Wouldn’t it be great to know the 11 best solar panel manufacturers in the USA who are just right for you? This article gives an analysis on how to choose from the very best solar panels keeping in mind the economic and efficiency concerns.
About a month ago I visited an old friend who had installed a domestic solar energy system on his roof. I asked him, how long it had been installed and whether these domestic solar systems were as efficient as they say they are. He told me it has been a most nerve-racking experience; instead of choosing quality he picked the cheapest product in the market.
I figured this is something that happens to a lot of people; instead of finding financial benefit and comfort they’re banging their head against the wall by paying high maintenance and equipment malfunction costs. I decided to do a little research to find out 11 best solar panel manufacturers in USA whose products guarantee quality and financial benefit.
Choosing American Solar Panel Companies
When choosing American solar panel companies, you need to know a few important things about the market and the jargon used when dealing with solar panels.
As you will find out further in this article, not every company on this list has its headquarters in the U.S. They may have a manufacturing unit in USA but are a sub-company of another Country.
Take McDonalds for example, although an American Brand, it also serves its products in in Tokyo, Japan.
Most American companies import key components from other countries (usually Asia and Europe) but assemble some or all of their solar panels in the U.S.
Knowing how the market works would be helpful in determining what is American made and what is foreign. For example: Tesla using solar panel technology of Panasonic which is originally a Japanese company.
How Solar Panel Manufacturers Are Ranked?
Manufacturer rankings are based on the total volume of solar panels that the companies sell. Being in the top position does not necessarily mean they offer the highest quality panels. There are some manufacturers who produce a smaller volume of solar panels but specialize in customized and quality products, whereas a larger manufacturer has a higher market share.
In easy terms, a company making 1000 products is ranked higher than a company making 10 products.
The important thing for you to remember would be to choose a company who make energy efficient solar panels.
A detailed article explaining energy efficient solar panels will be posted soon. So hang on tight!
What is Solar Panel Efficiency?
The efficiency of a solar panel also known as photovoltaic (PV) module is based on cell type, glass, polymer backing and aluminium framing. Solar panel efficiency is how efficiently a solar panel captures sunlight and coverts it into electricity. In similar conditions, a high efficiently solar panel will produce more electricity than a low efficiency solar panel of the same size.
In most cases, the size of a solar panel refers to the panel’s output (wattage or electricity potential). Most domestic solar panels also have voltage ratings of 12 or 24 Volts. To get into more details you can always read the about cells, wattage, voltage, battery banks and direct current.
11 Best Solar Panel Manufacturers in the USA
According to a recent news on Times, the Trump Administration on January 2018 slapped 30 percent tariffs on imported solar panels to promote local manufacturing. Surprisingly, most U.S. solar manufacturers import large quantities of materials and equipment from Asia, but there are a few companies who manufacture some (or all) of the solar panels in the U.S.
Here is the breakdown of 11 best Solar Panel Manufacturers in USA:
(HQ – Headquarters, MFG – Manufacturing)
|Silfab Solar||HQ: ON, Canada, MFG: Bellingham, WA|
|Heliene Solar||HQ: ON, Canada, MFG: Mountain Iron, MN|
|Seraphim||HQ & MFG: Jackson, MS|
|Solaria||HQ: Oakland, CA|
|SunPower||HQ: Silicon Valley, San Jose, CA|
|SolarTech Universal||HQ & MFG: Riviera, FL|
|Mission Solar Energy||HQ & MFG: San Antonio, TX|
|First Solar||HQ: Tempe, AZ, MFG: Perrysburg, OH|
|SunSpark Tech||HQ & MFG: Riverside, CA|
|Prism Solar||HQ & MFG: Highland, NY|
|Tesla Energy||HQ & MFG: Buffalo, NY|
Silfab Solar is based in Mississauga, Ontario Canada and has manufacturing facilities in Ontario, Canada and Bellingham, Washington State.
Silfab Solar boasts an experience of 35 years in the solar industry and is one of the leading manufactures in North America. In 2010, Silfab Solar Inc. was a collaboration of international Solar Investors under a family of vertically-integrated PV product companies.
Silfab enjoys extensive experience that spans the entire photovoltaic supply chain.
Heliene is a Canadian company whose corporate headquarters (HQ) is in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, where they do most of their manufacturing. But in 2018, Heliene set up a solar panel factory in Mountain Iron, Minnesota with an investment of more than $18 million to get a 25,000 square foot factory up and running on the Iron Range.
The good thing, I like about Heliene is their commitment on research & development (R&D) on advancing solar technologies by investing 5% – 8% of their annual revenue. Their research is focused in the areas of product efficiency, cost optimization, and connectivity to smart gird system.
Now in operation for over seven years, Heliene continues to build knowledge and gain expertise in the North American solar industry.
They are committed to providing the highest possible value in terms of product quality, price, and accountability with one-on-one customer service.
