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The Best Commercial Solar Panels in Australia 2022

Solar Panels

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Solar panel use has grown beyond residential use, and is now found in commercial properties and business across Australia. The long-term benefits of self-sufficiency, environmental sustainability, and energy savings continue to attract businesses of all sizes to invest in a renewable energy system. However, with so many models currently available, it begs the question, which commercial solar panel is best? 

Each commercial solar panel is good for specific use cases. Efficiency, warranty, part availability, power generation, company reputation, and technology are among the factors to be considered. That said, the Canadian Solar HiKu 450w is said to be one of the best, with its excellent efficiency. 

If you are keen on learning more about commercial solar panels, the best ones currently available in Australia, and their technical specifications and the benefits of business solar panels, then you’ve come to the right place. Continue reading to learn more.

How Are Commercial Solar Panels Different to Residential Solar Panels?

The key differences between residential and commercial solar panels are their size, solar cell count, and installation process. Generally, solar panels for residential applications are smaller, simpler, and less powerful compared to commercial and industrial uses. 

Size is the most notable difference between commercial and residential solar panels. Although highly dependent on the exact model and make, commercial solar panels tend to be larger; commercial panels house 96 solar cells in an area of 78 inches by 29 inches. On the other hand, residential solar panels only house 72 solar cells in an area of 65 inches by 39 inches. As you can imagine, there’s a huge difference between how long it takes to install commercial solar panels and residential solar panels. 

The increased size and solar cell count are primarily due to commercial applications requiring much more energy than residential applications. Not only do commercial panels produce more energy, but they are also much more efficient than residential panels. Commercial solar panels are only used for medium to large-scale projects requiring more efficiency and power generation.

Another difference is the complexity and difficulty of installing the panels. Commercial solar panels require more time in the planning stages than their residential counterparts but are generally easier to install than residential ones once the planning has been done. That’s why it’s important to work with licensed commercial solar installers when it comes time to add a solar system to your commercial property or business.

What are the Best Commercial Solar Panels in Australia?

There is no single commercial solar panel in Australia that can objectively be considered the best in all fields or factors. Different models and makes produce varying performance results, which should be considered when purchasing a solar panel. 

Below, we have curated a list of some of the best-performing commercial solar panels available in Australia.

1. Trinasolar Trina Vertex TSM-DE18M(II) 480w

Trinasolar’s Trina Vertex TSM-DE18M(II) 480w is among the most competitively priced commercial solar panels you can get for its performance and efficiency. Trinasolar has been in the solar PV manufacturing business since 1997 and is one of the oldest. With 150 monocrystalline solar cells in the panel, you will have all the power you need to run your business smoothly. 

Although its price tag is relatively affordable, its warranty is rather short at only 12 years, compared to its competitors’ warranties of 15 to 25 years.

Efficiency: 21.1% maximum efficiency

Rate of Degradation: ≤2% first-year degradation, ≤0.45% per succeeding year

Warranty: Comes with a 12-year product workmanship warranty alongside a 25-year power warranty.

Tier 1 Solar Panel: YES (Bloomberg New Energy Finance)

Reviews: Ken: “It has been only a week but so far we are very happy with their performance. We are pleased with the amount of power produced, even on overcast days.”

2. Suntech Ultra V STPXXXXS – C78/Pmh+ 570w-590w

Suntech’s Ultra V STPXXXXS – C78/Pmh+ 570w-590w is one of the most efficient commercial solar panels on our list, with a whopping 21.1% module efficiency thanks to the company’s advanced cell technology and manufacturing process. The solar panel utilises a sorting process that eliminates the 2% power loss caused by current mismatches. 

One of the solar panel’s most attractive capabilities is its excellent low-light performance, giving it an edge over other solar panels.

Efficiency: 21.1% maximum efficiency

Rate of Degradation: ≤2% first-year degradation, ≤0.45% per succeeding year

Warranty: Comes with a 12-year product workmanship warranty alongside a 30-year linear power warranty

Tier 1 Solar Panel: YES (Bloomberg New Energy Finance)

Reviews: Bob: “After 9 months my solar panels are performing very well and at this time of year are supply to their maximum output.”

3. Longi HiMO 4 LR4-72HBD 450w

Longi’s HiMO 4 is known to be one of the most popular commercial solar panel lines from both the brand and in Australia. The return on investment that you can get on these panels due to their performance, efficiency, and affordability is incredible. Longi is a reputable solar PV manufacturer known to solely develop monocrystalline solar panels – generally of higher quality than most in its price range. 

The quality of the HiMO 4 solar panels, much like all of Longi’s offerings, is among the best, backed by numerous awards won by the company in the solar PV industry. 

