SolarWide only uses high quality, durable and long lasting solar panels and inverters from reputable solar component manufacturers that we trust to be around for a long time, to give our customers strong after service support.
The general industry and specifically our own experience has shown that not all panel and inverter warranties are the same. In 2021 LG Electronics offers the most trusted panels in Australia.
We use quality solar equipment due to corrosive nature of our neighborhood
If you have done any research into solar you will have likely seen that LG is regarded by most industry reviews as the absolute best solar panel. The reason is that the panels have been built with a very high-quality control and we believe such a top-quality panel is needed in the corrosion heavy Sunshine Coast region.
This means that SolarWide does not operate in the bottom end of the solar market. Regularly we are not going to be your cheapest quote, but we often are the financially most advantageous quote.
The reason is that if we cost a little more, but give you a system that lasts double as long as the cheaper option, over the life of the solar system you get a significantly better overall savings result.
LG panels perform better in hot weather than standard panels.
We have experience that cheap solar panels simply don’t last, and can’t cope with the climate here in the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and Gympie regions.
A lot of the cheaper option solar companies had to close their doors after a few years, (over 50 on the Sunshine Coast alone and close to 800 Australia wide since 2011) as the warranty load became overwhelming. When these companies then close, many of the warranties become worthless.
Over the last decade in solar, we also have seen many, many solar panel manufacturers come and go (over 400 in Australia) but we are confident that LG Electronics, a $55 billion dollar electronics manufacturer with over 300 staff in Australia will be here in the long run to back their warranty.
LG Solar is known to be the best and we offer a range of different LG panels, such as the Mono X Plus, NeON H and NeON R to suit various budgets.
As LG’s only local Platinum Partner (for over 5 years) we purchase LG panels at a solid discount and that gives us a big price advantage over other companies supplying an identical LG panel system.
We pass these savings onto our customers and so you might be quite surprised at how well priced we are with LG solar panels.
High-quality products with the best installation and the best service are how we have got to where we are today. We have been here for more than a decade and plan to be here for decades to come, to provide system after-sales service and battery expansion work for your home and business. Go Solar, Go SolarWide.
LG Solar is Australia’s premium panel of choice. LG panels are renowned for being long-lasting and highly efficient, winning many local and International Awards. For example, in the past 5 years, LG won the TOP Brand Australia Award for solar panels every year since 2016
LG solar panels are an investment that will last many years to come and save you thousands of dollars in their lifetime. LG Solar panels have been awarded Winner of Most Trusted Brand 2020 and 2021 by Reader’s Digest, as voted by a survey of over 3,000 Australian customers.
A quality solar panel also requires a quality installation and quality components to optimise performance, maximise financial savings and ensure that it meets the manufacturers' installation guidelines. SolarWide make sure in our inverter and racking we match the LG panel quality.
We have partnered with LG as they are a widely diverse manufacturer, and not only does LG make one of the best solar panels, but LG is also one of the most reliable solar companies, that due to their diverse manufacturing footprint will exist in the long-term to honour solar warranties in the unlikely event it is needed.
With LG you have that peace of mind that they will be there if they are needed. See our LG Partner appointment letter for 2021 here.
The latest version of the LG Mono X® Plus is the 6th Generation of this panel and is now offering even greater performance and warranties.
This LG Mono X® Plus panel allows you to get the great LG quality and security of being an LG panel without having to get to the higher cost of the LG NeON® H and LG NeON® R panels. This has opened up a whole new market to LG and is proving to be incredibly popular with our customers installing solar on The Sunshine Coast and Brisbane. The modules key performance numbers are:
The LG NeON® H is a powerful and one of the most versatile modules on the market today. It is LGs most recent 2021 release, and is an upgrade from the enormously successful NeON 2. Over the years the NeON range has seen many improvements from longer warranties to lower degradation and better performance in hot weather. This panel is ideal for homes and businesses seeking a visually pleasing solar panel and for roofs where space is tight or where future system expansions are considered e.g. to incorporate battery storage. This award-winning technology panel with their double sided cells has been designed to be highly efficient and visually appealing.
The NeON® R is LG’s most efficient solar module range and is an excellent choice for high performing long-lasting solar systems. The LG NeON® R at a similar physical size to the NeON® 2 reaches an incredible 380W (22% efficiency), making it ideal for solar systems seeking visually pleasing panels and for roofs where space is tight. The LG NeON® R will outperform other panel brands on the Sunshine Coast and in Brisbane.
Why pay more for quality solar panels?
At SolarWide, we have never used products at the cheap end of the market as we always intended to be around for a long period of time, and we are proud now to be already a 2nd generation solar company.
