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Silfab vs Axitec Solar Panels: What's Best?

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Silfab Solar and Axitec Solar are leaders in the manufacturing and technological development of high-efficiency solar panels. Silfab solar panels are specially designed for the North American residential and commercial solar energy market. From solar cells to PV modules to complete solar energy systems, Silfab uses their over 30 years of experience to manufacture affordable, high efficiency modules. Axitec solar panels are backed by German engineering, with emphasis on improving quality, reliability and efficiency of their solar modules. Headquartered in New Jersey and California, Axitec is able to quickly service the United States solar energy market.

Both Silfab Solar and Axitec Solar offer multiple solar panel cell and aesthetic designs, likewise, both company’s modules produce high watt modules which decrease the amount of additional equipment required for many installations. In combination with advanced inverter technologies such as microinverter and string inverter with optimizer systems, you can get more out of your system for less. Silfab solar sells are composed of high-efficiency PERC cell technology while Axitec’s cells are classified as high efficiency cells.

Both companies offer half cut cell technology, which is known to enhance the efficiency of solar modules by reducing the risk of "hot spot" development. By halving the surface area of the module’s solar cells, half cut technology decreases the amount of space where these temperature anomalies can occur. This technology further gives half cut modules a higher temperature range than their 60 and 72 cell counterparts.

In this comparison of Silfab Solar vs Axitec Solar Panels, we will explore the following:

  • Specifications and Technology
  • Average Costs and Efficiency
  • Warranty & Expected Output
  • Potential ROI
  • And Solaris Recommendations

Specifications and Technology

In terms of cell technology, both Silfab and Axitec offer high efficiency solar cells, when taking a close look at their modules, it becomes clear that the majority of their similar product offerings come in around the same efficiency percentage. The largest differences comes in at 0.44% when comparing two 310 watt panels from Silfab 60 cell and Axitec 120 half cut cell modules. Specific cell and module design technology recommendations can vary depending on your solar installation site's various environmental conditions as well as which inverter technology you will be utilizing.

The modules primarily differ on their company's unique value propositions, for example, some Silfab modules are compliant with the Buy American Act (BAA). Panels that meet BAA requirements may provide additional incentives for commercial and residential solar projects. Axitec offers a longer product and linear performance warranty which is unmatched even by premium panel manufacturers such as LG and Panasonic. Given that the two solar panel companies produce similar modules, your ultimate decision may come down to cost, which we will discuss further under average costs and efficiency.

Silfab Solar Panels
Model # Max. Power Efficiency Cell Count Information  
Silfab SIL-310 ML Solar Panel
SIL-310 ML
310 Watts 19% 60 Cell Pricing
Specifications
Warranty
Silfab SIL-320 BL Solar Panel
SIL-320 BL
320 Watts 18.8% 126 Half Cut (60) Pricing
Specifications
Warranty
Silfab SIL-330 BL Solar Panel
SIL-330 BL
330 Watts 19.4% 126 Half Cut (60) Pricing
Specifications
Warranty
Silfab SIL-380 NT Solar Panel
SIL-380 NT
380 Watts 19.2% 72 Cell Pricing
Specifications
Warranty
Avg. Watts: 335 Watts Avg. Efficiency: 19.1%
Axitec
Model Number Watts Efficiency Cell Count Downloads
Axitec AXIblackpremium AC-310ML/120SB Solar Panel
AC-310ML/120SB
310 Watts 18.66% 120 Half Cut (60) Pricing
Specifications
Warranty
Axitec AXIblackpremium AC-315ML/120SB Solar Panel
AC-320ML/120SB
320 Watts 18.96% 120 Half Cut (60) Pricing
Specifications
Warranty
AC-385MH/144S
385 Watts 19.41% 144 Half Cut (72) Pricing
Specifications
Warranty
Axitec Axipremium BLK AC-320MH/120S Solar Panel
AC-320MH/120S
320 Watts 19.26% 120 Half Cut (60) Pricing
Specifications
Warranty

Avg. Watts: 333.75 Watts Avg. Efficiency: 19.07%

*Availability and technical information as of the posting of this article.

