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It can be a huge job wading through all the solar panel installation information on the internet. Solar can be a great investment if done right – but a bad financial decision if done wrong. Here I share from experience what to avoid, and general rules of what to look for. If you are just trying to get an idea on price, check out our pricing here.

Four golden rules when choosing a panel:

  • Rule #1: If it sounds like a German panel, it’s probably low grade Chinese. (Munchen, Hanover etc.)
  • Rule #2: If it says “Australian” in the name – run for the hills! Tindo are the only Australian-made panel. APS are not.
  • Rule #3: The Chinese manufacture great products. iPhones, MacBooks, Enphase MicroInverters, Yum Cha, and Tier 1 Solar panels.
  • Rule #4: If a panel is on the Bloomberg Tier 1 list, it’s a quality panel.

Four golden rules when choosing an inverter:

  • Rule #1: If you want the best go for a micro inverter. Enphase micros are the best of the bunch.
  • Rule #2: Over the last seven years, inverters have improved immensly. Look for a newer model inverter, one or two years old max. We use Fronius’ Primo and Sungrow’s new crystal range.
  • Rue #3: Australia was never good at producing panels or inverters. Sorry Latronics. Go European.
  • Rule #4: Chinese are great at yum-cha, top quality solar panels and some really bad third grade low priced  string inverters. (Sungrow is an exception to the rule.)

Three golden rules when choosing the “balance of system” (or remaining components):

  • Rule #1: A system is only as strong as its weakest link.
  • Rule #2: Quality rail, reliable isolators, stainless steel screws, multihole glands, HD & UV rated corro, adjustable tile feet, profiled tin feet and, stainless steel tie-wire, of course, a reliable bunch of blokes to install it all.
  • Rule #3: It’s complicated. You probably are not qualified and experienced to choose the best components – and neither is a solar sales company. Choose a reputable electrical contractor and drill them on the detail.Mark

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