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LG makes some of the best solar panels on the market, so we were surprised to hear that LG Solar would exit the market and cease solar panel manufacturing from mid-2022. Unfortunately, it seems that the pandemic took its toll on this part of LG’s business, especially with many competing manufacturers entering the market and increasing panel efficiency while decreasing prices.
However, as LG produces some of the highest quality, highest-performing panels in the world, these panels will no doubt still live on through resellers and even in the second-hand market. If pricing does come down as a result of the shutdown, we’d still advise customers to consider a purchase carefully.
LG has a reputation for making very good solar panels, winning the EUPD Research Award for top brand PV every year from 2016 to 2021. It has also won the Inter Solar award for best solar panel three times over.
Its latest panel, the LG NeON H, performs exceptionally well due to its efficient (albeit more expensive) long-lasting N-type silicon cells. The NeON H panels have a very good temperature coefficient rating of 0.33%, which makes them suitable for hot climates.
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The new generation LG NeON H is an N-Type monocrystalline solar module that embraces modern half-cell technology. These solar panels have been marketed as premium modules with high yields and good performance, with an increased lifespan and reduced light-induced degradation.
- Range: 350W – 400W
- Efficiency: 19.8%-22%
- Warranty: 25 years
- Cost per panel: from £350
Highlights: High-purity N-type silicon cells boost performance and ensure longevity for these premium solar panels.
Key benefit: With a 400W option, LG NeON BiFacial solar panels can generate more power with fewer panels.
Service: LG is withdrawing from the solar market (see below), which has resulted in some uncertainty about service availability.
Warranty: 25 years. Warranties will still be honoured even as the company exits the market.
Cost: At £350 per panel, the NeON H is on the pricier side of the market, but panels may become cheaper as the company plans its exit.
Pros and cons
The LG NeON H BiFacial solar panel range is their most popular, and it’s easy to see why. Some of the advantages include:
- Excellent energy efficiency: With an efficiency of up to 22%, LG NeON H BiFacial solar panels are among the best performers on the market.
- Greater output: With outputs of 400W, homeowners will generate 60% more energy on the same roof than they would have with conventional solar panels of the same size.
- High durability: 4000 Pa on the rear side for wind loading; this is close to double the industry standard 2400 Pa wind rating.
There are always disadvantages that have to be taken into account, including:
- Cost: Pricing isn’t readily available, but according to online sources, the LG NeON BiFacial solar panel range starts at £350 per panel, which puts it at the upper end of the market.
- LG exit from the market: LG shocked the world when it announced it would exit the solar panel market in 2022. While it’s continuing production to ensure that warranties can be met, it does leave many open questions about the future of LG solar panels and its service capabilities in the UK.
How the LG NeON H BiFacial solar panel works
Bifacial panels produce energy from both sides of the panel. With a solar tracking system that tilts solar cells towards the sun, bifacial solar cell efficiency can generate up to 30% more energy than conventional solar panels, according to some manufacturers.
LG NeON uses N-type silicon cells, which use phosphorus instead of boron, which reduces boron-oxygen defects. This increases efficiency and purity and means that LG NeON BiFacial solars are not affected by light-induced degradation.
Aside from using the N-Type silicon cells in their design, LG also has no fewer than nine bus bars running through the panel serving as highly efficient conductors for solar energy. The increased number of bus bars also reduces losses caused by resistance when panels are working at their optimal levels, which increases performance even further.
LG NeON BiFacial solar panel add-ons
LG doesn’t offer any add-ons to its solar panels, but most dealers will offer add-ons like electric car chargers or indoor zone heating along with installation.
How does the LG NeON H BiFacial solar panel compare to other solar panels?
In terms of efficiency and power output, the LG Neon H BiFacial solar panel is extremely hard to beat, but it’s one of the most expensive modules on the market. If you’re looking for high yields and optimum performance at a better price, the NeON R from LG is a very good option, available in a range from 375W-400W, which will generate power of up to 92% in year 25.
However, as LG is leaving the solar panel business in 2022, you might want to look elsewhere. We would recommend the SunPower Maxeon 3.
