LG Solar’s Product Warranty Now 25 Years For All Panels

LG solar panel warranty

It’s only two months now since I wrote an article telling everyone in the world the product warranty for LG Solar’s NeON 2 panel was being extended from 12 years to 15.  But if you were looking forward to to getting some NeON 2 solar panels and enjoying that sweet 15 year warranty, I’m afraid you’re out of luck because it’s no longer available.  Instead you’ll just have to enjoy a massive 25 year product warranty as it has been extended by another 10 years.

LG Solar Australia has informed us that every NeON 2 panel manufactured after the 1st of October 2017 is now covered by a 25 year product warranty.  This means if you had NeON 2 solar panels installed recently, they may be covered for 25 years instead of the 15 or possibly 12 years you thought.  It also means any you have installed from now on should have a full quarter of a century product warranty, as installers generally don’t leave pallets of dusty panels lying around unused for months.

The 25 year product warranty doesn’t apply to LG Mono X panels, but they are being phased out and are unlikely to still be available.  This means the two series of solar panels they do sell in Australia, the NeON 2 and the NeON R, will both have product and performance warranties of 25 years.  This makes their warranties a lot simpler to understand and removes the problem of manufacturers deciding they don’t have to provide a refund or replacement if a solar panel stops working outside of its product warranty, but inside its performance warranty – a problem I’ve written about here.

Markus Lambert, the General Manager of LG Solar Australia, seems to share my concern about warranties, as he has said — or written — it’s not clear which:

“For a period of time we have been concerned how the 25 year Output Warranty  has been misused by crap solar companies to mislead the customer in believing they have a proper, valuable 25 Product Warranty.”

Well, now not only do all LG solar panels have a valuable 25 year product warranty, it’s a full replacement warranty as well, which means if a solar panel fails LG will send someone around to replace completely free of charge.

Why The Change?

Why a big 10 year extension to the NeON 2 product warranty only 2 months after a 3 year extension?  Couldn’t they have given a 13 year extension all at once or is the company triskaidekaphobic?

This movie gave me triskaidekaphobia, but only because genetically I am mostly Neanderthal.

I don’t know what actually happened, but I’m certain LG has been working hard for a long time to be able to extend their product warranty to 25 years.  While they may not have been certain when they would be ready, it not something that would have come out of the blue.  Maybe they were confident they could increase the product warranty to 15 years but needed a couple of months to improve their production processes so they could be certain they could increase it to 25.  Or they may have wanted to collect a little more data before they made the big jump.  And perhaps they just spaced it out because they honestly wanted to avoid the number 13.  Stranger things have happened.

Personally, my favorite theory is the CEO of LG just wanted me to write two articles about his solar panels instead of one.  However, I must admit I haven’t been able to win anyone else over to this point of view.

An Exclusive Club

Of all the solar panel manufacturers in the world, there are only three I can think of that have product warranties of 25 years or more.  They are SunPower, Solarwatt, and now LG.  This makes them the big three, as in big product warranties.  Both LG and SunPower have 25 year product and performance warranties, while Solarwatt has 30 for both.

The Lowest Cost Solar Panel With A 25 Year Product Warranty

Of the two manufacturers that make panels with 25 year warranties, I don’t know which one makes the best solar panel.  Even if I did have an opinion I might keep it to myself in case the other company decided to send ninja assassins after me.  Or even non-ninja assassins.  And I don’t want to risk anyone sending non-ninja assassins after me as that just lacks class.

But I can say which of them produces the panel with the lowest cost per watt.  Or at least I could if there were some way of easily comparing solar panels and their prices.  Unfortunately, it’s not as if someone has gone to the trouble of collecting information on every reliable panel sold in Australia, along with pricing information, and put it all together in one convenient table.

Oh, wait a minute… someone has done that.  We did it1.  SolarQuotes now has a Solar Panel Comparison Table that lists most panels we know about sold in Australia in reasonable quantity.  It looks like this:

Solar panel comparison table

The word “collapse” in the bottom right is for making the table smaller. It’s not what you do after reading the entire table in one sitting.

It has all sorts of useful information, including different model numbers, solar panel efficiency, how well they handle heat, and so on.  It’s also updated regularly, so it’s not going to get all out of date like my music collection2.

