How does one choose a solar panel? Is efficiency most important?
Contrary to common belief, solar panels, or ‘modules’, are NOT all the same. A module is a very simple device, in that it has no moving parts, but there are broad variations in the overall design of the module, the quality of the parts it’s made from, and the quality of its construction. A high quality module will have better components and better construction and the result is a higher ‘energy yield’ over its lifetime than a lower quality module. More energy = more benefit for the system owner.
Module efficiency is separate from quality. However since both quality and efficiency command a premium price, most high efficiency modules are also high quality modules. Module efficiency is mainly a factor when roof space is limited. Efficiency is a measurement of output per unit of area, so a small roof can produce more energy by using a high efficiency module. On a larger roof, where space is not a constraint, lower system cost can be achieved buy using high quality, mid efficiency, modules.
We sell only modules that we feel are high quality and offer good ‘long term energy yield’, be they mid or high efficiency.