These Are The Best Solar Panels To Buy In 2022 – According To The Pros

best solar panels in 2022?

What are the best solar panels to put on an Australian roof in 2022?

I think the best people to answer that question are professional, Australian installers.

Installers:

a) work with the different panel brands every day.

b) must support those panels for the duration of their 10-40 year warranties.

Australian Consumer Law says the company selling you a product has ultimate responsibility for honouring the manufacturer’s warranty. So any installer planning on being in business for the long term should only sell panels they are very confident in.

We started surveying installers in the SolarQuotes network about their favourite solar panel brands last year. This year – in 2022 – we asked them again.

The SolarQuotes Installers’ Choice Awards 2022

We asked the 400+ installers in the SQ network two questions:

  • What solar panel brand would you put on your own roof in 2022 – if money was no object?
  • What solar panel brand would you put on your own roof in 2022 – if money was tight – and every dollar counts?

The results demonstrate what brands the installers trust for both top-of-the-range solar systems and – just as importantly – for quality budget systems.

Note: Choosing good brands is important, but you also need to ensure the system is well installed. The difference between a good and bad solar installation makes all the difference. 

Here are the results:

Best High-End Solar Panels In Australia: 2022 (Money No Object)

best solar panels: first place Sunpower, second, REC Solar, third Q-CELLS

best solar panel brands graph of votes - 2022

LG decided to stop manufacturing modules just after the survey results came in. See the footnote at the end of this post.

We asked SolarQuotes installers:

What solar panel brand would you put on your own roof if money was no object?

Here’s what they told us their favourite ‘top of the range’ brands are in 2022:

First Place: SunPower (27% of votes)

SunPower has always been one of the go-to premium panels for Australian solar installers, storming up from 3rd place last year to first place this year.

Just last month, SunPower announced an astonishing 40-year product warranty on their Maxeon panels. As a publicly listed company, to make such a courageous move, it would be a good bet that they have a lot of empirical evidence those Maxeon panels will last well beyond 40 years.

Personally, I love SunPower panels. However, their top-end Maxeon panels are very pricey. Expect to pay three times more per watt than a good budget panel.

If you still want the SunPower brand – but prefer to spend a little less money – their P Series ‘shingled’ panels are worth consideration at almost half the cost of the Maxeon. And if you are a micro-inverter fan, you can get AC versions of all the SunPower models with an Enphase IQ7 micro-inverter preinstalled at the factory.

You can see 706 user reviews of SunPower panels here.  Australian homeowners are pleased with their SunPower modules – with many commenting on their aesthetics:

“So far the panels have been working brilliantly and generating plenty of power, even on cloudy days. As a bonus, the panels look great, very sleek!“

SunPower installation

SunPower installed by Venergy

Second Place: REC Solar (18% of votes)

Keeping their well-deserved second place from 2021 is REC Solar, whose line of Alpha panels peaks at 410W and are revered amongst those who install them. 

New for 2022 is the REC Alpha Pure promising lead-free construction. You can see 652 ratings for REC solar panels from Australian homeowners here. You’ll see that they have an average of 4.8 stars and comments such as:

“We got Alpha black panel and we are really pleased they look great and they are performing really well.“

REC installation

REC panels installed by Deionno Electrical

Third Place: Hanwha Q-Cells (12% of votes)

Q-Cells is new to the ‘Australia’s Greatest Solar Panel Brands’ podium for 2022.

Hanwha Q-Cells started in Germany but is now owned by giant Korean conglomerate Hanwha. Q-Cells has several panel models available in Australia, from cheapest to dearest: Q.Maxx, Q.Boost, Q.Peak and Q.Peak Duo.

Expect to pay about 20% more for the flagship Q.Peak Duo than the Q.Maxx or Q.Boost panels.

Q-Cells solar panels currently have 1194 Australian reviews with an average 4.8 stars. A common theme among reviews is their excellent low-light performance:

“Appear to work well, good production even on cloudy days.”

