LG vs Panasonic: Solar Panels Comparison
Each solar panel manufacturing company has its pros and cons. Some are known to produce high-quality solar panels — at a similarly high price. Some companies focus on producing cheap and widely available, but less efficient, panels for the mass market. Because different companies focus on different areas, it’s worth comparing them to see which panels will work best for your situation.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at two of the main solar panel brands: LG and Panasonic. Both companies are well known in the electronics and appliance industries and both have a global presence. Along with producing chemicals, home appliances, and automotive systems, both companies have moved into the energy field.
Solar Panel Specifications Comparison
The first thing any potential solar homeowner should do with solar panels is to compare their physical specifications. These are the hardware components that set one product apart from another. In this case, there are two main product specifications that we’ll be looking at. The first is the efficiency of each panel, which is the amount of solar energy that the panels convert to usable electricity. The second is their wattage rating, which is the amount of electricity that the panel should produce in about an hour.
Comparing LG and Panasonic Solar Panel Efficiencies
One of the most important factors in any solar panel is the panel’s efficiency rating. When light hits a solar panel, the photons interact with the panel’s electrons to produce electricity. However, the entire amount of energy contained in sunlight isn’t converted into electricity. Instead, only a fraction of the energy will end up powering your home. The efficiency rating is the percentage of energy that is converted into electricity. We sell both the premium LG and Panasonic Modules, which you can learn more about by clicking the button below and visiting the modules section of our Product Suite.
How Efficient Are LG Solar Panels?
LG solar panels have a range of around 16 to 21.1 percent efficiency, depending on the exact model. This is on the higher end of solar panel efficiencies, befitting their status as a premium line of solar panels. The average monocrystalline panel has an efficiency rating of around 19 to 20 percent, with polycrystalline panels down in the 15 percent range.
With that in mind, we can see that LG solar panels have the capacity to outstrip the competition.
How Efficient Are Panasonic Solar Panels?
Much like LG panels, Panasonic panels are noted for their high-efficiency ratings. They routinely rank in the 19 to 22 percent range, which is better than the average. While most homes won’t need the most efficient panels possible, there are situations where Panasonic panels will be quite useful.
When it comes to efficiency, Panasonic is the clear victor.
Comparing the Wattages of LG and Panasonic Solar Panels
The watt rating, or power rating, is the amount of electricity that a solar panel should produce in the space of one sun hour. You would then multiply that power rating by the number of sun hours that you receive in your location, which will tell you how much electricity you should be expecting from that panel each day. Multiply that amount by the number of solar panels, and you’ll get the total amount of electricity your installation should produce daily.
What is the Watt Rating of LG Solar Panels?
LG panels possess a premium watt rating, bottoming out at 320 W and getting as high as 400 W. To put that in perspective, polycrystalline panels cap at 300 W, and many monocrystalline panels reside in the 300 to 340 W range. LG panels, therefore, can be expected to produce quite a bit more electricity than the average panel. Their 400 W maximum power rating is significantly higher than most monocrystalline options
What is the Watt Rating of Panasonic Solar Panels?
Panasonic panels have a much tighter range than LG when it comes to watt ratings. Panasonic panels almost exclusively reside in the 316 to 330 W range. While this is solidly average to above average, the lack of a very high power option can present a problem to homeowners with limited roof space.
With this comparison, LG panels come out on top.
Solar Panel Life Cycle Comparisons
The physical specifications of solar panels are quite useful to consider when it comes to going solar. However, there are also non-technical elements that come into play. A solar panel with top-of-the-line specs, but which has no warranty or lifetime production guarantees, will be worse than even a bargain polycrystalline panel.
With that in mind, let’s look at both of those categories — product warranty and lifetime production guarantee — to see which panel performs best. We’ll also take cost into account at the end to tie it all together.
Comparing LG and Panasonic Product Warranties
Product warranties, sometimes called manufacturer’s defect warranties, guard against potential problems stemming from the panel manufacturing process. Because solar panels have such a long life, anywhere from 25 to 40 years, defects can take quite a while to surface. Therefore, most solar PV manufacturers will provide long product warranties.
What Is the LG Product Warranty?
Many panel manufacturers only provide warranties for a period of 10 to 15 years. This is enough to catch the most egregious errors in the production process, but some potential problems might slip under the radar. Luckily, LG provides a product warranty period of 25 years.
What Is the Panasonic Product Warranty?
Much like LG, the Panasonic solar panels have a product warranty period of 25 years. Panasonic also provides 25-year product warranties on non-panel solar equipment, like their inverters and racking systems.
For the average homeowner, however, the 25-year warranty presented by both companies is basically the same. It comes out to a tie.
Comparing LG and Panasonic Production Guarantees
Like all electronics, every solar panel degrades over time. The average rate of degradation is about one percent per year, but that can vary depending on the quality of the manufacturing process. A production guarantee ensures that the degradation of your panels doesn’t impact the overall performance of your solar installation. They will specify a percentage of your panel’s maximum production and guarantee that your panel does not fall under that metric.
The average production guarantee for monocrystalline solar panels is 80 percent after 20 years.
What Is the LG Production Guarantee?
LG’s production guarantee is somewhat complicated. It begins with a 95 percent production after five years, then after the fifth year, assumes a 0.4 percent production degradation rate. The warranty is calculated according to this number. For example, after a further five years, the production rate is assumed to have declined by two percent, so it guarantees a 93 percent production rate after ten years.
Finally, after 25 years, your panel’s performance should be at 87 percent of the maximum. This is much higher than the average monocrystalline production guarantee.
What Is the Panasonic Production Guarantee?
Panasonic’s production guarantee is quite strong. It is similar to LG in that it assumes an annual degradation and adjusts accordingly. However, while LG assumes a 0.4 percent rate, Panasonic assumes a decline of 0.26 percent. By the time your 25 year warranty period is over, your panels should still be producing at close to 91 percent efficiency.
Both companies have very strong production guarantees, but Panasonic slightly edges out LG.
Comparing LG and Panasonic Solar Panel Prices
Solar panels are priced in cost-per-watt. An average cost-per-watt for solar is around $0.70 to $1.50 per watt. This price is then factored into the watt rating of an individual solar panel to determine how much the panel itself will cost. For example, a 300 W panel at $1.50 cost-per-watt will end up costing $450.
What Is the Average Cost of LG Solar Panels?
Because LG solar panels are high-quality, they tend to go for a bit more than the average solar panel. Therefore, most LG panels sell in the $2.35 to $3.10 range. While this is more expensive than the average panel, it is right in line with the above-average solar panels.
What Is the Average Cost of Panasonic Solar Panels?
Panasonic panels are also considered to be above average — with a price to match. Panasonic panels tend to start at $2.40 and cap out around $3.05. While they don’t go for quite as high as LG panels, they also have a higher floor.
The panels are close enough in terms of price range to come out to a rough tie. Because quotes from your local solar installers are going to vary a bit, those will prove to be more important to you than the average price of these panels across the country. LG might be cheaper in one locality, but more expensive in another. For this reason, we highly recommend getting a free solar quote to get started.