Bookmark and Share

Best Solar Panels for Sale in Australia – Efficiency,Cost,Pricing,Types,Comparision Review

0 Comment

Solar Panels with TrackersSolar Panels are sold by hundreds of companies around the world  ranging from small to very large and comes in various shapes and sizes as well.Besides this solar panels are also made of very different materials for example silicon solar panels and thin film solar panels.So comparing solar panels and choosing a solar panel is a very difficult process if you want the best solar panel according to your needs.Note solar panels for the most part are brought by the solar integrators or solar installers that you employ to put up solar panels in your house or office.So you are not generally a part of the decision making process in case of solar panel buying.However to ensure that you get a good deal on your solar array installation,you should ensure that you get good quality solar panels and solar inverters.The solar panels should ideally have certification from quality organizations such as TUV,ISO,Clean Energy Council and others.Same with Solar Inverters that you are going to use.


Review of Solar Panels

Like other places in the globe,Chinese solar panel manufacturers have captured the lion’s share of the market with their aggressive pricing of good quality solar modules.However there are some European and Japanese companies like Sharp,REC which are present as well.These companies sell solar panels at a premium advertizing their better quality vis a vis the Asian solar panels.However the quality difference of the expensive Western solar panels is not that great for the pricing difference.So you would in general be better off buying Chinese solar panels of reputed companies like Suntech,Trina Solar,Yingli and others.Note these companies are much bigger than the Western companies and have a good track record as well.From a purely economic and cost benefit analysis you are better off buying the Chinese solar panels.

What are the Different Types of Solar Panels


Solar Panels come in all sorts of sizes,colours and power.Solar Panels of 20-40 Watts are typically used for applications like a Solar Lamp,Lantern and products using small amounts of power.For Putting Solar Panels on the Roof for Generation of Electricity,sizes vary from 150 Watts to 300 Watts.

Type and Color

There are also 2 different types of Crystalline Silicon Panels – a) Monocrystalline b) Multicrystalline Panels.In general Monocrystalline Panels give higher amounts of power and cost more.Solar Panels generally come in blue color though black color can also be found.

Thin Film Panels

Thin Film Panels are generally used for Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) applications where the Panels are integrated as a part of the Building Structure.This is in not prevalent in India as of now but will become quite pervasive in the future.

Solar Panel Efficiency Technology and Range

Solar Panel Efficiency can be as low as 7% for amorphous silicon technology to as high as 18% for mono-crystalline silicon technology.Note some of the solar panels used in spacecraft have cells which have conversion factors ranging as high as 40% but those are niche applications.Solar Panels made by First Solar using the Cadmium Tellurium Technology are in the range of 11-12% while the CIGs technology which is being used to make solar panels by a number of companies like Miasole,Solyndra,TSMC and other have the range between 10-13% currently.Note Solar Panel Efficiencies are constantly increasing for all technologies each year.


Cost of Solar Panels

Solar Panel  prices can differ widely depending on the technology,power,brand and quality.Thin Film Solar Panels are cheaper than the mainstream crystalline silicon solar panels.However they have lesser efficiency which means they take up more area to generate the same power.Solar Panels which are more efficient have a higher price.Monocrystalline Solar Cells cost more than the Multicrystalline Solar Cells.European and Japanese Brands also have a higher price tag while cheap imported Chinese panels cost less.Solar Panel prices have crashed by almost 30% in 2011 and you can get a 250 watt Solar Panel price at around $425 now.Expensive Panels might cost you more and you would have to pay $500. However for small installations ,panels can only be bought from  distributors which is more expensive and can cost you almost 50% more.Note Solar Panels form only a part of the total Solar System Cost.

How Many Solar Panels do you Need

Solar Panels come in a variety of shapes and sizes.They are also made up of different materials like for example while most panels are made from silicon (the same material used in electronics),some solar panels are also made up of thin film solar materials like Copper Indium Gallium Selenide or Cadmium Tellerium.Solar Panels can have power of as low as 5 Watts which are needed as solar chargers for batteries for you mobile phones and can be as high as 300 Watts for powering your home.Solar Panels of standard 200-250 Watts are of 5-6 feet in lenght and 3.5 feet in width and can weigh as much as 25 kg.Solar Arrays are made up of a number of Solar Panels which provide the required voltage and power for your electricity requirements.

Solar Panel is made up of Solar Cells which are the basic building blocks of a Solar Panels.A Typical Solar Cell provides around 0.5 Volts and around 60-90 Solar Cells make up a typical solar panel which implies 30-45 Volts .This will provide you around 8-10 Amperes of Electricity for around  200-250 Watts of Power.Note Solar Cells are also of different variety and efficiency.You can read about Solar Panel Efficiency and Solar Cells Efficiency.