“The system is producing power from very early in the morning to late in the afternoon and is performing well.”

Q-CELLS installation

Q-CELLS installed by MC Solar & Electrical

Best Value Solar Panels In Australia: 2022 (Every Dollar Counts)

Best value solar panels: first place Trina Solar, second place Jinko Solar, joint third Canadian solar and Q-CELLS

Best value solar panel brands - 2022 voting graph

We asked installers:

What solar panel brand would you put on your own roof in 2022  if money was tight – and every dollar counts?

Here’s what they told us their best value brands are:

Best Value – First Place: Trina Solar (17% of votes)

Trina must be doing something very right. Last year they climbed from fourth to joint second-largest solar panel manufacturer globally.

And in 2022, they held on to the top spot for ‘Best Value Solar Panel in Australia’ according to SQ installers.

Australian consumers rate Trina well, with 4.7 stars average from 1305 Trina solar panel reviews.

Trina installation

Trina panels installed by Peninsula Solar.

Best Value – Second Place: Jinko Solar (16% of votes)

Jinko is the fourth biggest solar panel manufacturer globally and holds on to their second place for ‘Best Value Solar Panels’ from 2021.

Jinko solar panel reviews average 4.7 stars with 1649 ratings from Australian owners at the time of publishing.

Jinko installation

Jinko Panels installed by JWS Electrical Services.

Best Value – Joint Third Place: Canadian & Q-Cells (10% of votes each)

Q-Cells & Canadian Solar tie for third place, kicking Longi off the podium – which took 3rd in 2021.

Q-Cells have the unique honour of a podium in Best Top-End, and Best Value solar panel. Quite the achievement when Q-Cells’ cheaper Q.Maxx or Q.Boost product lines cost about 25% more than a Jinko, Trina or Canadian.

Canadian Solar also scored a well deserved 3rd place with their (not-made-in-Canada) panels having a good reputation in Australia. However Canadian Solar reviews score an average 4.7 stars compared to Q-Cells’ 4.8.

Canadian Solar installation

Canadian Solar panels installed by Primero Electric and Solar.

 

Q-CELLS installation

Q-Cells panels installed by Reward Energy and Cooling.

Longi Not Very Strongi In 2022?

It was interesting to see the world’s largest manufacturer, Longi, dropping down the rankings from 3rd last year to joint 6th in 2022.

We received this comment from an installer:

“Initially I would have installed the Longi in the Budget system but lately the quality of the frame has been slipping.”

Footnote on LG solar panels:

We surveyed our installers in January 2022. LG Solar received enough votes for second place in the ‘money-no-object’ awards. But in February 2022, LG Electronics announced it will stop manufacturing solar panels. In Korea, some faceless accountant must have decided a rapidly heating world really didn’t need more top-quality solar. Perhaps LG needed the money to improve the cyber security of their internet fridges?

So I removed LG panels from the podium, as you won’t be able to buy them for much longer. Happily, the company has confirmed LG will honour all warranties – as they should.

Next week I’ll reveal which inverters Australian installers voted for as the best in 2022.

About Finn Peacock

I'm a Chartered Electrical Engineer, Solar and Energy Efficiency nut, dad, and founder of SolarQuotes.com.au. My last "real job" was working for the CSIRO in their renewable energy division.

Comments

  1. Dennis Nord says

    Interesting my 16 year old Sharp solar panels not on your list. Maybe they don’t sell in Australia (I’m from So. California). I know they replaced one of mine two years ago, but I don’t know if they are still manufacturing today. Seems like they still produce about 90% of what they did when new.

    • As far as I know, Sharp solar panels have not been sold in Australia since 2012. I heard the panels were OK – but the Sharp inverters were very unreliable. Origin Energy installed a lot of them and spent millions replacing them if I remember correctly.

    • Pete Calvin says

      Sharp Japan stopped exporting panels after Fukushima, because Japan required as much solar energy as they could get to make up the difference.