Seraphim also known as Jiangsu Seraphim Solar System Co., Ltd was founded in China in 2011. For U.S consumers they have moved their solar panels production to Jackson, Mississippi. Seraphim specializes in research and development (R&D), production and sales of solar products.
In 2000, Solaria was founded in New Mexico as a solar technology innovation company. They moved to the Silicon Valley, California in 2003 to tap into world-class semiconductor expertise.
In 2006, they built their first solar panel production line for utility –scale solar applications. Since inception, Solaria is involved in various solar technology advancements such as solar-trackers. Solaria recently raised $23 million to triple their manufacturing capacities.
Since 1985, SunPower is consistently delivering products to its customers with a total solar energy generation of more than 18,000,000 megawatt hour (MWh). They have over 750 patents in solar technology and are based in Silicon Valley, California. SunPower has officially stepped up their panel manufacturing facilities in the U.S.
SolarTech Universal is a USA owned solar panel company based in Riviera, Florida. They manufacture highly efficient, high quality solar paneIs and provide leading warranty on their products.
Mission Solar Energy
Mission Solar Energy is a U.S Photovoltaic (PV) solar module company is based in San Antonio, Texas, where they design, engineer, and assemble their solar panels for a variety of rooftop and ground applications. Their 240,000 square-foot factory reportedly can produce up to 50 panels per hour and has an annual capacity of 200MW (megawatt).
First Solar is a U.S Photovoltaic (PV) solar module company headquartered in Tempe, AZ since 1984. They manufacture solar panels in their facilities located in Perrysburg, Ohio and Kulim, Malaysia. They have also increased their manufacturing by setting up a new facility in Vietnam.
In 2012, First Solar witnessed record sales of over $3.37 billion. Their low cost panels have been one of the key reasons for its market performance.
SunSpark Technology is one of the leading U.S solar panel manufacturers based in Riverside, California. SunSpark’s parent company Yiheng Science & Technology Co. Ltd is based in Winhuangdao, China has over 20 years of solar manufacturing experience.
SunSpark is dedicated to creating American manufacturing jobs and is supporting the local community. They also invite their customers to witness solar panels production at their manufacturing facility.
Prism Solar is based in Highland, NY with a Research & Development Office in Tucson, AZ. Prism Solar’s bifacial modules harvest sunlight on both sides, making use of the sun by generating signigicantly more energy (kWh) per watt of power than traditional modules.
Tesla Energy is partnering with Panasonic to manufacture solar panels at Tesla Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo, New York. Tesla Energy provides a wide range of solar panels and solar roof solutions for domestic customers. A recent Reuters report has claimed that the “great majority” of solar cells currently being manufactured in the Gigafactory 2 are being exported to other countries.
How to Choose the Best Solar Panel for Yourself?
Before choosing the best solar panel for your house, office or business you need to keep some essential factors in mind:
Solar panel efficiency will determine how much amount sunlight is converted into electricity. This is an important factor as most conventional solar panel manufacturers guarantee an efficiency ranging between 14-22%.
Solar panels with different power represent the amount of power a solar panel can generate. Most conventional solar panel manufacturers make solar panels ranging from 250 to 350 watts. Also remember that solar panels with higher power usually are more efficient but costlier.
Warranty is also one of the most important factors when you choose a solar panel. Most solar power manufacturers guarantee their products life ranging between 20 to 25 years. You need to be careful when reading the warranty clauses of the manufacturer. That helps you determine what’s covered and what isn’t. Choosing a well-known and reputed company will be important for you as they will honour your warranty.
What to do after you’ve chosen a solar panel manufacturer?
You are at a stage when you’ve chosen the best solar panel manufacturer. A few technical things remain which will help determine how well your solar energy system would work for you.
1. Solar Energy System Size
You need to do some calculations here and find out what appliances would be on solar (if it’s an on-grid solar energy system), but if you going for an off-grid solar energy system every appliance would be on solar.
You also need to measure your roof. How much space do you have and what would be the ideal power size of each solar panel. Would 10 solar energy panels of 250 Watts be better than using 7 solar energy panels of 350 watt?
2. Tax Benefits and Incentives
Your locations matters a lot because every country, state have different tax benefits and incentives. You need to visit your local tax authority’s website and do some research on the local governing policies and incentives.
3. Product Availability
You need to be sure which solar panels are available in your area. This will be cheaper and more convenient for you as if you have the product available within your area you can get excellent after sales and maintenance services.
4. Solar Panel Company Reputation
Choosing a well-known and reputed company will be important for you as they will honour your warranty, provide you with quality after sale services and let’s face it, give you excellent customer support services.
Finding the best solar energy system is time consuming. We’ve managed to narrow your selection to 11 best solar panel manufacturers which provide you with good quality products and services.
Now that you have a clearer idea of what kind of solar panels you need for your house, office or business, request quotes from different solar panel manufacturers and compare their product specifications and price.
We’re sure that if you follow the guidelines within this article, you’ll find the right solar energy system.
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