Flex Solar Panels Review: Now Available In Australia – But Beware Outrageous Prices

panels and pile of cash

Flex Solar Panels: Beware of door knockers selling them for silly money.

Update 8th May 2019:  Flex has stated they are leaving the wholesale and retail solar market in Australia but they will honor their commitments.

Flex solar panels are now sold in Australia and there is one thing I want to be very clear about.  Despite their name, you should not flex these panels.  They are not the flexible sort you might put on the roof of your caravan or, at a suitable level of insanity, your cat.  They are the normal sort that go on top of homes and if you flex them too much they will splinter and break. 

You shouldn’t even flex them a little, no matter how much you may want to, as it can cause microcracks in the solar cells that can degrade a panel’s performance and cause problems further down the line1.

The panels get their name from the company that makes them, Flex, which sounds like it should be an exercise equipment manufacturer, but is actually a massive engineering firm that produces a vast array of products and used to go by the slightly more sensible name of Flextronics.

According to the information given to me by Flex2, their PowerPlay solar panels only come in two versions that are almost identical.  A 290 watt panel and a 295 watt one.  They’re made with monocrystalline solar cells that are a little more efficient than cheaper polycrystalline ones and use PERC technology.  If you don’t know what PERC is, don’t worry.  All you need to know is it perks up their efficiency.  As you may have guessed, the efficiency of Flex solar panels is a little above average and comes in at 17.8% and 18.1%.

The panels have a 12 year product warranty.  They also have a 25 year performance warranty that promises they will still produce at least 82% of their original output by the end of that time.  You may be wondering what’s the difference between a product warranty and a performance warranty.  Well, according to Australian consumer law, not much — or at least that’s my opinion.  But in general, the longer the product warranty the more confident the manufacturer is its reliability.  Flex’s warranty is better than the 10 year minimum tier one panels have, but by the standards of premium panels a 12 year warranty doesn’t even loosen my socks, let alone knock them off.

Some companies selling Flex panels are quoting stupid prices

Flex has had plenty of practice producing solar panels for other companies, so I expect their accumulated experience means their panels will be reliable and unlikely to have problems.  But I have no evidence there is anything miraculous about these panels.  I mention this because we offer free advice here at SolarQuotes® so members of the public like to send us their quotes to look at. And we’ve seen plenty of examples now of people getting quoted ridiculous amounts3 for systems with Flex panels.  Some people have been charged so much they could easily have bought high quality premium panels with a far superior warranty and had plenty of money left over.  So don’t get caught by fast talking salespeople. Especially door knocking ones. Don’t buy solar from door knockers. Just don’t. If you are not sure an offer is fair either leave a comment or send me an email.

Flex — A Massive Maker Of All Kinds Of Stuff

Flex is a massive American-ish engineering company headquartered in Singapore.  According to their brochure they have locations in over 30 countries in 12 different industries, but if you count the ones listed on their website it’s actually 134.  They have 200,000 employees and are one of the largest Original Equipment Manufactuers or OEMs in the world.  This means they make stuff for other companies, and boy do they make a lot of stuff.  

Flex, or Flextronics, as it was known before 2015, made my original Xbox.  They also used to make the Redflow ZCell in Mexico.  They make coffee makers, the Chromecast doodad from Google, smart meters, fitbits, electric motorcycles, TVs, LEDs, solar trackers, dongles, car parts… they even used to make Lego.

One interesting thing is they say they’ve made over 10 million microinverters.  Enphase is the world’s largest microinverter company and they list Flex as one of their “Global Partners“, so it seems pretty clear to me they are in bed together and making little baby inverters.

One thing they have made a lot of for other companies is solar panels.  I know this because they say it right here:

A Flexible Boast

But which top tier brands, Flex? Pics or it didn’t happen…

Unfortunately they don’t tell us what these top brands are.  They usually stay in the background and let the company that paid them to make the stuff hog all the credit.  But it is possible to poke around and see who they are partnered with.  For example this press release here makes it clear they were producing panels with SunPower — a company well known for premium, high quality panels.  This article mentions Flex made panels for the US renewable energy company SunEdison which went bankrupt last year.  And this press release mentions they made panels for QCells.

