The use of solar panels has increased over the last few years – not only in large institutions but also in individual homes. This is mainly because people have realized that it is a much more pocket-friendly and environment-friendly option. Solar panels are also widely popular in areas of India that suffer from frequent power cuts and thus, the people rely on these panels for electricity.
How much ever helpful these appliances might be, you cannot make a random choice without knowing certain basic features of solar panels. This article aims to inform you about the important factors to consider before buying the best solar panels in India. Once you have a basic understanding, you can easily buy a solar panel that meets your requirements.
There are so many brands selling solar panels in the market today, that deciding on a single one can be quite the task. Read through this article, as it is sure to help out.
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Top 10 Best Solar Panels 2023
In this section, we present to you detailed reviews of some of the best solar panels available in India. Choosing a suitable one for your home or office can be easy with this list to refer to. However, the list is limited to a certain number of products, and you should do your research on some other products to keep your horizons open.
1. Loom solar Panel 50 watt – 12 Volt Mono PERC
Loom Solar is a renowned brand, and one of the best solar panel companies in India. When we think of solar panels, we imagine them producing electricity for a large place, and not for small requirements. However, this is not always the case. You might require solar panels with lesser energy output. Loom Solar provides you with such solar panels here.
To cater to small power requirements, this Loom Solar panel offers a power output as low as 50 watts. However, just because the power output is less, does not mean there is any compromise on the efficiency levels. It produces as much efficiency as a 350 watt solar panel would do. The mono-crystalline solar cell is used to manufacture these solar panels, and this ensures that electricity is produced even under low lighting conditions.
Even when it is cloudy, these solar panels produce quality current for any house. The 12V design is used to manufacture the mono-crystalline cells. There are additionally four busbars and 36 cells that come with the solar panel. The IP67 rated junction box accompanies the solar panels, along with 1 m wide, pre-installed diodes, and an MC4 compatible cable connector.
High-quality silicon cells are used to make the panels, and these come with no manufacturing defects at all, as automated mechanisms are used to manufacture them. These 50W solar panels weigh only 3 kgs, and can be installed very easily, without requiring much space either. You can use the electricity from these solar panels to power a computer UPS and 5 LED lights for six hours. Overall, the 50 W Loom solar panel is ideal for all your small power requirements.
2. Loom Solar 180 Watt-12 Volt Mono PERC Panel (Pack of 2)
Loom Solar panels are considered to be the best and most sturdy solar panels in India, as they come with mono-crystalline cells that are protected by a layer of 3.2mm toughened glass. Be it rough winds, heavy rainfall, or a storm, the Loom Solar 180-watt panel can work with it all. Even the junction boxes of these solar panels are waterproof and dustproof. The durability of the junction box is certified by the IP68 certification.
You will not find a more versatile solar panel, as this 12 V panel is ideal not just for charging 12 V batteries, but also 24 V and 48 V batteries, by just placing many panels. For grid-tied applications, this Loom Solar panel proves to be the best. Electrical leakages are prevented with the help of the 40-inch cables that come with the sturdy MC4 connectors.
Compared to any open voltage circuit of 23.26 volts, this Loom Solar panel’s 12 volts is just as good, and offers premium-quality performance. This proves that the Loom Solar panel has the best performance among all the other panels available within the same range. The maximum operating current of the panel is 9.03 amps, and its ISC factor is 9.31 amps.
In order to generate the maximum energy from the sun, the panels are made of A-grade black silicon. Even in low lighting conditions, the Loom Solar panels perform on 20% efficiency. There are five busbars and 36 cells provided with the solar panels. What makes these panels so sturdy and strong, is the anti-rust aluminum frame. Loom Solar provides a 25 years warranty on this durable product.
3. Microtek Solar Panel MTK 150Watt 12V
We bring to you this world-famous brand called Microtek, that has been serving customers across the globe with its UPS, inverters, and even solar panels. All these products, and the very reasonably priced solar panels, make Microtek one of the best solar panels manufacturers in India. They are not only pocket-friendly, but also extremely sturdy, durable, and are accompanied by many efficient features.
