Tier 1 Solar Panels vs. Tier 2: Which to Choose?

tier 1 solar panels

When it comes to solar panels, you want the highest quality that will produce energy for 20 to 30 years. In addition, you want the manufacturer to provide you with a reliable warranty in case you encounter a problem with your solar panel. 

Years ago, it was easy to choose a solar panel because there were only a few brands and models available. However, things have changed significantly today, with more brands on the market, which makes it challenging to discern a good solar panel. 

To resolve this, the solar industry came up with a tiered classification. In this post, we will be talking about tier 1 and tier 2 solar panels. 

Tier 1 solar panels

Generally, tier 1 solar panels are made by well-established manufacturers. These manufacturers have already been producing solar panels for over five years. They also have stable finances and may be publicly listed on the stock exchange; thus, they can honour their warranties because they have the funds to do so. 

Another thing about tier 1 solar panels, and why they are most preferred and recommended, is because the manufacturer invests significantly into their brand, which is also why they have an excellent reputation. 

These solar panels only use the best grade of silicon to produce solar cells. You know that the higher the silicon grade, the better the rooftop solar panel will perform. 

Additionally, the manufacturing process is also different as it uses advanced technologies to ensure human errors are minimised or eliminated during the manufacturing process. Research and development are also significant aspects that tier 1 solar panel manufacturers invest heavily in. 

Tier 1 solar panels are, indeed, built with higher standards so they can last longer and generate more energy. However, they are more expensive than tier 2 and 3 solar panels.

Tier 2 solar panels

Tier 1 solar panels are already great, and they are the best choice. But why should you consider tier 2 solar panels as well? Tier 2 solar panels are the “middle ground” for tier 1 and tier 3 solar panels. 

You will be surprised to know that tier 2 solar panel manufacturers have been producing solar panels for two to five years already, but what sets them apart from tier 1 manufacturers is that they don’t invest much money in research and development. 

In addition, they don’t use robotic automation either; even if they do, it doesn’t play a significant role. 

What does the tier ranking system tell you

The tier 1 ranking system for solar panel manufacturers will tell you about the company’s financial strength. Bloomberg tracks many solar farm deals to know how they are financed. They also check the manufacturer hasn’t gone bankrupt. Since there are many companies out there, you must be confident in the company you’re buying your solar panels from. 

Another thing the tier ranking system will tell you is about their facilities. The truth is, some manufacturers call themselves “manufacturers,” when in truth, they’re only assemblers. 

In fact, there are a lot of solar panel assemblers who are not vertically integrated, and they don’t manufacture the components of a solar panel. On the other hand, tier 1 solar panel manufacturers likely have their own factories. 

Finally, the tier ranking system is an excellent indicator of the reliability of the panel, which is why it’s worth referring to it when the need arises—even if you only need home solar panels. 

Other things you need to know about tier ranking systems:

Australia refers tothe tier ranking systems that are compiled by Bloomberg, who release a list of solar panel manufacturers based on their tier level every year. 

Another thing is that tier rankings are not necessary for the panels or other solar PV components; instead, they are more about the manufacturers. Therefore, tier rankings don’t necessarily guarantee the quality, but they are a good indicator of it. This is because the companies that compile this list don’t test any of the solar panels but rely on banks. 

Energy Matters has established solid partnerships with trusted and reliable solar panel manufacturers. They are: 

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