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What exactly are tier 1 solar panels?

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Knowing which solar panel to opt for is incredibly challenging. Price, quality, warranty promise and other factors must be taken into consideration when choosing the right solar panels in Byron Bay for your home or business.


Below, we’re going to look at what is meant by Tier 1 solar panels so that you can make an informed decision regarding this green energy technology.


What is a Tier 1 solar panel?

Contrary to popular belief, Tier 1 solar panels refer to those manufactured by financially stable companies rather than the quality of the product.


This categoisation was designed by Bloomberg New Energy Finance Corporation to differentiate between manufacturers that are likely to produce solar power for the warranted duration of 25 years compared to those who simply supply solar products.


Put simply, which company is most likely to honour their warranty?


To be accredited with a Tier 1 classification, Bloomberg looks for manufacturers which have been backed by 6 or more finance houses on projects entailing 1.5MWp of solar within the last 2 years.


Some examples of Tier 1 solar panel companies include LG, Jinko, SunPower, Panasonic and SolarWorld. 


What are the criteria?

There are many factors that are considered when it comes to defining Tier 1 solar panels, including: 


  • Companies with over 5 or more years of experience: This ensures that they are a reliable source of solar energy and that they are esteemed enough to stand the test of time and remain financially stable. 


  • Enlisted on a stock exchange or have a strong balance sheet: Publicly listed companies are more reliable as they are already subject to certain criteria and are deemed worthy of investment. 


  • Mechanical production processes and high vertical integration: This ensures increased productivity as well as more efficient use of materials that create safe and quality solar products. 


  • Invest heavily in marketing: The increased market shows brand confidence and demonstrates their incentive to invest in quality control. 


With Tier 1 solar panels, their high established reliability ensures that they will honour their 25-year performance warranties.


Their automated production processes mean that there is a low chance of defects and, where problems may arise, their long-standing reputation ensures that they will fix them.


How do they differ from Tier 2 and Tier 3 solar panels?

These high standards, which contribute to long-lasting solar panels that are energy-efficient, are typically 10-30% more expensive than other lower-tiered solar panels.

However, this does not necessarily mean that Tier 2 or Tier 3 manufacturers offer solar panels of lower quality. 

To be specific, Tier 2 solar panels refer to companies that have been established for less than 5 years and do not manufacture their own solar cells – they buy them from Tier 1 manufacturers instead.

Similarly, Tier 3 companies often take part in the assembling process and do not source their own solar cells. Both Tier 2 and 3 are likely to rely on human production lines, which increases product risk. 

At Coughran Electrical Services, we are firm believers in harnessing the power of Australia’s sunny rays and channelling them into green energy.

We are fully qualified to install Tier 1 solar panels in Byron Bay for domestic or commercial use.

Get in touch with us on (02) 6680 4173 or via to learn more about our options and to organise an initial consultation with us.