Winner: Tie
In terms of average wattage and efficiency, Silfab Solar and Axitec are nearly identical. Silfab comes in higher on both average wattage and efficiency by a narrow margin. Silfab carries a wider range of options including 60, 72 and half cut cells. Their 126 half cut cells are sized for 60 cell applications just as the half cut 120 cells are. Axitec has a special focus on half cut cell technology, which can increase the overall efficiency of individual panels and decrease the chances of hot spot development. 

Average Costs and Efficiency

Axitec Solar PanelsIn terms of average price per watt, Silfab Solar panels start at $0.68/watt, and Axitec solar panels start at $0.55/watt. Axitec comes lower than both Silfab and Canadian solar by $0.13/watt, and $0.40/watt less than tier one manufacturers like Panasonic. Silfab is matched by Canadian Solar, both mid range panels are $0.27/watt than Panasonic's average panel cost.

Silfab and Axitec both have average efficiency ratings above 19% with only 0.03% separating their average rating, making them practically identical in terms of out of the box efficiency. Mid range competitor Canadian Solar's average efficiency comes in around 0.16% more efficient than both Silfab and Axitec. All three mid-range panel manufacturers offer high efficiency modules at affordable price points. If you are looking for a solar panel with the best ROI and value, consider the manufacturers warranty periods and expected output.

Manufacturer Average Cost Average Efficiency
Silfab Solar $0.68/watt 19.1%
Axitec Solar $0.55/watt 19.07%
Canadian Solar $0.68/watt 19.56%
Panasonic $0.95/watt 19.99%

*Average cost based on pricing as of the posting of this article.

Winner: Axitec

In terms of average cost per watt, Axitec is the decided winner. Their efficiency rating of 19.07% is on par with Silfab, which comes in at a higher price point. Silfab is matched by Canadian Solar in terms of cost, and also provides panels with above average efficiency ratings.

Warranty & Degradation Rate

Silfab Solar PanelsSilfab Solar and Axitec Solar both offer above industry average product warranties, which cover defects in materials and workmanship. Silfab Solar offers an initial 12 year warranty that includes a free extension to 25 years. This 25 year warranty period is matched by tier-one panels from Panasonic and LG Solar.To claim your extended warranty, contact Silfab by following the instructions outlined on number two in their warranty statement within 180 days of purchase. Axitec automatically provides a 15 year product warranty, 5 years longer than the industry average of 10 years.

See Here: Silfab Solar Warranty

Silfab Solar's linear performance warranty is unmatched at 30 years, again, 5 years longer than the industry standard. The degradation rate of your panel determines panel performance over each manufacturers warranty period. Your expected output refers to the percentage of nameplate power you can expect at that time. For example, Silfab Solar's 310w panel will produce a minimum of 248.93w in 30 years, Axitec's 310w panel will produce a minimum of 263.5w in 25 years.

Axitec has a slower degradation rate, and higher promised output at their 25 year benchmark by 4.7%. Given that your modules are expected to last past their warranty period, this means that you can expect higher output from your panels in the years that follow. Panasonic has the lowest degradation rate and highest expected output, their 330w module will produce at least 299.5w of power in 25 years.

See Here: Axitec Solar Warranty

Manufacturer Output Annual Deg. Rate Warranty Period
Silfab Solar 80.3% @30 yrs < 0.65% 25-yr Product | 30-yr Performance
Axitec Solar 85% @25 yrs < 0.50% 15-yr Product | 25-yr Performance
Canadian Solar 80.2% @25 yrs < 0.70% 10-yr Product | 25-yr Performance
Panasonic 90.76% @25 yrs < 0.26% 25-yr Product | 25-yr Performance

*See manufacturer warranty statements for further details

Winner - Silfab

Silfab's longer product and performance warranty provides longer protection of your valuable solar asset. However, it is important to note that Axitec's expected output is very impressive, particularly when you consider their price point. Which warranty period offers the most benefit to you?