Both LG and SunPower produce different models of solar panels so all I have to do to bring up information on them is click the arrow next to their names to make a drop down menu appear like this:

solar panel details

 

This lets me see the estimated retail price of the lowest cost SunPower panel, the P series, is $1.32 while the LG Solar NeON 2 is $1.23.  So, at the moment, LG Solar has the lowest cost solar panel with a 25 year product warranty.

Premium Panel Competition

Now that LG has catapulted their product warranties to the quarter century mark, there is serious competition in the premium solar panel end of the market as the two largest high end panel brands in Australia no longer differentiate on product warranty.  We may see competition on price, further changes in warranty periods, or maybe they will just sit where they are for now and share the high end market.  Whatever happens, the boost to LG’s NeON 2 warranty is good news for consumers.

Footnotes

  1. Or to be specific, Jono did it
  2. Madonna’s not dead!  Honestly, she’s not.  I know.  I poked her with a stick.
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.

Comments

  1. Hello Ron,
    I got excited when I saw this article as I have 30 LG panels on the roof, installed just last August. At the time they had a 12 Year warranty.
    A quick call to my installer dashed my hopes as apparently LG have defined while serial numbers the 25 yr Warranty applies to (those installed in the last month or so may squeeze in, and definitely those sold from today)
    Then I reread your article and noticed the link to the November ’16 article and liked what I read there.
    Could you please clarify the situation with LG and publish your findings?
    Thanks
    Andrew

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hi Andrew, sorry to hear you missed out on a longer warranty, but the good news is they should be very unlikely to fail on you.

      With regard to performance warranties, LG Solar is the only company I am aware of that makes it clear in their warranty document that their performance warranty only applies to panels that still work but perform poorly and not to panels that have stopped working altogether. Other companies seem to leave this as a surprise feature. But under Australian consumer law I am certain, in my not-a-lawyer unprofessional opinion, that any company that has told consumers they have a 25 year performance warranty will have to replace panels that stop working for the full 25 year period. But you may have to fight some companies and take them to a consumer tribunal or small claims court to get anything from them.

      My gut feeling is LG Solar is likely to replace panels that fail under performance warranty because there should be so few of them if their claims of awesome reliability are true, but maybe they won’t want to pay for labour if the product warranty is over. If I find out more I will let you know.

  2. Timothy Burgess says

    Yep, I always understood it to mean a 25yr warranty. The old Warranty is definitely confusing, even after re reading it with this new info. Would seem appropriate for LG to bring everyone into the same warranty with these panels given the ambiguity in the fine print (below). Panels are great & here’s hoping no one needs it anyways.

    1. 12 Years Limited Warranty for Module(s)
    LG will, at its sole option, repair or replace the Module(s) if it proves to be defective in material or workmanship for a period ending
    12 years from the Warranty Start Date under normal application, installation, use and service conditions. This “12 Years Limited
    Warranty for Module(s)” does not warrant a specific power output, which shall be exclusively covered under Section 2 hereinafter
    (“25 years Limited Warranty for Power Output”)

    2. 25 Years Limited Warranty for Power Output
    LG warrants that for a period of one (1) year from Warranty Start Date the actual power output of the module will be no less than 98%
    of the labeled power output. From the second year, the warranty for power output will decline annually by 0.6% in each of the
    remaining 24 years, so that during 25th year, an actual output of at least 83.6% of the nameplate power output specified on the
    Module will be achieved. The power output values shall be those measured under LG’s standard test conditions as follows: (a) light
    spectrum of AM 1.5; (b) an irradiation of 1000 W per m2 and; (c) a cell temperature of 25 degrees centigrade at right angle
    irradiation.

  3. Jody Herperger says

    Their website still shows the AC modules (integrated Enphase inverter) to still be 12 years only. Are these integrated modules also going to be going to the 25 year warranty too? It would seem that both the inverter and the panel by themselves each have a 25 year warranty, that the combination of the two should also have the same warranty, no?

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hi Jody

      That seems reasonable, but while in the United State Enphase Microinverters have a 25 year warranty, the warranty is only 10 years here. So if they are offering a 12 year warranty with an AC module that’s a couple more years than we normally get for an Enphase microinverter.

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