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Discover the UK’s Best Solar Panels

Is installing solar panels on your home the best option?

Solar panels harness the sun’s energy, one of nature’s most potent and cost-free resources. Using semiconductor technology, solar panels, sometimes referred to as photovoltaic systems (PV systems), transform solar energy into electricity that can run your home.

However, are they the best choice for your house?

Every month in the UK, more than 4,000 solar panels are installed on average. The price of solar panels has decreased by 60% in the last ten years due to their increasing popularity. As new technologies have been developed to make solar energy components more affordable, the cost of solar panels has continuously declined over the past few years. Additionally, solar panels can help you make money from the extra electricity they produce in addition to simply lowering your energy costs. The VAT on energy-efficient solutions will be eliminated beginning in April 2022, according to the UK government.

These are the top 3 advantages of solar panels:

GreenSaving Network has compiled the most helpful material in this guide to assist you in making the move to solar energy, including:

    • The UK’s average cost of solar panels
    • Financial rewards to assist you in maximising your investment
    • Practical details on installation costs and methods
    • Features of solar panels that determine efficiency as well as the top models available
    • Providing responses to all popular online queries

4kW System Example: Are Solar Panels Worth the Investment?

Consider the typical PV system in a UK home to be a 4kW solar panel system.

It costs about £6,000 and produces 3,400 kWh annually. Solar panels may in ideal circumstances meet 83-106% of your annual electricity demand when compared to the typical annual electricity use of a household, which is roughly 3,200- 4,100 kWh. However, this is reliant on the amount of sunshine and energy used. Additionally, you can get paid to export excess energy back to the grid thanks to incentives like the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)!

Therefore, even though it involves a sizable initial investment, using solar energy can yield excellent returns over time. Continue reading if you want an analytical explanation of seasonality and monthly energy output.

GreenSaving Network can assist you if you’re looking to buy solar panels in the UK and would like to compare different installers. Simply complete the optional form at the top of this page, and we’ll contact you shortly. Simple and free of commitments is what we offer!

How do solar cells function?

It’s critical to distinguish between the following two categories when discussing solar panels:

    1. electricity-generating photovoltaic panels
    2. Heating systems utilising solar thermal panels

Photovoltaic solar panels

In the UK, photovoltaic (PV) systems are frequently utilised solar panel systems. Solar energy is directly converted into electricity by photovoltaic systems.

Semiconductors, like silicon, are used in solar cells to capture solar energy and transform it into electrical energy.

A solar panel is a frame that contains a collection of electrically linked solar cells. A solar array is created when several solar panels are connected to one another. Finally, the entire system comes together to form your solar panel system once you’ve included the cabling, brackets, inverter, and other components.

An electrical circuit is created by connecting the electrical conductors to the positive and negative terminals. From there, an electric current can be used to collect the electrons (electricity). This current determines the power (or wattage) that the solar cell can produce and is how solar panels convert sunlight into electricity. The voltage of the cell is a product of its internal electric field or fields.

PV Systems: Grid-Connected vs. Stand-Alone

Grid-connected systems utilise the regional utility grid to guarantee that you never go without power. If your home solar power system produces more electricity each day than what your household needs, the extra energy can be exported back to the main power grid. But if you require more electricity than your solar panels have produced, the grid can provide it.

Independent PV systems charge a solar battery system instead of being linked to the grid. The electricity produced by your solar panels is stored in these batteries. These batteries’ stored energy will be used to power your gadgets. Because solar batteries are still fairly expensive, stand-alone systems are utilised in places that cannot be connected to a grid and are often more expensive than grid-connected systems.

Batteries for solar energy

When your solar panels are not producing electricity in the nights, solar batteries allow you to utilise the electricity they have stored. Whether you are plugged into the grid or not, you can use solar batteries.

Depending on the size and capacity, solar battery storage systems can cost anywhere from £1,200 and £6,000. But every year, new solutions are being created thanks to technology, which suggests that solar battery costs will eventually go down.

Collectors for solar heat

Solar thermal panels heat water that is kept in a cylinder using sunshine, and you may utilise the heated water to heat your house. Similar to solar PV panels, solar thermal panels are put on roofs but have a significantly different appearance because they feature several pipes heating water rather than solar cells. Thermodynamic panels, which draw heat from the surrounding air, are a related technique.

Although solar thermal and thermodynamic panels can both be used for space heating, they are most frequently employed to meet a household’s domestic hot water (DHW) needs.

In the UK, how effective are solar panels?

In the UK, solar panels are quite effective. Solar panels do not require direct sunshine in order to function, though bright days increase their efficiency. On overcast days and in the winter, solar panels can still provide a sizable amount of electricity.

In actuality, lower temperatures are better for solar panels. In nations with extremely warm climates, solar panels might overheat. As a result, the majority of the year in the UK is optimal for the product’s effectiveness.

Snowy Climates Can Still Use Solar Panels

Solar panels are incredibly efficient even in cold climates thanks to a phenomena called the “albedo effect.” Similar to how skiers and snowboarders can easily become sunburned on the slopes, more electricity can be generated because of the way snow’s white colour reflects sunlight. Naturally, the solar panels must first be cleared of snow for the system to function. Anything covering your solar panels will lower their efficiency.

