SolarWorld Review

SolarWorld Energy is Better for Business

SolarWorld is a company well known for providing solar power solutions to large businesses and government organizations. Large brands such as Shell use SolarWorld to provide cleaner, renewable energy. Their panels are known for being resistant to weather variables such as sea salt spray or agricultural chemicals, so their products are suitable for long-lasting use in any area.

Best For:
Commercial buildings

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SolarWorld Highlights

  • 25 year performance guarantee

  • Products made in the USA

  • International award winning solar technology

Pros

  • Guaranteed maximum performance reduction of only 0.7% per year

  • 10 year product guarantee

  • Wide range of options for panels and systems

  • Tested to triple the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) requirements

  • Weather and climate resistant panels

Cons

  • Customer service is difficult to reach

  • Not as advanced in providing home service

  • Outsources installation

Expert’s Score Breakdown

Overall rating: 4

  1. Equipment: 4

  2. Installation & Monitoring: 4

  3. Efficiency: 5

  4. Cost & Savings: 4

  5. Customer Support: 3

Equipment

SolarWorld makes a variety of panels in the Sunmodule Plus range that are suited to different energy needs. They come in silver or black components and use a monocrystalline cell structure. This is generally a more expensive solution than silicon, but provides a higher efficiency rate and overall better performance. For commercial and business use monocrystalline would be a more effective option. The stable aluminum frame is designed for easy mounting and has eight possible grounding locations. This means your panels will be securely mounted at the optimum angles for as much light as possible.

Panels and installation

SolarWorld also offers a range of inverters – both micro-inverters and string inverters – to convert your power from light to electricity as efficiently as possible. For home users, the company also offers ground solar systems, as well as the traditional rooftop systems.

Installation & Monitoring

SolarWorld offers a reassuring policy of vetting every partner they use. The 25-year performance guarantee and the 10-year product warranty are of course valid wherever you are in the USA and whoever your local authorized SolarWorld installer is.

Guarantee promise

SolarWorld recommends annual servicing to make sure all the electrical and mechanical equipment and connections are clear and tight. This regular servicing also prevents damage from spreading if there are any unseen problems. SolarWorld also recommends keeping the solar panel system clean and setting up a cleaning schedule with your installer to prevent any damage and ensure best performance. The Enphase Enlighten software provides you with an interface you can use on your computer or any mobile device to monitor output and performance. The SMA America Sunny Portal and Suntrol Internet Portal are also compatible with the SolarWorld systems and can be installed on a computer or mobile device.

Efficiency

SolarWorld panels come in at an incredibly high efficiency of 21.7%. The highest efficiency recorded is 22.04% and the majority of good panels tend to yield 15% efficiency. SolarWorld were the first company to use PERC architecture in their panels. A PERC, or passivated emitter rear cell, adds another layer to the back cells of the solar panel and reflects light to the back of the cell. This catches light that would otherwise be lost or wasted and increases the amount of light being converted to energy.

Cost & Savings

As a home user of SolarWorld’s solar panel systems you can only purchase directly or set up a monthly payment system using a financing plan depending on your credit rating. You cannot lease the panels or set up a PPA (power purchase agreement) to effectively rent the panels and use the power. As a business or for large-scale commercial use these options are available. Generally you’ll have to speak to a SolarWorld expert to discuss the exact cost of your solar panel system, but the prices for black or silver panels are:

  • $260 - $357 per panel for a mono panel

  • $8555 – $10 000 per pallet of panels (approximately 30 panels)

These prices do not include installation and also do not include the 30% solar tax credit offered by the federal government. Many states have local incentives and this is not included in this price either.

The prices are mid-high end for the market and reflect the monocrystalline material structure of the panels.

Customer Support

You can email the customer support in the contact section on the website or you can call directly. The customer service is not 24/7, so it is best to call within normal working hours during the week. It is advisable to email if a problem occurs at the weekend or fill in the online submission form to outline your complaint. You should be aware of any problems fairly quickly as you’ll see it on your monitoring system. There is no toll-free number to call for customer service, but there are local numbers provided depending on your region. You won’t have a dedicated person but you will speak to a qualified and trained expert whoever you end up on the line with.

Conclusion

SolarWorld provides a strong product and a great range of services for businesses. The customer service could be much more accessible but the advisors are experts in the solar energy field. Although SolarWorld is weaker on the home packages, you can still buy from them for a residential property and access the high quality panels they provide. The panels are long lasting and the systems use advanced technology for high efficiency.

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