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clearly you’re a smart consumer not only are you looking at going solar but you’re also trying to figure out what the best options are on the market and what the best options are for you specifically there are so many options on the market today it can get really confusing really fast so before we talk about what panels were chosen for this video I want to talk a little bit about what our selection criteria was first so one of the biggest factors was the panels had to be available in the United States either manufactured in the United States or able to be imported into the United States it’s also important for us to take a look at residential grade solar panels and not commercial solar panels amongst all the panels customer satisfaction had to be high the warranty has to be some of the best if not the best available same with performance it either has to be the best or close to it and the companies have to have excellent ratings over the years in my opinion it’s very important to go with a reputable company and one that’s been around for a long time because you not only want to maximize your investment but you want to have that peace of mind that that company is going to be around for the long haul this is important because you don’t want to have out-of-pocket expenses or have to come up with a completely new solar system in the future if the company that you decide to go with happens to not be in business so typically solar manufacturers have different levels of performance different levels of quality those kinds of things you can think of it as Ford versus Lincoln or Chevy versus Cadillac and we’re going to be looking at the premium lines in each of these categories and out of those lines we’re going to be looking at the panels that produce the most amount of energy so we’re going to be looking at panels that have the highest wattage value so that way we can maximize the amount of energy our home solar systems can produce now for the panels themselves we’re going to take a look at different areas the first one will be their efficiency rating the next is the temperature coefficient and I know that sounds a little confusing but I will explain what that is here in just a second next will be whether or not they offer a comprehensive solution and again I’ll explain what that means here the fourth thing is cost and then the fifth will be warranties and yes I did say warranties because typically on a solar panel and even on a solar solution there are multiple warranties in play and not all warranties are created equal so first up let’s talk about the silfab s- 430 bg+ so this is a 431 watt panel and at the time of this recording this is the highest wattage panel that this company produces now if you haven’t heard of silfab before they’ve been around since 2010 they have manufacturing facilities in the United States and Canada and the reason why this panel makes the list is because this has the longest warranty out of all the panels we’re going to look at in this video now with the panel specifications efficiency is arguably one of the most important factors to take a look at this is going to tell you how efficient the panel is at converting sunlight into energy so what you want to see here is you want to see as high a number as possible and the higher the number the more efficient the panel is going to be now this is going to be really important if you don’t have a lot of room on your roof so by having a denser panel you’re going to be able to get more energy production out of the same size roof as you would if you went with a panel that has a lower efficiency rating so for the silab panel the efficiency rating is 21.4% the temperature coefficient is 377 per and don’t worry I’m going to explain what that is here at the next panel the panel warranties are 25-year production warranty and a 30-year performance warranty as far as price is concerned silfab is going to be right in the middle of all these panels when it comes to the price per watt rating and we’ll talk a little bit more about the actual costs when we get to the end of the video up next is a panel from a company called recc which stands for renewable energy corporation now if you haven’t heard of Rec before they’ve been around since 1996 and they’re based out of Norway recc is a well-known brand within the solar industry and they’re not only known for making quality panels but they’re also known for being Innovative as well the main reason why this panel made the list is because of its wattage rating so this comes in at 470 watts and yes this is a residential panel and you can see here that it’s 40 Watts higher than the silab in fact it’s going to be about 40 Watts higher than all the panels that we’re going to be looking at its efficiency rating is 22.6% which is slightly higher than the silab and its temperature coefficient is 24% which is significantly better than the sfat panel now let’s talk a little bit about what that temperature coefficient is because it sounds a little bit confusing but it actually isn’t so with the temperature coefficient this is simply a way to understand how efficient a solar panel is at converting the sunlight into energy as the solar panel gets hotter so believe it or not solar panels actually lose their ability and some efficiency in being able to convert the solar energy from sunlight into electricity as the temperature of the panels rise now this sounds a little bit confusing at first but if you think about it um these are Electronics so as Electronics get hot typically they don’t perform as well if you think about your laptop computer or maybe even your iPhone like for example with me if I leave my iPhone out in the direct sunlight I’ll sometimes see a notice on it that says that I can’t use it for a little bit it has to cool down because it got overheated so that’s kind of the same thing that’s in play here with these solar panels so the thing that we need to really look at with the temperature coefficient is what is the number and how close is this number to zero so if the number were zero which no panel is then that would mean that it took no type of a performance hit whatsoever uh as the temperature got hotter outside now this is going to be a more important factor if you live in an area that’s hot all the time so say if you live in the southwest you know in Arizona or someplace that’s really hot most of the time this is going to be a more important factor than it would be for someone say that lives in the midwest or maybe uh in the Northeast in the United States because those areas are more seasonal and they’re not hot all the time so they’re not going to take as much of a hit uh consistently across the year as far as cost is concerned for the recc panel it’s going to be closer to the upper end of the range compared to all the other panels that we’re looking at next up let’s take a look at the Tesla t430s so this is a 430 W panel so again not quite as high as the rec panel that we just looked at but it is still up there in terms of total wattage performance compared to all other residential lines now while Tesla makes good panels they’re not necessarily outstanding so the main reason that these are on the list is because of the popularity of the Tesla brand and how often people tend to reference Tesla when it comes to home solar so with Tesla they got into the solar business in 2016 when they acquired a company known as Solar City and before that Solar City had been in business since 2006 so as you can see here with the t430s panels they’re rated at 19.8% efficiency which is the lowest out of all of these they have a 331 temperature coefficient which is similar to the silab panels but they’re not as good as the RC panels the product warranty and the performance warranty in terms of years is the same at 25 