The efficiency rate of a typical commercial solar module is between 15 and 20 percent. Increasing module efficiency while maintaining a low cost per cell is one of the PV industry’s key challenges.

Naturally, a variety of factors, including as the type of solar panel you choose, angling, and seasonality, can impact how effective your system is.

The idea that solar panels perform poorly in the winter is a widely held one. Solar panels can, however, still be useful throughout the winter if they are properly installed and maintained.

The graph below displays the year average energy output from a south-facing 4kW household solar panel system installed on a roof with a 40-degree pitch. In the winter, solar panels can supply 33-51% of the energy needed to run a home.

Kilowatt-hours are the unit of measurement for solar panel output (kWh). Add the minimum and average amounts to get the average energy output. Add the three together to get the maximum output.

A 4kW Solar Panel System’s Monthly Energy Production in the UK

Because the amount of sunshine varies by area in the UK, we have divided the average monthly energy output by major cities into distinct regions to help you understand the potential energy output.

South East England's London
Wales's Cardiff
Manchester, England's North West
Scotland's Glasgow
Northern Ireland's Belfast

Solar panel efficiency is impacted by four main factors.

To get the most out of your solar investment and to reduce your electricity bill expenses, you’ll want to maximise the efficiency of your solar panels. Location, angling, direction, roof compatibility, solar panel system size, and proper maintenance are important considerations. Let’s examine each one individually.

1. Place, Angle and Direction

Is the PV system positioned and slanted to allow solar cells to absorb the most sunlight possible? You should make sure that your solar panels in the UK receive direct sunshine from 9 am to 3 pm.

A critical step in determining the effectiveness of the system is evaluating your roof’s potential to support solar panels. How much sunshine your panels will receive depends largely on the orientation and pitch of your roof.

South is the best orientation for solar panels because it ensures that they receive the most sunshine exposure. The optimal location for solar panels in the UK is at a 34° roof tilt angle, according to Stanford University.

You can place brackets to gently change the angle if your roof isn’t oriented or angled in the best way. However, have a licenced MCS installer evaluate this.

Roof Angle Orientation
North West135° West 90° South West 45° South 0° South East 45° East 90° North East 135°
83.5% 83.5% 83.5% 83.5% 83.5% 83.5% 83.5%
15° 73.6% 83.5% 90.2% 93.7% 90.8% 83.0% 74.3%
30° 64.0% 79.4% 93.3% 99.3% 94.5% 81.2% 65.4%
34° 61.7% 78.4% 93.5% 100.0% 94.8% 80.4% 63.1%
45° 55.6% 75.1% 92.5% 99.9% 94.1% 77.3% 56.9%
60° 47.4% 68.7% 87.5% 95.7% 89.4% 70.7% 48.3%
90° 30.3% 49.6% 66.1% 72.6% 67.8% 50.5% 30.7%

Instead of utilising standard inverters, which are preferable for large-scale solar farms, a homeowner can get the most electricity out of their array if their home is not ideal (for example, it has an odd roof angle or partial tree shade). Given that it prevents losses from partial shadowing, the majority of solar installers will present one or both of these options. To determine how important trees are in your home, you can also use Google Sketchup.

Joshua M. Pearce, A specialist in solar photovoltaics

The John M. Thompson Chair in Information Technology and Innovation is held by Joshua M. Pearce. He is employed with Western University’s Electrical & Computer Engineering Department and Ivey Business School. He is the leader of the research team for Free Appropriate Sustainability Technology.

2. Fit for a Roof

It’s crucial to evaluate if your roof is sturdy enough to sustain the weight of the solar system when thinking about installing solar panels on it. For instance, a 4kW system typically consists of 16 250W panels, weighing a combined total of about 280kg.

Today, almost any material can support solar panels; slate and hardwood roofs can be too brittle.

Additionally, think about if your roof is big enough to support solar panels. When determining how much roof space is available, remember that you will need at least 30 cm of clearance around your solar panels. For instance, at least 29 m2 of roof area is needed for a 4kW system with 16 panels.

3. System Size of the Solar Panels

Solar cells are available in a wide range of sizes and forms. The amount of electricity produced increases with the size of the solar panel installation. You’ll have a better notion of the size panel you require once you’ve determined your electrical requirements.

Since monocrystalline panels are the most effective solar panel type now available, you will need fewer of them (and consequently less roof area) to produce the same amount of electricity as a polycrystalline system.

4. Maintenance

To extend the life of your system, it’s critical to do the proper solar panel maintenance. Fortunately, solar panels don’t need a lot of maintenance over the course of their 25-30 year lifespan.

Have your installer or another qualified service provider inspect your panels on a regular basis. If you attempt to do this on your own and damage your panels in the process, your warranty may be voided.

You can take care of keeping your panels clean by yourself. In order to accomplish this, take off the leaves and branches from your solar panel system and rinse them with a garden hose, being careful not to touch or sponge them.

What Number of Solar Panels Are Required?

Approximately 16 solar panels with a 250W power output are needed for a 4kW solar panel system, whereas 20 panels are needed for a 5kW system.

Several factors determine how many solar panels you need to power your home, including:

  1. Your present electricity usage
  2. Aims for your energy (how much of the consumption you plan to cover)
  3. the size of your roof
  4. the duration of daylight in your area

It is crucial to evaluate each household separately because these criteria vary from home to home.

