What Are The Best Solar Panels for Home Use?
Many factors define the best solar panels for home use. Pinpointing these components helps homeowners determine which solar company has the solar modules best suited for their homes’ needs.
Solar Panels: Home, Commercial or RV Use
The best solar panel type depends on the consumer’s needs. Those looking for a solar panel to charge their phone while hiking or camping need a different solar panel type than someone who wants solar to power their TV and fridge in an RV.
While these examples have functional value, the energy needs of a typical home with standard kWh usage are more technical, because these kinds of installs demand more from solar technology. For example, residential solar panels need to produce more power than what’s necessary for an RV smartphone, or tablet.
What Goes into the Best Residential Solar Panels?
All solar panels function similarly. However, some solar panels are more efficient than others in transducing the direct current from the sun’s rays into an alternating current. The efficiency of this process is important because it’s what makes solar energy usable.
All the different technology types on the solar market provide a wide selection of solar panels at varying wattages, efficiencies, and compositions. Most experts agree that the best solar panels for home use have a combination of optimal efficiency, wattage, manufacturer warranties, and monocrystalline composition.
Why Wattage Matters in in Solar Panels for Home Use
The efficiency of a solar panel determines how much electricity each module can produce, which correlates with the panels’ wattage. The wattage converts this efficiency into a measurable amount.
To measure the efficiency of solar modules for homes, manufacturers test the panels under “Standard Test Conditions” (STC). Solar panels typically have efficiencies between 15 and 20 percent.
While high-efficiency solar panels often reach up to 23 percent, some modules can climb even higher in efficiency ratings during the Standard Test Conditions stage. Solar panels with higher efficiencies cost more but cover less roof space in a standard home solar installation (and less space in a backyard if the homeowner elects to do a ground mount installation). Therefore, high-efficiency solar panels provide the most benefit to homeowners with limited space, particularly if homeowners care about the aesthetic impact of the modules.
Solar panel wattages range from 250 to 400. When comparing solar panels for home use, check the wattage and the efficiency. A solar panel with the same wattage but higher efficiency will likely take up less space. Inversely, a solar panel with the same efficiency rating but higher wattage will take up more space.
Home Solar Panel Manufacturer Warranties
Solar panels for home use typically have two warranties from their manufacturer: A product warranty and a production warranty. Home solar panel product warranties typically last 10-12 years. These warranties guarantee the product will last for at least the duration of the warranty.
The production warranty often comes in two parts: the production guarantee of at least 90 percent for the first ten years and 80 percent for the first 25 years. While the warranties do not extend beyond 25 years, homeowners should know that most solar arrays last much longer than warrantied, and produce energy effectively long after the warranty has expired (40-50+ years).
Home Solar Panel Technology Types
The kind of silicon solar cell used in the manufacturing of each module determines its technology type. Three technology types dominate the market: Monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin film.
Other experimental technologies have either reached or are close to reaching the market. Despite the buzz and excitement these leading-edge solar technology types cause, many haven’t passed the testing stage, or they merely enhance one of the three technology types already on the market.
Monocrystalline solar modules tend to have the highest efficiency ratings. That’s why many manufacturers now offer monocrystalline-enhanced solar module technology. With homeowners’ greater adoption of monocrystalline panels, residential solar will further legitimize itself as the norm for renewable technology standards, making for higher efficiency,wattage and home solar ROI than ever.
Aesthetics of Home Solar Installation: Which Panels Are Best?
While some homeowners only care about solar module functionality and savings, most want a combination of functionality and aesthetic appeal. The allure of a solar array well-blended into the structure of a home not only looks better but can also make the home sell faster if it’s on the market.
While solar shingles hide in plain sight, they don’t work for every home. Homes that aren’t a good fit for solar shingles don’t need to despair, however, because not all solar panels stick out like a sore thumb.
Black-on-black solar panels help give the array a sleek look on a light-colored roof and a disappearing feature on dark roofs. Black-on-black in-roof installations can help the array blend in with the roofline, too.
The solar installation type can also make a difference. If the home has enough space, a solar array on the back of the roof or a ground mount can hide the modules from onlookers altogether.
Our Home Solar Panel Reviews and Comparisons
The best solar panels for home use leverage monocrystalline and monocrystalline-enhancing technology. Homeowners with more space to work with can increase their home solar ROI by choosing high-quality monocrystalline solar panels instead of their cheaper polycrystalline counterparts.
Go Solar Group’s 2020 Product Suite, offers monocrystalline solar panels for most of its residential installations. However, we also offer premier monocrystalline solar panels for homes with limited space.
Why We Prefer Axitec for Home Solar Installations
We choose 315-watt monocrystalline half-cell solar panels from Axitec for most of our residential installations. The below performance standards, when combined with comparative costs, make these solar panels ideal for most homes.
What Sets LG, Silfab and Solaria Apart as Premier Home Solar Modules ?
Occasionally, a home doesn’t have enough space for solar. LG, Solaria and Silfab have the performance standards needed to reach these homeowners’ needs, which is why we also offer them in our Product Suite.
To discover what Go Solar Group can do for your home, schedule a free, customized online or in-person assessment with us today.