The price of off grid solar panels has actually gone down in the last few years. In 2016, they are priced from around a hundred dollars to about five hundred dollars each. The price depends on many things including specs and manufacturer.
However, there are many things aside from price to consider when investing in off grid solar panels. Buyers tend to want them to last as long as possible, as going “off grid” means trips to the store are quite minimal. It’s important though, to not base a purchase simply on cost and take some other factors into consideration.
What is Cost Based On?
To just get cost factors out of the way it’s best to break down the reason for the varying costs in off grid solar panels. Ranging from a hundred to five hundred and in some cases more, it can seem strange to those who aren’t privy to the reasons behind the pricing. The following factors all play into the final price per panel:
• Durability and longevity
• Brand name
The price is also dependent upon how many panels come with the system if one is going that route. Consequently, the more panels included the lower price per panel. Typically, it is a bulk purchase deal with packages so it’s sometimes a better choice. A professional can advise the size and number of off grid solar panels needed.
Another reason buying solely on price is a bad idea is that it may not fit the space in which one is installing, and in turn the purchase may not qualify for government rebates, or have a decent warranty. In addition, performance is the whole reason the off grid solar panels are being purchased; so why waste money on a useless product?
This brings us to the importance of quality above pricing. Like any product, there are levels of quality that are related to price. It goes without saying that any consumer for off grid solar panels wants the best quality at the lowest price.
The best solar panels are in the “Tier 1” category, and are integrated vertically. Companies that offer these off grid solar panels do the research necessary to manufacture the most impressive product possible. They use the top grade silicon for solar cell production, meaning they will last much longer than others. Honestly, the pricing for these panels is very reasonable considering the effort put in, and the fact that the company has been in business five years or more.
The next level is of course, “Tier 2.” This tier features companies that do research, but perhaps not as extensive. They’ve been around about two to five years, and offer good panels at lower prices.
Finally, “Tier 3” companies come into play. These companies are mostly new, and only assemble panels. They don’t make the cells and do no research. Though cheaper, they are made by production line which means the quality could be subpar.
Considerations Before Purchase
Of course, there are other factors that should come into play before making that final purchase. Aside from price and tier, here is some other information to be considered:
• Temperature co-efficient
• Embodied energy
• PID and LID resistance
• Type of cells
• Durability and Longevity
At the very least, see how the panels have performed in real situations. If reviews send warning signals, then move onto the next option. Friendly experts can typically supply all of the above information to potential buyers, as well as address their personal situation to advise them on which choices would be best for them.