Identifying your existing energy consumption is the first step. It’s crucial to take the time necessary to calculate this as precisely as possible because you measure this in kilowatt-hours (kWh).

How to Determine Your Solar Energy Needs

  • To determine your power use, check your electricity invoices (in kWh). You can either aggregate your monthly and quarterly usage together to get an annual figure or calculate month by month.
  • Choose the percentage of your electricity costs that you want your solar panels to offset, which might range from 10 to 100. The size and cost of the system will be impacted by your choice.
  • Determine the number of solar panels that will fit on your roof. 1.44 m2 of roof area is required for a typical solar panel. Remember to include at least 30 centimetres from the edge of the roof. If you find that you don’t have enough room for all the panels you projected, reduce the system size.

Based on System Size, Solar Panel Price

A typical household solar panel system will cost between £5,000 and £10,000. How many solar panels you need for your home will determine the final cost, which in turn will depend on your energy usage.

In general, a more expensive system will be able to produce more electricity and, as a result, more savings. The table below illustrates your annual electricity bill savings per system size, the amount of Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) payments you can receive, and eventually how long it might take to break even.

Average UK savings and costs for solar panels
Household Size System Size System Cost Annual Savings on Electricity Bill SEG Payment Break-Even Point
Small 3kW £5,000‑£6,000 £160 £75 21-25 years
Average 4kW £6,000‑£8,000 £270 £100 16-22 years
Large 6kW £8,000‑£10,000 £430 £150 19-23 years

A 3kW solar panel system, which costs £5,000- £6,000, may adequately cover the electrical bills of a modest house with 1-3 occupants. With that system, the free energy generated by your solar panels allows you to save £160 annually on your electricity bill. Additionally, you can even make £75 a year with SEG payments.

A 4kW system, which costs between £6,000 and £8,000, is often installed in a home with a family of 3-4 people. In this case, you may save around £270 on your annual electricity bill and even make an additional £100.

A 6kW solar panel system would be necessary for larger residences that can accommodate 4+ persons. This can range from £8,000 and higher. With a 6kW system, you can cut your annual power costs by a stunning £430 while also earning an extra £151 in SEG payments.

You are not, however, constrained to these three options alone. The number of panels and the wattage of each panel determine the system size, so you can tailor the system size to your needs, for example, by having a 3.5kW solar panel.

The cost will be significantly more if you are installing solar panels for a business because the sizes would be very different.

Systems with the most solar panels

    • solar panel systems of 1 kW
    • solar power systems with 2 kW
    • 3 kW solar panel installations
    • solar panel systems 4 kW
    • solar panel systems 5 kW
    • solar panel systems 6 kW
    • solar panel systems 12 kW

Is Purchasing Solar Panels Worthwhile?

In addition to the obvious environmental advantages, SEG profits allow you to install solar panels much more quickly and break even. Solar panels are also becoming more and more accessible thanks to ongoing technological advancements.

You can recover your investment in solar panels within the life of the system, taking into account the cost, savings, and earnings described before.

For instance, after 21-25 years with a 3kW system, you can break even. After 16 to 22 years, a 4 kW system will pay for itself. Finally, you can reach break-even point with the larger 6kW system after 19-23 years.

So, if you’ve ever wondered whether investing in solar panels is worthwhile, the answer is yes.

Are Your Electricity Bills Lower With Solar Panels?

Your electricity bill can be decreased using solar panels. Where you live will determine how much you can save on costs. For instance, you can reduce your annual electricity costs by an average of £100-£270 in London. You can cut your annual bills by £90 to £230 in places like Stirling or Manchester.

Do Solar Panels Raise Your Home’s Value?

As your home becomes more energy-efficient thanks to solar panels, its value may rise. As the future owners will also benefit from lower electricity costs, this is one of the home upgrades that will increase your house’s appeal to potential buyers.

It goes without saying that the size of the solar panel system will have an impact on how much the value will rise. You should also keep in mind that different families will have varied energy consumption patterns. Thus, a single approach can be suitable for some families while failing others.

It depends on personal opinion because for some consumers, solar panels are not a worthwhile addition to a house.

Does Purchasing Cheap Solar Panels Make Sense?

Solar panels can be pricey, therefore some people will search for the least expensive option. Cheap solar panels can save setup costs, but they might not be cost-effective in the long run. After all, making a decision to invest in solar energy has long-term repercussions. Your savings might not be as large because cheap solar panels are likely to last less time and perform less efficiently.

Solar panel costs should not be the sole consideration when deciding whether to install solar panels on your home. Long-term savings can be realised by purchasing superior panels and, in particular, an inverter from an MCS-certified installation with a solid local reputation.

Are solar panels available for no cost?

Free solar panels are no longer available in the UK. In the past, at the height of the Feed-in Tariff, solar panel suppliers launched the free solar panels programme (FIT).

In order to enable homeowners to use the electricity generated to power their homes, solar panel companies would offer to install solar panels for free. It would be a beneficial arrangement for the company because these providers would obtain the FIT payments in exchange.

This arrangement grew less profitable for suppliers commercially as FIT payment levels declined over time. Free solar panels were no longer accessible once the FIT was completely discontinued in 2019.

