To compete in the market most solar panel companies must offer a warranty on defects and workmanship of at least 5-10 years and a performance warranty of 25 years. The performance warranty is a guarantee that a certain amount of output or yield will came from the solar panel over a certain amount of time.
For example a company may guarantee a panel will have 80% of its peak power output after 25years.
To compete in the inverter market most companies offer a standard 5-year parts warranty with an option to purchase a 5-year extension to the warranty.
Even though the warranties offered are quite similar, there are a number of things to consider about the companies offering the warranties that may effect your decision to purchase.
Is the company a start-up company, or are they established in the industry?
There have been many new manufacturing businesses enter the solar energy market over the last few years. Before the GFC there was an abundance of money flowing in to the renewables industry and lots of new companies were created to try and get a piece of the action. Economic conditions have dramatically changed, particularly in Europe, and many of these companies have now gone out of business. In Australia there are many solar power installations that have used components from these now defunct companies. This means there are many installations in Australia that are not covered by any warranties.
If the installation company was the importer of these components then they become responsible for the warranties in Australia if the manufacturer no longer exists. However, if the importer changes there business name they are no longer responsible for the warranties and we have seen numerous examples of this in Australia.
To avoid these issues and ensure you are protected in the long-term you should always buy quality components from Industry leaders. Investigate the company behind the products and their track record in the industry.
Check out our Solar Products section to Meridian Solar source our components from and the warranties that back them up.