PROS / You get good solar efficiency at an affordable price with these solar panels.
CONS / The company is so young that some customers may worry about quality.
VERDICT / These panels are durable, produce a healthy amount of solar power and offer a reassuringly solid warranty.
Although Grape Solar has been on the scene only since 2009, this company based in Eugene, Oregon, has made a name for itself as a producer of reasonably priced but good quality solar panels. Grape uses a network of installers and also sells directly to consumers. The relatively new firm has expanded its sales vigorously in the United States and Canada and has forged partnerships with such companies such as Costco and Home Depot.
The corporation prides itself on its American presence, English-speaking employees in the U.S. and Canada and competitive prices, as well as its approach of direct sales both to solar panel installers and individual customers. You can get custom orders filled, experience just-in-time delivery and get help and referrals for design consultation and hands-on assistance. Most of Grape’s parts are made in China, although some are manufactured in other Asian countries and Canada, and then are assembled in the U.S. However, you can request panels with parts made entirely in the U.S. if you choose.
The Grape 250W solar modules each offer a solar efficiency percentage of 15.1, which is relatively good in the solar world. Each module offers a maximum power of 250 watts, a top power voltage of 30.8 volts and a maximum power current of 8.15 amps.
These modules are designed to hold 60 cells each, all with tempered glass covers. They are equipped with anodized aluminum frames. They can operate within a temperature range of 40 degrees below zero to 185 degrees F. The panels can hold a maximum load of snow weighing up to 50 pounds per square foot and can handle a one-inch hailstone flying at terminal velocity.
The individual panels for the Grape 250W model measure 64.6 inches long, 39 inches wide and have a depth of 1.57 inches. Each weighs 44.1 pounds.
Grape Solar gives you one of the better warranties for your solar modules. You receive a 10-year warranty on materials and workmanship, a 10-year warranty that the panels will provide 90 percent of the promised output and a 25-year warranty that you will get 80 percent of the power output you were told when purchasing these modules.
For help and support, Grape Solar is available via email and by phone Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. With this company, you get excellent customer service on the phone with courteous and well-informed representatives. The company also provides a customer hotline to contact its technical support team for urgent situations. You might also find answers to questions you have in the company’s frequently asked questions section on its website.
This relative newcomer in the solar panel world is turning into quite the competitor with attractive solar modules and an emphasis on customer service. The Grape Solar 250W provides you with reasonably good solar efficiency, decent power wattage and a solid warranty.