The myth of premium solar PV panels

When you consider installing a solar PV system on your house, you have a lot of options to choose from, including long-term goals, price points and your eventual return on investment. The purchase is a unique consumer experience, akin to buying a car or even the house where the panels will reside.

Because of the technical aspects of using solar power – home energy usage, solar cell efficiency, kilowatt hours, levelized cost of solar energy, monocrystalline vs. polycrystalline silicon, etc. - it can sometimes seem easier to just pick a well-known name or make a decision based on aesthetic reasons. While brand recall and looks  should play a role in your choice, simply choosing a premium solar panel based off name recognition or aesthetics won't always give you the most bang for your buck.

Let's take a look at the myth behind what makes solar PV panels supposedly "premium".

The most expensive solar panels aren't always the best choice

Although premium solar companies might be a little more well-known, it's not necessarily because they're significantly better than standard solar panel manufacturers. It's always important to keep in mind that just because premium solar panels are more expensive, it doesn't automatically mean they're the best available solar panels for your home. Sometimes all you're paying for is the name itself.

More often than not, standard solar panel providers sell nearly the same high-quality products without charging an arm and a leg. In fact, some of the value module suppliers are known to have better quality and reliability than their premium competitors!

For instance, the third installment of the DNV GL PV Module Reliability Scorecard Report, a well known solar benchmark of major solar panel manufacturers, revealed that Trina Solar provides high value for residential installers at a significantly lower price point than premium solar module suppliers. Three years running, Trina panels were tested to have the same or better quality and long-term reliability than panels costing 50-80% more. No wonder, Trina Solar was ranked the #1 Bankable Module Manufacturer in the world in 2017!


What you should look for in solar panels

Even without getting into the detailed technical specifications and operational intricacies of how solar panels work, you can certainly look at how durable and reliable the panels are to guide your selection decision. Even though standard modules are less expensive than premium panels, the overwhelming majority of solar panels are manufactured and tested by the same rigorous standards and testing processes.

This means that no matter who you choose, you'll ultimately purchase a solar panel that's been approved by industry standard and internationally recognized regulatory bodies or official industry certification and inspection companies. Be sure to take these testing and certifications into consideration when making your choice.

Panels that are more durable and reliable will last longer with fewer problems. The longer a panel lasts and the longer it maintains its high energy efficiency, the faster you'll obtain ROI on your solar PV system. 

Since you are looking for something that will sit on your roof, chances are you'll want something that looks aesthetically pleasing. After all, you'll be looking at it every day. The Trina Solar black-on-black ALLMAX M PLUS is a sleek module that not only maximizes space in the system's design but comes in at a significantly higher value than premium panels.

Ultimately, you want to install a solar PV system that fits your budget, looks good, and allows you to recoup your investment as quickly as possible.


What the experts are saying

A good way to know you're getting a high-quality product is to check what the professionals are using. Very large (utility-scale, 10s-100s of MW) solar PV installations can involve a variety of stakeholders - investors, financiers, utility companies, project managers, etc. - and each party wants to ensure a ready availability, successful painless installation, and quick ROI. They meticulously research their options and investigate the durability, reliability, efficiency, and bankability of different solar panels and balance of system components.

Over and over, these utility-scale solar developers choose Trina Solar as their go-to solar panels.

They make this choice based off Bloomberg Finance's New Energy Finance Reports that regularly rank Trina Solar as one of the most bankable solar brands in the world. They rely on 3rd party laboratory testing data, such as the aforementioned DNV GL PV Module Reliability Scorecard Report showing Trina as the most consistent high-quality solar technology producer.

In addition to all of these great reasons, they use Trina Solar panels because they cost a fraction of what premium solar panel providers charge. With less capital money needed upfront, it leads to a much quicker ROI.

When it comes time to choose which rooftop solar panels you want to install on your home to generate clean, renewable energy, think about the overall best value and not simply which are most well-known or cost the most. In the end, installing high-value solar PV panels from Trina Solar makes a lot more sense than paying premium prices.

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