The Microtek solar panel is powered by 150 W energy that is quite enough to supply electricity to various electrical appliances. Heavy-duty aluminum frames are used to make the solar panels, and these are heat resistant as well. These solar panels can transform a large amount of sunlight into electricity, and store it to be used during peak hours.
It ranks high on performance and yet, the price is kept as humble and low as it gets. The panels from Microtek are weatherproof, and are made to stand through storms, rain, snowstorm, or other weather disasters – while remaining in top condition throughout. The junction box is made of aluminum alloy, which makes it resistant to corrosion and for this reason, it remains unaffected by rains. It has IP65 certification to be all weather-resistant.
Microtek provides a warranty of 25 years on these solar panels, and if there is any damage or dispute within this period, then the company takes care of it. All 36 cells are protected by the 3.2 mm EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate). Even when the lighting is low, or it is cloudy, the panel exhibits exceptional performance under all circumstances. The best feature of these solar panels, however, is that it does not create any noise and can be used to run sensitive appliances.
4. Sukam Solar Panel 100 Watt – 12V
Sukam is another leading player when it comes to solar panels, as it has been trusted by the people of India for so many years now. The solar panels that Sukam manufactures are ranked to have the best efficiency and performance – all of this at an affordable price. This particular solar panel has a power output of 100 watts – which is high enough for a few electrical appliances, not too many heavy ones.
There is an iron frame all around the solar panels, that protects the solar cells from any damage. A+ Grade anti-PID poly-crystalline cells make up these poly-crystalline solar panels, and they have a current conversion capacity of 16%. These panels have been designed strictly in compliance with the IEC standards, even when the efficiency levels are not as that of mono-crystalline cells.
You have to provide the Sukam solar panels at least with a space of 12 feet for it to be mounted properly. You can easily set up this solar panel on the terrace of your home. These 100W panels rank high on durability, as they stand firm against tough climatic conditions like heavy rainfall, storm, snowfall, and so on. The solar cells have a protective glass coating around it, and the panels are made to go through durability and reliability tests before being sold in the markets.
Sukam provides customers with a 5-year warranty on the solar panels for any physical damage that might take place. The overall warranty on the panel is 25 years long. Even a 150 mAH battery can be easily changed throughout the day by this solar panel. When compared to various other solar panels, this one does not work as well in low light conditions or when it is cloudy. Another big disadvantage of these solar panels is that it has a power tolerance of ± 3%, whereas most solar panels come with a positive power tolerance.
5. Luminous 160 Watt – 12V Poly Crystalline Solar Panel
Much like Loom Solar is known to make the best monocrystalline solar panels in India, Luminous rules the scene when it comes to poly-crystalline solar panels. They offer a constant 20% efficiency. Its operating efficiency is more than 16% on all the panels that the brand manufactures. It requires nothing more than 10 sq. feet space, and any home terrace can easily provide for that much.
The output energy of these Luminous solar panels is 160 watts, and this can easily charge a battery of 12 V power without any difficulty at all. When there are power cuts in the house, the energy stored from the solar panels can be used to power electrical appliances at home. A+ Grade anti-PID poly-crystalline cells are used to make the panels, and they can charge a lead-acid tubular battery comfortably throughout the day without falling short of electricity. The dimension of this solar panel is roughly 4.8 feet, and it can charge the battery between 9 am and 5 pm.
When the sun is at its peak – which is usually the time around noon, the solar panels can generate their peak energy supply at 8.7 amps. What makes these solar panels reliable and trustworthy, is the fact that they completely comply with the IEC standards and deliver a remarkable performance all the time. The warranty is also quite appealing, as Luminous offers a 25-year warranty on these solar panels.
The solar panels come with an anti-reflective coating that provides resistance against winds, storms, and snow. However, as many appliances have some other drawbacks, so does this one. Since these are made of poly-crystalline cells, they are far less durable than the mono-crystalline cells. Other than that, these Luminous solar panels provide great reliability and at the most affordable price imaginable.