SunPower is not only one of the most respected solar companies in the world but an industry leader in terms of efficiency and durability. As such, it offers a full and unprecedented 40-year warranty for the Maxeon 3. This long warranty comes off the back of a failure analysis program which reported a 0.005% return based on warranty claim data (collected after sales of 15 million panels).
By year 40, these panels will still deliver a minimum output of 88.3%. In terms of cost, it’s priced at the same level as the LG NeON H range – although that may change as LG offloads stock ahead of its exit.
What does the LG NeON H BiFacial cost?
The LG NeON H BiFacial solar panels are at the premium end of the solar panel market, similar to the pricing of SunPower:
SunPower Maxeon 3
From £350+ per panel, excluding extras and labour
LG NeON H
From £350+ per panel, excluding extras and labour
Panasonic HIT N 245W
From £250+ per panel, excluding extras and labour
Maintaining LG NeON H BiFacial solar panels
There’s no need to clean or otherwise maintain LG NeON H BiFacial solar panels. In fact, it’s discouraged as any tampering may void the warranty. If you do notice excessive soiling and are concerned about it, you can clean the surface of the solar panels with a damp sponge or soft cloth.
Alternatively, you can simply spray the solar panels down from the ground using an ordinary garden hose. It’s important not to use soap or chemical cleaners in any way.
“LG NeON solar panels cost a bit more, but they are always going to be a better choice. They are not for everybody, but if you can include them in your budget, you know you are going to get an excellent product and that you will be well looked after thanks to their great warranties.”
- Review by Daniel McCabe, GI Energy
“The N-Type monocrystalline solar module by LG to replace the decorated NeON 2 is the new generation LG NeON H. Embracing modern half-cell technology, the LG NeON H is marketed as a premium module for the investor serious about high-yields and above-average performance from a household brand you can trust. The numbers behind LG’s most popular solar module are particularly interesting and worth considering towards an educated purchasing decision.”
– Report by Solar Analytica, April 2022
“Like most things, premium equipment comes at a premium price. LG panels do cost more than the competition, with the Neon 2 coming in at around 30% more than standard mono modules, but you get a lot more for your money. Solar is a long term investment, so it is necessary to take into account performance and degradation rates over the life of the system.”
“LG has a .3% degradation rate. Qcells are at .6%. If you can get the salesman to bring the pricing down a bit, I believe LG is totally worth it in the long run. The 25 year warranties across the board are pretty nice too.”
- 8technium8, Reddit
“One thing to think about is that LG is discontinuing solar panel production soon. Maybe that’s fine since it’s a big company and will still stand behind the warranty.”
- Darkpool70, Reddit
LG NeON H BiFacial solar panels come at a premium price, but you really do get what you pay for. While it’s around 30% more expensive than standard modules, long-term performance is unparalleled.
Degradation is low, which means that your solar panels will continue to efficiently power your home for decades. While LG is leaving the market, it has a solid history of customer service and many other thriving product channels, so it is anticipated that LG will continue to honour warranties as promised. The enormous support the LG corporation has enjoyed, its size and its reputation definitely count for something when making a decision.
The timing of the exit certainly couldn’t be worse because if the LG NeON H BiFacial is anything to go by, LG is currently producing some of the finest solar panels in the world. While production is continuing until mid-2022, we hope that we’ll still be able to get our hands on some LG NeON H solar panels (at a good price) in the future.
Our review methodology
When compiling this review, we read and analysed over 500 customer reviews as well as dozens of reports and reviews by solar panel experts and installers in the UK. We used a scoring system to evaluate the LG NeON H BiFacial solar panels, scoring against the criteria that most homeowners would consider when making a solar panel purchase.
The score sheet evaluated the following:
- The power rating of the solar panel for a maximum score of 10 points;
- The efficiency of the solar panel for a maximum score of 15 points;
- The pricing of the solar panel per panel for a maximum score of 10 points;
- The length of the warranty for a maximum score of 10 points;
- Service and support for a maximum score of 5 points;
- Durability for a maximum score of 15 points;
- Design for a maximum score of 5 points;
- Performance for a maximum score of 15 points; and
- Online ratings and reviews (for a maximum score of 15 points).
Each manufacturer received a total score out of 100.
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