What types of warranties are available on panels?
Solar panels generally come with an output or performance warranty (in LG's case it is 25 years) and a manufacturing guarantee (in LG's case 12 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. However In the absence of a manufacturer having representation in New Zealand, the importer is responsible for the warranty.
If the importer changes their business name or sells their business or ceases to be in business, their manufacturer's warranty obligations towards you stops. Because the warranties are for very long time and the solar industry is very volatile it might be 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 off. Ask the company who is supplying the system to give you in writing as to who is providing the warranty. Also ask 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 must also include the warranty conditions and a system energy output (kWh) estimate specific for your system in its installed location.
It is important to ensure you obtain written confirmation of statements made by your installer, including performance claims, guarantees, country of manufacture of panels and warranties. For example sometimes panels made in China are sold with European names to give the impression they are made in Germany or other countries know for quality manufacturing. 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.