LG Solar Update - since publishing this blog, LG has stopped manufacturing solar panels. Check out the video below to learn how this is impacting the solar industry and for a list of solar panel brands that are stepping up to fill the void.
Ensuring you install dependable, high-quality panels is a big part of creating a successful solar system that produces free electricity for decades. But there are so many solar panel brands out there, and finding the right one can be difficult.
To give you a hand, we’re going to compare two of the most popular solar panel manufacturers on the market today: Axitec and LG Solar.
Axitec has been producing solar panels since 2001. Based in Germany, they manufacture their panels in Europe and Asia for worldwide distribution. LG Solar, which is part of the larger LG Electronics brand, got into solar panel production in 2004. The South-Korean company manufactures its panels in Asia and America for worldwide distribution.
This blog compares each brand based on the following criteria:
Which Panels Cost More: Axitec or LG Solar?
The installation cost is the biggest hurdle for most people when investing in solar. The less expensive the panels are, the less you’ll have to pay for your system upfront. However, a higher price solar panel often means better quality and higher efficiencies.
Each panel will be assigned a wattage amount. Some panels have a higher wattage ranking than others, whether it’s due to how many cells the panel has, monocrystalline vs polycrystalline, and even backsheet color. To help you compare apples to apples, you should take a look at the cost per watt of the panel.
When comparing Axitec to LG, Axitec will likely always have lower-cost options, and LG will almost always have more expensive panels. To relate it to the car world, Axitec is a Toyota, and LG is a Lexus.
You’d expect to pay more for a Lexus because it has additional features and is a higher quality. That said, Toyotas are an incredibly dependable product that performs well and has an attractive price.
As you’ll see in the upcoming sections, LG does offer industry-leading panels in terms of efficiency and warranties. That said, Axitec panels still offer above-average panels in efficiency and warranties at a mid-range price.
Are LG Solar Panels More Efficient than Axitec Solar Panels?
A solar panel’s efficiency is how much electricity it produces compared to the amount of energy it receives from the sun. This rate is based on lab-controlled tests where companies use industry-standard variables. As a general rule of thumb, the higher a panel’s efficiency, the more they’ll cost.
Axitec manufactures panels with an efficiency rate ranging from 17.21% to 20.38%. Their standard 60-cell and 72-cell panels cap out at 17.83% efficiency. They also offer 120-cell and 144-cell panels that utilize half-cell technology to increase their efficiency. If you’re interested in an Axitec panel with an efficiency of more than 17.83%, you’ll have to go with the half-cell technology, which comes at an additional cost.
LG Solar offers panels that fall between 19.6% and 21.7% efficiency. All of these panels are 60-cell and 72-cell panels, meaning they don’t produce half-cell panels at this time. However, their standard-cell solar panels are still more efficient than Axitec’s half-cell panels.
Overall, LG Solar offers more efficient panels than Axitec. They offer some of the most efficient solar panels on the market today. That said, Axitec’s half-cell technology offers a high-efficiency option as well. While costs vary, half-cell Axitec panels cost less than LG panels, though Axitec’s half-cell technology can’t quite reach the level of LG’s NeON R’s 21.7% efficiency.
You may be asking what the benefit of having very efficient solar panels is? Is the cost premium worth it?
It depends. If you have a relatively small area to install the solar panels, every little bit of space counts. Higher efficiency means more electricity produced with the limited number of panels you’re able to install. However, if you have a large space, you can install a few extra panels to make up for the production lost by opting for a less efficient panel.
Who Has a Better Product Warranty, Axitec or LG Solar?
Product warranties protect your solar panels from issues from manufacturing or materials. The manufacturer will repair or replace the product for free if something goes wrong and it's under warranty.
That said, product warranties typically don’t cover the labor required to uninstall and reinstall the troubled panels. But if you choose Paradise Energy as an installer, you’ll have access to our Triple Ten Guarantee, which does cover the labor required for warranty parts.
When it comes to product warranties for Axitec and LG Solar, they offer a 15-year and 25-year respectively. LG Solar also breaks industry convention here and includes labor costs for module repair or maintenance in their product warranty.
While it’s essential to ensure your purchase is backed by a good warranty, you also need to assess the company who offers the warranty. After all, if the company that’s guaranteeing your product goes out of business, there won’t be anyone around to fulfill the warranty.
In terms of both Axitec and LG Solar, we’re very confident in their staying power and dependability, meaning they’ll be around to honor their warranties. Both are experienced, long-lasting leaders in the solar industry. That said, LG Solar has the backing of LG Electronics, which is a very large and diversified company. Axitec, on the other hand, specializes in solar panels and doesn’t have the backing of a tech giant.
Performance Warranties & Degradation Rates: Does Axitec or LG Solar Do it Better?
In addition to the product warranty, solar panel manufacturers also offer what’s called a performance warranty. This guarantees that the panels will stay above a certain degradation rate.
A solar panel’s degradation rate measures how quickly the panel degrades over time. With each passing day, your solar panel’s ability to produce electricity very slowly decreases. That means a 20-year panel will produce less electricity than a brand new panel. Performance warranties exist to ensure customers that their panels won’t degrade too quickly.
Axitec and LG Solar offer a 25-year performance warranty guaranteeing degradation rates.
Axitec’s warranty guarantees that after 15 years, the panels will still have 90% of their nominal performance, and after 25 years, the panels will still have at least 85% of their nominal performance.
LG’s performance warranty promises that after 25 years, their panels will still produce at least 90.8% of their labeled power output. That’s a 5.8% increase over Axitec. This means LG Solar panels will degrade much more slowly and will produce more free electricity for a longer time.
It’s worth noting that no panel manufacturer’s performance warranty will cover actual production, or how much electricity the panel produces. The warranty only guarantees that they’re able to produce that much electricity in ideal situations. Actual production is based on how the panels were installed, weather, their exposure to sunlight, and other factors.
A warranty that does guarantee solar panel production is very valuable though. Paradise Energy’s Triple Ten Guarantee does uniquely cover actual system performance. In your solar system quote, we’ll estimate how much electricity your system should produce each year. During your system’s first ten years, we'll pay you the difference if it produces less than we estimated.
Should You Install Axitec or LG Solar Panels?
LG solar offers a more efficient solar panel and better product and performance warranties. However, Axitec offers solar panels that are still above average and of great quality at a much lower price.
If you’re looking to keep costs low, Axitec may be your better bet. However, if you’re looking to install the best solar panels out there today, LG Solar’s are hard to beat.
Regardless of which you choose, both Axitec and LG Solar offer high-quality panels that will produce plenty of cost- and emissions-free electricity for decades to come.
|BRAND||COST||EFFICIENCY||PRODUCT WARRANTY||PERFORMANCE WARRANTY|
|Axitec||Cheaper option than LG Solar||17.21% to 20.38% Efficiency||15-year product warranty||All panels have a 25-Year performance guarantee at 85%|
|LG Solar||More expensive option than Axitec||19.6% to 21.7% Efficiency||25-year product warranty||All panels have a 25-year performance guarantee at 90.8%. Also includes labor costs.|
Take a look at our other panel brand comparisons.