Are Solar Panel Grants Available in the UK?

Through a variety of solar panel funding options, you can profit from your solar panels in the UK. The Smart Export Guarantee and the Feed-in Tariff are both in effect at the moment (which is closed for new registrations).

The Feed-in Tariff (FIT), a government payment programme for solar panels, promoted the adoption of renewable energy sources in the UK, including solar PV. It was implemented in 2010 and provided homeowners that produced and exported renewable energy with a tariff (a payment).

The government ended this programme in 2019. No new applications are accepted, although those who are still registered under the FIT continue to receive payments in accordance with their agreements.

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) has taken the place of the FIT as of January 1st, 2020. The SEG allows UK homeowners to make money by returning excess energy to the grid.

According to the SEG, all energy providers with more than 150,000 clients are required to provide a tariff for electricity sold to the grid. The tariff can be set up however the individual energy suppliers see fit, but it must be higher than zero. A reasonable export rate is 4-6p/kWh.

What options are available for financing solar panels?

The new VAT decrease on energy-saving products is another alternative for financing solar panels. You qualify for a discount on your solar panels if you are over 60 or receiving income- or disability assistance. The government’s website lists particular eligibility requirements, which you can read.

Funding choices and governmental initiatives are typically revealed or alter from month to month. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter so we can keep you informed of any relevant changes in the future.

Solar Panels in the UK: Pros and Cons

Solar panels provide a lot of benefits, and they significantly contribute to the development of sustainability. There are presently more than 1 million solar PV installations, and in 2018, the UK generated 3.9 percent of its total electricity using solar energy. Over time, the UK’s solar power capacity will only rise.

Solar cells not only reduce your electricity bill significantly but are also environmentally friendly. Solar panels have drawbacks, but overall, investing in solar technology has many more advantages than problems.

Over time, there has been a little increase in sunshine hours, which means your solar panel investment will continue to pay off. The graph below depicts how the UK’s sunshine hours have been rising over time.

Chart from 2010 to 2019 depicting the typical daily sunshine hours in the UK

Solar panels have several drawbacks that must also be taken into account if you want to utilise them as a free source of electricity for your home. The primary benefits and drawbacks of this renewable energy source are listed below.

Solar panels’ benefits

Lower electricity costs

Utility costs rise as the number of electric devices rises. Installing solar panels in your home will save your electricity costs.

Solar energy is entirely free, and excess energy may always be exported back to the grid or stored for later use.

Earn back money

Selling extra electricity back to the grid is profitable with the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). According to the SEG, all energy providers with 150,000 or more customers are required to provide homeowners with an export tariff that is greater than zero.

As a result, small-scale solar PV generators will be able to generate a profit. Only new installations, however, are eligible to sign up for the SEG, and those who have previously agreed to the Feed-in Tariff terms are obligated to abide by them.

Cut Back on Carbon Footprint

As solar energy is a green, sustainable source of electricity, switching to it considerably minimises your carbon footprint. Solar power does not emit damaging carbon dioxide (CO2) or other pollutants, in contrast to conventional electricity generators like fossil fuels, coal, and oil.

A single installation of household solar panels may offset about 25 tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime, according to estimates, saving about one tonne of CO2 annually.

Efficiency All Year Long

All year long, solar panels can operate effectively. While they operate at their best during the summer, they can generate a sizable quantity of electricity in the winter and on gloomy days.

“Contrary to popular opinion, solar panels do not require heat to function; they only require sunshine, which means they may function even on gloomy days and most definitely in the winter.”

Low Upkeep Necessary

Solar panels often last 25 to 30 years and only need minimal upkeep throughout this time. You may need to replace a high-quality inverter every 10 to 15 years, but aside from that, you can benefit from solar power in a typical setting.

In case there are any wiring problems or loose brackets, it is a good idea to schedule frequent system inspections with your installation.

Additionally, you should frequently clean your solar panels and make sure they are free of debris like twigs and leaves. Since rain can help remove dust from the system, roof-mounted solar panels are practically self-cleaning.

In order to maximise the efficiency of your solar panels, be sure that no trees are casting shadows on them.

Separate from the Grid

In remote locations where building power lines to link with electrical power grids would be too expensive, solar panels are perfect. For isolated households in rural sections of the nation, solar PV systems provide a practical and economical answer.

Additionally, you might incorporate solar batteries into your solar panel system. The energy generated by solar cells is stored in solar batteries so that it can be used at night or on cloudy days.

Investment over time

Despite the fact that solar panels can be pricey, you can produce electricity for nothing. Utilizing incentives like the SEG can also result in an earlier break-even point.

Solar panels’ negative aspects

High start-up costs

Solar panel purchases can be pricey. The upfront fees should range from £5,000 to £10,000. Even though you can recoup the cost of your solar panels by selling energy to the grid, some people may find it challenging to cover the high setup fees.

Daytime Efficiency Is Significantly Greater

Sunlight is necessary for solar panels. Although they don’t need direct sunlight to function, if they aren’t fully exposed to the sun they become less effective. Additionally, they are less effective during the long, dark winters and are unable to produce energy during the night.

Switching to the main power grid at night is a practical remedy for this. As an alternative, households with a system that is not connected to the grid can store energy in solar batteries during the day so that it can be used at night.

