Best Solar Panels 2020

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Best Solar Panels 2020

Best Solar Panels on the market in 2020.

Solar panels have become part of the planet’s world and energy revolution. Solar energy allows us to be energy independent and save money by breaking free from power companies. By using this renewable energy source, we are also helping the planet and ensuring that we are relying on an inexhaustible source of energy.

Progress in technology has made possible that even if there are cloudy days, we can store enough power to continue using it in our daily tasks.

But in order to take advantage of the solar energy, we must use solar panels and,  to get the maximum efficiency when collecting the energy from the sun, we have to choose the right solar panels, as there is no one-size-fits-all.

What to look for in a solar panel?

There are hundreds of different brands and models of solar panels on the market. So, in order to make the right decision, you have to pay attention and consider a few things. Here’s what to look for:

Solar Panel Size

Obviously, one of the most important elements to look at and take into account is the size of the panels.

I always recommend it to do a detailed assessment on how we want to place the panels before any installation. This will help to find out what space is available and what space we want to occupy with them, as well as the efficiency and type of panel required.

Type of Solar Panel

We already cover this in our previous article “Solar Panels: The Ultimate Guide to Get the Right Solar System for your Home” but I’ll leave here a quick overview:

Polycrystalline vs Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Monocrystalline or Polycrystalline Solar Panels?

  • Monocrystralline: Monocrystalline panels are still the most expensive option but also the most effective for generating electricity from solar energy. Its efficiency ranges from 18% to 22%.
  • Polycrystalline: Polycrystalline cells are characterized by a high quality-price ratio: their efficiency ranges from 14 to 18%, thanks to which they effectively convert energy.

How do I differentiate Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline Solar Panels?

Monocrystalline solar panels are darker in color, often black or dark grey, while polycrystalline solar panels have a dark blue color when exposed to light.

In the table below you can see a quick comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar panels:

Panel TypeAdvantagesDisadvantages
Monocrystalline• High efficiency
• Space efficient
• Have a long lifespan
• More efficient in warm weather
• Higher Cost
• Less sustainable
Polycrystalline• Easier production
• Lower cost
• Efficiency of panels
• Lower space-efficiency

If you have a lot of space for solar panels you could save money upfront by installing low-efficiency, low-cost polycrystalline panels. However, roofs with limited space might have to look into installing high-efficiency, monocrystalline solar panels. 

It’s always best to consult a Solar expert who can advise you.

Nominal Voltage

For isolated solar installations with batteries, the panels are 36 cells (12 V) or 72 cells (24V). If we want to use the module in a small isolated installation that feeds a battery (monoblock for example) we will need 12V panels, while if our installation is a little larger and has a larger accumulation system (two monoblock batteries) we will need 24V panels.

Nominal voltage is not usually found on the product data sheet. They usually put the voltage at maximum power. The nominal voltage is the closest to the maximum power being the standard (12-24-48 Volts).

Nominal Voltage 1

Power of Solar Panels

Solar panels differ from one to another according to their maximum working power Wp (peak watt) which means the maximum power it can reach.

How to choose the right power for your solar panel?
  1. First, you must calculate the power that your appliances consume. Multiply the power in watts (W) of your appliance per the time (hours) of use over one day. Example: A 50 Watt television turned on for 3 hours a day consumes 50 x 3 = 150 Wattheure (WH) a day. If you have several equipments, repeat the operation and add the total (WH).
  2. Once we know exactly our consumption, we need to know the power necessary to satisfy this consumption. For this we need to take into account some factors such as:
    • The power generated by the solar panel
    • Solar Panel efficiency
    • Number of hours of sun
  3. Once we have this data, we can use the following formula to determine the real power generated per hour, for each photovoltaic panel:

(Solar Panel Power * System Efficiency * Hours of solar exposure) / 1000 = KWh Generated per Day

Your solar panel must produce enough energy on a daily basis to supply your electrical appliances.

Efficiency of Solar Panels

We call efficiency to the power that the panel is capable of producing 1 square meter of photovoltaic solar panel when it receives an irradiation of 1000 W / m2. 