6. Sukam Solar Panel 150 Watt – 12V
While mono-crystalline solar panels tend to have the best durability, poly-crystalline solar panels like this 150-watt Sukam solar panel are much more affordable. The technology involved in making these solar panels does not guarantee as much precision or durability and hence, the efficiency levels are also affected because of this. However, these solar panels can produce a strong enough electric current of 8.5 amps at its peak.
The tolerance levels of these solar panels are plus/minus 3% and thus, the output energy usually fluctuates between 145 W to 155 W. Cloudy days mean a negative tolerance, and bright, sunny days mean positive tolerance and the advantages that it brings. Sukam solar panels are made to go through stringent durability and reliability tests, and only once they emerge successfully are they sold in the markets.
You can connect these solar panels to home inverters, and expect them to operate smoothly without any hassle. During the day time, the panels can charge a 12Vbattery, so that it provides electricity to your home at night, especially if there is a power outage. Tough aluminum frames and toughened glass are used to protect the solar panels from any kind of damage. Within this range, this is the best solar panel in India that you will come across.
A drawback of the Sukam solar panels is that you will require two solar panels to charge a 150 mAH battery – which can occupy quite a lot of space and become a problem if you do not have a big enough terrace for it. Sukam provides a 25-year warranty on the solar panels, which proves how durable these appliances are.
7. Loom Solar 10 Watt, 12 Volt Solar Panel – Poly Crystalline
While both the Loom Solar panels that we have mentioned earlier in the list were mono-crystalline ones, this 10-watt Loom Solar panel is a poly-crystalline solar panel. This one is a small solar panel that can support only small electrical appliances with electricity. It delivers an efficiency level of 10.03%, which is pretty great considering the energy output that it has.
These panels are resistant to a high load of electricity. Even in low lighting conditions like when the weather is cloudy, the Loom Solar panels can produce electricity without any issues. You can refer to this panel as an all-season panel that works effectively all year round. The solar cells have been manufactured using high-quality silicon. Since the panels are produced at a mass scale in an automated manner in factories, they have a standard design and no defects.
The best part about these solar panels is that you can carry it in a backpack, and take it wherever you go. It is highly portable because of its design and size. Even the installation process is so easy and convenient, that you can do it within minutes anywhere you like. Even though this solar panel is relatively smaller and cheaper, the brand does not compromise in its protection, as it also comes with a layer of robust aluminum frame and glass around it.
The price at which these are available will leave you astounded. However, since it uses the poly-crystalline technology, they tend to be less efficient and lack the level of performance that is displayed by mono-crystalline solar panels. Loom Solarstill occupies the role of being one of the best brands in the field of producing solar energy for both rural and urban customer base.
8. Waaree WS-250 Polycrystalline Solar Panel/Solar Module
Waaree is an Indian company that has been manufacturing and delivering excellent quality solar panels to the people of the country and abroad since 1993. These WS-250 poly-crystalline solar panels have been borrowed from the Aditya series of solar panels. The power rating of the Waaree solar panel fluctuates between 240-270 W, which is high enough to support various appliances in your home.
The positive power tolerance of this solar panel is +5% and the module efficiency of the appliance is 15.4%. The temperature coefficient of this model lies at a power level of -0.38%. The Waaree poly-crystalline solar panel has been designed to be resistant to salt mist, dust storm, sand, ammonia, and hail as well. This makes it a truly durable module that has a strong base and sturdy build for all weather conditions.
It can tolerate up to 7500 Pa of snow load and 2400 Pa of wind loads. Waree provides a 5-year warranty on all the materials, and a 10-year warranty on a 90% performance level. The only considerable drawback that we could find after much research is that while other companies provide a 25-year warranty on the solar panels, this one provides only a 20-year warranty. However, this can easily rank as one of the best efficiency of solar panels in India.
9. EXIDE 40W 12V Polycrystalline PV Solar Panel
Exide Industries has been in the business since 1947, and the company is known for producing the best inverter batteries, solar batteries, Genset batteries, submarine batteries, home UPS systems, and so on. The brand is not only reliable, but also manufactures some of the most highly efficient and durable products that rank the best when it comes to performance. Exide has its factories spread out all across the country, manufacturing and delivering goods to the people of India.
