All About Solar Panels

Curious about solar panels? We can help.

With so many solar panels on the market, what’s the best choice for your home? Do you decide based on performance, warranty, or cost? -- or all of the above?

Having now installed more than 10,000 clean energy systems, ReVision Energy is here to share the wisdom gained from real-world solar installations to help you make an informed decision about what is best for your situation. ReVision Energy designs solar arrays using a wide range of options in order to meet your renewable energy goals. Our goal is to educate you so that you can make an informed solar investment decision.

Why do solar panels come in different sizes?

solar-panel-choices.jpgResidential solar installations across the globe utilize 66 cell solar panels whereas 72 cell panels are more common in large commercial ground mounted systems. We have experience with both panel types and have found that smaller panels are superior for rooftop solar installations in our region for these important reasons:

  • Small format, residential solar panels have higher snow load ratings which means that they are better equipped to handle the snowstorms we see in our New England winters. The larger solar panels bend in the middle much more easily under heavy snow loads. While there may not be any immediate visible harm, micro-cracks and damage to the frame can occur over the long term, which reduces the longevity of your system.

  • Power density (the amount of power you can pack into a space) is generally higher with standard size solar panels than with the larger commercial solar panels. While the larger ones may have a higher total wattage, the smaller solar panels are typically more efficient and therefore will produce more electricity per square foot on your rooftop.

  • Standard size solar panels weigh about 45 pounds each while the larger ones are typically about 12 pounds heavier. The health and safety of our installation team is our priority. With the amount of carrying and lifting needed to install panels on your rooftop, working with a smaller, lighter panel reduces the likelihood of injuries in the field.

The standard size solar panels are the clear winner for our residential systems to stand up to our winters and keep our installers safe, without sacrificing solar production.

Are Solar Panels Reliable?

Absolutely! Nearly all reputable manufacturers will offer a 25-year power production warranty and at least a 10-year aesthetic warranty, which covers defects in the look of the collector that do not affect performance.

Our team that procures panels has over 50 years combined experience in the solar energy industry and scrutinizes manufacturers and their products over a wide range of factors including: performance, build quality of the product, aesthetics, capitalization of the manufacturer (i.e. will they be around 20 years from now to honor a warranty should it be required), product availability, and price.

Know that any proposal received from ReVision Energy includes solar panels that any employee-owner of our company would be proud to install on their own roof.

How to Compare Solar Costs

One of the most common questions we get, and one of the hardest, is -- what do solar panels cost?

It's important not to look at the cost of a solar installation solely at the cost of the solar panels themselves. So much more goes into it - design and engineering on the front-end, permitting/rebates/interconnection paperwork, and a team that is able to efficiently and safely install the solar panels on your roof (or yard) and connect it with a solar inverter which may be in your basement, garage, or even mounted outside. Pricing is affected by the site-specific details of your home; such as how many stories tall your home is, how complex the electrical work will be, and other site specifics.

ReVision Energy offers the most competitive pricing we can possibly offer, while also running a company of the highest caliber. Some things that differentiate us from the competition:

  1. All people who work on residential solar installations are ReVision Energy employee-owners. This is a profound difference vs. companies which subcontract out labor to other electrical contractors. Our employees care because they love what they do, and they are the owners of the business.

  2. While solar panels and inverters are the major 'big ticket' items in a solar investment, all the other install details (everything from choice of conduit, to type of electrical wire, to roof penetration details) are incredibly important, and our systems typically will include more attention to these details than other's will. Cutting corners on things like nuts, bolts, and wire connectors to shave costs leads to long term service issues and ReVision promises to always use the highest quality components.

  3. We often see exaggerated / optimistic claims in competitor's proposals regarding electricity production - we promise not to do this. We would far prefer to lose an individual job than to make claims that don't stand up in the real world. We perform detailed shading analyses before all of our system designs. Our modeling of system performance and productivity is based on data from the National Renewable Energy Labs (NREL) as well as a deep proprietary data set on seasonal solar production and snow load data accrued in our 12+ years of business and 9,000+ installed systems across all of Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.

  4. ReVision Energy maintains a 24/7/365 emergency service team, at the ready to support you in the (unlikely!) situation that your solar panels have an issue. While solar panels are an incredibly reliable technology, problems can occur, so having a dedicated service team is very important in order to ensure your investment lives up to expectations.

  5. ReVision Energy’s 350+ co-owners share an interest in the longevity of our business. We know that quality installation practices, legendary customer service, and a long-term commitment to our mission of reducing fossil fuel usage and carbon emissions in New England will allow us to provide support to you for the many decades that your solar array will be producing clean, renewable electricity at your home.

So, what kind of solar panel will I get?

The best solar panels for you will depend on where you live, how much power your home needs, and other factors. Our skilled solar design specialists will help you flesh out all those details and find the best solar option for you and your home. For 2022 and onward, our most common solar panel choices are Q CELLS and REC. We have developed long-standing, mutually-beneficial relationships with both companies, whose quality products and exceptional customer service make them stand out in the industry.

Q_CELLS_solar_panels-1-600x207.pngHigh-Efficiency Modules Made in the USA

Our high-efficiency solar panel option comes from Q CELLS, a German engineered solar technology innovator with assembly plants right here in America. Their high efficiency DUO BLK ML-G10 module is the first 400W panel offered for residential solar customers, and ReVision is thrilled to bring this module into our lineup.

Household Name for Top-Notch Solar Panels

RREC-certified-solar-professionals.pngEC Group offers a variety of solar panels, each as powerful and durable as they are sleek and stylish.  A long-time forerunner in the solar energy industry, REC combines rigorous testing and advanced technology to produce a line of high-quality residential solar panels that we’ve come to love.

Plus, thanks to our ProTrust Installer rating, every REC solar panel we install comes with their 25-year ProTrust Warranty.

Committed to Great Options at Great Prices

Our relationships with REC and Q CELLS, two innovative companies committed to quality and performance, enable us to offer our customers the best prices, regardless of which solar panels you end up getting. In our journey as a B-Corp, we’ve learned that doing the right thing for people and the planet often ends up being a good financial decision, too. Taking the time to foster supportive, mutually beneficial partnerships with our solar panel providers means more opportunity for us, and lower prices for you.