SunPower has an outstanding reputation in the solar energy market. Are they the best solar panel provider? We take a look in our SunPower solar panels review.
SunPower Solar Panels Review 2020: Is This the Best Solar Panel Provider?
Solar power is an ideal way to minimize your carbon footprint and electricity costs. Perhaps this is the reason the demand for solar panels has increased over the years.
According to the latest data from the Solar Energy Industries Associations (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie Power, the number of solar installations has surpassed 2 million, and it is expected to cross 3 million by 2021.
Unfortunately, not all solar panels are equal in terms of performance, quality, and reliability. So, if you’re planning to buy a residential or commercial solar panel, don’t forget to go over reviews first. Our SunPower Solar Panels review highlights their popular products and helps you determine the best solar kit.
Before we jump into Sunpower solar panels, let’s have a look at the background of the SunPower Corporation.
What is SunPower?
Founded by Richard Swanson & Richard Crane in the year 1985, SunPower Corporation is a renowned American energy company that manufactures solar panels and silicon photovoltaic cells.
The corporation has a rich history in solar panel manufacturing, and many consider them to be a leader in the solar industry. They design, manufacture, and deliver a wide range of high-performance solar electric systems across the country for commercial, residential purposes.
SunPower is known to produce the most efficient solar panels in the market that come with the lowest degradation and best performance warranty. Their high-efficiency solar cells and panels produce more power than conventional solar technologies.
According to SunPower, they use state-of-the-art cell technology to make P.V. Cells. It is noteworthy that Nasa also used these cells for their space programs while Honda used them to win the solar challenge car race in Australia.
These are a few achievements that put SunPower Corporation on the global map as one of the renowned solar cell manufacturers. Apart from this, they are also famous for laying the foundation for the high-performance Maxeon IBC cells.
The company is majority-owned by Total S.A., one of the largest energy companies in the world.
Over the years, they have expanded their facilities all across the United States, Europe, Asia, and Mexico.
Hopefully, this SunPower overview provides you adequate knowledge about the company’s background.
What Solar Cells SunPower Use in their Panels?
The company started production of the high-performance interdigitated back-contact cells (IBC) in 2007. Since then, they are using this most efficient cell technology of the current time. The one primary reason most SunPower solar panels reviews are positive is high-efficiency provided IBC cell to their solar panel.
Contrary to conventional solar cells, IBC cells have a better grid of conductors.
These conductors are incorporated into the rear side of the cell to boost efficiency as there is no need for front exposed busbars that halfway shade the cell.
The IBC cells made by SunPower have a low degradation rate.
Maxeon 2 & Maxeon 3 – Latest 104 cell format
Maxeon 2 and Maxeon 3 are the latest generation panels from SunPower using more cells. These panels have 104 cells in total, making it the world’s most potent residential solar panel in 400 watts category.
Generally, Maxeon 3 panels range from 370 to 400-watt power while Maxeon 2 panels range from 340w to 360w.
Shingled cells are the latest technology in the solar industry. These cells utilize cell strips that are combined together vertically and horizontally across the panel. The cells are currently being utilized in SunPower P series panels, making them affordable.
Shingled cells are designed to be extra shade-tolerant when partially shaded. Its long cells work separately. Moreover, these thin shingled cells are more flexible and less prone to cracking in comparison to conventional solar panels. Usually, normal size square cells panels get cracked easily.
In Shingled cells, around five to six strips are layered in a shingle configuration using rear side connection adhesive. All cell strips slightly overlap each other and hide a single busbar interconnecting the cell strips.
This fantastic cell design covers more panel areas because it doesn’t need front side busbar connections that partially shade the cell.
Series of Solar Panels Produced By SunPower
With several SunPower solar panels available in the market, it is tough to choose the one that meets your requirements perfectly. Don’t worry, below we have put together a comprehensive SunPower solar panels review for your that will surely help you determine the right solar panel.
SunPower produces solar panels for both commercial and residential applications, and currently, they have four series of panels – A X, E, and P. Let’s know more about them in detail.
SunPower A-Series Panels
A-Series solar panels are SunPower’s most significant step in the solar industry. These solar panels are known to have the most potent cells and highest-wattage panels, making them one of the best home solar panels available. These solar panels consist of Maxeon solar cell (Generation 5) that is 65% larger than previous generations, transforming more sunlight into electricity.
- 400-watt solar panels for record-breaking power
- Comes with a next-generation solar cell that is 65% larger than conventional cells
- Factory-integrated micro inverters to deliver more energy per square foot
- Designed to blend symmetrically with your roof
SunPower X Series
The series X is SunPower’s primary range solar panels available for both commercial and residential purposes. X series has different model numbers that represent the efficiency of the panel. For instance, the X21 panel is 345 watts and has an efficiency of 21.2% while the X22 panel provides 360-watt power with an efficiency of 22.1%
Their current X-series panel has 96 cell format using smaller high-grade IBC (Maxeon). The good thing is X series models come with a 25-year performance warranty. SunPower Mazeon IBC Cells also have a long life – they retain 92% power after 25 years of use.
- Maxeon IBC cells for consistent performance
- Produce 44% more power per panel than conventional panels
- Generates around 75% more energy per square foot for more than 25 years
- 25 years warranty ensures long-life expectancy
- Ideal for small houses
SunPower E Series
SunPower E series solar panels are intended for residential use. They use Maxeon IBC cells that are a little less efficient than the X series model. Still, they offer an extremely high-performance. These panels can retain around 88% of power even after the use of 25 years. Similar to the X series. SunPower’s E20 model produces 327W power with an efficiency of 20.1%, making it one of the most efficient panels to use.