but when it comes to the end of the warranty the guaranteed percentage of performance is at 85% which is the lowest out of all of these the other thing I want to point out is the labor warranty is only at 10 years so I think this is a good place to jump in and talk about the different types of warranty that you can see on a panel and what you should be aware of so the first one’s pretty straightforward it’s the manufacturers warranty so that just simply states that if there are any manufacturers defects in the panels uh for that duration of time typically it’s 25 years with a solar panel that those are covered under warranty the other type of warranty you need to be aware of is the performance warranty so this is a way the manufacturers can guarantee the panels will continue to produce a certain amount of energy over it lifespan now this number the the amount of years that the warranty is in place correlates typically to the in performance percentage that you should expect out of the panel so basically that means for example with the Tesla panels they have a 25-year performance warranty and they’re in performance percentage is 85% so that means at the end of 25 years you should still expect the panels to produce 85% of the energy that they’re rated to produce now there’s also a scale that’s typically involved as to how much energy production they can lose every year and still fall under warranty so if you have any kind of a performance issue with the amount of energy these panels are producing the performance warranty is the thing that’s going to come into play and be able to help you get those panels replaced if there’s any kind of an issue with that last but not least is the labor warranty and so basically that covers uh the labor of replacing uh part that’s under warranty so if you have any kind of an issue say for example with one of your panels that someone needs to come out and actually take the old panel off the roof and put the new panel on the roof the labor warranty is going to cover the labor expenses that are involved with that with Tesla you need to be aware that they offer a 25-year manufacturers warranty as well as a 25-year performance warranty but their labor warranty only lasts for the first 10 years so while it is nice to have that labor warranty it would be a little bit better to see a labor warranty that covers the entire warranty period for those panels now when it comes to cost the Tesla panels are going to be on the lower end out of all the five panels that we’re looking at in this video next up looking at a panel from a really well-known electronics company Panasonic this is the Panasonic EV PV 430 hk2 which is a 430 W panel Panasonic makes quality panels but the main reason why they’re on this list is because they are the oldest company they’ve been around for over a 100 years now they haven’t been in the Solar business for over a 100 years obviously but they have been in the Solar business since the 1970s which is saying something when it comes to the efficiency rating the Panasonic is at 22.2% the temperature coefficient is at 24% so this is right on par car with the recc panel that we took a look at the product warranty the labor warranty and the performance warranties are all at 25 years the warranty in performance percentage is at 92% which again is the highest that we’ve seen and like Tesla Panasonic also offers a comprehensive solution and when I talk about a comprehensive solution I’m looking at whether or not these companies produce more than just the solar panels themselves so there are a lot of solar manufacturers that just produce the solar panels and there are some companies that produce solar panels in addition to other components like battery banks for your home for example also some solar panel manufacturers don’t have a certified network of installers or don’t take care of the solar installations themselves and I think that’s a really important distinction to make because you want to make sure when you’re making this type of an investment in your home that you’re not only getting a quality product but you’re also getting a quality installation as well as far as price is concerned Panasonic is going to be at the upper end of the spectrum when it comes to costs and last but certainly not least is the sunow M series 440 W panel the reason why sunpow made this list is because in my opinion they have the best best overall solution when it comes to residential solar so as far as sunow the company is concerned they’ve been in business since 1985 and they’re located in San Jose California uh typically sunow sets the pace when it comes to solar panel Innovation and Manufacturing so a lot of the other solar panel companies have to catch up to sunp power’s Innovation so sunpow is one of the top brands and they’ve been around for quite some time in fact sunpow is one of the few manufacturers that have been around longer than their warranty period so that says a lot now while this panel doesn’t have the highest wattage rating compared to the RC panel it still is higher than the other panels that we’re looking at in this video as far as the efficiency rating it’s at 22.8% which is the highest out of all these panels the temperature coefficient is at 29% which is right in the middle between all these panels that we’ve looked at the warranty period is 25 years across the board which is similar to other panels that we’ve looked at the warranty in performance rating is 92% again this is the highest that we’ve seen and sun power does offer a comprehensive solution as far as costs are concerned for the sunow panels they are going to be on the upper end but at the same time they are are considered a premium solution and their specifications back that up now I realize I’ve been a little bit vague when it comes to costs throughout this entire video and that’s really been intentional and the reason for that is because there are a lot of different factors that can be involved When selecting a home solar system that’s right for you in your home everything from the size of your roof to the orientation of your house where your house is located in the country and other factors like what rebates or government incentives are available all these things play a factor in a role into understanding what your total cost of ownership is going to be for any solar system so like any other investment in your home I highly recommend going out and getting at least one or two bids if not more to understand what your options are and what the total cost is going to be so once you have a bid or multiple bids what you can do is you can take that total price that total price on the estimate and divide that by the number of Watts that your system is rated for this is going to give you a per watt price that you can use to compare apples to apples against other bids so you can make an informed decision now personally I like to go with the best option that I can sun power does make it really easy to get an online quote so with sunow you can go to their online estimator they can pull up a satellite image of your house create a virtual diagram and lay out different solar panels on your roof so you can see and understand exactly what it would look like and cost to own a sun power system so if you haven’t gotten a quote from sun power yet I’ll leave a link in the description below that you can use to go to their website and request a free quote so as a final recap here’s the comparison slide of all the different panels that we’ve looked at in this video really though all these panels are great so no matter what panel you decide to go with I don’t think you can go wrong that’s it for this video don’t forget to hit the like button and subscribe to the channel if you haven’t already and I’ll see you in the next one …

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