Their 40 W polycrystalline solar panels have been designed following the rules and regulations of the MNRE and ICE. It is covered with tempered glass to ensure resistance against heavy rains and fast-moving winds. This glass is 3.2 mm in width, and it also comes with a black sheet with EVA resin. The panels are available for a 12 V DC and support a 24 V system as well.
To make the process of installation easy and convenient, the solar panel is further supported by a robust aluminum frame that is also resistant to corrosion. The quality of the product and its finishing is considered to be remarkable. Furthermore, the safety of the junction box is ensured with the diode, that prevents any accidents due to frequent voltage fluctuations in the solar panels. A drawback that we have noticed in the Exide solar panels is that they do not have any certifications from the IEC, and this makes the product less reliable than the others that have this certification.
10. Tata Solar Panel 100 Watt, 12 V.Polycrystalline, Blue
Tata Solar Power is a company that has over 1000 retail outlets all across northern and eastern regions of India in places like Lucknow, Indore, Patna, and so on. The TP300 solar panel belongs to a large range of solar panels by Tata Power known as the TP300 series. This one is made up of a multi-crystalline panel that has a power output of 300 W, and a positive power tolerance of 0-5%.
The solar cell efficiency of the Tata solar panel stands at 15.1%, with a 25-year power output warranty on the overall product. Ranked as one of the best solar panels in India, it has a temperature coefficient of -0.40% per degree celsius. Frankly speaking, this is one of the best temperature coefficients that you will find in the market, especially when you compare solar panels in the same range like this one.
This solar panel has been designed to be robust and sturdy, so that it can take a load of up to 5400 Pa from snow or heavy winds. This means that it can tolerate the pressure of up to 916 kg. While the efficiency of the solar panel is standard and doable, it is not as high as many others in the same range, and this makes it a drawback.
However, despite drawbacks, you can always rely on these solar panels for durability and reliability. The solar cells are made using raw materials from the best international suppliers for the long-lasting condition of the PV module. These modules are produced as per the guidelines and policies laid down by MNRE and IEC. Tata is popular in India for manufacturing solar lanterns, solar street lights, solar charge controller, solar home lighting system, and such other products. It can very well be trusted with the most effective solar panels as well.
Factors to consider before buying the best solar panels
In this section, we have covered some important factors to consider before buying the best solar panels in India. Fancy advertisements might try to lure you into buying certain solar panels. Do not fall for this trap. Know these important factors, check whether the solar panels you are considering to buy meet the requirements, and only then go ahead to make a decision.
1. Types of solar PV systems:
There are mainly 3 types of solar PV systems – Off-grid, on-grid, and hybrid solar systems. It is important to have a basic idea of how each one functions and operates, so that you know which one will be ideal for your home or office.
- Off-grid solar system – In this, the off-grid solar PV system does not get connected to the primary grid. Its main components are the solar panels, an inverter, power back-up, mounting structures, and the central AC panel. All of this works independent of the entire power network. There are battery banks in this system, where energy can be stored and then used to supply current using a domestic inverter to the household.
If you are living in an area where power cuts are frequent, this power system will be perfect. However, the main electric power system of this solar system is unstable and unreliable.
- On-grid solar system– Unlike the former, this one works along with the primary grid, and does not require power banks to store electricity. If the overall energy consumption is very high at your place, then the on-grid solar system can be of help. You can use this grid during the day to reduce the pressure on the primary grid. This saves on your monthly electricity bills.
- Hybrid solar system– As the name suggests, the hybrid solar system is a combination of the on-grid and off-grid solar systems. It stores energy in power banks like off-grid systems, and connects to the primary grid like the on-grid solar system. Thus, even when there are power cuts at night, you will have a regular supply of electricity with the hybrid solar system.
With this system installed, you can save the maximum amount of money and get maximum efficiency as well. These can be called the best efficiency of solar panels in India.
2. Type of photovoltaic panels:
There are 3 types of solar panels – Mono-Crystalline solar panels, Poly-Crystalline solar panels, and Thin Film solar panels. It is crucial to discuss these three types in a little more detailed manner in this section.
