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Solar Panels What are Tier 1 solar panels, and how do they work?

Installing solar panels lets you generate your own clean, renewable energy for your home. But what are solar panels, how do they work, and what does the term ‘Tier 1 solar panels’ actually mean?

Installing a solar panel system saves you money on your power bills AND saves the environment. Let’s take a look at exactly how it does that…

Install Tier 1 solar panels for quality and reliability

Very briefly, a solar panel is made up of layers of silicon moulded into photovoltaic (PV) cells. These cells collect the energy from the sun and transform it into Direct Current (DC) electricity.

But your home uses Alternating Current (AC) electricity, so before you can use the DC energy, you need something to turn it into AC. That’s the job of another vital piece of your solar panel system, the inverter. You can also choose to add a solar battery to your system, which will save the power your panels generate over the day to use at night.

How to choose the best solar panels

At Natural Solar, we only use Tier 1 solar panels, which are the best-ranked panels.

That ranking is given by the solar power industry’s governing bodies. They rate solar products and their manufacturers, so customers like you know which ones are the best value for money.

What’s the best solar panel brand in Australia?

Here at Natural Solar, we want to ensure you get the best possible quality solar panels for the price you pay. That’s why we recommend and install SunPower, Q-Cell and Canadian Solar solar panels – they’re all Tier 1 solar panels, but they come at a range of prices. So no matter what your needs are, we can match a high quality solar panel to your budget.


SunPower - one of the best solar panels in australia

SunPower solar panels are the beauty queens of the market. They have no grid lines, so they blend in nicely with your roof. But they don’t just look sexy – they’re also efficient, durable and priced to give real value for money.

Plus they convert a higher percentage of sunlight into electricity than other solar panels. That means they’ll generate more electricity over the lifetime of your system, so you’ll save far more on your power bills.
Add in a 25-year product warranty AND a 25-year performance warranty, and you get brains, beauty and brawn that’s hard to beat.


Q-Cell - top solar panels in australia

Q-Cell solar panels are mid-range in terms of price, but certainly not in performance. They’re designed for best performance under real conditions – so they work well even in low-light conditions or on hot days.

That’s all down to the innovative coating on their Q.ANTUM solar cells, which captures more of the sun’s rays. More rays = more electricity for you to use. And more power from your solar panels = more money saved.

Canadian Solar

A solar panel system will save you money

While their name may be Canadian, between their Melbourne-based headquarters and their ability to build solar panels that withstand our harsh climate, we’ll claim them as honorary Aussies.

Canadian solar panels are highly efficient and have a 25-year linear output power warranty. So they’ll still be going strong in the 2040s! And all that for a price that won’t break the bank.

How do I choose the right solar system for me?

To start figuring out which solar system will suit you best, ask yourself:

  • How much electricity do you use? One of the biggest factors in determining the right system for you is your current power usage. And the best way to do that is to look at your past electricity bills: they’ll tell you what you use and when you use it.
  • How much roof space do you have? Solar panels come in different physical sizes and capacities. The number of solar panels you’ll need will depend on how much power you need to generate, so your available roof space may influence which system we recommend. For example, if you don’t have a lot, SunPower panels may work better for you. They’re higher wattage and high efficiency, so you need fewer panels to get the same output as other brands provide.
  • How much sun do you get? This depends partly on your location, but also on factors like how shaded your roof is. For example, if your roof is surrounded by trees or tall buildings, SunPower might (again) be your best bet for solar panels.
  • What’s your budget and how long do you plan to stay in your house? Both the size of your system and the solar panels you choose will impact their price and Return on Investment (ROI). If you plan on moving house in the next five years, for example, you need reliable panels that are less expensive. Canadian Solar panels are the most affordable panels we sell, while Q-Cell are our mid-range alternatives, and SunPower are the premium options.
  • Are you eligible for rebates? There’s a range of rebates and incentives for both solar panel systems and batteries that can reduce the cost for you. One or more of these could let you install a larger system than your budget would otherwise allow for.
  • Do you need a solar battery? A solar battery lets you store any excess electricity from your solar panels to use at night or on cloudy days, saving you even more on your power bill. If you think you’ll want one either now or in the future, that may change the system we recommend.

Here’s a quick summary of sizes we recommend based on average households:

Size of houseSmall home
1 or 2 people
Average home
2 to 4 people
Large home
4+ people
Energy useLights, TV/DVD, Stereo Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Microwave Computer, Washing MachineLights, TV/DVD, Stereo Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Microwave Computer, Washing Machine, DryerLights, TV/DVD, Stereo Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Microwave Computer, Washing Machine, Pool Pump, Air Conditioning
Best package1.5kW/2kW3kW/4kW5kW
We also offer systems up to 10kW.
Roof AreaApprox 16-18m2Approx 18-40m2Approx 40-50m2
Number of Panels6 x 250W 8 x 250W12 x 250W 16 x 250W20 x 250W
How much can I save?Cut your electricity bill by up to $800 per year.Cut your electricity bill by up to $1,000 per year.Cut your electricity bill by up to $1,200 per year.

