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The Solar Power Expert Blog

Solar Panel Reviews

by Chris - March 7th, 2011.
Filed under: Equipment. Tagged as: , , , , .


While this post still contains valuable information, you may also be interested in checking out my new solar panel review 2011 post.

A lot of people shop on Amazon.com to find solar panels for the home, RV, or boat. It’s a logical place for consumers to look for solutions. On this page you will find solar panel reviews of several different solar panels in the 200 watt, 100 watt, and 50 watt categories which are sold on Amazon.com

Unfortunately, the fact is that most solar panel manufacturers are focused on the industrial and commercial markets as they are the early adopters and ‘low hanging fruit’ of the solar panel consumer world. I was unable to find any manufacturers who had embraced the customer engagement tools that Amazon offers. In fact, only one of the solar electricity reviews covered in this page had consumer reviews.


As a consumer, you should pay attention three critical points when performing your own solar panel reviews:

  1. Compare price per watt
    The reason you should focus on price-per-watt instead of price is that solar panels can be combined in parallel and series to get the power and voltage that you need for your application. For instance, if you need a 200 watt solar panel, you can buy a single 200 watt solar panel, two 100 watt solar panels, or four 50 watt solar panels and combine them in parallel to get the desired power output. If you need a 24 volt solar panel capable of outputting 100 watts but don’t like any of the panels on the market, you can simply purchase two 12 volt, 50 watt solar panels and string them together in series.

  2. Compare Warranty
    What do you do when something breaks? Solar panels are an investment. The hallmark of solar technology is that it requires a large up-front cost. Even if you get a great price on a solar panel, what will you do when it stops working? Not only should you look at the length of the solar panel warranties offered, you should look at the longevity of the manufacturer. If a 2 year old company offers a 25 year warranty, how can you be confident that the company will even be around long enough to back up that warranty?

  3. Read Customer Reviews
    One of the ultimate authorities in selecting a solar panel is customer reviews. Think about it. These are people just like you trying to do the same thing that you’re trying to do. They are the best source of practical information for you own solar panel reviews.

The unfortunate fact is that solar technology is a new and booming industry which is just starting to reach out to the consumer market. This creates a lot of opportunity for scammers to profit by peddling second rate crap. By comparing the products according to the three criteria in this solar power reviews, you can be sure of purchasing a quality product at a good price and ensure that the manufacturer will support you with their warranty if things go wrong.

In a future post, I will be creating a solar panel company reviews post to in order to review the companies behind the panels. In a new industry, ramp with scamers, brand is very important.


200 Watt Solar Panels

Price: $899.95
Price per watt: $4.50
Reviews: None
Silicon Type: Polycrystalline
Operating Voltage: 18.1
Warranty: 5 year workmanship, 25 year power

Price: $399
Price per watt: $3.20
Reviews: None
Silicon Type: Polycrystalline
Operating Voltage: 18.1
Warranty: 5 year warranty


100 Watt Solar Panels

Price: $399.91
Price per watt: $3.99
Reviews: None
Silicon Type: Monocrystalline
Operating Voltage: 17.2
Warranty: 1 year full warranty. 10 year power warranty

Price: $649.95
Price per watt: $6.50
Reviews: 5 positive reviews listed
Silicon Type: Polycrystalline
Operating Voltage: Not listed, designed for 12V systems
Warranty: 25 year warranty

Price: $738.73
Price per watt: $7.39
Reviews: None
Silicon Type: Not Specified
Operating Voltage: 16.5
Warranty: 20 year warranty


50 Watt Solar Panels

Price: $299.66
Price per watt: $6.00
Reviews: None
Silicon Type: Amorphous
Operating Voltage: Not listed, designed for 12V systems
Warranty: None listed

Price: $169.99
Price per watt: $3.40
Reviews: None
Silicon Type: Polycrystalline
Operating Voltage: 18
Warranty: 5 year warranty

Price: $219.95
Price per watt: $4.40
Reviews: None
Silicon Type: Monocrystalline
Operating Voltage: 17.5
Warranty: 25 year limited warranty

4 Responses to Solar Panel Reviews

  1. It still amazes me that you can now build your own solar panels. To think that most people don’t even know how easy it is makes me realize that more people would probably have their own solar panels if they just researched it and did it.

  2. Good thing you pointed out price per watt as the more important basis vs. absolute price of the unit.

    solar energy

  3. What’s the difference between mono- and polycrystalline solar panels? I see that the mono is more expensive…meaning it also generates more Watts?

  4. Monocrystalline cells use an older, more expensive manufacturing process. Mono and Poly are generally on par for power production, but Mono does tend to be slightly more efficient. It’s better to judge a solar panel on a case-by-case basis rather than make generalizations between the two. I recommend dollars-per-watt ($/w) as a good benchmark for judging solar panels. However, that assumes that space is not an issue. If it is, look at watts per square foot (w/sq ft).

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