Ten years after we opened our doors we’re still here and growing. So, what have we been doing different, to the over 40 Sunshine Coast solar businesses that have come and gone?
In the early days, we offered panels in the mid-range, to a mixed result. Today we focus purely on providing premium solar options to our customers, as that’s the only system quality, which we have seen stand the test of time.
We’ve tried a few different solar panel brands over the years to bring the price down, but we have experienced and seen too many issues.
We regularly see solar panels on the Sunshine Coast from solar panel manufacturers such as Jinko Solar, Canadian Solar, JA, Trina Solar & more recently Longi, and Seraphimat budget prices with very long warranties. It seems no one is asking the question, how can these warranties be financed, when the profit margin is so slim.
At SolarWide, we prefer to keep to have a low number of repair call outs and for this reason, will only sell reliable panels and inverters. For this reason, we nowadays only offer LG solar panels.
Many electrical and solar companies offer lower-cost brands, but they’re mass-produced, and the biggest issue that we’ve found in this market is that quality control steps and corners get cut to bring expenses down.
Rather than being consistently and built to last, unfortunately, many panels are now made to a price. As we get older and wiser, we’ve learnt the hard way as we have also used some of these brands in the early days, but we’ve since found that this was not such a great idea.
When you try to compete in the low-end and mid-range of the market, you inevitably get an ever-growing number of failures and issues. We have previously used panels from well-respected volume producers and seen a greater than 50% failure rate.
But today, we understand that a range of problems can arise with solar systems, so quality control in the factory is crucial.
We don’t want to be worried about system failures, and we know that our customers don’t want to be concerned about it either so we feel it is best only to offer products that we know will last the test of time, and you will be looked after if there is an issue.
As a solar panel specialist on the Sunshine Coast, we have seen many solar brands come and go. They arrive in Australia with a huge marketing presence and are what we call the ‘flavour of the month’ but when the problems 1 or 2 years later, they cut and run.
It is amazing to think that in the past 10 years over 400 solar panel manufacturers have followed this path. When we started SolarWide in February 2011, solar panels were expensive. Today, there are panels available for about ten times less than what good panels were back then.
The industry has grown, and the production costs have been reduced, but that is still a significant price difference to comprehend.
Unfortunately, many companies produce solar panels to meet a manufacturing price point, rather than creating them to last and exceed the warranty’s length.
We would love to remain’ positive, but unfortunately, a manufacturer making panels at such a low cost is likely to experience quality issues and severe faults. They are increasingly placing their customer in a challenging position. The customer may have to fork out more money to fix or replace the panel issue, and will waste a lot of time chasing non-existent “paper warranties”.
What is the solar module efficiency?
The higher the efficiency rating, the more output will be generated per panel and therefore the fewer panels one will need to build a solar power system that meets your energy needs.
It is however worth mentioning that solar panel efficiency isn’t all that important for a standard residential solar system as we are talking about such a small number of solar panels. It does become more important with larger commercial solar systems where you have hundreds or even thousands of solar panels.
One thing that we have noticed is that some cheaper manufacturers unfortunately try to look better by having a higher efficiency rating. They do this by reducing the gap between the edge of the solar cell and frame.
If for example you have solar cells capable of producing 370w of power in a solar panel frame that is 1.75sqm in size and you had another panel with the same cells but in a frame that was only 1.70sqm the latter one would be shown to have higher efficiency and an uneducated solar power buyer might assume that it is better.
However, when you look at the two panels that are both using the same cells, the one with the smaller frame would have the cells much closer to the edge of the frame. This looks good on a solar panel datasheet as the efficiency is higher, but in the real world, the dirt will collect against the edge of the frame and eventually will shade the one with the cells near the edge much sooner than the one with the larger frame as the cells are further away from the edge, therefore, the one with the lower efficiency but built properly with good gaps around the edge will work better than the one that is shown to have higher efficiency.
Do solar panels perform better in hot weather?
In hot weather, many people will turn on their air conditioners, increasing demand for electricity. While it is natural to believe that bright sunlight would improve the performance of solar panels, allowing them to generate more power, this is not always the case.
Although Australia is a location that regularly receives very hot days especially in summer, this doesn’t mean your solar system will not operate at all. A 38°C degree day, can see temperatures of the panel on the roof reach 80 or even 90°C. This then means that you may produce 30 kilowatt hours per day rather than 40 kilowatt hours per day, which would have been possible at a 25°C day.
For this reason the temperature coefficient is important. It measures the panel’s loss of performance for every degree over 25°C. LG panels have one of the best coefficient ratings in the industry, which means in hot weather, when one needs solid solar system output to support for example air conditioning use, the LG panels will still perform well and create solid savings for you.
