It’s easy to get confused when doing your research into what kind of solar panel might be best for you. The right model will depend on your home, where you live, how much energy you need, and the quality that you are after.

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Considerations for choosing the right solar panel

Knowing your property, region’s climate and quality assurance basics are key when shopping around for a solar panel.

Wind resistance

If you live in an area that gets high winds, like QLD, you’ll likely be best off with a product that has a good wind rating so the panels won’t bend or break under heavy wind.

Salt resistance

If you live near the sea, you’ll know how much saltwater can affect your car and appliances. Some panels are resistant to saltwater and make great options for coastal areas.

Power percentage

This is how much power is guaranteed over the warranty period. 80% of the original panel performance at the end of 25 years is the industry standard, however, some companies are now offering 83% or higher.

Impact resistance

If you get hail often, you should consider panels that are designed to withstand heavy impact. The ShineHub office in NSW receives a fair amount of hail during the year and have never been negatively affected.

Performance warranty

This is the guarantee on the solar power output from the panel. The industry standard is 25 years, however, some are offering 30 years now.

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What is the best orientation
for your solar panels?

In a nutshell, solar panels generate electricity when the sun is shining on them and they generate the most electricity when the sun’s rays are hitting them directly - not at an angle. In Australia, a general rule of thumb for solar panel placement is north but there's more to the orientation of your solar panels;

East

Panels facing east generate most of their energy in the morning (sunrise to 11 am)

North

Panels facing north generate most of their energy in the middle of the day (10 am- 2 pm)

West

Panels facing west generate most of their energy in the afternoon (1 pm - sunset)

What does it mean to split your system?

A good approach is what’s known as ‘splitting your system’ - installing panels on multiple roof faces so that you can generate power over the course of the day, rather than in one hit.

As an example, an east-west system would allow you to use power from east-facing panels when you wake up whilst the west face will support your household during peak usage periods where you are likely running the aircon in the summer, getting ready for dinner or doing laundry. This system works well with the time of day when electricity retailers will charge more for power, providing a sound case for why its a smarter financial decision.

North facing solar systems have been the rule of thumb, but the reality is that it’s not always the best way to maximise savings.

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How is quality control factored into
ShineHub’s offerings?

Australia requires a minimum performance standard on things like wind, impact, and salt, however, these are quite low. DNV-GL is a company that independently tests panels from different manufacturers at around 3x the minimum Australian requirements and publishes the results so it’s important to keep this in mind when browsing.

A centre in Alice Springs is where a selection of solar panels on ShineHub’s marketplace are tested, analysing data on how much energy each individual panel is producing. With this method, we explore performance using real-life conditions, which unlike lab tests, offer a different perspective on performance.

At ShineHub, we’re passionate about solar as an investment in your family's future

When it comes to solar, it’s easy to get lost among the available options and industry terminology. Book a consultation with one of our friendly ShineHub team members today to cut through the noise.