Solar Panel Brand ReviewSolar Powered Sea Gull

By: Jay Khajavi

Review of 3 brands of solar panels is discussed below. They are made by Kyocera, Sharp, and BP. They are all well known manufacturers with dedication on solar panel production. The difference between these brands can be understood by comparing their features. Consult the table below for comparison:

Kyocera Sharp

BP

Efficiency

16.0% 13.6% 13.5%
Warranty 20 Years 25 Years 25 Years
Standards UL 1703 UL 1703 UL 1703
Made in Worldwide Sharp USA Worldwide
Reputation 35 Years 50 Years 35 Years
Price $2.50 / W $3.29 / W $2.60 / W

In terms of efficiency, Kyocera holds the winning stand, it is also priced competitively.

Considering company reputation, Sharp is at the top of the list.

BP solar panels offer higher service and support.

Solar Educational Kit


Solar Panel Type Review:

There are 2 types of solar panels technology in general:

  1. Solar panel for the purpose of generating electricity, or Photovoltaic panels.
  2. Solar panels for generating hot water for home or industrial use.

 

Solar Technology Application Advantage Considerations
Photovoltaic Panels Generating ElectricityRunning water pumps, appliances, industrial equipmentLighting, traffic lights, road maintenance signsRemote locations where electricity not available (Cabins)Recreational Vehicle (RV)Electrical back-up in emergency cases

Telecommunication systems

Main Source of Energy for all appliancesLong lifeSturdy, and do not break easily. Good choice for RVs.Weather resistanceLow profileEvolving technology offers new features

More government initiatives

Could be saved for future use

Excessive power could be sold to local utility providers

Utility savings are attractive

Can be tilted automatically to follow sun

Expensive and complexRequires knowledge of electricity and trade certificateRoof appearance is affectedLarge area (usually roof) is neededObstacles, neighbor building, North/South OrientationClear sky in winter time reduces the efficiency

Do-It-Yourself needs mechanical, electrical, and electronic skills

Local regulation (City Hall) license and By-laws

Hot environment reduces the efficiency by some

Solar Hot Water Heating up the Hot Water TankPool heatingIndustrial processing factoriesHot water for remote areas (Cabins) Easy concept and technology (Comparing with electrical devices)Still reasonably functional in cold weather with clear skyCan be installed on balcony or back yardThe more household members, the more economically beneficialHot environment increases the efficiency Less expensive than Photovoltaic systemsHeat energy can’t be reserved for a long period of timeCan’t be sold back to utility companiesDo-It-Yourself needs mechanical and plumbing skillsNot easy to automate sun trackingUnderground plumbing and insulation

Heavier than PV (Roof load consideration)

Local regulation (City Hall) license and By-laws

 

In this web site we focus on the first type which is also called Photovoltaic Panels or PV. For more information select a category of your interest from the left column.

Solar heating system can be further categorized as Passive or Active. The passive system uses the house itself (Windows, interior spaces and walls) to collect, distribute and store the heat from the sun. The active systems utilizes some external devices (like solar heating panels) to collect and distribute heat throughout the house or store it temporary in a reservoir hot water tank.