what are considered tier 1 solar panels

What are Considered Tier 1 Solar Panels?

A solar farm's lifespan is well over 25 years, and solar panels are the single most expensive component of a solar installation, accounting for up to 40% of the entire project cost. When building a solar farm, one must choose the correct solar panels to ensure that the project produces the desired amount of electricity and energy.

The majority of homeowners are perplexed when it comes to solar panel choices. The following are the most often asked questions while choosing a solar panel.

  • How long does a solar panel last? What kind of warranties and assurances do solar panel manufacturers provide?
  • What are the possibilities that the manufacturer would uphold the warranty if there is an issue with solar production over the project's lifetime?
  • Which solar panel brand will produce more energy during the project's lifetime?
  • How much extra should a high-quality solar panel cost?

The quick answer is that solar panels are divided into three categories: Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3. Tier 1 solar panels are more dependable and should be purchased.

When looking at Solar PV systems for your home, you may have come across the term Tier 1 panel and wondered what it meant. So, in this blog post, we’ll explain how the phrase Tier 1 came to be, what it truly means, and why it matters to you when choosing which panels to employ for your project...

Tier 1 Solar Panels

Tier 1 solar panels, contrary to common belief, refer to those made by financially secure enterprises rather than the product's quality.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance Corporation created this classification to distinguish between firms that are expected to provide solar electricity over the 25-year warranty period and those that only offer solar equipment.

Simply put, which firm is most likely to uphold its warranty?

Bloomberg looks for manufacturers that have been funded by six or more finance companies on solar projects using 1.5MWp in the previous two years to receive a Tier 1 certification.

LG, Jinko, SunPower, Panasonic, and Trina are examples of Tier 1 solar panel manufacturers.

What are the Qualifications?

When it comes to determining Tier 1 solar panels, various aspects are taken into account, including:

  • Companies with a minimum of 5 years of experience: This assures that they are a dependable source of solar energy and that they are respected enough to withstand the test of time while being financially secure.
  • Companies that are publicly traded or have a solid balance sheet: They are more dependable since they have previously been subjected to specific standards and are declared worthy of investment.
  • Mechanical manufacturing techniques and strong vertical integration: This provides higher productivity and more efficient material utilization, resulting in safe and high-quality solar products.
  • Invest extensively in marketing: A growing market reflects brand confidence and their motivation to invest in quality control.

Tier 1 solar panels are known for their great durability, which means that their 25-year performance warranties will be honored.

Their automated manufacturing techniques reduce the likelihood of defects, and their long-standing reputation assures that any issues that emerge will be resolved.

What differentiates them from Tier 2 and Tier 3 solar panels?

These high standards are what make the panels last longer and are energy efficient.

This does not necessarily imply that Tier 2 or Tier 3 manufacturers produce substandard solar panels.

Tier 2 solar panels refer to businesses that have been in operation for less than five years and do not produce their own solar cells, instead of purchasing them from Tier 1 suppliers.

Tier 3 companies, on the other hand, frequently participate in the assembly process rather than sourcing their own solar cells. Tier 2 and Tier 3 are both likely to use human production lines, which raises product risk.

What advantages do Tier 1 solar panels provide?

Tier 1 solar panels are made using the highest quality of silicon. The solar panel will perform more effectively if the silicon quality is higher. Furthermore, Tier 1 manufacturers use advanced robotic methods to regulate the production process, reducing or eliminating human mistakes in the process. To stay on top of their game, they also invest substantially in research and development. These companies are vertically integrated, which means they produce all of the major components of a solar panel themselves. They typically produce over 1 GW of solar panels per year and have been doing so for over 5 years.

Tier 1 solar panel manufacturers utilize the highest quality materials, which is why the panels are substantially more expensive. Solar panels from a Tier 1 manufacturer might cost up to 30% more than those from other manufacturers.

Solar panels from Tier 1 manufacturers often come with a 12-year product guarantee and a 25-year linear performance warranty. They have a robust and stable balance sheet and are openly traded on the stock exchange.

What criteria do you use to categorize the various solar panel tiers?

what are solar panels made of. components

Solar panels are made up of six major components that are built with exceptional precision in modern manufacturing facilities. Junction box, back sheet, encapsulant EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) film, solar cells, tempered glass, and aluminum frame are the six components. Many well-known solar panel companies are vertically integrated, which means they supply and make all of the major components of a solar panel, including the silicon ingots and wafers required to build the solar cells. By doing so, the producer can assure that none of the major components needed to make a solar panel degrade in quality.

However, since most solar panel manufacturers use externally sourced parts such as solar cells, polymer back sheets, and encapsulating EVA film to create solar panels, it’s very difficult for them to control the quality of their own products.

Solar panels are categorized as Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 depending on how the major components are procured and installed. The manufacturing method is one of the key variations between the many tiers of solar panels. The lesser the likelihood of human mistakes, the more automation there is. Being more vertically integrated also helps to eliminate any quality difficulties in sourcing and production. Tier 1 solar panels are the highest grade available.

solar panel tiers

Which Tier 1 Solar Panels are the Best?

So, which Tier 1 solar panels are the best in 2021?

We compiled a list of the top Tier 1 solar panel manufacturers in Southeast Asia based on BNEF's Q2 2021 rankings. Check it out!

Remember that the most popular solar panel manufacturer might vary by country. This is frequently determined by the solar PV panel's efficiency in relation to its cost. There are additional logistics and supply chain factors to consider.

ManufacturerCapacity (MW/year)
LONGi (China)50,000
Trina (China)33,600
Jinko (China)31,000
JA Solar (China)23,200
Canadian Solar (Canada)16,100
Risen Energy (China)14,100
SunPower / Maxeon (Mexico, Malaysia)3,600
LG (Discontinued)2,400
REC Group (Norway, Malaysia)1,800
Panasonic (Japan, Malaysia)N/A

Tier-1 American-Made Solar Panels

The very top tier of our performance rankings are from SunPower, REC, and Panasonic who build their equipment in other countries. But plenty of the US panel manufacturers are close behind them in them in terms of degradation and efficiency. First Solar the largest manufacturer of solar panels in the United States is expanding its product range from commercial to residential panels.

Why Choose Forme Solar?

Solar panels and solar energy systems are long-term investments. When deciding on getting solar power for your California home, be sure to know which panels or energy system will work best for you.

At Forme Solar, we want to make sure that we will walk you through every step of the process with a precise procedure that will meet all of your energy requirements. Tier 1 Solar Panels are the best for homes, and we'll make sure you have a head start here at Forme Solar if you're trying to save money while battling climate change.