Potential ROI

In order to calculate potential ROI, we have designed two systems based on the average kWh usage in the United States (10,800kWh per year / 900kWh per month). To meet 100% energy coverage, the system will need to be approximately 7.2kW. To meet these energy requirements we will need 24x 310w solar panels to create a 7.44kW system. This system is slightly over-sized, 23x panels would create a 7.13kW system.

Learn how to size your solar system

Both systems will be composed of the same composition roof mount system from IronRidge, in a 2x12 portrait configuration. Finally, we will be using the Enphase Energy IQ7 microinverters, trunk cables, accessories and Envoy monitoring solution to complete the systems. Installation costs are not included in this DIY scenario, if you plan to use an outside installation company, be sure to account for their costs when generating your ROI estimation using the calculations below.

Silfab Solar
Silfab Solar SIL-310 ML
Axitec Solar
Axitec AC-310ML/120SB Solar Panel
Solar Panels SIL-310 ML
AC-310ML/120SB
Microinverters Enphase IQ7-60-2-US
Enphase IQ7-60-2-US
Accessories Trunk Cable
Termination Caps
Disconnect Tool
Trunk Cable
Termination Caps
Disconnect Tool
Monitoring IQ+ Combiner with Envoy
IQ+ Combiner with Envoy
Roof Mount Racking IronRidge Rails
Splices
Universal Module Clamps
Stopper Sleeves
Grounding Lugs
Flashings
Bonding Hardware
Wire Clips
End Caps
Micro. Mounting Hardware
Conduit Mounts
IronRidge Rails
Splices
Universal Module Clamps
Stopper Sleeves
Grounding Lugs
Flashings
Bonding Hardware
Wire Clips
End Caps
Micro. Mounting Hardware
Conduit Mounts
Other Permit Plan Set
Labels
Permit Plan Set
Labels
Sub Total $10,989.19 $10,453.75
Est. Shipping $380.00 $380.00
Avg. Total $11,369.19 $10,833.75

*Pricing calculated based on pricing as of the posting of this article.

The below figures are based on pricing prior to installation costs, rebates and incentives, utility fees, and other project dependent expenses. Monthly saving calculated based on the United States average of $0.12/kWh.

System Cost Price/Watt Monthly Savings ROI Period
Silfab Solar $11,369.19 $1.53 $108 105.27 Months - 8.77 Years
Axitec Solar $10,833.75 $1.46 $108 100.31 Months - 8.36 Years

*Pricing calculations based on pricing as of the posting of this article.

Winner - Tie

When comparing two similar modules, Silfab and Axitec come in around the same price point with similar ROI periods. When researching which solar panel to use for your project be sure to consider the company, technology, efficiency, warranty period and degradation rate. This will provide you with a more complete view of the various value propositions offered by these solar panel manufacturers.

Solaris Recommendations

Silfab Solar and Axitec Solar both offer high-efficiency mid-range modules capable of maximizing your solar energy production and decreasing your ROI period. In terms of technology, and efficiency, Silfab and Axitec are comparable to one another. However, both manufacturers offer their own unique value propositions, which are worth considering prior to making your selection.

Axitec comes out on top in terms of overall cost, offering high efficiency modules at one of the lowest price points in the market, which makes them very appealing. Their extended performance warranty comes above industry averages.

Silfab Solar matches the warranty offerings of premium panel manufacturers and beats them on their linear performance warranties. That being said Axitec has impressive benchmark output that puts them ahead of Silfab and other mid-range panels on the market.

Silfab and Axitec's solar modules are backed by their experience, technology, warranty and technical support and are worth considering for your next solar energy project. Both manufacturers strenuously test their panels to handle extreme environmental conditions such as heavy snow, low light, high temperatures and more. This makes both brands highly versatile for both residential and commercial solar power systems.

See Here: Canadian Solar vs Mission Solar: What's Best?


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