This article will highlight the best solar panels in the markets by looking at the major metrics; efficiency, warranties, performance, and price of each.
Efficiency can be described as how well a solar panel converts sunshine into electricity. Performance on the other hand is how well the solar panel can handle conditions that are not so ideal. The price is how much the panel costs and the warranty is the assurance the manufacturer gives to the buyer promising to repair the panel in case it malfunctions within a specified time.
1. SunPower Solar Panels
SunPower is one of the most sustainable and innovative energy companies in the world that has provided solar services and solutions to their diverse clients including schools, residential clients, governments, and businesses. It began in the 80s and in 1988 it was named SunPower and is one of the world’s leading solar companies. SunPower studies show only one out of 37,000 their solar panels fail which indicates that their panels have a very low failure rate and thus reliable.
Efficiency: SunPower solar panels are one of the most efficient solar panels in the market and in fact top the list in terms of panel efficiency. They have an efficiency of 16.5% – 22.8% while most of the panels in the market fall between 14% and 18% efficiency range.
Performance: For this metric, the temperature coefficient is used to show the solar panel performance. Like any other electronic device, solar panels work best in cool conditions. For every degree beyond 25 degrees Celsius, the performance of the panel energy production reduces by -0.4% for most panels. SunPower panel electricity production reduces considerably less in comparison to other solar panels as its performance reduces by -0.29% to -0.37% for every degree above 25 degrees Celsius. Partial shade can also be a cause for performance reduction and for some models, a small thing such as bird poop can affect performance. SunPower has technologies that reduce such impacts.
Warranty: SunPower gives a 25-year warranty one of the best that comes with solar panels. Unlike most brands that provide a performance warranty of indicating their panels will have a performance of 80% and 83% of their original performance, SunPower states their products will be performing at 92% of the original capacity after 25 years.
Price: SunPower panels are the best in the market and their product prices are actually not as high as you would think. They cost between USD 2.83/Watt and USD 3.83/Watt
2. LG Solar Panels
These solar panels are among the panels on top of the food chain. LG is a company that has been popular over the years in manufacturing consumer electronics, home appliances, and mobile communication devices. With their vast experience and leveraging their brand power, they developed solar modules that deliver high efficiency and power output with long-term reliability. LG has two main panel ranges which are Neon 2 panels and Neon R panels.
Efficiency: On these panels, the efficiency varies depending on the model purchased with the lowest at 18,4% efficiency and a high of 21.7% efficiency for the premium LG solar products. Generally, this is a high-efficiency rate when we compare them to other solar panels in the market.
Performance: Performance of a panel is measured using the temperature coefficient. This is basically how the solar panel performs on hot summer days. LG solar products have a temperature coefficient ranging from -0.4% to 0.30% per degree Celsius that is above 25 degrees.
Warranty: LG offers a 25-year warranty meaning that you can get a replacement in case the product will malfunction due to manufacturing faults. This is one of the longest warranties in the market. They also advise that they have a dedicated network of dealers that arrange the replacement of panels on warranty with free labor.
Price: Typically the LG systems cost between USD2.64 and USD3.30 per Watt. Their products are popular in the market for their good praises especially the Mono X plus and Neon 2 black series.
3. REC solar review
The REC group was founded in 1996 in Norway and in the 20 years has been providing high-performance and sustainable solar products. They have recorded over 30 million solar panels manufactured, providing about 12 million people consume clean energy.
Efficiency: The product efficiency is specific for the product you purchase but on average, their efficiency rating ranges from 15.2% to 19.8%. Out of all their five series, the REC n PEAK has the highest efficiency of 19.8%.
Performance: Every solar panel has its unique temperature coefficients which have a direct effect on the power output. Typically, an increase in the temperature of the solar panel translates to a decrease in the power output. REC solar panels have a temperature coefficient of -0.31% to -0.33% per degree Celsius.
Warranty: Depending on the series, REC provides a warranty of 20 years, 12 years, and 10 years. REC also gives a 25-year linear warranty for all its products.
Price: The price of REC solar products ranges from USD 2.87 to USD 3.05 per watt.
4. Q-cells Solar Panels
Q-cells is one of the world’s famous photovoltaic manufacturers due to its high performance and high-quality solar products as well as good pricing. All their models begin with the letter Q such as the Q.PEAK, Q.POWER, and Q.MAXX, and so on.
Efficiency: The efficiency of these panels ranges from 17.1% to 19.6% which can generally be said to be average. Each product, however, comes with its own specific efficiency. Products of 18% efficiency and above are considered ones with high ability in converting sunshine to useful energy.
Performance: The electricity production of a solar panel ideally reduces for any degree increment above 25 degrees Celsius. This means that the panels perform least on very hot days of summer. The Q-cells temperature coefficient ranges from -0.40 to -0.35.
Warranty: Previously Q-cells offered a 12-year warranty to all their solar panels against any defects but are now giving a 25-year warranty on their product.
Price: The Q-cells products are generally priced from USD 2.54 to USD 3.25 per watts. They may not have the highest efficiency in the market but their friendly cost has made them popular as they give value for money.
5. Panasonic Solar Panels
Panasonic has been popular with home appliances and electronics since 1975. It began manufacturing amorphous solar modules panels until 1997 when they transferred to their staple HIT panels.
Efficiency: On average, the Panasonic solar panels have an efficiency of between 19.1% and 20.3%. The Panasonic to be used for Telsa’s solar roof and incorporated into their HIT panel range have recorded up to 20% solar panel efficiency.
Performance: Panasonic panels have the lowest temperature coefficient recorded at -0.26%. Their HIT technology is what has given these panels such great performance ability as well as their ultra-thin and monocrystalline amorphous silicon layers. Their panels a surface are also shaped as pyramids which also helps in reducing reflection and direct more sun rays into the solar cells resulting in maximum electricity output.
Warranty: Panasonic is among panels that have the best warranties offer a 25-year warranty against any malfunctions in their solar products.
Price: Generally the Panasonic system costs between USD 2.64 and USD 3.34 per watt.
Learn more about solar panels at reneenergy.com