Want to buy the best solar panel 2020? Here are the top 6 best solar panel reviews and solar panel buying guide. Read on this post to buy the best solar panel for the money today.
We have spent two weeks on research and testing some of the best solar panels available on the market.
Finally, here we are with the reviews and comparison of the best solar panels that have impressed us in those two weeks testing period.
So, read on this post and we are sure that you will be buying the best 100W/200W/300W solar panels for your purposes.
Before we proceed to the best solar panel reviews and solar panel buying guide section, here’s a quick introduction to help you get familiar with solar panels and their working.
Solar Panels: What Are They And How Do They Work?
A solar panel is a collection of cells that are solar and are responsible for converting sunlight to electricity directly. As a result of this, this panel meets the electricity needs of people who own them. These mini solar cells are usually covered with a glass sheet to protect them from wear and tear.
Consequently, the amount of light energy that can be converted into electric energy depends mainly on the nature of the panel. For instance, the output of solar panels could be 5% by regular panels and 19% usually available on the best solar panel. Subsequently, this number keeps increasing as technology advances.
The mechanism behind the conversion of sunlight into electric energy is owing to the solar cell material, which is known as a semiconductor. Furthermore, these semiconductors are made from silicon which may occur in three forms:
- Monocrystalline silicon
- Polycrystalline silicon
- Amorphous silicon
To get electricity into the house, the best solar panel kit is set up to face the sun or cloud-free sky. Immediately the solar cells absorb enough solar energy and convert it to electricity using the photovoltaic effect; they are then ready to dispense electricity. However, this electric energy is in direct current (DC), which you cannot use directly in your homes.
Thus, you can only use this current when it has been converted to alternating current (AC) of 230V. Conversion can only take place with the aid of a converter which is usually fused into an electric circuit placed near the best solar panel. Therefore, the converter aids in making the current fit for use while storing the excess on the grid.
So, that’s all with the basic information related to the best solar panels of 2020. Let’s now start exploring the top 6 best solar panels reviews with pros, cons, and comparison. Also, to read the solar panel buying guide first, please skip the best solar panel reviews section.
Top 6 Best Solar Panels Reviews And Comparision With Pros And Cons
Best Solar Panel Buying Guide
Here we are going to explain everything that will help you in buying the best solar panel for all your electricity needs. This section of the post includes FAQ’s, solar panel buying tips, factors, solar panel maintenance tips, and how-to’s. So, without doing any further ado, let’s just start exploring the ultimate solar panel buying guide now.
Types Of Solar Panels
Individuals choose the best solar panel system for themselves, using various factors. Still, whether you decide to go for the 100-watt solar panel, 200-watt solar panel, or 300-watt solar panel, it comes down to the type of solar panel. To this end, there are different types of solar panels available. They are;
- Interdigitated back-contact solar cells (IBC)
- Thin film
A) Monocrystalline Solar Panel
Monocrystalline solar panels are generally seen as elite premium products. We can attribute this to the efficiency level of this best solar panel kit which can be rated as topnotch as well as a sleek build. Admittedly, these panels are rated high for the mechanism that goes into its appearance as opposed to that of the polycrystalline panel. Solar cells for this type of solar panel are made by forming bars from silicon and cutting them to create wafers.
Uniquely, this panel was named “monocrystalline” because the type of silicon used for making it is known as single-crystal silicon. Given the single-crystal silicon, electrons responsible for the generating electricity flow move freely because of the adequate room. Therefore, we can comfortably rate this solar panel better than the polycrystalline.
B) Polycrystalline Solar Panel
This solar panel is rated lower than the monocrystalline best solar panel system because it has a lesser efficiency rate. However, one advantage that comes with it is the price. Additionally, they have a blue tint as opposed to the black color on its counterpart.
Also, polycrystalline solar panels spot silicon as its manufacturing material. Contrarily, the silicon used is done by melting silicon fragments in a bid to form the wafer needed for the panel. In like manner, these solar panels are also called many-crystal silicon or multi-crystalline. Unlike the monocrystalline panel, the freedom for electrons to move around is limited as there is little or no space in this panel.
C) Interdigitated Back-Contact Solar Cells (IBC) Solar Panel
Interdigitated back-contact solar cells, also known as rear contact solar cells, are a type of the standard solar cells. Their level of efficiency is dependent on the position of their electrical contacts; which is usually at the rear of the cell instead of the front. Therefore, there is no hindrance to the amount of light getting to the surface of the cell, since metal contact strips are not there.
D) Thin Film Solar Panel
This type of solar cells lives up to their name as they are made from photovoltaic material that is thin in shape. Some of these photovoltaic materials could be cadmium telluride, copper-indium-gallium-selenide, or silicon. Thin-film solar cells are made from placing a thin layer of any of this voltaic material on a base of metal, glass, or any other substance.
Admittedly, solar technology is continuously evolving; however, it is still less efficient and rare when it comes to rooftop panels. Moreover, they are used more in a variety of small and large applications from garden lamps and solar-powered calculators, to PV systems for buildings.
E) Bifacial Solar Panels
Just as the name implies, this best solar panel kit has solar cells on both sides; back and front. If it is mounted like the regular panel, the front will face the sky, while the back will have to depend on reflected and scattered sunlight available on the roof. You can also decide to mount the Bifacial solar panel vertically; facing east and west.
As a result, the east direction takes in light from the morning sun while the west direction takes in light from the afternoon sun. Exclusively, this type of panel is more useful in commercial solar farms.
Furthermore, the level of power delivered is based on the amount of reflected sunlight and could range from 5% to 20% more than a single panel. Although bifacial solar panels are rarely used, they could get more common in a few years.
