People often come to us with questions about specific brands of solar panel. We use select panels from a variety of manufacturers, both US-made and imported. If a customer has a preference for a specific brand, we can usually provide them; but part of our mission is to recommend and install the best products, and we sometimes steer customers away from one brand and towards another, based on our research into panel quality and our experience with different brands. Because our top executives are so linked into the best industry sources of information, we can make these recommendations with confidence. We want our customers to have the best system to meet their energy requirements, available space, and budget.
The fact is, most of the solar panels in the market now are quite good. Solar panel technology, and the processes to manufacture, have stabilized and become more standardized over time. Quoting from the SROECO website, “most solar panels on the market are high-quality and will have a guaranteed output of not less than 90% after 10 years and not less than 80% after 25 years. Any brand panel should have this warranty, whether it’s made in China, Germany, or America.” The outstanding exception is Sunpower, widely regarded as the best of all panels, with the highest efficiency rating of any, and also the highest price tag.
For the consumer, a better differentiator than the panel brand or warranty is the experience and reputation of the installer. Third Sun Solar has completed over 350 successful installations; we have been in business for 14 years; and we have a great reputation among our customers. One of our core company values is, “we’re in it for the long haul.” Our 14 years of experience and excellent reputation is what we build and stand upon; we have grown steadily by doing things the right way.
A solar electric system is a 30-year investment that should provide real value over its entire lifespan. In the end, choose an installer who will build your system well and stand by it over time. That is the smartest solar market differentiator.