Director of Solar Business Services, Nigel Morris, breaks down what PV quality in China really means.
Explained using the analogy of a cake recipe, substituting ingredients (materials) – such as the back sheets, cells, glass and connectors – can alter the price. Despite looking the same for the first year or two, when cheaper materials are used in the manufacturing process, the end result is a poorer quality panel. Subsequently this also means a shorter warranty.
Some lower quality panels are making their way into Australia .. even through official channels. When lower quality materials in the ‘recipe’ are used for specific projects in less-developed nations, transparency in the importation of these panels does not help to identify poorer quality. Some vendors are trying to pass them off as high-quality products when they are not of the same build quality. This deceitful practice leads to concerns when it comes to consumer trust and loyalty, and has no place in the solar industry. Furthermore, parallel imports are being excluded from warranty coverage by some manufacturers.
Bottom line: You get what you pay for.