Welcome to the solar reviews center

Reading reviews is a very important part of researching a potential solar power or battery storage purchase. If you’re installing a system in Australia, then the experiences of other Australians who have made the switch to solar are particularly relevant.

I’ve collected tens of thousands of reviews of companies and components over more than a decade, creating the largest solar reviews database in Australia. Whether you’re looking for opinions on installers or brands of solar panels, inverters or batteries, you’ll find them on SolarQuotes. Learn more about how the ratings and reviews are collected here.

Learn more about how we calculate the rankings here.

Installers

Top 5 Solar Installers

Below you’ll find the top 5 solar installation businesses in Australia participating in the SolarQuotes network, as rated by their customers. We take special care to ensure only genuine customers of installers can leave ratings and reviews.

View All Top-Rated InstallersBrowse Recommended Installers By CitySearch All Installer ReviewsLearn more about our installer reviews

  1. Installer Image

    Penrith Solar Centre

    4.9 Based on 123 ratings

    Communication throughout the process was outstanding. No continuous hassling to get the sale, the quote process was about what I needed and provided outstanding advice and no BS. I swapped and changed the size of the system a few times without hassle.

    Install was like getting excited for Christmas. The team was on time and I was introduced to the whole team and they communicated with me throughout each stage. Tiles did crack in the process but were swapped out with new ones.

    I got 9.1kw system with microinverters.

    Blake 5.0

  2. Solar Wholesalers 4.9 118 ratings
  3. MC Electrical 4.9 99 ratings
  4. Goliath Solar and Electrical 4.9 93 ratings
  5. SAE Group Pty Ltd 4.6 76 ratings
Panels

Top 5 Solar Panel Brands

With so much choice in panels available, it can be challenging to determine which may be best for you. Below is a list of the brands offering the best solar panels according to Australians who have had the panels installed for at least a year.

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  1. Panel Brand Image

    Hanwha Q-Cells

    4.9 Based on 204 ratings

    About the company

    Hanwha Q CELLS is a major manufacturer of solar panels. In Australia and elsewhere, the company is now usually just referred to as QCELLS.  In 2017 the firm produced 5.44 gigawatts of panels, which put them among the largest half dozen manufacturers in the world. The company shipped 8.3GW of solar modules in 2019 and its production capacity last year was 9GW.

    Their panels are tier 1 and have 12 to 25 years product warranty, depending on the model. QCELLS solar panels are salt mist corrosion resistant and so are suitable for installation on homes anywhere in Australia.

    Hanwha Q CELLS has an Australian office in North Sydney.

    Company History

    Hanwha Group started in South Korea as Hanwha Explosives Inc. in 1952 and rapidly exploded into a massive international conglomeration. They acquired the German company Q Cells and its solar panel manufacturing capacity in Germany and Malaysia when it became insolvent in 2012. They also acquired Solarfun, which was a Chinese panel manufacturer. Not wanting to be mistaken for a bunch of clowns, they changed the name of Solarfun to Hanwha Solar One.

    In February 2015 they squished the two companies together to create Hanwha Q CELLS.

    Manufacturing Locations

    Hanwha Q CELLS produces panels in Malaysia, China, and Korea. Q CELLS does not produce any German made panels.

    They Do Some Thinking In Germany

    Hanwha Q CELLS describes their Q CELLS panels as “Engineered in Germany”. While they no longer manufacture panels in that country, their headquarters for research and development are in Germany and I have been told they have over 200 experts there working to improve the design and production of solar panels.

    Hanwha Q CELLS also have 3 other research and development centers around the world. If you are wondering where those centers are located, I will quote the Chairman and CEO of Hanwha Q CELLS, Seong Woo Nam. On the promotion of their new Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in July 2016, he said:

    "We're very excited to have Dr. Daniel Jeong as our new CTO, who has demonstrated an outstanding leadership in integrating our global R&D teams located in Germany, Malaysia, Korea and China following the merger between former Hanwha Q CELLS and Hanwha SolarOne in early 2015.”

    Today Hanwha QCELLS is putting less emphasis on their “Engineered in Germany” slogan and the Australian QCELLS website now clearly lists all 4 countries they perform research in.  It makes me feel proud of humanity to see people of different nations working together to create the renewable energy technology needed to protect the environment.

    QCELLS Panels

    QCELLS currently offers a number of different product lines in Australia, including the Q.MAXX-G2,Q.PEAK DUO G5, DUO-G5+ and DUO-G6+. QCELL solar panel specifications can be found in our solar panel comparison table.

    Warranty Claim Procedure For Orphaned Customers

    If you need to make a warranty claim on your QCell panels, but your original installer has gone out of business, the responsibility falls to QCells to handle your claim. They can be contacted on 02 9016 3033, and have advised they have an established warranty support network to assist with claims. Their warranty terms cover labor costs for replacement of panels under warranty.

    A Cost Effective Reliable Panel

    The QCELLS 12 - 25 year product warranty is better than 10 years many panels currently sold in Australia have.  While the performance warranty is less important, it is above average.  In my opinion they are high quality reliable panels and I have no problem recommending them.

  2. Jinko Solar 4.8 205 ratings
  3. Canadian Solar Inc 4.9 176 ratings
  4. Longi Solar 4.9 154 ratings
  5. Trina 4.9 126 ratings
Inverters

Top 5 Solar Inverter Brands

An inverter is a critical component of a solar power system and the one likely to wear out the fastest, so it’s important to choose a quality, well-backed brand. Below are the top 5 solar inverter brands based on ratings from Australian purchasers.

