Solar panel brands: Q Cells, LG, SunPower & Winaico

Published: 13 June 2018

If you’re thinking of buying a solar system, choosing the right solar panel brand is one of the most important choices you need to make.

The Australian solar market is expanding at a great speed. Solar panel brands are trying to cover the highest possible share of the market since Australia is one of the most important countries for the development of solar energy.

All of this competition brings a complete repertory of available solar panel brands that can be selected. When a homeowner wants to purchase a solar system, choosing the right brand and module is essential to ensure quality standards and achieve the highest energy yields.

In this article, we will approach four of the most remarkable brands available for the Australian market. All of them are reliable brands that you can select for your PV system, but here we will take insight and compare features, warranties, specs, companies, and more to guide you in the selection of top module manufacturers. Let’s begin by analyzing each company.

Sola Panel Brands

SunPower

This is the top American solar company that is based in Silicon Valley with over 40 years of experience. The brand has on its portfolio over 18 million MWh generated from solar energy across the world and has more than 750 patents. Winner of multiple certifications such as the LEED Gold Certification for its innovation and sustainability methods in manufacturing during 2016 and 2017.

LG

One of the top manufacturers in electronics across the world is also one of the most important in the solar panel market. The South Korean brand has over $56 billion in sales and began operations in the solar industry in 1985. Finalist of the Intersolar Photovoltaics award in 2018 thanks to its premium LG NeON2 module features and winner of the Module Manufacturing Innovation Award in 2018 as well.

Q Cells

Another important and innovative company from South Korea. The company is part of a large conglomerate with manufacturing plants in Korea, China, and Malaysia while performing engineering designs and tests in Germany. The company has achieved a complete vertical integration in the development of solar cells, but also in the construction and operation of giant solar plants as well. Winner of the Intersolar Award in Photovoltaics 2018 due to its Q.Peak Duo G5 module.

Winaico

Based in Taiwan, this company has over 15 years of experience manufacturing solar panels. Winaico has main branch offices in Singapur, Australia, Germany and more. Promotor of PERC technology and winner of Taiwan Excellent PV Award 2015 for best PV module in safety, reliability, and efficiency and awarded with the Top Brand PV 2018 seal from the EUPD research institute (based on the customer satisfaction and market shares as well).

Specs – Top Solar Panel Brands

Since every brand has multiple available options to choose solar panel models, it is hard to make a comparison between them all. Then, let’s analyze mainly the top quality and best solar panels of each brand.

SunPower

SunPower’s modules are recognized as the most efficient solar panels in the world for several consecutive years. Until 2018, they keep the crown with the highest commercially available solar panel efficiency in the market thanks to their X-Series: X 22-370 model.

The module is a monocrystalline solution that is manufactured complying with the Leadership in Energy Environmental Design (LEED) standards. The module is also designed with Maxeon technology that eliminates over 85% of the reasons why conventional solar cells fail over time. 

The module is tested to withstand harsh environmental conditions related to battering winds, humidity, hailstorms, and temperature swings that predict Maxeon panels will have a useful life over 40 years. Flexibility and durability are essential parameters to take into account in every solar panel, this module takes this into account and is actually able to bend without breaking as other solar cells would.

The monocrystalline module has a maximum 370W power output and the top efficiency of 22.7%.

LG

On the other hand, the main product of this brand is the LG NeON R. This time, LG is focused on delivering a high-quality N-type wafer design with great performance against Light-Induced Degradation (LID) losses.

The module is considered a high power luxury solar panel that is developed with a Rear Contact Technology that locates the electrodes of the module on the back side of the panel, this minimizes the power loss and boosts the efficiency of the panel. Front side electrodes are not placed to avoid losses in photons capture. 

Intrinsically, the rear contact technology improves the module’s temperature coefficient which also reduces thermal losses. This allows LG to claim that the brand delivers the highest temperature performance even on hot days. Moreover, electrical currents of the module are separated in several channels instead of the conventional three channels which increases the power output and the strategic wire layout as well.

The maximum power output of the module is 360 W with top efficiency at 20.8%  which is considered as the second most efficient in the market (after Sunpower).

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