One thing is certain and that is Flex has made a lot of solar panels:

8 Million Panels!

Over 8 million solar panels would total more than 2 gigawatts over the years.  This means they are far from being a large manufacturer by today’s standards, but they’ve made more than enough to know what they are doing.  Since they’ve worked with companies like SunPower they should definitely have the ability to produce high quality panels if they put their minds too it.

Because they are now putting their own name on a product, which is unusual for Flex, I find it very hard to believe their panels won’t be reliable, but only time will tell if they are selling a better product than other reliable panel manufacturers out there.

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Insults

I’ll tell you what I think about Flex — I think they’re a trusted manufacturer of a vast range of products and they do high quality engineering.  But what does Flex think of Australians?  That’s a tough question to answer, but  maybe we can get an idea by examining the imagery they use in their advertising.  I think this may provide a kind of window into their soul.  For example, take a good hard look at this picture they thought would make a good illustration for their solar panel datasheet:

Glued On Panels

Here we see Flex solar panels mounted on a roof.  Because there’s no sign of racks or clamps they appear to be glued on.  Because the panels are 1.64 m in length I can work out that the roof is 1.97 m from its gutter to its crest.  So clearly this house is located in Munchkin Land.  Attached to the roof is a drainpipe and, by comparing it to the solar panels, I can calculate that it is only 8 cm wide, which is a special gauge they only sell at Munchkin Bunnings.

Above all this flies an Australian magpie that, from its odd angle, is either stalling out or flying backwards in a strong headwind.  Because it doesn’t have white tipped wings, we can tell it’s not an American magpie, which is a creature so stupid it doesn’t even brutally attack human beings.  An Australian magpie makes sense in this situation since Munchkin Land is of course located in Oz5.

But wait a minute!  There are horizontal stripes on that roof and munchkins never have them because they don’t want to make their roofs look fat.  There is something very strange about this picture and I’m starting to think it may not actually be normal sized panels glued to a tiny house or even giant sized panels glued to a normal house.  I think this entire picture might be some kind of photoshop screwjob and and faker than Donald Trump’s tan.  Clearly Flex thinks we’re idiots and I resemble that insinuation.

Below is a picture I took from an actual brochure that was physically handed to me6:

Other Way!

Looking at the direction in which the shadows are falling, the Flex solar panels would perform significantly better if they were facing in exactly the opposite direction.  Personally, I know I would prefer to have my solar panels face towards the sun.  Especially if I only had five of them, as may be the case here.

But perhaps the position of the solar panels is fine and things only look strange because the woman is holding her hand up that way in order to use her mutant shadow bending powers.  It looks like she’s already eliminated the shadow the van should be casting.

Hopefully Flex will soon learn we prefer not to glue solar panels to roofs and we prefer our mutant powers to be more along the lines of being able to open a stubbie with our toes.

They Should Be Reliable Panels — But Don’t Get Ripped Off

I think it is very likely that Flex will make good quality panels, so if you get them installed on your roof you should be very unlikely to have problems with them.  But make sure you don’t get overcharged for them by the installer as some people have.  This advice goes for any panel, but anecdotally the ratio of rip-offs with Flex solar panels appears to be particularly high at time of writing, so beware.

If you’ve had these modules installed, you can leave your thoughts about them on our Flex solar panels reviews page.


  1. Installers accredited on Arrakis will of course remember their litany:  I must not flex.  Flexing is the panel killer.  Flexing causes microcracks that bring total obliteration…
  2. It sounds like I am talking about my gym instructor, doesn’t it?
  3. over $2 per watt
  4. Maybe they suffer from a little triskaidekaphobia which is a fear of triskaidekas, the deadliest of all pokemon.
  5. Specifically, Munchkin Land was built in the Adelaide Hills by German immigrants in the 19th Century and locally is known by its German name, Hahndorf.  Tragically, many munchkins who remained in Germany were worked to death in Wilhelm Wonka’s chocolate factory.
  6. Given the atrocious state of Australia’s internet, this innovation could revolutionize data transfer rates.
About Ronald Brakels

Many years ago now, Ronald Brakels was born in Toowoomba. He first rose to international prominence when his township took up a collection to send him to Japan, which was the furthest they could manage with the money they raised. He became passionately interested in environmental matters upon his return to Australia when the local Mayor met him at the airport and explained it was far too dangerous for him to return to Toowoomba on account of climate change and mutant attack goats. Ronald then moved to a property in the Adelaide Hills where he now lives with his horse, Tonto 23.