What To Consider When Buying The Best Solar Panels?
Purpose Of Buying The Best Solar Panel
When you want to buy the best solar panel, you need to keep in mind that each solar panel differs from the other based on certain functionalities. Thus, each solar panel is better suited for a particular reason. To this end, you should know why you want to purchase one so that you can easily get the one to cater to your needs.
For instance, the solar panel that works adequately in a restaurant could not perform efficiently in a residential house. In the same vein, the solar panels better suited for an RV may not work for you if you need a panel for your home. Therefore you have to define your reason for wanting one before buying.
Size Of The Best Solar Panel
The best solar panel system is made in different shapes and sizes; some are made in a compact design while the others may be built to occupy a spacious area. To take things further, some panels are created in a foldable design. Hence, when buying a solar panel, another primary factor to consider is the space you are allocating to the panels.
Know the size of your roof for starters, whether it is the roof of your house or the top of your trailer. Subsequently, this will help you in picking the size of the panel you want; since there is one for every size. To further aid you, you could measure the allocated space before shopping for one.
Wattage Of Best Solar Panels
Different solar panels come with different wattage; when searching, you will see 300-watt solar panel, 200-watt solar panel; mini solar panel as well as 100-watt solar panel among others. Consequently, the amount of power delivered by the solar panel has to match what you need it to power. For instance, if your energy load is about 300 watts, then a 200-watt solar panel will not solve your needs.
With this in mind, you have to calculate your required wattage and buy accordingly; either the exact amount you need or you get a higher amount of watts. Admittedly, the retailer will recommend one for you based on the size of your residence; you still need to know for reference purposes.
Warranty Available With Best Solar Panels
Admittedly, this is a somewhat uncommon factor; however, it is necessary and should be a priority. No matter how good a deal sounds, if it does not have a warranty, then you should not buy it. Similarly, if a product has a warranty, ensure that the warranty period is extended. This will definitely come in handy since solar panels take a while before malfunctioning. Therefore, if it malfunctions, you have the warranty to fall back on. Given this, you have to go out of your way to get a quality product.
Best Solar Panel Brand And Type
As earlier stated, solar panels are available in different types and shapes; the regular-sized and mini solar panels all have a purpose; therefore if it will serve your needs, then make the purchase. Since the type matters, the retail brand has to be a reputable one. No one wants to spend their hard-earned money on a substandard product. Therefore, do research, read reviews, and choose what works best for you.
Best Solar Panel Maintenance Tips
- Keep your mini solar panel away from the shade. This is because you could get a lesser level of energy production when you keep them away from sunlight; since they absorb the sunlight.
- Ensure that your inverter lights are flashing green. You need to keep your eyes on the solar panels since you could be losing money by not compensating for the electricity you use.
- Take tabs on the daily performance of the solar panel. Documenting the performance of your solar panel helps in improving the maintenance of it. To this end, you need to write down the day-to-day energy production, especially on cloudy days.
- Mount the solar panels servicing tips on a visible place. When you continuously see this information, you get to know what to do and when.
- Install automated cleaners if you do not have the time to clean your panels. These automatic cleaners work just like a sprinkler system; you could further schedule an appointment with a solar panel cleaning company.
- Since solar panels are lacking moving parts, they hardly break down or get affected by rust.
How To Clean Your Solar Panel?
- Purchase the best solar panel cleaning kit which could help you in cleaning your solar panels. You will find a biodegradable soap inside this kit alongside a small brush, wiper, and a brush with a long handle—mix soap and water in a bucket. On the bottle of the soap, you will find an adequate measure to use. Gently wipe the surface of the solar panels with the brush dipped in water and soap. Additionally, you could use a soft brush or plain water to dislodge any buildup of dirt on the solar panel.
- Ensure that you clean the solar panels when they are wet or moist so that you can easily wipe off any residue or dirt that is stuck.
- Avoid using an abrasive soap or sponge when cleaning the panels. This is to ensure that you do not scratch the surface of the glass. Therefore, make sure you use biodegradable soap and a soft cloth.
- After cleaning the solar panel, you can use a hose to run water on the panels to remove dirt.
- To ensure your safety, make use of a wiper with the long handle while you stand on the ground.
- If you need to get on the roof, ensure that you use ropes and a harness to support yourself since the panels are bound to get slippery while cleaning.
- Have a cleaning routine for your best solar panel kit. This could be monthly or weekly; however, seek advice from your solar panel manufacturer on the best practice for you.
Do Solar Panels require maintenance all the time?
No, they do not. Solar panels only require minimal maintenance to function. These periodic cleanings are to get rid of debris that may limit the level of sunlight that gets to it.
What’s the average lifespan of solar panels?
The life expectancy of Solar panels is between 25 to 30 years. Although this doesn’t mean it will stop serving you, its output may be reduced.
Should I wash my solar panels?
You can wash your solar panels; although it is not a necessity; unless you live in a dusty or windy area with lots of dirt flying around.
Are solar panels bad for your roof?
No, solar panels do not damage your roof if it was installed correctly. Also, if it was installed by a licensed professional, then you have little to worry about.
How do I protect my solar panels?
You simply have to ensure that they are free from debris. Additionally, some companies provide a protective covering to cover your panels.
Can solar panels get damaged by hail?
Although solar panels are built to withstand extreme weather conditions, they could sometimes get damaged by hail.
So, that’s all with this best solar panel reviews and buying guide post. We hope you enjoyed reading it and found the best solar panel for the money for all your electricity needs. Thanks for reading this post. Stay tuned with The Keen Hunter for more such product reviews and buying guides.