When you make an investment in solar power, the dream is to save thousands of dollars each year on utility costs and perhaps even sell some of your excess energy back to the grid. With the proper installation and maintenance, a set of solar panels can last decades and be a sound financial decision. In fact, solar panels have been exceeding expectations when it comes to average lifespan. PV panels built after 2000 can produce up to 92% of their original power at the 20-year mark.
Even with so much good news around the improvement of solar panels, it’s still wise to choose PV panels that are known for efficiency and a good temperature coefficient. Simply put: Solar panels are improving across the board, but they’re still not created equally. The top rated solar panels in the US (all available for installation in California) check all the right boxes. The first step to choosing one of the best ranked solar panels is understanding what you’re looking for and why things like efficiency quotients matter.
Understanding What Makes the Top Rated Solar Panels So Good
When does a solar panel go from OK to better than the rest? The top-selling solar panels typically earn great customer reviews, are efficient, and have an impressive temperature coefficient range. The first standard is pretty self-explanatory: but what exactly are efficiency and temperature coefficient ratings? Efficiency refers to the amount of sunlight that the panels can convert into electricity. The more sunlight your solar can convert, the fewer panels you’ll need to buy to successfully power your home.
Temperature coefficient relates to how the PV panels react to a temperature increase. In Southern California, this rating is especially important. If you’re living in the desert, the last thing you want is a panel that loses its efficiency during the summer — just when you need it most. Most solar panels are tested at 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature coefficient figure tells you how much efficiency the panels lose for every 1 degree of temperature increase. For instance, a panel with a temperature coefficient of -0.3 will lose 0.3% of its efficiency for every temperature degree above 77.
With these three components in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most highly rated solar panels for use under the California sun. These are the American-made panels that Semper Solaris has come to trust as experts in the business.
Panasonic panels have an efficiency range of 19 to 21.6% and a temperature coefficient of 0.258. The company uses 20 internal tests during their quality assurance process and offers an impressive 25-year warranty for the materials. The projected output is nearly 91% after 20 years, so the panels are a good long-term investment for your property. When it comes to customer feedback, Panasonic PV panels earned a 5-star consumer rating on SolarReviews as of late 2018.
At Semper Solaris, we love Panasonic because they are truly committed to making the world a cleaner place to live. Not only are their solar panels so energy efficient that they’re at the top of their game, but even the packaging for Panasonic solar panels is eco-friendly. They minimize the cardboard waste associated with your PV panel installation, so you can feel even better about using this brand for your solar panels.
Finally, Panasonic is considered one of the top rated solar panels by Semper Solaris because teaming up with the company has allowed us to offer you one of the only 100% American made solar panels available in California. Panasonic solar panels are manufactured in Buffalo, New York. Other companies might boast American assembled or American made panels, but some of the manufacturing could be outsourced. We love that Panasonic is committed to building the solar industry in the United States — and doing it with quality panels that we’re proud to install for you.
Silfab is another North American company that brings you a quality solar panel. The efficiency range for Silfab PV panels is 15.3 to 19% and the temperature coefficient ranges from 0.38 to 0.42. If you go with Silfab solar panels from Semper Solaris, you’re covered by a 25-year product warranty. Their residential solar solutions aim to combine esthetic architecture and maximum power density for projects of all sizes. Their all-black panels are particularly sleek if you want to install dark panels that blend into asphalt roof tiles.
Silfab has facilities in Toronto, Canada and Bellingham, Washington. Their North American production lines are certified to deliver Buy American products, and they use precise engineering. Silfab boasts the lowest defect rate in the US. If you’re looking for a great domestically made solar panel for your home, ask us about our Silfab panel options.
Why American Made is Important to Semper Solaris
You’ll probably notice that the two top brands we install in California both have roots in American production. We think creating an America that is rich in clean energy starts from the ground up. It’s not enough that we install solar panels to leverage the sun into electricity for our homes; we should also add to the American economy by creating jobs right here!
Solar has and continues to be a major job creator in states that have adopted a solar state of mind. California ranks first in the nation for solar installations and we also have more than 86,000 jobs in solar! The solar industry is a particularly great source of employment for veterans. The Department of Energy has created initiatives to take the technical skills of military veterans and put them to great use in clean energy. By supporting American-made solar panels, you’re helping your local economy and putting people to work.
Using American manufacturing for solar panels not only helps the economy and creates jobs, but it also makes it easier to protect our environment. California is rich in incredible landscapes, from the beach and mountains to the deserts and farmland. We can better protect our precious terrain from harmful carbon footprints by promoting more regional solar panel creation. Making panels at home often means they’re more affordable and can be delivered quickly, allowing installers to get jobs done fast.
The Bottom Line When Choosing Solar Panels
There is an ever-growing list of companies who are getting into the green energy game. From Mitsubishi to Hyundai, some household names you probably recognize from other industries are now on board with using their technology and manufacturing to create sustainable energy. There are also many smaller companies who are committed to creating efficient solar panels. In other words: you will always have a lot of choices when it comes to where to buy solar panels and storage.
Deciding which solar panels are right for your home depends on a lot of factors. Affordability is often at the top of any priority list, but efficiency and temperature coefficients should be close behind. Getting quality PV panels installed means less maintenance and better home value. A more efficient solar panel will also fare better in cloud cover or extreme heat, so you’ll thank yourself later for investing now.
Panasonic and Silfab products are two of the top-rated panels for a reason. Not only are they sourced from North America, but they are quality products with long warranties. But you don’t have to memorize their differences — we are here to walk you through choosing the right solar system for your property. If you’re still not sure which panels are the best fit for your property, Semper Solaris can help.
At Semper Solaris, we’re serious about helping homeowners become energy independent and environmentally friendly. We have helped many homeowners make the transition to solar seamlessly and within their budget. Call us today, and we can come out for a free consultation. You’ll get a no-pressure bid for new solar panels and we can walk you through the top-rated solar panels we prefer.