  1. Hi Ronald,
    How do we know we are being overcharged. Can’t you get the manufacturers to give you the panel’s price for the rueview

    • Ronald Brakels says

      There’s a lot that goes into a rooftop solar installation besides the cost of panels and the cost per watt depends a lot on the size of the system. In our Solar 101: A Beginners Guide we give some guidelines on what prices you can expect to pay for different sizes of systems, but they are only rough guides as prices are a moving target:


      One of the best things you can do to prevent being taken advantage of is get several quotes, say three, and then you can see if one is excessively expensive or not.

      This is one reason why I particularly recommend looking out for doorknockers. Many hope you won’t get any other quotes and so not realize you are being taken for a ride.

      • Another thing to be watched for is the growing incidence of panels offered by know-nothings online which provide no information at all; not even a brand-name, let alone a tag with any tech.data on the back of the panel.
        Ive come acoss several of them lately while looking for a few odd units for a bush shack, roof of several caravans, etc.
        The more reputable brands appear to have shifted to on-line sales (where you never know what you’re likely to get until it’s delivered.)…….and no way of getting info. or any real contact details.
        I suppose it had to come, but a wrd of warning is in order.

  2. What would be useful for us potential customers would be for SolarQuotes to start to move into the testing of panels and related technology – similar to how the computer websites review new processors, graphics cards etc. The manufacturers submit their samples of products to you for testing, you review them and let us know whether they perform as they claim and produce league tables of efficiency vs cost etc.

    You might need to have a bit more advertising on your site to pay for it all and a technical bod or two to do the tests and reviews but it would make for very interesting reading and a reduction in the overuse of comedic padding in these articles 🙂

    • Totally agree!

      I talked to CSIRO when I heard they were getting flash testing machines. But at the time they were commissioning the lab and could not give me a good enough accuracy for the testing to be worthwhile. The margin of error was just too big.

      Then I got distracted and Choice jumped in. Good on em!

      I will contact them again about testing panels. It does get expensive though – as we have to buy them ourselves. Unfortunately if you get freebies off the manufacturers they cherry pick the best panel from the batch! And CSIRO’s rates are fairly steep.

      And we do make good money getting paid per referral by the solar installers, so no need to add advertising 🙂

  3. Hi Ronald,
    Unfortunately when you live I a rural area it is impossible to get a few quotes using the same panels. Choice magazine give prices of the panels they test in conjunction with the CSIRO. I can’t understand why you are so reluctant to (as they used to say in that old TV ad) Tell em the price son.

    • Hi Doug,

      I don’t know the pricing of the panels as they can only be bought from Flex and when we asked them at a recent trade show they wouldn’t tell us. What I do know is that all the quotes I have seen are over $2 per watt.

      For example $21k for a 10kW system.
      $16k for an 8kW system.

      • Finn we do sell Flex Panels to customers and pricing is not as high

        5 Kw Solar system with 270W Flex Poly with Fronius around $6500

        • Hi. What if someone wants to buy just a couple of panels?

          …….and regulators/inverters/etc. to suit??

          Just cannot find this stuff off-line. Given the growing number of oldies downsizing, anyone with the room/nouse/honesty could set up a tidy little business ~ dealing person to person. I’d look at investing in such a business.

      • I see a flood of Jinko panels on offer (ebay etc) down nto 20 CENTS a watt for those willing to deal online. (Which I’m not.)

  4. Thanks for the reply Finn

  5. Ronald, you have a Gym Instructor?

    • Ronald Brakels says

      I have had many gym instructors, none have survived. These experiences do answer the question of what happens when a hyperactive person meets an immovable object.