Best Solar Panel Manufacturers


  1. Suntech – Suntech was  the world’s biggest producer of solar panels in 2010 and was one the first companies to set up operations in China.Its example was followed by a host of other Chinese companies.Suntech has been slow to expand compared to the fast growing small companies in China and has lost marketshare to them.It has started to vertically integrate in order to meet the low cost challenge from Trina and Yingli.Suntech makes one of the best quality Solar Panels in China.
  2. Yingli Green Energy – Yingli Green Energy is one of the oldest Chinese companies and is completely integrated from polysilicon.The company has been expanding rapidly and has one of the lowest cost structures in the industry.Yingli Green Energy has been sponsoring Football in Europe and has started a new line of high efficiency “Panda” Solar Panels.Yingli is the second biggest producer of Solar Panels in China
  3. Trina Solar – Trina Solar is one of the lowest cost manufacturers of Solar Panels in the World right now and also sells it at a very low price.This is the reason that the company in a span of few short years has managed to acquire a substantial  global marketshare.The prices the solar panels being sold are around $340 per 200 watt module.Trina Solar.Like Yingli and Suntech,Trina Solar Panels are one the best quality in China
  4. Hanwha Solar One – The Company which was recently acquired by South Korean Chemicals Giant Hanwha also makes one of the cheapest panels and sells it a very low price.The quality is also quite good and with strong parentage behind it,the solar panels made by the company.Again like Trina Solar,it has very low cost Chinese manufacturing capacity.The company was earlier known as Solarfun.
  5. Canadian Solar – The Company sells a wide variety of solar panels unlike other producers.The Solar Panel Selling Price is also quite cheap.The Company is headquartered in Canada with factories in China and Ontario.Canadian Solar is the 5th biggest producer of Solar Panels in China.


  1. Renewable Energy Corporation – It is Norwegian manufacturer of mainly polysilicon and wafers.It suffered like other Europeans from the declines in solar panel prices.Has moved manufacturing to Singapore to lower its cost.Fell down the rankings due to tough competition.However is completely integrated.
  2. BP Solar – This Oil and Gas Company also sells Solar Panels though it has stopped manufacturing them.The company had a factory to make solar cells and solar panels in Australia which was sold 3-4 years ago to Silex Solar.For ethical reasons and also because of cost I don’t recommend buying BP Solar Panels.


1) Sharp – Sharp,the Japanese Zaibatsu known more for its Electronics Products is also the world’s No 1 Company in terms Solar Module Revenues.Sharp has been the solar world leader since the past 4-5 years despite stiff competition recently  from upcoming Chinese Crystalline Solar (c-Si) players and Thin Film Leader First Solar

Sharp’s c-Si division is not cost competitive with the Chinese and Taiwanese companies as its cost structure is almost 30-40% higher than the cheapest Chinese producers.Though the quality of Sharp’s crystalline silicon modules is considered much better,the cost difference has become too big in a rapidly commoditizing industry

While companies like Masdar are abandoning their Thin Film plans,Sharp has started shipping a-Si modules from its 1 GW capacity  plant in Sakai.With its established distribution strengths and technological abilities in LCD Technology,Sharp is one company that can survive the c-Si onslaught.

2) Sanyo-Panasonic  – Sanyo plans to invest more than  70% of its total investment over the next  3 years in its renewable energy and energy storage segments.Sanyo has never been as successful in the hyper competitive electronics market as other Japanese companies like Sony or Sharp.However its lithium batteries and solar panels possess cutting edge technology.Its solar panels with proprietary HIT technology rival the best  in terms of efficiency and quality.

Panasonic after acquiring Sanyo has completely changed its strategy to become a major Green Player targeting a Major Percentage of Sales in the future to come  from Green Products.Panasonic which is the world’s biggest Plasma TV producer is going to spend $1 Billion on Green Building investments.Panasonic will combine its Green Strengths with Sanyo’s to sell a complete Eco-Friendly Home complete with Solar Power,LED Lighting and Energy Storage and Efficiency capabilities.In Solar where Panasonic  is the No. 3 player in Japan behind Sharp and Kyocera ,it is speeding up the expansion of solar capacity.It will spend more than $500 million aiming to triple its energy solutions business in Europe to 800 Million Euros by 2016.

3) Kyocera – Kyocera is Japan’s second largest solar panel producing company.The company recently won a major contract to build a solar farm in Thailand.Unlike other companies it has been slow off the blocks and unless  it perks up its game,it is likey to become a even smaller company in the global scheme of things.


Companies with Highest Efficiency Solar Panels

The Companies that make the Solar Panels with the highest efficiences are Sunpower and Panasonic/Sanyo.Sunpower has the highest efficient solar modules in the market using a properietary process and has solar cells with efficiency reaching a top limit of 24%.Sanyo also has very efficient solar panels under the HIT brand name.These solar panels also approach the 18% range (solar modules not cells).Normal crystalline plain vanilla solar panels come in the range of 13-14%.Note solar modules have lower efficiency than solar cells as some area is left for the frame etc.There are other companies that are fast catching up to Sunpower and Sanyo in the high efficiency solar panels as well.Note higher efficiency solar panels sell at higher prices per watt as the require lesser area.AUO which has a JV with Sunpower has recently claimed to have produced the higher efficiency solar panel .

Read on how to buy  Solar Inverters in Australia


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

No Responses so far | Have Your Say!