With solar power, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Before deciding whether we could recommend any components for solar power, we spent weeks compiling statistics, wading through specifications, and getting expert inputâ€”and even so, the picks we make here represent only a starting point on the road to solar. Every installation needs to take into account electricity consumption, geographic location, roof orientation, local permits, and a host of other issues. This guide will help you get a rough idea of how much power you'll need, and then, in most cases, the first option you should consider is a grid-tied system made up of Suniva Optimus 335W monocrystalline solar panels paired with SolarEdge P400 power optimizers, plus a SolarEdge inverter at the heart of it all. Suniva panels are efficient, affordable, and backed by a reputable warranty from a company with manufacturing in the US. SolarEdge inverter components, meanwhile, combine the reliability and cost savings of a traditional string-inverter system with the placement flexibility and increased efficiency of microinverters.
In the past five years, solar panels have started to become a commodity item, with small technical differences that are immaterial to most homeowners. The Suniva panels, made at factories in Georgia and Michigan, come with a 10-year warranty and a 25-year power guarantee, though most other top-tier manufacturers offer the same warranty. The Suniva panels are right in the middle when it comes to efficiency ratingâ€”not so low as to require the extra space that cut-rate panels may need, but not so high that you're paying 50 percent more for engineering prestige you'll never notice. If you can find panels from a similarly reputable company with the same warranty and similar efficiency but a lower price tag, you'll probably be just as happy with them. But the Suniva panels should be the bar that you try to clear as you shop.