- Mono-Crystalline solar panels– If you are looking for premium-quality solar panels, mono-crystalline panels are ideal. They produce more current as compared to poly-crystalline solar panels. These can be recognized by the single flat black color. Even in terms of efficiency, mono-crystalline panels tend to perform better than polycrystalline solar panels. Single-crystal silicon is used to make the solar panels.
- Poly-Crystalline solar panels– While poly-crystalline solar panels have a low-efficiency rank as mentioned earlier, the reason why many people in India still prefer to buy it, is because they are cheaper. Poly-crystalline panels are blue and that is how you can differentiate them at a glance from mono panels. Due to their affordable pricing, poly panels are widely used for residential purposes.
- Thin-film solar panels– This is a relatively new type as compared to the first two, and is not quite popular in the country yet. Thin-film solar panels are usually black, and they rank the lowest when it comes to efficiency and performance. They come without frames, set in between glasses. This is what makes them flexible. However, these panels occupy a large amount of space which can become an issue, especially in a residential building.
The efficiency of the solar panel is the most crucial aspect. As efficiency goes up, the requirement for the number of panels goes down. The ability of the solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity determines its efficiency and effectiveness. If you have space issues, it is best to look for solar panels with maximum efficiency, as they occupy the least amount of space.
Efficiency tends to reduce if you allow dust and dirt to settle on the panels, and to avoid this, you must clean the panels at regular intervals. Place the panels in a spot that does not get any shadow, as this too can lessen the effectiveness of the solar panels. The tilt of the panels also plays a significant role in determining its efficiency.
3. Temperature coefficient:
Sunlight is the only source of energy that solar panels depend on, but sometimes the heat can get too much for the solar cells. Extremely high temperatures can destroy the cells as well. The efficiency of the solar panel is determined by this temperature coefficient. Efficiency is better when the temperature coefficient is lower.
If the temperature is greater than 25 degrees Celsius, then both power output and voltage drops and the current increases. On the other hand, when the temperature is less than 25 degrees Celsius, both the power output and voltage increase, but the current drops. To reduce the intensity of the sunlight during the day, you can always tilt the panels. The best solar panels available in India are those that come with automatic tilting for this purpose.
4. The durability of solar panel:
Another crucial factor that must be considered before buying the best solar panels in India is its durability. Solar panels are meant to stay outdoors, and they have to tolerate nature’s wrath at every turn. Hence, the solar panel you purchase must have the strength to stand straight through it all. Before reaching markets to be sold off, most solar panels go through rigorous testing against harsh weather conditions.
The testing is done depending on the weather of the country where the panels will be sold, since natural conditions differ from place to place. You can read reviews by other customers in India, or simply rely on a trial and error process to ensure that you buy the most durable solar panel.
5. Solar panel ratings:
The capacity of the solar panel to generate electricity under certain specific conditions is suggested by the solar panel ratings. You can rely on these ratings to make a comparison between different solar panels. If a solar panel shows a high rating, then it means that it creates more electricity than another solar panel with a lesser rating.
However, when two solar panels have the same rating but different power ratings, it usually means that the one with a larger power rating is also bigger. You need to bring in other factors to make the comparison in that case.
6. Solar panel price:
The price of the solar panel is yet another factor that you cannot negate while looking for the best solar panels for home in India. People usually search for panels that give the maximum performance at a low price. However, you must keep in mind that a lower budget might also mean lesser features and lower efficiency. Always check for the quality of components, warranty period, after-sales service, installation charges, etc before buying the solar panel.
7. Solar panel certifications:
Your solar panel must be certified by recognized bodies, as this allows you to get various subsidies and also makes the product trustworthy. It is thus best to buy solar panels that are approved by the MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy). Only those solar panels that are grid-connected qualify to get subsidies from the government.
8. Manufacturer’s warranty:
Even though we have mentioned this factor towards the end of the list, the warranty remains to be one of the most crucial factors that you must take into consideration before buying the best solar panel in India. It is also the trickiest factor. There are two types of warranties that come with a solar panel – the manufacturer’s warranty, and the performance warranty.
