What types of warranties are available on solar panels?
Solar panels generally come with an Output or Performance Warranty (in LG's case it is 25 years) and a Manufacturing Warranty (in LG's case also 25 years).
It is important to know who is providing the warranty – the manufacturer or the importer. In brands like LG the manufacturer and importer is LG Electronics, so if anything goes wrong LG Electronics will be the party responsible. In cases where a manufacturer has no representation in Australia, the importer is responsible for the warranty. If the importer changes their business name, sells or ceases to be in business, their Manufacturer's Warranty obligations towards you stops. Also in case the importer only has a small number of staff and operates out of a virtual office, how strong is the warranty really? LG with it’s close to 1 billion Annual business has real skin in the game in Australia and New Zealand, via our existing business investments.
Because the warranties are for a long period of time and the solar industry is volatile, it is almost always better to choose a solar panel from a manufacturer that is diversified (meaning makes a range of products and therefore has multiple income streams) rather than a single solar manufacturer who you have never heard of. Ask the company supplying your system to give you in writing the details of who will provide and uphold the warranty, as well as asking them to back the warranty themselves should the manufacturer go out of business.
A system manual that provides operation, maintenance and safety information should be provided by your installer upon completion. This should also include the warranty conditions and a system energy output (kWh) estimate specific for your system in its installed location.
It is important you obtain written confirmation of statements made by your installer, including performance claims, guarantees, country of manufacture of panels and warranties. For example, sometimes inferior panels are sold with names that mislead the customer on the country of manufacture. Insist on written information at the time of the quote and also as part of the hand over documents. Documentation will be essential if you need to make consumer, warranty or insurance claims. The LG solar warranty information can be found here.