What Does Tier 1 Solar Panel Mean?

The following are the questions you must ask yourself:

  • Which solar panel brand do you think will last the longest, and which panel will produce more power for a longer period of time than a different panel? (You may find out more about this by clicking here.)
  • Most importantly, what are the chances that if there is a problem with your panels within that 25-year lifespan, the manufacturer will honor their warranty?

A tiering classification system for solar panel producers is one of the solutions the industry has come up with to try to answer these problems.

Tier 1 solar module manufacturers are generally characterized as those who:

  • Have been manufacturing solar panels for at least 5 years.
  • Have a robust and stable balance sheet or are publicly traded on a stock exchange.
  • Have a high degree of vertical integration and completely automated production.
  • Invest a considerable amount of money in promoting their brand.
  • Have a well-deserved reputation for quality and service in the business

Manufacturers who do not meet one or more of the aforementioned criteria are classified as Tier 2 or Tier 3.

Tier 1 solar panels are typically 10-30% more expensive than Tier 2 and Tier 3 solar panels since they are manufactured to higher standards (in order to survive longer and produce more solar power). SunPower, SolarWorld, Panasonic, LG, Trina, Jinko, and Canadian Solar are examples of Tier 1 solar panel manufacturers.

The reliability of Tier 1 solar manufacturers’ warranties is a significant feature that distinguishes them from Tier 2 solar manufacturers. You may be confident that their 25-year performance warranty will be honored, and you should only have reputed contractors install your Tier 1 panels.

What is the difference between a Tier 1 and a Tier 2 solar panel system?

The Bloomberg New Energy Finance Corporation’s tiered system for solar manufacturers is the most well-known (BNEF). This three-tiered ranking was devised by BNEF to indicate the bankability of solar panel producers. Tier 1 solar panels are defined as “those that have given products to six distinct projects in the past two years that have been financed non-recourse by six different (non-development) banks.” These are utility-scale projects with a capacity of 1.5 megawatts (MW) or more. To be deemed Tier 1, producers must also own their manufacturing facilities and sell under their own brand.

The tiered approach makes no distinction between how durable the warranties are, how efficient the modules are, or even how long they typically last. In reality, it has very little to say about the panels themselves. It’s more of a gauge of the panel’s maker – how many banks have decided to invest in projects using the panel they make.

This distinction, however, still has importance for solar owners. Banks prefer to put their money into safe, dependable items manufactured by companies who will stand behind their guarantees. That is something that all solar owners desire. If a factory is designated as tier 1, it means that at least six different banks have regarded them trustworthy enough to invest a significant sum of money in.

If you choose a tier 1 solar panel manufacturer, that doesn’t mean the solar panels will be of the finest quality or the best available. It signifies that a large number of financial institutions are confident enough in the manufacturer to purchase their panels. Tier 2 solar panels aren’t always of worse quality, but there haven’t been enough banks willing to invest in projects using their panels.

What is the difference between a Tier 2 and a Tier 3 solar panel?

A Tier 2 manufacturer is a small to medium-sized company that started less than five years ago and doesn’t undertake any research and development (R&D) and instead buys wafers (solar cells) from a Tier 1 company.

What does a Tier 1 module entail?

Tier 1 manufacturers are often listed in the Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) PV Market Outlook quarterly report, grouped by yearly module manufacturing capacity in megawatts per year.

BNEF has labeled the various brands on this list as “They are bankable since they have their own products, factories, and have deployed their products on megawatt-scale projects. They are also not in the process of filing for bankruptcy and do not have any other major financial problems. The following is BNEF’s exact definition:

“In the last two years, Tier 1 module manufacturers have given own-brand, own-manufacture products to six distinct projects that were financed non-recourse by six different (non-development) banks.

These initiatives must meet the following criteria:

  • greater than 1.5 MW
  • Location, capacity, developer, bank, and module maker must all be available to the general public.
  • Any brand that has had financial troubles, such as bankruptcy, insolvency protection, or a substantial bond payment default, will be removed from Tier 1.
  • A Tier 2 or Tier 3 list is not published by BNEF.

What are the three different kinds of solar panels?

The efficiency of all PV panels varies. That is, certain types and even brands of solar panels are more effective than others at converting sunlight into power. This is due to the fact that the amount and type of silicon cells in a panel might vary. A Solar Panel’s cost, size, and weight are often determined by the number of cells it contains. Although it is commonly assumed that the more silicon cells in a panel, the higher the wattage and power output, this is not necessarily the case. The quality and efficiency of the solar cells themselves determine the panel’s power output.

We’ll look at the three primary varieties of solar panel cells in this blog: polycrystalline, monocrystalline, and thin-film. The first step in choosing the right panel for your home, business, or community is to understand the differences between the three.

What are the benefits of Tier 1 solar panels?

When you purchase a solar panel, you are essentially purchasing two products: a physical product that generates power and a manufacturer’s warranty that specifies the solar panel’s performance year after year. Let’s answer the following questions with this in mind.

What is the life of a solar panel? What warranties and guarantees do solar panel manufacturers offer?

A solar panel has a lifespan of more than 25 years. In general, there are two types of warranties available. The first is a product guarantee, which can last anywhere from 5 to 12 years, and the second is a linear performance warranty, which can last anywhere from 15 to 25 years, depending on the manufacturer.

In an ideal world, you’d choose a supplier who offers the longest product guarantee as well as the longest linear performance warranty.

If there is a problem in solar production over the life of the project, what are the chances the manufacturer will honor the warranty?

Tier 1 solar panels are designed to higher standards (to last longer and create more solar electricity) and have a well-deserved reputation for quality and service in the solar business, so you can expect Tier 1 manufacturers to stand behind their products more than Tier 2 and Tier 3 manufacturers.

