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What brand of solar panels is best?

For efficiency sake, we have a large supply of Trina solar panels. Trina is a world-class supplier of high-quality panels. Using them enables to us to use the highest quality equipment at the best prices and maintain a very efficient delivery operation.

However, we are not wed to any one manufacturer. There are approximately 80 solar panel manufacturers offering about 600 different makes and models of equipment. One of the values we bring to our customers is that we can select the very best equipment for your particular job.

When choosing solar panels, we have three filters:

  1. technology platform
  2. specific performance and industry reputation
  3. financial stability of the manufacturer

We are very careful in selecting quality solar panels from top-tier companies that will have the longevity to honor the warranties for their equipment. We offer many different solutions that are comparable in efficiency. We can also offer ARRA compliant solar panels (American Content) if that is a requirement.

We are also an Authorized Dealer of SunPower systems, which are the most efficient and energy dense solar panel available. There is a premium price differentiation for SunPower, but you can achieve more electrical output per square foot if you install a SunPower system, which would increase your system size and overall annual utility offset. SunPower is also a terrific solution when the roof is small but you want to maximize the amount of clean energy produced.

What are the best solar panels?

For our solar panel  installations, we are very careful to find the very best solar panels based on reliability, performance, and long term value. Trina solar panels, for example, are made by one of the world-renowned leading solar companies; they have been listed at either #1 or #2 in the world for the past several years. We often use Trina panels because they are superior solar panels from a global leader. But we are not wed to them, and sometimes recommend other panels. It just depends on the specific project — each is customized to a great degree.

Many solar experts use the term “bankability” to refer to solar panel manufacturers that have proven to be reliable and stable, both in their product quality and in their overall company financial health. There are about 15 truly “bankable” solar panel manufacturers in the world, including Sunpower in the US.  Most of the U.S. solar panel companies are smaller companies, though some meet our requirements and are approaching bankability as discussed above.

In our experience, many “U.S. made” solar panels are not too different from the rest, in that most of the manufacturing is done by the same global supply chain. In some cases, the individual solar cells are made here in the U.S., then shipped overseas for final assembly into solar panels. In other cases, the companies are based here in the U.S., but actually manufacture overseas, where manufacturing costs are lower. This is not only true of solar panels — it is true of many products, especially technology products like computers, tablets, and smart phones.

When “U.S. Made” is a priority for a customer, we present them with options and show the cost differences. U.S. Made typically adds about 25 cents per watt to the customer’s cost.  That is a not a huge cost difference, but to an extremely cost-sensitive customer, it may make a difference.