Efficiency: 20.90% maximum efficiency

Rate of Degradation: 2% first-year degradation, guaranteed 84.8% after 25 years

Warranty: Comes with a 12-year product warranty alongside a 30-year power warranty.

Tier 1 Solar Panel: YES (Bloomberg New Energy Finance)

Reviews: John: “I like the low profile mounting racks and colour – assists as a Pidgeon deterrence and the Asthetics. Subsequent monitoring tells me they are doing the job living up to the statics provided.”

4. Jinko Tiger Bifacial 475w

For some solar PV enthusiasts and experts, Jinko’s Tiger Bifacial 475w is considered by some to be hands down the best commercial solar panel in Australia. The praise comes from the company’s price-to-performance ratio. Although competitors can offer what Jinko’s Tiger Bifacial can do, they charge around double the price of Jinko’s. 

Although this commercial solar panel does not have the best efficiency among its peers, its long product warranties and affordability puts it above the rest. If you are relatively new to the solar PV scene and want to feel the ROI as quickly as possible, this might be your best choice.

Efficiency: 21.16% maximum efficiency

Rate of Degradation: 2.5% first-year degradation, 0.6% linear degradation (guaranteed 83.1% after 25 years)

Warranty: Comes with a 12-year product warranty alongside a 25-year linear power warranty.

Tier 1 Solar Panel: YES (Bloomberg New Energy Finance)

Reviews: David: “I originally considered another brand of panel but after lengthy discussions with the two companies I received quotes from I decided to go with their recommendations to use the Jinko. The system is already generating peak power so they obviously work well.”

5. SunPower Maxeon Performance 3 420w

SunPower commercial solar panels are known to have industry-leading warranties and unmatched efficiency, and the Maxeon Performance 3 is no less. The Maxeon Performance 3 uses some of SunPower’s latest and innovative technological advancements, such as all-black anti-reflective glass panels that absorb more energy from the sun and reflect less, increasing power generation. 

SunPower panels are expensive for their performance. However, their quality is top-notch, and you will get your money’s worth with these commercial solar panels.

Efficiency: 20.4% maximum efficiency

Rate of Degradation: 2% first-year degradation, 0.45% maximum annual degradation (guaranteed 87.2% after 25 years)

Warranty: Comes with a 25-year power warranty.

Tier 1 Solar Panel: YES (Bloomberg New Energy Finance)

Reviews: Rodney: “The panels are ranked as one of the highest performing, the power output is consistent across all of the panels – no poor performers in my array.”

6. Canadian Solar HiKu 450w

Canadian Solar has made such a significant impact in the commercial solar PV scene that its commercial range has become much more popular than its residential range – which is very unusual in the industry. Although Canadian Solar commercial panels are much more affordable than top brands such as LG, their solar panels do have a slightly shorter warranty period. 

In 2020, Canadian Solar set a world record for the highest conversion efficiency for a specific type of multi-crystalline solar cell. This shows how much they invest in their research and development and is a testament to the performance and quality of their solar panels.

Efficiency: 20.37% maximum efficiency

Rate of Degradation:

Warranty: Comes with a 12-year enhanced product warranty (materials & workmanship) alongside a 25-year linear power output warranty.

Tier 1 Solar Panel: YES (Bloomberg New Energy Finance)

Reviews: Garry: “Since the installation a few weeks ago, I have been monitoring their performance through the App provided. Very happy with the performance. They also look good.”

7. Canadian Solar BiHiKu7132 (mono cell 640w-665w)

Canadian Solar’s BiHuKu7 range comes in several energy generation capacities, ranging from 640w to 670w. The bifacial (both sides) monocrystalline solar panel incorporates a comprehensive Light-Induced Degradation (LID) and Light and Elevated Temperature-Induced Degradation (LeTID) mitigation technology. 

This line of commercial panels has been developed to have a better tolerance against shading and comes with a linear performance warranty of up to 30 years.

Efficiency: 21.6% maximum efficiency

Rate of Degradation: 2% first-year degradation, ≤0.45% degradation per succeeding year.

Warranty: Comes with a 12-year enhanced product warranty (materials & workmanship) alongside a 30-year linear power output warranty.

Tier 1 Solar Panel: YES (Bloomberg New Energy Finance)

Reviews: Richard: “Since we had the panels installed it has not stopped raining (Murphy’s Law), but amazingly they are still producing energy. We are looking forward to sunny days.”