  6. Ronald,

    I suspect the door knock quotes are not representative of the cost possible from a local Flex authorised partner. EnergyMatters would be one place to start on getting a more realistic quote. The LID information is good to share. Also, although the marketing things are quite comical, and testing expensive, one thing manufacturers can answer about their panels — at zero cost — is questions on material. Consumers are curious about this. It would be interesting to know the backsheet (material) used in the panel and any pros/cons of going black vs white backsheet (colour). The temperature and NOCT performance comparison between PERC and Poly might also be informative.

    • Hi Thomas,

      Finn here. Unfortunately all of the exorbitant quotes we’ve seen that are selling at silly prices are from Energy Matters. Some people have reported by high pressure selling and random ‘discounts’, which I believe directly violate the CEC Approved Retailer code of conduct if true.

      The saddens me deeply as I’ve always admired Energy Matters. Certainly I would never have them as a client again having seen some of these quotes. I’ve approached EM but had a wall of silence in response. The only conclusion I can draw is that their new owners condone this selling practice.

      Re: the materials – that is an excellent idea. I think the back sheet spec would be a good proxy for the quality of the whole panel. Let me think about that.

  7. Hi There, you have some very interesting reading. This week I had an in-house presentation from a Flex provider, Energy Matters. Being an extreme novice to solar but suddenly interested in turning towards self-sufficient power I have started reading.
    Cutting to the chase I was quoted $12,980 after all rebates etc for a 5kw system with inverter installed on a double storey house in Melbourne.
    I am definitely going to get further quotes but I must admit I was initially shocked with that figure.
    I’m your experience how does that compare?

  8. Hi, I just got a quote from Energy Matters being nearly $9300 for 4.72kW system (Flex panels + SMA inverter). This company was appointed by Positive Charge Solar Program that works directly with and is backed by varies Councils in Melbourne. I thought I could trust my council , and that I’d rather have an installation by a proven company that is accredited by the local council. As I already had some other quotes (similar size system, Canadian Solar + Fronius for about $5700), this price was a bit of a shock to me, specially the quote also mentions “a substantial discount through the Council group and the security of buying through a large, long running, highly regarded buyers program…”?? Not sure what is going on… Not to mention that the salesperson on the phone was pushy and putting down competition.

    • My experience of both ‘council approved’ and ‘community buy’ programs is that you have less choice (often a monopoly supplier) and the customer ends up paying substantially more, despite being promised huge discounts due to the program. Buyer beware!

  9. Here are my quotes in Hobart (which is why Im going for microinverters)
    Evergren 4.86Kw SunTech panels, SolarEdge, including 11.5 KW battery $14,405
    Energy Matters 5.13KW Flex panels. Enphas microinverters $9,580
    MetroSolar Canadian Solar panels. 5.94Kw for $7,975 (discount $500 for return customer and current discount of $1000 per system) Enphase microinverters.
    Home Efficiency Group Canadian Solar 5.4Kw for $9,296. Enphase microinverters.
    SolarHub REC panels 5.51 KW $9,299.

    No idea which to choose, quotes all close, Evergren appealing but the last option is not to bother in Hobart as there is little sun and if we put panels on, Hobart almost needs a battery to make use of them!

    • oops, Evergren 4.86KW panels + 5.6 KW battery (not 11.5KW as above!)

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Optimizers and microinverters can significantly increase the output of a solar system if it suffers from shade. If shade isn’t an issue then they may only increase output by a couple of percent. Note that by shade I mean shadow that falls upon some solar panels and not others. Overcast skies shade all panels equally and doesn’t result in the problems caused by uneven shading by nearby objects.

      Those are all tier one panels that should be reliable.

      Both SolarEdge and Enphase produce quality, reliable inverters.

      The Energy Matters Flex panels and Enphase microinveters system is $1.87 a watt.
      The Metrosolar Canadian Solar panels and Enphase microinverters system is $1.34 a watt.
      The Home Efficiency Groups Canadian Solar panels and Enphase microinverters is $1.72 a watt.
      The SolarHub REC panels is $1.69 a watt.

      I can’t give you a price per watt for the system with a battery, but only get a battery if you want a battery because they won’t save you money at the moment.

