Advantages of Solar Power: Choosing the right solar panels
Choosing the Right Solar Panels for Your Home
"Hey, what solar panels do you recommend?"
We hear this question a lot. For many folks considering solar for the first time, solar brands names might sound altogether alien. Names like Talesun, Helios, and Kyocera (Kē-ōh-sarah). Heard of them? We won't fault you if you haven't. These companies rank among the leaders in solar panel manufacturing.
"What makes one solar panel better than another?"
Quality is obviously critical. In it's most basic sense, a solar panel is a bunch of electronics behind a sheet of glass, being clamped to your roof to sit there in the rain, snow, ice, wind, and baking summer sun for next 25+ years. Yeah, quality is important. Years ago, there was a big difference in how panels were made and how they stood the test of time. Today, that's less of a differentiator than you might think. Today, manufacturers understand that quality is their #1 job. Those that didn't learn this lesson are long gone. Today it's industry-standard for solar panels to come with a 25-year manufacturers warranty. We couldn't recommend one without it.
Talesun TP660 250W Solar Module
"What about efficiency? Is that a differentiator?"
It used to be. Back in the day, there were big panels that generated very little power. But the solar market is maturing. And like quality, high efficiency is just expected as given in any conversation about home solar power. Homeowners demand that "standard sized" modules to produce a lot of power. There's only so much roof space and a lot of power-hungry appliances that need juice. 250W is the industry standard these days. Nobody wants a 175W or 210W panel. That's dated technology.
"Is price a big factor?"
Most solar panels today are priced competitively. They have to be in order to keep up with the rapidly changing solar landscape. There are a few options a homeowner might consider. For instance, silicon and frame color. The trend these days is black-on-black. A sleek look for your roof. Country of origin can also affect pricing to some degree. But to a greater degree, all the modules on the market today are priced to move.
"So you're telling me there's a lot of great 250W panels on the market today with a 25-year warranty, all priced competitively?"
"So then how should I choose my solar panels?!"
Unfortunately choosing solar panels, or in fact any components for your roof, is not as straightforward as it should be. Finding the "best" solar panel is a little involved. In addition to quality, efficiency, and price, understanding the supply chain is an important component in sourcing solar -- something a homeowner might not expect. For instance, I'm an average homeowner. Before I worked in solar it would never occur to me to ask my solar professional if I need to have a fork lift in my garage so we can unload the solar panels when the truck arrives. That's crazy! And yet it happens all the time. As another example, sometimes we see solar panels getting shipped from a warehouse on the other side of the country despite the fact they are manufactured just a few miles away from where they're being installed. And of course the components don't arrive on time. So installers are often sitting in the driveway waiting for components to arrive. Sometimes for days. In these cases, nobody is tracking the shipment and coordinating resources. Every year we see numerous projects delayed with huge expense (passed onto the homeowner, of course) because of communication gaps and logistical issues. It's hard to watch over and over again. In short, historically there hasn't been a straightforward answer for choosing the right solar panels.
Helios 6t 250W Solar Module
"I'm really interested in solar. Isn't there any way to make this simpler?"
That's all we're doing these days -- trying to find the best ways of making solar smart and as valuable for the homeowner as possible. The problems I mentioned above are just a few of the many issues we're working towards eliminating. With JuiceBox -- our flagship product -- we handle all the logistics from start to finished. We coordinate the packaging and shipping of your JuiceBox on the factory floor. We track it across the country. And yes, we make sure it comes with a fork lift.) On top of all of that, you're working with a guaranteed price. If we quote you $8,745.52, then your JuiceBox will be on your roof with not a penny more than $8,745.52 out of your pocket. Guaranteed. And that price has everything included -- shipping, permitting, engineering, and installation (by the best JuiceBox-certified installer in your neighborhood). We've had great success working with both Helios and Talesun for the last few years. We've heard great things from our customers about their quality and performance. And from behind our desks we're tracking metrics like availability, shipping, logistics, and warranty fulfillment. These two brands have have stood up to our demands. That's why we include Helios modules in our JuiceBox Pro line, and Talesun modules in our JuiceBox Eco line. Of course, our first responsibility is to you: our customers. Rest assured that we're keeping close tabs on the solar panels, and in fact all the nuts and bolts in our JuiceBox lines. Expect from us nothing less than smart and simple solar.
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