Which brand of solar panel will produce more power across the life of the project?

It is regarded reliable to choose any manufacturer from the Tier 1 list. Jinko Solar, JA Solar, LONGi, Trina Solar, and Canadian Solar are among the best-performing solar panel manufacturers.

Is it worthwhile to invest in Tier 1 solar panels?

Tier 1 manufacturers use the following value calculation to explain their pricing premium:

  • Tier 1 manufacturers’ high-quality production process reduces the likelihood of product faults, so you can count on them to honor their product warranties.

The SolarReviews point of view: While we believe that all Tier 1 manufacturers have high-quality manufacturing processes, we also believe that all Tier 1 and Tier 2 manufacturers employ the same engineering firms to develop and build solar cell production lines and solar module assembly lines. However, many second- and third-tier manufacturers may have high-quality automated manufacturing methods as well.

In the end, Tier 1 panels are fantastic, but Tier 2 panels are a touch less expensive while still providing excellent quality.

  • Tier 1 PV module manufacturers have put a lot of effort into developing their brand and being able to charge a premium, therefore they will be more meticulous in their quality control procedures to eliminate failures.

The SolarReviews point of view: This is probably true in general, although there may be second and third-tier solar panel manufacturers with outstanding quality control as well.

I’ve been importing a small brand of Chinese solar modules from a family-owned Chinese company for almost 7 years in my Australian solar installation business. There hasn’t been a single panel with a flaw yet. There have been a number of quality-related recalls from Tier 1 manufacturers throughout the same time span. I have 30kW of these low-cost Chinese panels in a large-scale solar system on my Australian property and have had no problems.

  • Their corporate strength and quality production ensure that if a quality issue arises, they will address it.

If a corporation has spent a significant amount of money promoting its brand, it is less likely that a defective product will harm that brand. They have an incentive to invest in quality control in their manufacturing and to respond favorably to warranty claims because they have invested in their brand.

The final word from SolarReviews: We believe that paying a slight price premium for quality Tier 1 panels, in the range of $.20-$.30 per watt, is worthwhile. We can’t guarantee that it will make a difference in terms of quality or long-term dependability, and we can’t guarantee that any Tier 1 provider will be around in 10 or 15 years. However, we believe that these brands will want to safeguard their name, so if they are still in business, they will be more likely to respond to warranty claims.

Choosing Tier 1 panels is less critical than having a dependable installer who will respond to concerns with your solar system over its lifetime.

We believe that the amount of assets that a solar panel manufacturer has in America is an important factor to consider. If a foreign solar panel manufacturer has minimal assets in the United States and a serious quality issue arises in the future, they will most likely liquidate its American company.

When tiny cracks were discovered in a high percentage of their solar panels, a different second-tier company in Australia just packed up and departed the country.

If you use our site to request quotations, we will provide you with quotes for a variety of options, including Tier 1 and Tier 2 solar panels. After that, you can work with the installer to evaluate if Tier 1 or Tier 2 panels are the greatest fit for your home.

The Tier system (Tier 1, 2, and 3) was developed as part of an international effort to provide consumers a better understanding of the differences between the various producers who crowded the market.

Tier 1 manufacturers are vertically integrated and have been in business for at least 5 years. This means that all production procedures, from wafer manufacture to module assembly, are carried out in-house and are fully automated. These businesses are typically product inventors and the first to introduce cutting-edge, cost-effective techniques.

A Tier 2 manufacturer is a newer company that does not necessarily conduct R&D and typically purchases wafers from a Tier 1 manufacturer. In a Tier 2 company, not everything is automated, which means there is a higher risk of failure.

A Tier 3 manufacturer is typically a start-up. They use Tier 1 tactics to achieve their goals. Because the cells are mostly soddered by hand, there is a higher danger of error than with an automated procedure.

Tip: Select only Tier 1 or 2 manufacturers to eliminate as many hazards as feasible.

Is it true that Panasonic solar panels are Tier 1?

Panasonic solar panels are among of the best tier-one panels available. Panasonic solar panels are expensive because of its advanced technology and high reliability.

What is a Bloomberg Tier 1 Solar Panel?

Bloomberg’s infamous tier 1 designation is in no way indicative of the quality of solar panels. It’s just an assessment of the manufacturer’s bankability based on publicly available financial data. If the company is a significant, well-known manufacturer, this should offer you an indication.

What is PV Evolution Labs Top Performer?

PV Evolution Labs independently tests solar panel dependability with the help of DNV GL. The tests are completely voluntary, with solar panel producers paying to take part. This testing procedure is well-known around the world, and it accurately reflects the solar panel’s performance.

Jinko Solar Panels are now placed among the best performers in four of the six annual tests conducted by PV Evolution Labs, and are one of the few manufacturers to have been recognized as a top performer for the past six years. This is a solid indication that they are a solar industry leader.

Why is office location in Australia Important?

Most solar panel manufacturers who enter the Australian market focus on setting up distribution channels first, then on customer service. As a result, many disgruntled consumers are attempting to contact Chinese headquarters in order to claim their 10-year product warranty.

Relying on your solar installer isn’t always a good idea, as many residential solar installers (including the big ones) have gone out of business before the systems they install have even been installed.

Jinko has offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth at the moment.

When it comes to solar panels, how long do they last?

Photovoltaic (PV) panels, commonly known as solar panels, are designed to last for more than 25 years. Many solar panels that were placed as early as the 1980s are still operating at full power. Solar panels are not only incredibly dependable, but their lifespan has risen substantially in the previous 20 years.