For example, If in the technical data sheet of a 245W photovoltaic solar panel we see that it has an efficiency of 15%, it means that for every 1000W / m2 of irradiation that 1 square meter of panel receives, it will produce 150 W of power. 

Nowadays it is quite common to extol the quality of the higher efficiency solar panels, and many times, the higher efficiency solar panels are considerably more expensive. 

In my opinion, if we don’t have space problems, it doesn’t make much sense to pay a higher price for more efficient solar modules. On the other hand, if we have a very “fair” roof, we can install more efficient solar panels to optimise the installation as much as possible.

Best solar panels on the market

Now let’s have a look at some of our top favourite brands of solar panels. We will present some of their top solar panels and their characteristics so you can choose the one that is right for you.

Canadian Solar Inc. is a Canadian and Chinese company dedicated to the manufacture of solar energy products. It manufactures solar modules and photovoltaic solar energy systems.

The company, founded in 2001, is already one of the five largest producers of solar panels in the world in terms of global production, both for large solar orchard areas and for residential and industrial photovoltaic self-consumption installations.

Its products include both modules, inverters and complete kits with all the necessary systems for the production of solar energy.

CS BiHiKu6

BiHiKu6 Mono

CS BiHiKu5

BiHiKu5 Poly/Mono

CS BiHiKu

BiHiKu Poly/Mono

CS BiHiKu

BiKu Poly/Mono

CS HiKu6

HiKu6 Mono

CS HiKu5

HiKu6 Poly/Mono

CS HiKu5

HiKu Poly/Mono

CS Ku 2

Ku Poly/Mono

CS HiDM 3

HiDm Mono

Canadian Solar panels have to pass a triple security check. In addition, they ensure that their solar panels are durable and 100% recyclable.

REC is a pioneering multinational solar energy company that was founded in 1996 in Norway. At the end of 2019, it already operated around 38 million solar panels that accumulate more than 10GW of clean energy: Enough to power the homes of 16 million people. It is one of the largest suppliers of solar panels worldwide specialized on both commercial and industrial installations as well as residential use. 

Its latest advances for the improvement of its solar panels have focused on seeking to prevent the loss of power taking into account any adverse weather situation, such as environments with a very high temperature or very high humidity: 100% free of induced power degradation.

REC Alpha

REC Alpha

REC Peak

REC N-Peak

REC TwinPeak

REC TwinPeak 2 Mono

The main mission of the company is to modify the habit of energy consumption of citizens by encouraging the use of electricity through renewable energy. Take responsibility for finding clean, efficient and economical sources of energy solutions.

Jinko solar panels are widely used in medium and large photovoltaic installations. Jinko solar panels have excellent technical characteristics, a reasonable price and great durability.

Jinko Cheetah

Cheetah

Jinko Swan

Swan

Jinko Tiger

Tiger

LONGI Solar

LONGI Solar is the world leader in the manufacture of monocrystalline solar panels and monocrystalline photovoltaic cells, with more than 3000 patents it is the leader in this technology.

Since the year 2000 when it was founded, it has not stopped growing, currently it already has a production capacity of 8.8 GW and has a vertical production chain, which begins with the smelting of silicon ingots, goes through the production of wafers, the manufacture and doping of photovoltaic cells and assembly of solar panels.

LONGI solar panels are characterized by high energy efficiency: low irradiation, low temperature-power coefficient, low operating temperature, which leads to a high energy efficiency.

Longi Hi MOX

Hi-MO X

Longi Hi MO4m

Hi-MO4m

Longi Hi MO3m

Hi-MO3m

Conclusion

These are some of the largest solar panel companies in the world. The most important thing to take into account when buying a solar panel is the power we need according to the use that we are going to make of the solar panels. Likewise, it is interesting to see if the company has a service to facilitate the transfer of the panels or if you have to transport it yourself. Also look at the modulated efficiency of the panels and the temperature they support. Finally, take into account the years of energy guarantee that they promise.

I hope this guide has been of help and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

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