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  1. Inverter Brand Image

    Fronius

    4.9 Based on 969 ratings

    About the company

    Fronius Customer Service: 03 8340 2900

    Fronius is a European company that was established by founder Günter Fronius in Austria in 1945. Mr. Fronius kicked off with a repair shop for radios and electrical equipment and soon started making battery chargers, then welding transformers.

    The company grew over time from being a welding and battery charger manufacturer to become one of the most prominent European players in the solar market. Fronius’s solar division has been operating in this field since 1992, so they have decades of experience - and this shows in their inverter products.

    In late 2010, Fronius opened its Australian office based in Melbourne where it not only provides customer service and technical assistance, but also offers product demonstrations and training courses.

    Fronius make some of the best inverters in the world. They used to be playing catch up with SMA in terms of industry reputation and quality, but I would argue they have well and truly caught up in recent years. I would happily have one of these inverters on my house.

    The inverters are easy to 'export limit', if your local network insists on this as part of your solar connection agreement. But you do have to buy the 'Fronius Smart Meter (FSM)' accessory to do this (about $500 extra). The FSM also allows full consumption monitoring (over and above solar monitoring) although I am not a fan of the Fronius SolarWeb monitoring software.

    Personally, I prefer Solar Analytics and always recommend adding Solar Analytics to your Fronius inverter and using that for monitoring instead.

    Fronius solar inverters usually come with 2 solar inputs (or MPPTs). Their MPPT efficiency is legendary. And if you have a symmetrical east/west facing roof you can often put both the east and the west array into one input - leaving the second inverter input free for a third roof area.

    The only downside with the Fronius hardware that I am aware of is their inverters are fan cooled and can be rather noisy. Keep them away from living areas!

    Fronius Solar Inverter Warranty Notes

    All Fronius string inverters are accompanied by 5 years Fronius Warranty Plus. However, by registering at www.solarweb.com, customers can receive an additional 5 years warranty free of charge.

    If you should experience what you believe to be a warranty related issue with your inverter, you should first contact the original installer of the unit. However, if that installer is no longer around, don't panic.

    Fronius advise that in this situation they first require the customer to find an qualified solar installer to verify the issue with the inverter - but this needs to be paid for my the customer. Once the issue has been confirmed, the installer will then contact Fronius on your behalf. Fronius will then work with the installer to arrange for replacement of the inverter. If a customer needs help in finding an installer, the company is able to make a recommendation.

  2. Sungrow 4.6 320 ratings
  3. Solaredge 4.8 253 ratings
  4. Enphase 4.8 155 ratings
  5. SMA 4.6 163 ratings
Batteries

Top 5 Solar Battery Brands

A home battery is a significant investment and new-generation energy storage technology is still rapidly evolving. Below are the best-rated brands of solar batteries, as voted by Australians who have had these batteries installed.

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  1. Inverter Brand Image

    Tesla

    5.0 Based on 67 ratings

    About the company

    Tesla, Inc. was founded in 2003, originally as Tesla Motors. Tesla is headquartered in the USA's San Francisco Bay Area, with office locations around the world (including Australia).

    After cutting its teeth on electric vehicle development, Tesla then expanded into commercial and home battery storage. The company arrived on the home energy storage scene accompanied by great fanfare with the Tesla Powerwall battery back in 2015, which was followed by the Powerwall 2 in 2016.

    Tesla has grown into a huge company in terms of market capitalisation - a whopping USD $143.6 *billion* as at late January 2020. 

    Anyway, back to batteries - the following are some basic specifications of the Powerwall 2:

    • Usable Capacity: 13.5 kWh
    • Power: 7kW peak / 5kW continuous
    • Dimensions: 1150 mm L x 753 mm W x 147 mm D
    • Weight: 114 kg
    • Warranty 10 years

    The Powerwall is produced in the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada USA, which also manufactures Tesla Model 3 electric motoers and the company's commercial/utility storage solution, the Powerpack.

    Pricing And Supply

    Supply of the Powerwall 2 was an issue for quite a while in Australia, and then there was a major price rise in 2018 - followed by a not so major price decrease in 2019. So, Australians have had it a little rough with the Powerwall, but its high profile through extensive media attention have seen plenty installed here and interest remains strong.

    The cost of Powerwall 2 per warranted kilowatt hour (see below for notes on warranty) is around 31 cents - not the cheapest, but far from the most expensive of the systems we have listed on our battery comparison table.

    Blackout Capabilities

    The Tesla Powerwall 2 is an AC Coupled battery that comes with the necessary hardware (Tesla Gateway) to provide blackout protection, backup and off grid functions.

    Powerwall's "Unlimited Cycles" Warranty

    Tesla offers a 10 year "unlimited cycles" warranty, but this only applies to solar self-consumption and backup use. Any other application (such as participating in a Virtual Power Plant) or combination of applications sees the warranty cover drop to 3,200 cycles – about eight years’ worth if cycled once a day.

    Reliability Testing Results

    The Canberra Battery Test Centre has been putting the Powerwall 2 through reliability testing. The test battery arrived with a fault and later developed another that resulted in it being replaced.  Results published in September 2019 indicated capacity estimated at 96% after 640 full cycles.  If  maintained, the Powerwall 2 will stay well within the minimum capacity provided by its warranty.

    While not perfect (and Tesla hasn't been overly fond of us pointing out issues), as far as home solar battery storage goes at this point in time the Tesla Powerwall 2 is probably a good choice among what is available.

    Telsa is great at marketing, but how is the Powerwall viewed by those who have one installed? What about after sales service and support? We're inviting Australian Powerwall owners (whether they have the original or Powerwall 2 model) to leave their rating and review here.

  2. LG Chem 4.4 17 ratings
  3. SunGrow 5.0 5 ratings
  4. Sonnen 5.0 5 ratings
  5. Akasol 5.0 4 ratings

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