  10. I am tossing up between three systems and wondering whether the extra $$ spent for the Sunpower System will be worth it.
    The systems are:
    10.2kW Flex Panels, Fronius 8.2. $13450 incl gst.
    10.9kW Q-Cells 320W panels, Fronius 8.2. $13690 incl gst.
    10.8kW Sunpower 327W, Fronius 8.2 Inverter. $15990 incl gst.
    I am in Victoria with no shading problems.
    Any recommendations?

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hi Nat

      The Flex system is $1.32 a watt while the QCELLS is $1.26 a watt. All else equal I’d go with the QCELLS because they cost less and they’ve been in Australia longer than Flex and so are more of a known quality — not that I have any reason to think Flex panels are not up to scratch.

      The SunPower system is $1.48 a watt. That means you’ll be paying 17% more than for the QCELLS and maybe getting a couple of percent more output from them per watt. But you will get a full 25 year product warranty as opposed to 12 years for the other two panels. Some people think that’s well worth it while others hum and ha and end up going for the cheaper option. It comes down to personal values so there’s no way to say which is the better choice.

  11. Hi. Thank you for your fantastic website and invaluable advice, and all for free!

    I am considering the following quote for installation on an unshaded NE facing flat roof in Sydney, near saltwater:

    20 x Flex 300W panels (6kW)
    6KW Fronius inverter (3 phase)
    Fronius smart meter

    Total: $7,500

    Although I am a little hesitant given that Flex are relatively new and untested in the Australian market over the long term, based on some of the quotes mentioned above, I’m thinking that’s not a bad price? Would that system be battery ready?

    I am weighing that quote against another for a 5.36kW system using LG Neon 2 panels with either a single phase 5 kW Fronius inverter (very slightly cheaper) or a Solaredge 5kW inverter (more expensive). No smart meter.

    I know that the LG panels have an excellent reputation and warranty and that the Solaredge inverter has the optimiser advantage. However, I am leaning towards taking a risk with the first quote as there seems to be more bang for buck – bigger system, three phase and smart meter. Any advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

    One last thing – to tilt or not to tilt, that is the question??

    Thanks very much

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Flex brand panels haven’t been around for very long, but Flex (or Flextronics as it used to be known) has been making panels for other companies for years now and so have had plenty of experience. They also have a good reputation as a quality manufacturer. So I am quite confident about the quality of Flex panels. They are not premium panels like LG are but I very much doubt you’ll have any problems with them.

      Any rooftop solar system is battery ready as batteries can be AC coupled. (An example of an AC coupled system is the Powerwall 2.)

      As the panels will be unshaded an optimizer won’t add much to their output.

      These days the added expense from tilting panels is rarely worth it. It’s cheaper to add an extra panel or two. The exception is on a completely flat roof so rainwater will flow off them and wash them clean.

  12. Hi there,

    I got a quote from Energy Matters recently and have come across the feedback on here and I’m a little concerned about my quote (which I have paid a deposit for). Any advice about the quality and cost would be appreciated;

    2.07kW Solar Power System
    • 7 x Flex 295 Silver (MC4) panels with SunLock Mounting
    • Inverter: Solis-1P3K-4G + WIFI | Tigo TS4-R-O (MC4) x 2

    $4,777 Including $1,023 of STC upfront deduction

    Reading some of the comments I feel this is expensive for a 2kw system? I thought that getting this from a council supplier we would be getting a good deal.

    • Ronald Brakels says

      I’m afraid that going through a Council is not a guarantee of reputation or quality. Probably because most Councils simply lack expertise on solar.

      I see the system comes with Tigo optimizers, so the price is better than it seems at first glance. These can improve the output of your system, but unless the system will suffer from shading for a significant part of the day the effect will be very small. I guess Solis inverters could be described as mid-range. It comes to $2.31 per watt. The quote is not necessarily a bad price for a well done installation but it is expensive per watt which is common for small systems. Unless you are severely limited in roof space or there is another reason for needing such a small system you could consider a larger system as this should give you a better price per watt and even if your home isn’t a big user of electricity you can still be better off economically thanks to receiving a solar feed-in tariff. But since you’ve already paid a deposit you’ll have to decide if you want to go ahead with this system. If you’re not sure you want to go ahead you can always ask for your deposit back. Some businesses will return it, some won’t. If you are interested in a larger system you can check to see if they can give you a good deal with a considerably better price per watt on one with more capacity.