Location of Solar Panels

The efficiency of electricity generation can be significantly decreased by improper solar panel positioning. Your solar panels’ effectiveness will be severely constrained if you reside in a neighbourhood with tall buildings or trees.

Make sure there are no structures or trees in the path of the sunshine, and keep the solar panels free of branches and debris.

Which Solar Cell Types Exist?

Monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film solar panels are the three most popular varieties of home solar panels. Although there are other kinds of solar panels available, these three are the most frequently used for domestic purposes.

All three of these types of solar panels use sunlight to generate power, but it’s vital to understand how they differ in several important ways.

Solar cells made of monocrystals

Four Monocrystalline Sun Cells Monocrystalline solar cells are composed of a single piece of silicon, hence the name of the solar panel. They are recognised as the most effective solar panel type currently available and are distinguished by their sleek, black appearance.

Single-crystal silicon is utilised to create the product, which is then sliced into wafers. Due to the unrestricted flow of electrons made possible by this, great efficiency rates are achieved. They are also the priciest type of household solar panel as a result.

    • At 15-20%, they have the highest efficiency rates.
    • Due to their high rates of efficiency, they are space-efficient.
    • Compared to polycrystalline panels, they function better in dimly lit environments.
    • They are the priciest silicon solar cells available.
    • As the temperature rises, the performance level declines. When compared to other solar cell types, the loss is still less.
    • Monocrystalline panel manufacturing generates more waste. The original silicon utilised is wasted as each of the four sides of the cells is sliced off (which, nevertheless, can be used in the production of polycrystalline panels).

Solar Panels using Polycrystals

Four Polycrystalline Solar CellsThe solar cells in polycrystalline solar panels are made by melting a number of silicon chips together and pouring the molten silicon into square moulds. Compared to monocrystalline cells, multicrystalline solar cells have a lower efficiency rate because there is less room for electrons to flow around.

Compared to monocrystalline panels, polycrystalline panels are cheaper to make. Instead of the monocrystalline panels’ black colour, they typically have a blue look.

    • Compared to monocrystalline alternatives, they are less expensive.
    • Production results in less waste.
    • The energy efficiency of polycrystalline panels is lower, at 13-16%.
    • Due to their lower energy efficiency, they require more area than monocrystalline panels do. To put it another way, more physical panels are required to generate the same amount of energy.
      Due to their marginally lower tolerance for temperature increases,
    • they have a shorter lifespan than monocrystalline panels. However, in actuality, there is not much of a difference.

Recycling of Solar Panels

Solar panels made of monocrystalline or polycrystalline are recycled when they have served their purpose. All of the metals, 85% of the silicon, and 95% of the glass are recycled. The utilisation of high-temperature thermal and chemical processes has a price, though. A separate industrial procedure can also be used to recycle thin-film panels.

Ultra-Thin Solar Panels

Two Thin-Film Solar CellsThe production of thin-film solar panels is simpler because less material is needed. They are the least expensive form of solar panel available as a result. Flexible thin-film solar panels can be created by applying films of one or more PV materials to a substrate. Thin-film cells can be made of silicon, cadmium, or copper, among other materials.

The least effective and space-hungry panels on the market are thin-film ones. They are suitable for hotter countries since they can withstand high temperatures better.

    • They are the most affordable solar panel kind that is offered.
    • They may be adaptable, making them available for novel applications, such as mounting solar panels atop RVs.
    • They are tolerant of temperature.
    • Compared to monocrystalline panels, they are four times less efficient.
    • They are the least space-efficient due to their low energy efficiency.
    • Of the three varieties, thin-film panels typically have the shortest lifespan.

The Top 10 Residential Solar Panel Systems

Due to the wide variety of brands and models available, it might be challenging to discover the best solar panels in the UK. What are the greatest solar panels for my home, you ask? ‘ will vary depending on the home. It depends on whether your main concerns are power, size, durability, or efficiency.

We have put up a list of the top 10 solar panels in the UK to aid you.

The Best Solar Panels: How to Choose Them (10 Criteria)

When searching for the best solar panels for your home, there are numerous aspects to consider. The following ten criteria were used to analyse the top 10 solar panels:

    1. Type: Monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels make up the majority of the market.
      Watts are used to measure a solar panel’s “power” (W). The energy output of a panel system under standard test conditions is shown by this number.
    2. Efficiency: The amount of sunlight that can be turned into useful power is measured by the solar panel efficiency, which is expressed as a percentage. An average household solar panel’s efficiency ranges between 15 and 20 percent.
    3. Power tolerance: How much your system can depart from its declared power is determined by this factor (watts). Either percentages or watts can be used to indicate this variance. The actual power of a 100W panel may range from 100 to 103W if the
    4. power tolerance is +3% or 0%. Under real-world circumstances, the output varies between 100W and 105W if the power tolerance is +5W/0W.
    5. Temperature coefficient: You need to know how much a temperature increase will reduce the efficiency of your panel. The power output per 1°C increase in temperature (after 25°C) is expressed as a temperature coefficient.
    6. Size: If you have a small amount of roof space, the panel’s actual size might be your primary concern. The top 10 solar panels are listed according to their measurements in L, W, and H.
    7. Weight: It’s crucial to understand the weight of your solar panel system. You must use lightweight panels if your roof is not very sturdy.
    8. Manufacturers of solar panels provide warranties on their products to ensure their durability. On our list, the warranties span from 10 to 25 years.
    9. Performance deterioration: Over the course of their 25-year lifespan, solar panels will all suffer some sort of performance deterioration. Efficiency typically declines by 2-3 percent after the first year and then by 0.2-0.7 percent annually after that.
    10. Maximum wind load: In the UK, you want your solar panels to be able to resist all types of weather, including hurricanes and strong winds. Manufacturers test for this tolerance, which is measured in pascals (Pa). The wind tolerance increases with the quantity, however the majority of panels are approved to endure 2,400 Pa, or 140 mph.