What is pmax and temperature coefficient?
When solar panels are tested for maximum power output, they are subjected to a 25°C industry standard temperature. When the temperature rises above 25°C, solar panels begin to produce less power. The term “temperature coefficient” measures the percentage of power output wasted by a particular solar panel as the temperature rises above 25°C. To calculate this number, we divide the percentage of power lost at a specific degree measurement above the industry standard by the number of degrees above 25°C.
What is the history of panel and panel wattage development?
Over the following decades, the principle was observed over and over, but no one knew what to do with it, given also that electricity and its use was not widely discovered. Then nearly 50 years later in 1883 Charles Fritts, an American Inventor who decided to harness the principle and to develop the 1st working solar cell. While cells in residential panels nowadays can reach as much as 20% efficiency, the very early solar cells had an efficiency of less than 1%. Also, the need for gold to be involved in their production meant that they were commercially not viable.
The more practical use of solar cells began in the 1940s when Russell Ohl, an American engineer who is recognized for taking out the initial patent on a light-sensitive device – also known as the modern Solar Cell. In those days and up to the 1960s the efficiency of the cell had reached around 5%.
In 1954 commercial manufacturers such as Bell Labs had moved into solar creating silicon solar cells with a world record efficiency of 6%. A solar-powered satellite developed by Vanguard followed in 1958. Further research into solar was funded as part of the space race of the US and USSR in the 1960s.
The Soyuz 1 capsule had the 1st manned spacecraft powered with solar cells, followed by Skylab in 1973, which had solar panels as their main power generating source.
Solar became familiar to the masses in the late 1970s and 1980s via solar-powered calculators and late phone chargers.
From the 1980s solar power cell development continued exceptionally so that in the mid-1990s average locally Australian produced solar panels had an 80W capacity. By 2006, the panels had reached a staggering 165 Watts. IN 2009 the average panel in Australia had reached 175W, dominated by Suntech and Sharp as the 2 key local suppliers.
Then in 2010 came to the development of a larger footprint panel of approx 1.60m to 1mwide footprint and a weight of 20 -22kg. REC for a while held the local record with a 235W model.
Then in 2011 many new manufacturers entered the market, most of them focusing on a 250W model. It made it easy to sell a 2, 3 or 4 kW system. After a period of relative stability, cell research in 2013 saw the key local panels reach from 260 to 275W. LG Electronics Mono X Model at the time the LG275S1C together with the SunPower range started to dominate the quality solar module market.
By 2014 LG had pushed the wattage to 300W via their N-type LG NeON , which also featured the double-sided cell, to capture spill light from the back of the cell. Again 2 years of relatively stable wattage of 300 to 320W followed up to 2017.
In 2018 LG and some competitors started to release 335W models followed by 340 to 350W in 2019. The improvement in output was a combination of increased cell efficiency technology, the treatment of the surface glass to gain more light absorption and the increase of cell size and subsequently also the panel size.
While 5 years ago many panels were 1.60 to.1.64m high and 1m wide, many panels are now 1780 mm to 1850 mm high and 1005 to 1100 mm wide. Therefore the wattage nowadays is reaching 350, 370 and even 390W for residential panels. Nevertheless, since the 330W range, the wattage increases are mainly due to increases in panel sizes. This has made installing panels a little more challenging for the installer community as the weight of these larger panels has increased. They can be also more challenging to fit on a smaller roof.
It is expected that in future years solar panels above 400W for residential solar will be released.
Why is the LG Product Warranty special?
When the manufacturer has left the shores, the consumer law lets the end consumer go after the installer who recommended the product, and the installer then has to make good for the warranty claim.
Unfortunately as a consequence of the manufacturer disappearing many installation companies did not want to face the costly responsibility of selling and now repairing cheap solar, and so over 750 installation companies have disappeared as well, with at least 50 going out of business locally. The total result is that at least ⅓ of local solar systems are solar orphans, meaning neither the manufacturer nor the installer of the solar power system is still around.
Having witnessed this less than ethical solar trade , SolarWide decided to follow the Quality 1st path. With a panel supplier like LG Electronics for example, and the fact that they sell TVs, fridges, washing machines, air-conditioning and solar in Australia, all under the same company, this means your local LG panel product warranty is supported by an annual income stream of over $1 billion dollars. This significant business activity sets LG apart from other panel manufacturers who might have only 5 staff and a 25 million dollar annual local income stream.
The LG panel warranty is undoubtedly one of the strongest in the industry and our customers therefore have a peace of mind solution for decades to come.