      • Thanks Ronald.

        Can you explain what the price per watt means? Are the panels decent?

        • Ronald Brakels says

          To work out the cost per watt I have taken the cost of the system — $4,777 and divided it by the number of watts in the system which is 2,065 to get $2.31 per watt.

          While I don’t have much information on their performance I would expect Flex panels to be of good quality. While Flex panels are fairly new, their manufacturer has been making quality solar panels for other companies for many years.

  13. Hi Ronald!
    Energy Matters offered a 5.0 kw solar system for $12,800 less $3,100 government rebate or a net price of $9,700. Payable in 7 years is $0.39/week; in 5 years is $0.52/week.
    The offered system consists of:
    21 Flex monocrystalline solar panels
    5.0 kw Flex inverter
    Remote control monitor
    Is this a reasonable quote or are we being taken for a ride?
    My wife and I are both pensioners. Please advice us of the best alternatives or options.
    Thank you and best regards!

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hi Ren

      Flex has had a lot of experience making solar panels so I would expect them to be of good quality. I don’t know anything about Flex inverters but I assume they would be reliable. The system comes to nearly $2 a watt. It is possible to get a lower price, but you don’t want to go too low. I’d suggest getting some more quotes and seeing what is available.

  14. Bronwyn McNamee says

    I have been charged $11,653 by Energy Matters for a 5kw system installed in March this year. I took the cost as what should be reasonable, as they were the preferred providers for our Shire Council. After further feedback from some solar system installers, the price from Energy Matters seems extraordinarily expensive.

    After having been told that the charges are still well above what should be expected for a high quality system with guarantees, I have paid the first half and have asked for an itemised account, which they will not provide. I have now asked for at least a price list of their components (so I can know how they calculate their quotes) which I still have never received. I believe we should be able to see the itemised charges when spending this type of money.

    The matter is still under discussion, but I will be sharing my lack of satisfaction about this provider and their poor customer communication with our Shire personnel.

  15. Jim Gleeson says

    Thoughts on the following quote today?

    Including $2,541 of STC upfront deduction

    First Class Standard
    • Panels Product Warranty ………………………………………………..
    • Panels Performance Warranty …………………………………………
    • Inverter Warranty ……………………………………………………………
    • Sunlock mounting system Warranty ………………………………..
    • Energy Matters Installation Warranty………………………………
    • Energy Matters Performance Guarantee …………………………..
    12 Years 25 Years 10 Years 10 Years 10 Years Standard*

    5.02kW Solar Power System
    • 17 x Flex – FLV-MB-295P60AB – Black On Black panels with SunLock Mounting
    • Inverter: Flex PowerPlay 5KW + Flex Wifi Energy Monitor | Tigo TS4-R-O (MC4) x 6
    • Cabling, conduit, DC and AC circuit breakers and enclosures
    • Installation by licensed electrical contractors and solar accredited CEC team

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hi Jim.

      Flex panels haven’t been around long enough for me to form an opinion of them, but Flex has been making panels for a long time for other companies so I would expect them to be of good quality and reliable. I also don’t know what the Flex inverter is like but it should also be of good quality and the fact they have given it a 10 year warranty rather than the 5 years most still carry is a good sign.

      If you are getting 6 Tigo optimizers for a total of 17 panels that suggests you have six panels that suffer from shading and so they are putting them on those ones so they won’t drag down the performance of other panels when they are shaded.

      The Sunlock mounting system is widely regarded as being of high quality.

      It looks like a good quality system to me and the price is far better than some quotes I’ve seen. It’s not cheap but you should be getting a good system.