Review of the top 10 solar panels

Maxeon 3 SunPower

One of the most well-known US-based solar panel producers, SunPower has been creating solar panels since 1985. On their panels, they provide an amazing 25-year product warranty.

With 400 watts and a remarkable 21.2 percent efficiency rate, their Maxeon 3 panel is among the most potent household solar panels now available. It also has one of the lowest temperature coefficients, which means that just 0.29 percent of efficiency is lost for every degree above 25 degrees.

Specifications for SunPower Maxeon 3

Type Power Efficiency Power Tolerance Temperature Coefficient Size Weight
Mono 320W 19.0% +16W / −0W −0.37% / °C 1,690 x 998 × 40mm 18.7 kg
  • 25-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Performance decline: 2.0% in the first year, then 0.2% annually
  • Wind load maximum: 4,000 Pa

Additionally, the SunPower Maxeon 3 panel has the lowest rate of performance degradation of all the mentioned panels, with a decline of only 2% the first year and 0.2 percent per year after. The panels would be secure even during a category 5 storm because to its one of the greatest maximum wind loads of 4,000 Pa.

The Maxeon 3 from SunPower is one of the highest-quality panels currently available, so if you’re looking for a high-end item with a high level of efficiency, this is your best option.

SM325M Peimar (FB)

High efficiency photovoltaic modules are the focus of the Italian company Peimar’s design, development, and production activities. With matching black cells and panels and a contemporary look, their panels are long-lasting.

A high performance 325W monocrystalline panel, the SM325M (FB) type operates at a high efficiency level of 19.48 percent.

Specifications for the Peimar SM325M (FB)

Type Power Efficiency Power Tolerance Temperature Coefficient Size Weight
Mono 325W 19.48% -0 / +5W −0.37% / °C 1,665 × 1,002 × 40mm 18.6 kg
  • 20-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Deterioration of performance: 3.0 percent in the first year, then 0.59 percent annually
  • Maximum wind load 5,400 Pa

In addition to a 30 year power output warranty, Peimar SM325M (FB) provides a 20 year product warranty. This model degrades its performance by 3% in the first year and by 0.59 % from the second year on.

Peimar panels are made to give consumers the most output possible while delivering incredibly high performance, making them perfect for houses with limited space and challenging weather conditions.

P19-320-BLK by SunPower

A more compact model that works well in tiny spaces is SunPower’s P19-320 panel. Its light weight and small size are its distinguishing qualities. With 320W of power and a 19% efficiency rating, this monocrystalline panel weighs only 18.7 kg.

Specifications for the SunPower P19-320-BLK

Type Power Efficiency Power Tolerance Temperature Coefficient Size Weight
Mono 320W 19.0% +16W / −0W −0.37% / °C 1,690 x 998 × 40mm 18.7 kg
  • 25-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Deterioration of performance: 3 percent in the first year, then 0.6 percent annually
  • 2,400 Pa maximum wind load

Your mind will be at ease thanks to SunPower’s 25-year product warranty. With a loss of 3% the first year, and only 0.6 % per year after, the P19-320 panel also boasts a comparatively low performance degradation rate. Last but not least, this panel guarantees the maximum certified standard wind load of 2,400 Pa.

The Sunpower P19-320 model is ideal if your home has a small roof and you require a lightweight panel.


China-based Yingli has been manufacturing solar PV products since 2003. As light can reflect onto the panel’s back, the Yingli PANDA BIFACIAL 72CL panel is perfect for ground-mounted systems or raised systems on flat roofs because it can absorb sunlight from both sides of the panel. The power output of this type is 390W, and its high efficiency rate is 20.5 percent.

The PANDA BIFACIAL 72CL is the heaviest panel on our list, weighing in at 27.5kg, despite its small size and astonishingly thin 6mm panel. While the performance degradation and temperature coefficient are above average, it has a little lower power tolerance than other models.

Specifications for the Yingli PANDA BIFACIAL 72CL

Type Power Efficiency Power Tolerance Temperature Coefficient Size Weight
Mono 390W 20.5% +5W / −0W −0.38% / °C 1,975 × 992 × 6mm 27.5 kg
  • 10 years of product warranty
  • Performance decline: 2.0% in the first year, then 0.5% each year
  • 2,400 Pa maximum wind load

Of the manufacturers on our list, Yingli gives the shortest product warranties, but their performance warranties promise a loss of efficiency of only 2% in the first year and 0.5% in each succeeding year. The panel can endure gusts of up to 140 mph because to its maximum wind load, which is the industry standard at 2,400 Pa.