- Convert more sunlight to electricity in comparison to conventional panel Deliver 36% more power per panel
- Comes with a warranty over 25 years
- Designed to produce persistent and trouble-free energy
SunPower P Series
SunPower P-Series panels are shingle solar panels consist of slightly overlapping cells. These panels come with a P-type silicon wafer and are comparatively cost-effective. They provide extra shade tolerance when halfway shaded.
P-Series panels are engineered for reliability and offer an impressive 25-year performance warranty. P-Series panels are designated as top performers in different reliability tests. These tests include:
- Thermal Cycling
- Potential Induced Degradation
- For extra peace of mind, these panels come with a 25-year warranty
- Made up of premium quality materials and engineered for reliability
- Easy to install and connect
- Built-in protection mechanism
New Maxeon Series
As mentioned above, SunPower has launched the latest generation panels that are going to replace the E and X Series. These panels will have a slightly larger 104 cell format. The Maxeon series is the new flagship of the SunPower available in ranges from 370 to 400 wp for residential installation.
The panels are made of generation 3 high-performance IBC cell technology boosting power output.
Portable SunPower Solar Panels
Here are some of the best portable SunPower solar panels that you should consider.
SunPower 50W Monocrystalline solar panel is a light-weight portable solar panel that you can easily carry with you on your next outdoor adventure. It has high-efficiency Maxeo solar cells that get charged in a short period.
The solar panel is capable enough to power all your small devices.
- Produces 50 Watt Power
- High-efficiency Maxeon Solar Cells
- Portable, light-weight and easy to load
- Designed to durability
- Comes with a Micro Junction box (IP67 protection)
Again this is a portable solar panel from SunPower featuring high-efficiency Maxeon solar cells that ensure consistent performance. You can take this portable solar panel with you for camping, hiking, and hunting. You can use it to power your RVs, mobile phones, and other devices.
- 100W Mono Solar Panel
- Monocrystalline Solar Cells for consistent performance
- Portable, light-weight and easy to carry
- Water-resistant, robust and durable
- Micro Junction box comes with IP67 protection
Pros and Cons of SunPower Solar panels
If you’re planning to buy a solar panel for your home or office this year, read this section carefully. We are going to disclose all the SunPower pros and possible cons that will help you make a better decision.
So let’s get to know about them one-by-one.
Pure Renewable Energy Source
The first and foremost advantage of SunPower solar panels is that the energy produced by them is renewable.
Don’t forget that solar energy can be harnessed in almost all areas of the world and we can’t run out of it. Therefore, solar energy will be accessible as long as we have the sun.
Since SunPower panels are purely based on solar energy, it has all the advantages of solar energy. The sun is a potent energy source, and that is harnessed and converted into electricity by solar panels.
Therefore, it does not have any bad effects on the environment.
If you read Sunpower solar panels review on the internet, you notice SunPower panels do not disappoint consumers in terms of efficiency.
SunPower is known to produce the most efficient solar panels in the US market. While most solar panels fall between 14% to 18% efficiency range, SunPower’s panels are much more efficient (16.5% and 22.8%).
The temperature coefficient is a key indicator when it comes to panel performance. It presents how good your solar panel is at handling poor temperature conditions. Most solar panels perform their best when they are kept cool (preferably below 25°). For every degree above this, your solar panel power capacity might decline by up to 0.3%.
Well, this is not the case with SunPower panels. They are designed to offer the best temperature coefficient ratings at 0.29.
See Related: Is It Possible to Get Free Solar Panels?
Minimizes Your Electricity Bills
As you will be meeting some of your energy requirements incorporating SunPower solar panels, you will see a significant drop in electricity bill. However, how much you will save on your bill will depend on the size of the solar panel you buy and your electricity usage.
Not only will you be saving on your bill, but also you might receive payment for all the surplus energy you export back to your electrical grid.
Fulfills Diverse Purpose
You can use SunPower solar panels for diverse purposes. As per your need, you can generate heat (solar thermal) or electricity (Photovoltaics).
Solar panels are quite useful in fulfilling electricity needs in the areas where there is no access to the energy grid.
Unlike other energy systems, solar panels don’t need a lot of maintenance. Cleaning a couple of times per year is adequate.
See Related: Should You Buy or Lease Your Solar Panels?
If you’re buying solar panels for the first time, you may find the initial cost reasonably highly. The cost of panels, inverter, batteries, and installation may seem a considerable amount to you. However, in reality, solar power is far more cost-effective than regular electricity.
It is a one-time investment that gives you continuous energy for years. Apart from this, solar panels increase the overall value of your home.
The property value magnifies proportional to the number of solar panels installed in your house.
See Related: Best Batteries for Solar Panels
SunPower Solar Panels Warranty
Unlike most solar panel manufacturers, SunPower stands behind their product with a strong warranty. No matter whether you’re buying their residential, commercial or portable solar panel, you’re going to get warranty for extra peace of mind.
In case your panel gets failed due to any manufacturing defect or environmental issue, the SunPower team is there to help you out.
Most solar panel companies offer a 10-year material warranty while even SunPower’s basic solar panel comes with a 25-year warranty against any defects. Isn’t it great?
Is SunPower the Best Solar Panel Provider?
Considering everything together; it wouldn’t be wrong to say that SunPower is one of the most reliable and efficient solar panel manufacturers available in the US market now.
The company generates the highest efficiency monocrystalline solar panels that are known to give unparalleled efficiency of up to 22.8%.
Their panels are known to produce more electrical power than other panels of the same size.
Another thing that can attract buyers that their solar panels come with a 25-year warranty that means that warranty insurance will cover if any of your panels or its cell gives you trouble. The environmental benefits of solar are a no brainer.
So, if you are in search of an efficient yet reliable solar panel, give SunPower a try.
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