for their reputation, experience and overall professionalism.
Solar is a big investment; can you make savings on it?
When you invest in a solar panel system for your home, there can be no doubt that the initial payment will be significant, and that there are few ways to save money on this unless you take advantage of certain state and federal incentives and tax breaks that might be applicable. However, it’s important to note that over time, your investment will almost certainly pay off, and that you’ll be able to enjoy reduced energy bills while you wait to reach your break-even point.
One thing that is certain, is that buying inferior solar panels likely won’t help you make any savings, and in fact, when you consider that they are often flawed and don’t have suitable warranties, you may end up paying more than you would have with a more expensive system, when you’re forced to replace your cheap panels out of your own pocket.
What are some of the common issues experienced with cheap panels?
There are a variety of problems that can be caused by purchasing cheap solar panels, and some of the most common can be found below:
Cracks – while these might only be micro-cracks resulting from poor handling or shoddy shipping, they can go on to cause permanent shorts in the panels, and in some instances, could even cause them to catch fire.
Hot-spots – heat build-up and expansion caused by poor quality solar panels can cause the panel’s glass to expand, and ultimately, shatter.
Delaminating – some panels marketed as having been produced in Germany, tend to absorb water and suffer from delamination, which can effect both their immediate, and long-term capacity to produce energy.
Bad warranties – even if panels appear to come with a warranty that’s appropriate, if you bought them from a non-reputable brand, there’s a strong chance that if the need arose, they wouldn’t honor the terms of the warranty.
General poor quality – with cracks in the cells, some inferior quality panels can cause hotspots to occur, and significantly increase the risk of a panel catching fire.
Poor installation – if you cut corners on your panels, maybe you would have been tempted to cut corners on your installer, too. From not fixing the panels securely, to not properly routing cable entries, hiring a cheap installer along with your cheap panels, is a recipe for disaster.
From hot-spots and cracks, to bad warranties, it never pays to buy cheap panels. Always buy from a reputable manufacturer, have the solar panels professionally installed, and you could enjoy premium solar performance for decades to come.