The PANDA BIFACIAL 72CL panel from Yingli can be the ideal solar panel for your needs if you’re seeking for an excellent all-around bifacial solar panel.

365W LG NeON

The behemoth of South Korean electronics, LG, also produces high-quality solar panels. Its NeON R series of solar panels are dependable, effective, and long-lasting. The 365W panel, the middle model among the three, has the second-highest efficiency ranking (21.1%) on our list. A 25-year product warranty is provided by LG.

This panel’s maximum wind load of 5,400 Pa is its most outstanding characteristic. Accordingly, the NeON R 365W panel can endure gusts of up to 209 mph, which is more powerful than any wind speed ever recorded in the UK.

LG NeON R Technical Details

Type Power Efficiency Power Tolerance Temperature Coefficient Size Weight
Mono 365W 21.1% +11W / −0W −0.3% / °C 1,700 × 1,016 × 40mm 18.5 kg
  • Performance decline: 2.0% in the first year, then 0.5% each year
  • 25-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • 5,400 Pa maximum wind load

The low-temperature coefficient of the NeON R 365W panel is -0.3% per 1°C rise. Additionally, it degrades in performance by 0.5 percent annually after the first year, then by 2 percent. A lightweight solar panel that weighs only 18.5kg is equipped with all of these outstanding qualities.

Overall, this solar panel is strong, effective, robust, and lightweight.

NU-AF 370W Sharp

The well-known electronics business with its headquarters in Tokyo began making solar goods in 1963. One of the tiniest solar panels is Sharp’s NU-AF 370W model, measuring just 1,960 x 992 x 40mm. This is the best option for small roofs. Its average temperature coefficient is 0.375 percent/°C, and its above-average power tolerance is +19W.

Sharp NU-AF Technical Details

Type Power Efficiency Power Tolerance Temperature Coefficient Size Weight
Mono 370W 19.0% +19W / −0W −0.375% / °C 1,960 × 992 × 40mm 22.5 kg
  • Deterioration of performance: 3.0 percent in the first year, then 0.7 percent annually
  • 10 years of product warranty
  • 2,400 Pa maximum wind load

One of the shortest product warranties on the market applies to the NU-AF 370W panel, which has a 10-year warranty. Additionally, compared to the other panels on this list, it has performance degradation that is higher at 3% in the first year and 0.7 % in the years that follow.

For individuals looking to purchase a portable, high-power solar panel, the Sharp NU-AF 370W model may be the best option.

Peak Duo BLK-G6 345W by Q.

The Q.Peak Duo BLK-G6 series is one of the durable and dependable solar panel products made by German company Q CELLS. The 345W panel, which has a 19.3% efficiency rate, is the strongest of the series.

Specifications for the Q CELLS Q.Peak Duo BLK-G6

Type Power Efficiency Power Tolerance Temperature Coefficient Size Weight
Mono 345W 19.3% +5W / −0W −0.36% / °C 1,740 × 1,030 × 32mm 19.9 kg
  • 12 years of product warranty
  • Deterioration of performance: 2 percent in the first year, then 0.5 percent annually
  • Wind load maximum: 4,000 Pa

The Q.Peak Duo series panels are among the strongest on the market thanks to their excellent 4,000 Pa maximum wind load as well as their power and efficiency.

This Q CELLS panel falls into the average range in terms of temperature coefficient, size, and weight. You would be investing in a durable solar panel model with a 12-year warranty and performance degradation of just 2% in the first year and 0.5% in the years after.

HIT N340 by Panasonic

Since 1975, Panasonic has been manufacturing solar panels and has established itself as a top producer, as seen by the 25-year warranty. With an exceptional efficiency rate of 20.4 percent and a low-temperature coefficient of 0.258 percent/°C, the HIT N340 module loses only 0.258 percent of its efficiency for every 1°C increase.

Specifications for the Panasonic HIT N340

Type Power Efficiency Power Tolerance Temperature Coefficient Size Weight
Mono 340W 20.3% +34W / −0W −0.258% / °C 1,590 × 1,053 × 40mm 19.0 kg
  • 25-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Deterioration of performance: 3 percent in the first year, then 0.5 percent annually
  • 2,400 Pa maximum wind load

Industry-leading power tolerance is another feature of HIT N340. The HIT N340 panel’s maximum power output is really 374W at +34W/0W. Compared to other panels on our list, this panel is rather lightweight.

HIT N300 by Panasonic

The 300W panel, another model in Panasonic’s HIT N series, is a superb mid-range option for people looking for a lightweight solution because it weighs only 18kg. Even though it is a less potent variation of the N340 type, the module efficiency is still 19.5 percent.

Specifications for the Panasonic HIT N300

Type Power Efficiency Power Tolerance Temperature Coefficient Size Weight
Mono 300W 19.5% +30W / −0W −0.258% / °C 1,463 × 1,053 × 35mm 18.0 kg
  • 25-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Deterioration of performance: 3 percent in the first year, then 0.5 percent annually
  • 2,400 Pa maximum wind load

The HIT N300 panel can provide a maximum of 330W of electricity thanks to its remarkable power tolerance of +30W/0W. Like its HIT N340 sibling, it has an excellent temperature coefficient of 0.258 percent/°C.