8. Q CELLS Q.Peak Duo ML-G10

Q CELLS’ Q.Peak Duo ML-G10+ is one of the company’s highest-performing solar panels equipped with their proprietary Q.ANTUM DUO Z technology, which augments efficiency and performance. The solar panel has been reinforced, and is stated to have an all-weather technology that ensures it gives off the same performance as it would under ideal weather. 

This means it has excellent low-light and temperature behaviours. The Q.Peak Duo ML-G10+ is manufactured with an advanced aluminium alloy frame, certified for both high snow and extreme wind loads.

Efficiency: 21.4% maximum efficiency

Rate of Degradation: 2% first-year degradation, ≤0.5% degradation per succeeding year. Guaranteed 86% after 25 years

Warranty: Comes with a 12-year product warranty alongside a 25-year linear performance warranty (25-year extended product warranty available for purchase).

Tier 1 Solar Panel: YES (Bloomberg New Energy Finance)

Reviews: Jennifer: “Excellent performance, delivered a really low power bill even through the winter months when the panels spent a lot of time in the shade.”

9. Q CELLS Q.Peak Duo XL-G9.2

This solar panel line from Q CELLS is a high-power commercial solar panel suitable for ground-mounted solar power plants. Similar to the company’s other high performing solar panels, it utilises the Q.ANTUM DUO Z technology for enhanced efficiency and performance. The panel has a remarkably high energy yield per surface area, lower BOS costs, and as much as 30w more power per solar module.

Efficiency: 21.1% maximum efficiency

Rate of Degradation: 2% first-year degradation, ≤0.5% degradation per succeeding year. At least 93.5% after 10 years and at least 86% after 25 years

Warranty: Comes with a 12-year product warranty alongside a 25-year linear performance warranty (25-year extended product warranty available for purchase).

Tier 1 Solar Panel: YES (Bloomberg New Energy Finance)

Reviews: Mark: “We thought we would go with a better brand of panels and the Qcells surely didn’t disappoint. Great all round system.”

10. Solarwatt Panel Vision H3.0 Style 370w

Solarwatt claims that its Vision H3.0 Style commercial solar panels deliver one of the highest long-term yields among its competitors. Although they fall short of their competitors’ high efficiency rating, the solar panels’ bifacial PERC half-cut solar cells do help their modules be optimised for the maximum possible performance. 

The solar panels are salt mist, ammonia, and intensive hailstorm resistant, thanks to its robust construction. With 30 years of product and performance warranty included with the solar panel, this is a good candidate for those who are wary of a manufacturer’s claims on the long-term performance of their solar panels.

Efficiency: 19.9% maximum efficiency

Rate of Degradation: Guaranteed 87% of nominal power after 30 years

Warranty: Comes with a 30-year product warranty alongside a 30-year linear performance warranty.

Tier 1 Solar Panel: YES (Bloomberg New Energy Finance)

Reviews: Neville: “Very impressed they are producing above predicted levels in all conditions and stood the test of heavy hail rain and wind. Outstanding performance great product all round”

Which Commercial Solar Panel has the Highest Efficiency?

Among the commercial solar panels listed above, Canadian Solar’s HiKu 450w takes the top spot with its 21.6% efficiency rating. However, it is important to remember that the efficiency rating of solar PV modules is not the end all be all when looking to buy solar panels. 

Numerous factors come into consideration during purchase, such as warranty period and coverage, weather resistance, and compatibility with other renewable energy PV systems and technologies. An efficiency rating is undoubtedly an indicator of good performance, but a very high rating doesn’t necessarily make it the best for your needs and requirements.

Which Type of Solar Panel is Best for Industrial Use?

The best type of solar panel for industrial applications is often those that use monocrystalline cells, which have the highest efficiency and power capacities compared to other types. They also generate more power because they are more widely available in higher power capacities than residential solar panels. 

Monocrystalline solar panels also allow the use of ‘bifacial’ technology, which allows the panels to generate electricity on both sides instead of just one.

Related Questions

What is the Lifespan of a Commercial Solar Panel?

Solar panels, on average, will last anywhere from 25 to 30 years. However, this depends on factors such as model and make, the physical build of the commercial solar panel, its resistance to different kinds of weather, and how often it is hit by harsh weather throughout its lifetime.

How Many Solar Panels are Needed for a Commercial Building?

A system with 100kW capacity will usually be enough for most commercial buildings, equivalent to around 400 solar panels. In comparison, a 30kW commercial solar panel system requires around 100 solar panels. However, some commercial properties require more energy due to the frequent use of high-powered tools.

Disclaimer:

This article is published in good faith and for general informational purposes only. It does not constitute an estimate or quote for any specific service. Platinum Power & Air does not make any warranties about the ongoing completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. This article is not intended to replace consultation with a licensed technician. 

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