Solar energy systems have become an important component in the renewable energy landscape as the world moves towards a sustainable future. Solar energy is predicted to keep growing; by 2050, worldwide solar installations may amount to 4.7 terawatts1. Growing environmental consciousness, lower expenses, and technical developments have all contributed to its wide acceptance. Choosing the appropriate solar panels is important for beginners in the solar field to provide reliable and efficient solar systems. In this article, we are going to know the most important things for solar panel contractors and installers in India to think about while selecting solar panels.

Global installed solar PV capacity gigawatts (millions) 1
Global installed solar PV capacity gigawatts (millions) 1

Solar Panel Efficiency

Efficiency is the measure of how much solar radiation a solar panel can turn into electrical power. However, increased cost is usually associated with increased efficiency. Depending on the particular requirements of each project, contractors and installers must balance cost and efficiency. The most efficient solar panels available in India currently have an efficiency of between 21% and 22% 2 as a result of the numerous advancements in solar technology. Due to this large increase in efficiency, a standard-size panel’s power rating increased from 250W to nearly 440W3.

Solar panel types and efficiency
Solar panel types and efficiency

Solar Panel Durability and Warranty

As solar panels are a long-term investment, their longevity is important. A reliable track record and solid construction are important considerations for panels. Solar vendors and installers carefully review the manufacturer’s warranty. Durability and resistance to malfunctions are ensured by a strong warranty, which also covers performance deterioration. Most solar companies in India provide a 25-year warranty. Indian solar panels average lifespan is 25–30 years 4, and this does not mean that your solar system will stop generating energy at that point.

Types of Solar Panels

Solar panels have three main varieties: thin-film, polycrystalline, and monocrystalline. Because of its streamlined design and excellent performance, monocrystalline solar panels are a popular option for residential installations. While polycrystalline panels are frequently more economical, they are somewhat less efficient. Because of its flexibility and lightweight, thin-film solar panels are well suited for some uses, such as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). Before installing a solar panel contractors and installers have to select the type of solar panel based on the installation type.

Types of Solar Panels
Types of Solar Panels

Temperature Coefficient

In hot weather, the efficiency of solar panels can decrease. The temperature coefficient shows how much the efficiency of a panel will drop with increasing temperature. For areas with high temperatures, panels with lower temperature coefficients work better in warmer climates. The temperature coefficient of most solar panels is between -0.3% to -0.5% °C. This indicates that solar panels lose 0.3% to 5% of their efficiency for 1°C over 25°C5. To get the maximum output solar vendors and installers must check the panel’s appropriate temperature coefficient.

Financial Incentives

As a contractor solar panel installer, you must know any available financial incentives, such as rebates, tax credits, and incentives from utilities or governments. Your customers may find solar installations more tempting as a result of these incentives, which can significantly reduce their initial costs. On February 13, 2024, the Prime Minister of India announced the scheme. A central financial support of INR 30,000 is provided by the scheme for systems up to 1 kW, INR 60,000 for systems up to 2 kW, and INR 78,000 for systems up to 3 kW6.

Inverter Technology Compatibility

Inverters and solar panels combine to transform the DC power that solar panels produce into useful AC electricity. As a solar panel installer, you must confirm that the chosen panels are suitable for the specified inverter technology to maximize system efficiency and performance. Incompatibility and decreased output might result from mismatched components.

Solar inverter Technology Compatibility
Solar inverter Technology Compatibility

Solar panel certifications

Certification and approvals ensure the solar panels pass performance and safety requirements. This is important for the installers as it will remove the lower-quality goods from the assortment.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in India requires solar panels to have the following certifications8.

For terrestrial PV modules made of crystalline silicon, see IEC 61215/IS 14286.

For terrestrial thin-film photovoltaic modules: IEC 61646

Furthermore, IEC 61730 part I criteria for construction and part II standards for testing and safety qualification must be met by the panels.

Solar Panel Gradings

Before installing a solar panel solar panel contractors and installers should give priority on the solar panel grading. Indian solar panel communities assign rankings to their products based on quality, efficiency, and performance. Each grade, which ranges from Grade A at the top to Grade D at the bottom, represents the durability of the panel as a whole as well as the capacity of a solar cell to convert sunlight into energy. Understanding knowledge about Solar Panel Grades helps the installer to select the ones that best suit the efficiency, cost, and possible life performance of the project.

Solar Panel Gradings (Rural Sun Power)
Solar Panel Gradings (Rural Sun Power)

Grade A: Grade A solar cells have a very high output efficiency of 18-20%9. Because of their dependability, they are in great demand on the market; once installed, they will operate trouble-free for several years before starting to generate less energy than they did in the beginning.

Grade B: Grade B solar cells are considered as entry-level as they have an efficiency of 14–16%9. Even if these items aren’t the greatest, they are dependable and appropriate for tasks with limited funding.

Grade C: Grade C solar cells have a basic performance and an output that can range from 12% to 14%9. Applications with low energy requirements frequently pair them with this type of cell. It is also reasonably priced.

Grade D: These are inexpensive choices and they only offer limited efficiency (less than 12%) 9. With the project’s size and budgetary constraints, grade D panels are the most economical option.

Environmental Impact

In the eco-conscious world of today, environmental factors are becoming more and more important. Solar panel contractors and installers should give priority while selecting solar panels made by producers who uphold ethical and sustainable production processes. To confirm a manufacturer’s dedication to environmental conservation, look for certifications like ISO 14001 and cradle-to-cradle certifications.

Impacts of solar energy on the environment
Impacts of solar energy on the environment

Long-Term Performance

As a solar panel installer, you know more than your customers about which panels are better and long-lasting. You should assess the rate at which solar panels deteriorate over time. Better panels usually retain their efficiency levels over extended periods as they degrade at slower rates. Most solar panels have an annual degradation rate of around 0.5% on average. Due to this gradual decrease in power output, a solar panel‘s efficiency after 25 years should normally be around 87.5% of its initial capacity7. So you should give priority to long-term performance before installation.

With an approximate loss of 2-3% for the first year and 0.7% in the following years ( Image Source: 8 Billion Trees)
With an approximate loss of 2-3% for the first year and 0.7% in the following years ( Image Source: 8 Billion Trees)

Maintenance and Warranty

Solar panel installers and contractors must choose a company with good service support and comprehensive warranties while looking for the best solar panels for India for customers. This ensures immediate assistance and resolution of any possible problems for the duration of your solar panel installation at the customer level.

In conclusion, choosing the appropriate solar panels is an important decision for installers and contractors hoping to provide highly qualified solar installations. Through careful consideration of various factors like efficiency, durability, type, temperature coefficient, manufacturer reputation, aesthetics, compatibility, financial incentives, environmental impact, and long-term performance, contractors can make confident choices regarding panel selection that align with the specific requirements of each project. By making the appropriate choice, solar installers and contractors may help solar energy become widely used while also offering their customers dependable, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly solar solutions.


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