  2. A 40 year warrantee is terrific! However the associated micro-invertors as I understand it have a warrantee of 25 years. If an invertor fails after the 25 year warrantee, is it economically viable to replace the invertor on the back of a solar panel, given the +25 year age of the solar panel and the cost / complexity of lifting a panel for the repair? If it is not viable then what is the advantage of a 40 year panel warrantee? It would appear that the 40 year panel warrantee is very dependent on the micro-invertors lasting at least 15 years past their 25 year warrantee.

    • With the Sunpower Maxeon 5 AC panel, the 40 years only covers the panel, not the integrated microinverter, which is covered under Enphase’s 25-year warranty.

      If the panel is accessible, it is an easy job to replace the microinverter.

    • Ronald Brakels says

      I’ll just mention the 40 year warranty is also available for Maxeon panels without microinverters. This lets them be used with a string inverter which can be replaced if it fails.

  3. Hi Fin

    What happened to LG panels?

  4. What are Tindo doing wrong?

    I thought they would have ranked higher in the ‘money no object’ category given they are pricey but seem good in comparison.

    Are they simply not keeping up with innovation? or are their installers not on this forum?

  5. The popularity of the product has nothing to do with Statistical and Scientific Facts. According to scientists, SolarWatt should be in the first place.
    https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6920551232965144576?commentUrn=urn%3Ali%3Acomment%3A%28activity%3A6920551232965144576%2C6922404702735212544%29

  6. Matthew C says

    Hi Finn, would you be inclined to go with Astronergy Astrosemi 370w, Risen Titan 390w or Longhi panels for a 6.6kw system?

    The installer can do all of them for the same price but believes Astronergy is the superior panel in terms of output and long term reliability. Astronergy are changing to a 25yr product warranty this year but currently are 15yrs only versus Risen which are 25 years already. What do you think?

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hi Matthew, Ronald here.

      Both Risen and Longi produce lower cost but reliable panels and are on our recommended panel chart in our Solar 101 Guide:

      https://www.solarquotes.com.au/solar101.html

      Obviously, we think the ones on our recommended chart are best, otherwise we wouldn’t have put them there. But if you are interested in the Astronergy panels they are tier one panels, which generally is an indicator of reliability.

      • Cheers. How come you guys don’t rate the Astronergy panels as highly as longhi or risen? According to the PV tech reports they apparently outperform all the other budget brands. Is it more a function of Australian market penetration and support rather than performance?

        • Ronald Brakels says

          We simply don’t know as much about them as the other panels, and a lot of it does come down to market penetration and support. It’s unfortunate, but a company that is small but makes quality panels and does everything right could simply not have much presence and so we don’t hear much about them. But I can say Astronergy are not bad panels.

  7. Hi Finn & Solar Quotes team. Due to an unusual and small roof configuration where a 2MPPT String inverter is not optimal without reducing our system size …..our solar installer has now switched us to a 5kw SolarEdge inverter for the individual panel optimisers. Total system size installed is 6.6kw at this stage. Would you choose between a 370W Jinko Cheetah Plus HC or a 370W LONGi Solar Hi-MO4 panel, we have been recommended Longi purely based on them offering a longer warranty of 15yrs instead of 12yrs and they have a strong stable future in solar technology? I have read through your website and the many reviews and unsure if one is really better than the other? I would welcome your opinion, thankyou.

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hi Amber, Ronald here.

      Those are both panels we can recommend and there’s not much difference between them. Their ability to tolerate heat without losing efficiency is identical. I would check you are getting 15 years product warranty with the Longi panels as the Longi Australia site currently says 12 years. But even if the product warranty is the same, Longi has a slightly better performance warranty as they promise the panels will have at least 84.5% of their original capacity after 25 years, while Jinko promises 83.1%. Both companies are very large manufacturers of solar panels, with Jinko being the largest in the world. I’d expect both to be around long term, but it’s not possible for me to be certain of that. Either panel will be fine and neither should cause you any problems.

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