The former covers problems such as durability, manufacturing defects, or certain environmental issues. The manufacturer’s warranty that most brands offer usually ranges from 5-15 years. This warranty covers any damage caused due to environmental disasters like storms, cyclones, and so on.
The performance of the solar panel is expected to degrade every year, and this is called panel degradation rate. The warranty provided by some companies on this degradation is known as the performance warranty. This ensures that the degradation of the solar panel will not be beyond a certain percentage within a stipulated time. Usually, the degradation percentage every year is 0.7%.
9. Power requirement:
You must have a rough estimate of your power requirements before investing in a solar panel. Whatever appliance that you will connect to the solar panels, such as fans, lights, air conditioners, and so on, makes up your power requirement. You must calculate the total load all this might add up to. Further calculations will give you the UPS VA rating, and you can go on from there with a few more calculations arrive at the approximate panel size that will suit your power requirement.
You must make sure that the UPS is compatible with the voltage and the current of the solar array.
10. Check the mounting system:
Mounting systems are the things that keep the solar panels mounted at all times. The mounting system protects the solar panels from getting uprooted during harsh storms – which are especially helpful if you live in a cyclone-prone area. There are mainly two types of mounting systems – the flush mounting and the roof or floor mounting.
The former can be easily installed and is reasonably priced, whereas the latter is more expensive, but it ensures a long-lasting life for the solar panels. The roof or floor mounting system is necessary for places that are prone to cyclones. The panels cannot be kept steady with flush mounting when winds pass through in high intensity.
11. Solar inverter:
A solar inverter is needed when you are fitting solar panels for your home. It converts DC into convertible AC. A premium quality solar inverter will ensure that less energy is wasted at all costs. This will not only save on your monthly electricity bill, but also save the environment from deteriorating so rapidly.
12. Elements in a solar PV system:
Lastly, it is important to have some basic knowledge about the few elements that make up the solar PV system. These are:
- Photovoltaic array– Many solar PV panels together make up a photovoltaic array, and when this receives sunlight, it produces DC voltage. The electric supply can be produced by connecting the panels in a series.
- Battery bank– The mechanism of a battery bank is very similar to that of an inverter battery. It stores all the energy throughout the day to be used when there is a power cut or voltage fluctuation at home.
- Power conditioning unit– This unit is meant for the protection of the solar panels, in the case of short circuits or other faults in the line. The DC supply is also converted to AC by this PCU unit. The input energy received from the PV panel and the output power from the power bank is also controlled by this PCU.
- DC and AC connect– Any technical personnel is protected by this unit from electric shocks at the time of system maintenance.
- The Central Panel (AC)– The load of the entire building falls on the main panel, which is protected from accidents by circuit breakers.
- Electric meter– The electric meter is from where you control the power generation of the panels and also its usage. Electricity is supplied to the primary grid if you ever generate excess energy. With ‘Net Metering’ capabilities, such situations can be easily dealt with.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What happens to solar power that is not used?
There might be times when you produce more solar energy than you can consume. During such times, the excess solar power is used to charge the grids and keep them in good condition. This reduces the load on the normal electricity usage and helps you save on your monthly electricity bills.
2. Can I run the entire house on solar power?
Running the entire house on solar power will require a higher number of grids, and can become quite an expenditure, because of the various heavy-consumption electrical appliances we use at home. Thus, it is better to use solar power only for a few appliances, or use it as a power backup for times when there are power cuts in the house.
3. On average, what is the lifespan of a solar panel?
Most companies provide a warranty of 20-25 years on the solar panel – which means that the minimum lifespan is that much. However, with electrical appliances, the trick to a long life lies with good maintenance of the product. When maintained well, a solar panel can last for as long as 40 years.
This article aims to help you out with an electrical appliance that lay people usually have no idea about. However, once you know all the details and information about solar panels, you will realize what a great invention of science it is, and how helpful it has proved to be, in providing electricity to the remotest parts of India. Do your research to know more about the benefits of solar panels in moving towards a sustainable future.