2021 Solar Panel Torture Testing: ET, & SunPower Do Well

PVEL 2021 PV Module Reliability Scorecard report

At the moment we’re locked down in Adelaide.  Because I’m no longer able to smuggle badgers across the border in my beard as I’d planned, I’m catching up on stuff I should have written about weeks or months ago. 

One of these things is the PVEL 2021 Module Reliability Scorecard report that came out in May.  While I’ve been tardy bringing it to your attention, it’s far too interesting to let slip by. [Read more…]

How Well Does Solar Work Through Winter?

Solar panel performance in winter

Over the next week or so I’ll write some articles busting solar myths because, if I’ve learned anything from 25 years of internet use, it’s way easier to complain about something than go through the effort of doing something useful.  Today I’m tackling solar energy output in winter in Australia. [Read more…]

Best Solar Panels In Australia? Top Brands Chosen By Installers In 2021

Best solar panels in 2021 chosen by Australian installers

Which solar panels would the top installers in Australia put on their homes?

Since I started writing about solar energy in 2009, one of the most common questions put to me is:

“Finn, what are the best solar panels?”

[Read more…]

AEC Report: Solar Installations Up, Battery Installs Down in 2020

Australian Energy Council Q2 2020 solar report

The Australian Energy Council publishes a report on solar every quarter.  I’ve just read through the latest one. There are only 11 pages of text and graphics, so it’s not too much of an effort if you want to read the whole thing yourself here

But since we live a world where everyone is as busy as bees — except for people stuck at home in Melbourne — I’ll make use of my surplus of serenity by summarizing the report. [Read more…]

Leapton Solar Panels Review: Tier 1 Panels Made In China By Japanese Company

Leapton solar panels - made in China

Recently we’ve had a number of calls from Australians who believe Leapton panels are made in Japan. Just to be clear: Leapton solar panels are made in China.

Update 9th of March 2021: Leapton Solar recently opened an office in Australia and their phone number is 1800 717 636.  They told me they can handle warranty claims for all Leapton panels in Australia.  (If you you need to make a warranty claim first get in touch with your installer.  But if they’re no longer around you can contact Leapton directly.)

This article is about Leapton Solar panels.  Because this company is headquartered in Japan I’d like to give them a big…

Konnichiwa!

But since they’re actually made in China, perhaps that should be…

Ni Hao!

[Read more…]

LeTID Update: Unlikely To Become The Problem Many Feared

Solar panels and LeTID issues - update

LeTID: Limited in new PERC panels from reputable manufacturers and probably not a disaster for old ones.

Fourteen months ago I wrote about a type of solar panel degradation called LeTID.  This is short for Light and elevated Temperature Induced Deterioration.  It’s also Norwegian for “laugh time” which is what I think they called the Joker movie over there. [Read more…]

2020 PV Reliability Scorecard: Astronergy, Canadian, Longi & REC Do Well

PVEL 2020 PV Module Reliability Scorecard

Astronergy, Canadian, Longi, & REC Do Well but PID Still A Problem

PV Evolution Labs, or PVEL for short, has published their 2020 PV Module Reliability Scorecard.  This annual report reveals the Top Performers from their latest round of solar panel testing.  The information given is limited.  We’re only told which panels suffered little deterioration from testing. PVEL do not reveal which performed poorly.  They do not even reveal all the panels that were tested.  But it’s still useful to know which did well.

If you buy a solar panel that was a Top Performer in all four tests you can be confident it’s going to last for decades. [Read more…]

Danish Study Shows Solar Panel Optimisers Aren’t Always Optimal

Danish study - solar panel optimisers

Have solar panel optimiser manufacturers been too optimistic in their performance claims? A Danish study says optimisers can be the opposite of optimal.

Solar systems hate shade.  They really do.  Sometimes they talk to me in my dreams and it’s always their number one complaint, right after being pooped on by birds.  But these two problems are related — they hate bird poop because it shades their solar cells. [Read more…]

Solar Panels With Water Channels: Good For Roof Slopes Under 10 Degrees

Solar panel water channels

Under 10 degrees tilt? Try groovy solar panels made by Winaico (and others).

It’s really bucketing down here in Queensland right now.  I’m relieved because until this evening there was a remote but real possibility of everything going all orange and wavy and really hot.  I have friends coming over from Taiwan and I’d be most dreadfully embarrassed if all we had to offer them was a fine selection of ashes. [Read more…]

HT-SAAE Solar Panel Product Warranty Increased From 10 To 12 Years

HT-SAAE solar panels review

HT-SAAE: not a bunch of random letters, but a Chinese government owned company that has manufactured panels for use in Australia, space and other weird places.

I have two pieces of good news about HT-SAAE solar panels I’m just dying to tell you.  They are:

  1. No one’s going to get mad if you call them HT panels for short.
  2. The product warranty for panels sold in Australia has increased from 10 to 12 years.

[Read more…]

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