When it comes to solar power, there are solar companies and then there are solar panel manufacturers. And while you may have made the decision to install solar on your roof, and chosen a solar company to handle the process, it pays to know which solar panel they are using.
Solar panels vary widely is two key areas. The first is the efficiency. Efficiency is the amount of energy from sunlight that is converted per unit of surface area in the panel. The second is power output, which is the amount of time the panel will remain at its minimum power promised by the manufacturers.
So how do you choose the right solar panel? Here are the top three:
Kyocera gets top marks for its efficiency, which is 16 percent, and its power output which is 80 percent over 20 years. Its durability ranks high, and it comes with a five year warranty. Also, Kyocera is one of the most weather resistant panels on the market, capable of handling 113 pounds of snow per square foot, 1 inch size hail, and wind at 51 mph.
Canadian Solar CS6X-305M
Canadian panels offer a an efficiency slightly less than Kyocera, at 15.9 percent, but a power output that is better, at 95 percent for the first year and 80 percent for the following 25 years. These panels also meet the industry standards for 113 pounds of snow per square foot.
Grape Solar 390W
A new company out of Oregon, Grape Solar retails its panels through Home Depot and Costco. The efficiency is 15.21, and the power output is 90 percent for 10 years, and 80 percent for 25 years. The one downside, however, is that if you live in an area that gets heavy snow, as these panels are ranked to handle only a load of 50 pounds per square foot.
As always when choosing any roofing product, it is best to use a licensed and insured installer, and in the case of solar, one who is experienced with your type of installation.
This article is brought to you by ASAP Roofing, a national roofing company that specializes in hail damage, roofing restoration, and weatherization. ASAP has offices in Dallas, Denver, and Indianapolis.