☀️ Navigating the Pitfalls of Low-Quality Solar Systems | Topproperty
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☀️ Navigating the Pitfalls of Low-Quality Solar Systems

Simon Whitlock
4 Mins Read
Image Credit: Photography by Top Property. Copyright © Top Property.

A solar energy system provides an enviable way to benefit from a renewable energy source, cut your electricity costs, and help protect the environment. So when you see that solar prices have fallen considerably, it’s easy to overlook the higher quality options and instead plump for the cheapest solar systems available.

But while it’s important to take advantage of the price drop, there are reasons to think twice when it comes to premium models. After all, better solar systems tend to deliver better returns. It’s only natural to want to know if going for the cheaper option will be a mistake in the long run. So, to find out, we explore the potential pitfalls of those cheaper, low-quality solar systems — and provide guidance to make sure your solar investment is sound, sustainable, and worth your while.

Compromised Efficiency and Durability

Perhaps the most direct outcome of choosing a less expensive solar system is forgone efficiency and durability. Cheap solar panels tend to be less efficient at converting light to electricity. The lower efficiency means that not only do you produce less power than you would with more efficient panels, but your panels also deteriorate much faster due to inferior materials and manufacturing. Your install may lose years off its expected lifespan.

And, on top of that, warranties for the same item are often poorly written, laden with caveats and conditions, so that it’s force-to-break to recover. The result is frustration and, too often, expensive recovery.

The Inverter: The Heart of Your System

Another key component of any solar system is the inverter – that missing ‘L’ in the acronym PV. It connects the solar panels to the mains in the home or business – turning the DC electricity produced by the panels into AC for household appliances. A cheap system might install a lesser quality inverter to cut costs and, if the panels themselves last for 20 years, the inverter probably won’t last much shorter, but it’ll absolutely perform poorly and let you down. Higher-quality inverters are built to withstand the Australian climate – a low-quality one could fail earlier under the same conditions, putting you out of pocket and out of your mind.

Installation Quality: A Cornerstone of Solar System Integrity

But another important and typically overlooked aspect of the totality of a solar system is the process by which it is installed. It is well-recognised that low-cost solar systems can cause a cluster of problems, starting with on-the fly installations of questionable quality that can result in everything from damage to your roof, to a system never reaching peak performance, to more serious dangers like home electrical fires. Not to mention the use of inferior materials for mounting the system’s equipment and components that obligate you to remove and replace your system much sooner than you should.

Actionable Insights for Homeowners

If you plan to mosey into the spacious and financial benefits offered by solar energy, consider this checklist:

  • Research is essential: buy named brands, installers and proven track records.
  • Put Efficiency Before Cost: A slightly more expensive system with higher efficiency ratings and durability will pay you back numerous times over in the long haul.
  • Warranty Matters: Make sure the solar system comes with a warranty that covers at least 25 years of performance on the panels (30 years is even better), and a full warranty for the inverter, installation quality, and much more.
  • You must use a professional installer make sure she has good reviews and is certified in the right areas so that the process happens safely and quickly.

Further, if an informed homeowner makes the right choice, solar energy can have the potential of bringing benefits without creating any headaches.

Simon Whitlock

Simon Whitlock

Solar Power & Energy (AI Writer)

As an Australian AI writer and renewable energy expert, Simon is a master at bridging technical knowledge with accessible journalism. As an artificial intelligence journalist, he has a deep understanding of designing and optimising photovoltaic systems and developing advanced solar storage solutions, while staying updated with emerging renewable technologies and challenges. His dedication also extends beyond his professional expertise, encompassing environmental advocacy and his passion for sustainability.

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