LG… Life’s Good right? It’s a huge brand. But are LG solar panels any good? You might think, they make pretty good TV’s washing machines, dishwashers and loads of other electronic stuff… So their panels must be good too, right? Not necessarily. Here’s a run-down on how LG solar panels compare in today’s market, what they have to offer and where (if anywhere) they are lacking.
LG Solar Panels – Brief History
LG are a large Korean company with a zillion different technology products. If you want a long-winded version of the history of LG solar, go here. Basically though, they’ve been a player in solar panels since 2010, and they have some pretty shiny panels to offer, if you can afford them.
EDIT BY REQUEST FROM LG (27/5/15): LG has been researching solar since 1985 and have been bringing out limited PV products like PV solar lights for remote locations in Korea since the mid 1990’s.
One thing I will say just from doing a basic internet search for “lg solar”, is that it’s pretty confusing as to who they are. I mean, we all know they are LG, but it seems there are 3 websites for LG solar panels:
In my mind, it seems logical to have a separate website for the solar branch of their company but do they really need 3? No they don’t and yes it is confusing.
LG Solar Panels
LG offer 3 types of solar panels:
- The Mono X
- The Mono X-NeON
- The Mono X Black (No longer available in Australia)
- LG NeOB Black (Available from August 2015)
The range is not vast, but the quality is impressive. They don’t really offer much additionally in terms of solar panel quality, but they do have a pretty good hold on efficiency. LG have now moved to the NeON2 panel range. This is mainly to provide an even higher quality module that lasts longer.
Awards & Independent Test Results
OK so LG won the “intersolar” award in the “photovoltaics” category. Here’s the statement about what the 2013 award was all about:
LG Electronics Deutschland GmbH, from Ratingen, have developed a particulary high-performing solar module, the Mono X NeoN, which boasts both improved efficiency and lower costs. This is made possible by using n-type (bifacial) solar cells, which use the solar insolation from two sides, passivation and improved light coupling. The modules are produced using 10 to 20 percent less material.
Furthermore, at 16.8 kg the solar modules are especially light-weight. They are highly resistant against environmental effects, too. The jury was impressed with the solar module’s combination of technologies used, the sustainable use of resources and the economic viability.
Does this mean it’s a great panel? Yeah, it’s a great panel. Should you buy it because of this? Not necessarily – it’s all about weighing up costs, value, aesthetics and longevity. And it all depends on what you consider valuable in a solar panel. A good solar panel should deliver excellent results, with an excellent warranty at a low price right? So which of these does LG have to offer?
EDIT REQUESTED BY LG (27/5/15): This is complete blubber – Photon chooses the panels. We have offered the panels to them, but have not been taken up – simple as that.
What about Photon test results? Well, here’s the thing see: There are none. I guess LG haven’t wanted to put panels into the Photon module yield test in case their performance was just the same as the rest.
LG Solar Panels Review Summary
So are LG solar panels any good? Well of course they are. An enormous company like LG is probably not going anywhere. They make pretty decent quality stuff most of the time and their solar panels benefited from the enormous amount of resources the company has to pour into them. But, they could be better. I mean, for one thing the price is a little bit high compared to other panels on the market. If you compare an LG quote to many other solar quotes you get with other reputable solar panel brands, you’ll likely see a big price difference.
EDIT REQUESTED BY LG (27/5/15): Our [LG] panels go for 5kW with SMA inverters for around $7,500 – Trina Honey is for around $6,500 or $6,800 for similar.
So at the best (according to LG) you’re paying an extra $700 for their panels over Trina. The question you should ask yourself is whether it’s worth the extra investment.
Admittedly, LG have got a fantastic product and if you want the best of the best then LG are a great choice. The new NeON2 technology upgrade means they are also now offering a legitimate 12 year warranty, which is more than most!
LG Solar Panel Performance
LG were kind enough to share some monitoring data with BSPQ which showed how well LG panels were performing against most major competitors and the results were promising! Even if LG aren’t listed in Photon, this convinced us that they are a serious contender in terms of performance. LG are also one of the market leaders in terms of R & D. LGchem storage systems look very similar to the Tesla Powerwall and it’s fantastic to see innovators in the market contributing to the role solar plays in our energy mix!