No matter your needs and budget, we have a system that can fit. But identifying the best solar panels and system size is not as simple as it first sounds. The smartest way to do it is to ask us for a no-pressure, no-obligation, individual assessment.

How a solar panel system can help you

Installing a solar system has both financial and environmental benefits. It will help you to:

  • Earn money by selling your electricity back to the grid. Power companies will buy any excess electricity you generate and credit your bill with what’s called a feed-in tariff.
  • Slash your electricity bill. Using free power from the sun means you don’t have to pay expensive electricity rates. And if you add a solar battery, you’ll save even more by using your own power at night.
  • Increase the value of your home. If you might sell or rent out your home in the future, adding a solar system will make your home more valuable.
  • Reduce your carbon footprint. Installing a 10kW solar power system could reduce your personal CO2 emissions by about 12 tonnes each year. That’s over half of the average Australian’s carbon footprint.

The importance of Tier 1 solar panels and qualified installers

Let’s face it – solar panels are a significant investment, so you don’t want to end up with a crappy product or dodgy installation.

At Natural Solar, we only sell Tier 1 rated solar panels and inverters. That means we only provide quality products from manufacturers who’ll still be around in 25 years to service their warranties. The industry Tier ranking is based on a combination of around 15 factors, including:

  • durability
  • quality
  • technical performance of the product
  • experience and financial viability of the manufacturing company.

So buying a Tier 1 component means you can sleep easy, knowing you’ve installed the best-performing, most reliable solar system.

And to help make your slumber even more restful, we’re a fully qualified, CEC accredited team. That means we’ve got the tick of approval from the Clean Energy Council. We’ll install your solar system professionally, clean up afterwards and give you a full 7-year installation warranty and workmanship guarantee.

Long story short: you’ll be sleeping like a baby!

So… should you buy solar panels?

Yes! A home solar system offers a wealth of benefits, including:

  • lowering power bills
  • earning money back from your excess electricity
  • adding value to your home
  • reducing your impact on the planet.

You get to save money and do your part for a cleaner environment – what’s not to like?

Why choose Natural Solar for your solar panel installation?

Trusted, established company

  • Australian-owned and operated by the Williams family for 9 years
  • CEC Approved Retailer meeting the highest of industry standards
  • AFR Fast 100 #15 2017 + AFR Fast 100 #15 2018
  • Bridgepoint 2018 Growth Award Winner

CEC Member

  • CEC Approved Retailer meeting the highest of industry standards

Satisfied customers

Want to know more about solar panels? Talk to us

With over 10 years of experience, our team at Natural Solar can find the best solar panels for your needs, no matter what your budget is. Talk to us to find out how we can help, right around Australia.

The world’s best rated solar panels from
SunPower and Q-CELLS

Sunpower solar panels installed on roof - Natural Solar

At Natural Solar our solar panel supplier partnership ensures quality and reliability combined with long warranty benefits. The manufacturers we use are ‘Tier 1’, which means you get the best-performing products and reliability too.


X22 Series – 360w, E20 Series – 327w

The Worlds recognised top performing solar panels.

25 Year Product Warranty 25 Year Performance Warranty

SunPower® solar panels deliver efficient performance, long-lasting durability at a great value. SunPower solar panels generate more energy over the lifetime of a solar system than other panels. Compared to other technologies, SunPower converts the greatest percentage of sunlight into electricity. This means that over the lifetime of your system, you’ll generate more electricity and save more money on your electricity bills.

Not only are SunPower solar panels the most powerful and efficient on the market, they’re also the best-looking. Thanks to the exclusive SunPower®Maxeon solar cell technology, SunPower panels have no grid lines and blend harmoniously into the roof of your home. Backed by the industry’s best warranty, the residential solar panels combine brains, brawn and beauty to provide the most efficient, renewable solar power.

Download Brochure – X22 360w | Download Brochure – E20 327w | Warranty


Q.PEAK DUO-G5 320-330
Q.PEAK-G4.1 290-310
Q.POWER-G5 270-280

High-performance Q.PEAK DUO-G5, Q.PEAK-G4.1 and Q.POWER-G5 solar panels with their innovative cell technology Q.ANTUM is the solution for all solar applications. The world-record panel is designed to achieve best performances under real conditions – even with low radiation intensity and on clear summer days. Solar panels with Q.ANTUM technology achieve high module efficiencies of up to 19.9% and are characterised by above average durabilities and high operational safety. Like all Q CELLS solar panels, installation is quick and easy for guaranteed immediate use.

Download Product Catalogue | Warranty – Q.PEAK DUO-G5 | Warranty – Q.PEAK-G4.1 |
Warranty – Q.POWER-G5

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These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes a general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on Energy Locals Time of Use Tariff – (TOU – Peak, Off-Peak & Solar Sponge).

The reference price is set by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) for a financial year in relation to electricity supply to residential customers in the distribution region and is based on an assumed annual usage amount. Any difference between the reference price and the unconditional price of a plan is expressed as a percentage more or less than the reference price. The terms of any conditional discounts are shown, along with any further difference between the reference price and the discount applied if a condition is met, expressed as a percentage more or less than the reference price.