In September 2006, respected solar power magazine, Photon International, bolted 10 different solar panel manufacturers panels to a test rig in Germany and measured the performance of those panels over 12 months.
The panels they tested were:
- Shell Solar
- BP Solar
- Solar Fabrik
The results of the testing were that the difference in power produced across all the solar panel brands was 9.85%.
The results are shown here:
As you can see Photwatt panels came top.
Interestingly the Sanyo panels which many vendors claim are the “best of the best”, came second last. Apparently Sanyo’s excuse was that the magazine were supplied with defective panels, oh and the dog ate their homework too I imagine.
The well known brand “Sharp” came a surprising last place.
Of course this test was 3 years ago. I imagine that the losers of this test have upped their game in recent years. The latest issue of the magazine has some more recent results in it as soon as it arrives in the mail from sunny Germany, I’ll let you know the latest winners.
Wouldn’t it be great to put the top 10 most popular Australia panels through a similar test (including the many ‘own-brand’ panels). Let me know if you think that is a good idea in the comments. If I get enough interest I may organise such a test myself. Watch this space…