  16. Denyse McKay says

    We have a couple of quotes for fitting solar and the two preferred ones are for
    1. 17 300w. Flex panels FLV_MB300P60AB Black with Sunlock mounting, Flex Power play 5KW Inverter plus Flex Wifi Energy Monitor with guaranteed energy production or they pay the difference Cost $6977
    2. 18 75w panels Jinko or Suntech, 5Kw single phase wifi Inverter SolaX or Solis . Cost $7000.
    Can you please give us some independent advice?
    Many thanks

    • Ronald Brakels says

      The two systems are very similar in size. The first with the flex panels is slightly larger at 5100 watts and comes to $1.37 per watt. If the second one has 18 panels of 275 watts it will come to 4.95 kilowatts and will cost $1.41 per watt. You’ll probably find the Flex inverter comes with a 10 year warranty while the other inverters come with a 5 year warranty, buth it is possible they have been extended to 10 years. Based only on the hardware, I’d be inclined to go with the first system as it is slightly larger, slightly cheaper, Sunlock is a high quality mounting system, and with a 10 year warranty means you shouldn’t be out of pocket for at least a decade on account of inverter failure.

  17. Hi,
    Can you please advise us of the better 5 kw system choice?

    1. Essential solar –
    5.13 kw system -18 x Longi 285 watts LR6-60PE 10 years warranty
    with fronius inverter ,10 years warranty (5 years labour and materials +5 years materials)
    installation -10 years warranty labour and materials

    2. Energy matters-
    5.02 kw special discount 17 flex panels FLV-MB-295P60AB, 12 years warranty, black on black with sunblock mounting.
    Flex Powerplay inverter, 5 years plus 5 year extension warranty.(pay?)
    10 years installation warranty and performance guarantee. (they pay us the difference if the panels don’t perform at expected standard).
    $6777 (with special manufacturers discount.)

    thanking you

  18. Energy Matters charged us more than $12k for 22 panel system and refused to itemise the invoice. They are notoriously hard to get to reply if you have any questions once the deal is done.

  19. Should we go for established panels like Jinko and AJ Panels?

    What do you think of WinaicoPanels – WST-P6 PERC 285 Watt?

    • Ronald Brakels says

      I definitely recommend going for established tier one panels or panels from manufacturers who are known to produce quality products (eg. Australia’s Tindo – but note they aren’t cheap.) Jinko, JA, and Winaico are all tier one panels and all should be reliable. Jinko and JA are lower cost tier one panels with 10 year product warranties. Winaico is a more expensive panel but comes with a 15 year product warranty.

  20. Helen Maree ACHURCH says

    Hi there,

    I live in Hobart and recently got a quote for a 5kW solar system.
    Flex 270W Polycrystalline Solar Panels, Solis 5kW Inverter, and Tigo Optimiser because I have shading issues with surrounding trees. The quote comes to $6,842.44 after Smallscale Technology Certificates are deducted. This seems to be a good price. It is part of a bulk buy scheme so I don’t really have a choice to swap things around. Do you think this is a reasonable price and are the components of reasonable quality?

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Solis is a low cost inverter. Our Solar 101 Guide has a graphic showing where inverters are positioned on price:


      Flex has had a lot of experience manufacturing solar panels so I would expect them to be of good quality. With optimizers that’s probably not a bad price for Tasmania, as prices tend to be more expensive there than on the mainland. But note if your shade issues are serious the payback period could be quite long as Tasmania is the least sunny part of Australia.

  21. Brentan says

    I have been quoted this 6.5kw system from Smart Energy Answers:

    22 Flex black on black panels
    5kw Flex inverter with powerplay

    All installation etc as per standard.

    Standard price $8127
    Discount price for the next week $6377

    Just a bit unsure of the quality of panels and inverter and the sudden “discount”.

    Any feedback would be great,


    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hi Brentan

      It appears Flex Solar is exiting the wholesale and retail market in Australia:


      They say they will honor their commitments in Australia. They are a huge company so I expect their panel and inverter warranties will be covered. While they haven’t been in Australia long enough for me to have a firm opinion on their products, Flex has had a lot of experience manufacturing panels and electronics so I’d expect they’d be of good quality.

      The $6,377 price is certainly reasonable, especially when compared to how much many people were charged for Flex systems in the past. The “discount” would just be a sales thing to encourage you to buy. Personally I don’t approve of those kinds of tactics, but they are fairly common.

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