AS-6P30 Amerisolar

Amerisolar is a U.S.-based producer of solar modules that has been making solar panels for 25 years. The only polycrystalline panel on our list, their AS-6P30 model boasts a 280W power output.

It does have a lesser efficiency rate at 17.5 percent when compared to its monocrystalline competitors. Additionally, it has a temperature coefficient of 0.41 percent per degree Celsius, which is higher than the industry standard. However, compared to other market participants, its performance degrades more slowly, losing only 2.5 percent of efficiency in the first year and 0.5 percent per year after that.

Specifications for the Amerisolar AS-6P30

Type Power Efficiency Power Tolerance Temperature Coefficient Size Weight
Poly 280W 17.5% +8W / −0W −0.41% / °C 1,640 × 992 × 40mm 18.5 kg
  • 12 years of product warranty
  • Deterioration of performance: 2.5 percent in the first year, then 0.5 percent annually
  • 2,400 Pa maximum wind load

The AS-6P30 type has a maximum wind load of 2,400 Pa and is a fairly light solar panel. Overall, the polycrystalline solar panel is excellent.


Who Are the Most Reputable Manufacturers of Solar Panels?

There have been more solar panel producers on the global market since the uptick in the use of renewable energy. At GreenMatch, we collaborate with both market newcomers who are advancing solar energy technology and industry veterans who have been manufacturing photovoltaic modules since the 1960s.

The top 12 solar panel producers at the moment are broken down as follows:

Domestic Solar Panel Installation Guide in 7 Steps

To get the most out of your solar panel system, the installation of your solar panels must be done properly; otherwise, your panels won’t operate at their highest efficiency level.

An MCS-certified installer will visit and inspect your roof prior to installing your solar panels. They will examine fundamental elements including your roof’s size, strength, and orientation and angling (to know how much weight it can hold).

Follow our simple 7-step instructions to get a sense of the solar panel installation procedure:

First, construct the scaffolding.

Scaffolding will be built around your home to ensure the safety of the installation team.

Attaching Roof Anchors in Step 2

The installation team shows up after the scaffolding has been set up. The first step for the team is to install the roof anchors, which will support the solar panel foundation. Depending on the style of roof tiles on your home, different types of anchors are employed.

Third step: affix the frame

The frame, which is made up of aluminium bars, needs to be attached after the anchors have been put in place. The bars must be attached parallel to one another and in a straight line.

Install the solar panels in Step 4

The solar panel installation can start as soon as the frame is fastened. In order to leave room for a subsequent modest adjustment, the panels are secured to the aluminium frame, but not too tightly at first. All of the panels are tightly fastened to the frame once they are all in place.

Connect the Solar Panels in Step 5

The panels must now be wired after being firmly secured to the frame. The panels typically arrive wired from the manufacturer. The inverter, which is generally in the attic, must be linked to these lines, though.

The solar array’s inverter is a part that transforms the solar panels’ absorbed energy into AC electricity so that home appliances can use it.

Components That May Need to Be Replaced

The part of a solar array having the shortest lifespan is the inverter. Every 10 to 15 years, high-quality inverters should be replaced. Replacement costs for solar PV inverters can vary based on a number of variables, but they normally start around £500.

The household’s electrical supply will need to be turned off while the wiring is being installed.

Step 6: Complete the Consumer Unit’s connections

The last connections to the consumer unit will be made after the panels are wired to the inverter. Additionally, a generation metre will be installed to track how much electricity your solar panels actually generate. Solar panels and smart metres complement each other extremely well and can greatly simplify metre reading.

Test the solar panels in step 7

The installation needs to be tested after the panels, inverter, and generation metre are all connected. The process of installing solar panels will be finished after this is finished

Do Solar Panels Require Planning Permission?

For the majority of household solar panel installations, including PV and heating installations, in England, Scotland, and Wales, no planning clearances are necessary.

However, there are limitations on installations of particular sizes. You must first request authorization if your solar panels stick out farther than 200mm from your roof.

Additionally, you must follow specific planning approval regulations if your structure is located in a conservation area.

Impact of Solar Panels on Home Insurance

Most of the time, your insurance should protect you when you put solar panels on your roof under the terms of the policy. It is usually advisable to get in touch with your current insurance carrier before beginning the installation because solar panel installation involves a change to the home’s structure.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that your house insurance may not provide coverage for theft of the system or damage caused by your solar panel. It is crucial to clarify with your insurance company that your panels will be protected.

For both homes and businesses, installing solar panels is a wise investment. They help you become more sustainable, lower your utility costs, and you might even be able to get paid for them.

How Do You Locate the Best Supplier?

Finding the best solar supplier for your home is important because solar panels can be pricey. Make sure you choose a reputable and licenced installation by comparing prices from several solar panel companies.

We are aware that locating the best solar panel supplier may require spending a significant amount of time conducting research. By giving you up to 4 quotations from several local vendors, we hope to simplify this process for you. You are under no obligation to use this service, which is totally free. Filling out the contact form at the top of the page is all that is required. We will then link you with the most qualified installers after getting back to you as soon as we can to ask you some additional questions. You may be confident that you received the greatest solar panel quotes!