“Which are the best solar panels?” “Which panel should we install?”
These are the common questions that crop up in the minds of homeowners and solar installers.
It is because regardless of their purpose, they all are concerned about the quality, efficiency, and cost of solar panels.
There are hundreds or more different brands, and finding the best solar panels in the US can be a daunting task.
Besides pricing and efficiency, the top solar panels will also have durability, reliability, and an extended warranty period.
In this article, we will discuss the best solar panels in the US, based on the features mentioned at the beginning. Here we go.
The first in the list are SunPower solar panels manufactured by SunPower Corp., one of the leading companies in the solar industry worldwide.
From the space technology, residential households to small and large commercial buildings, SunPower has served with its solar technology in nearly all kinds of ventures.
So far, the company has generated more than 18,000,000 MWh solar energy.
In the US and all around the world, a significant number of residential customers, businesses, governments, schools, and utilities rely on SunPower solar cells for their proven track record.
SunPower solar cell SunPower® Maxeon® has a maximum efficiency of 22.8% in the market.
A brief about all the SunPower solar cells are below:
- Maxeon® A-Series: Built with the latest Maxeon® Gen 5 solar cells, these panels deliver up to 22.3% efficiency and the world’s first 400W panels.
- Maxeon® X-Series Panels: Built with Maxeon® solar cells, and deliver up to 22.7% efficiency and up to 370-watt. Perfect for projects that have limited space.
- Maxeon® E-Series: Built with Maxeon® solar cells, and deliver up to 20% efficiency and available in 320, 327 or 435-watt panels.
- Maxeon® P-Series: Built with unique shingled solar cells. Provide up to 19% efficiency and available in a range of panels from 380 to 400 watts.
These are the first 400-watt solar panels in the world that provide more power with fewer panels on rooftops.
LG Solar™ has been a renowned company worldwide for its wide range of high-quality solar panels.
The world-class solar panels produced by the company have the second-highest efficiency of 21.7% in the world.
LG Solar™ has developed advanced solar panels using the Cello Technology™ and provides a 25-year performance warranty to its products.
The company claims that it controls every step of the manufacturing process to ensure top-quality products and performance.
LG guarantees 90.8% efficiency on its LG NeON® R solar panels. The company also covers up to $450 of additional labour costs if repair is required.
REC Group has been into the solar business for more than 20 years and is one of the world’s trusted brands of solar panels and solutions.
Currently, REC has over 2,000 employees worldwide, producing 1.4 GW of fully automated solar panels per year. REC solar panels have 21.7% efficiency, one of the highest in the industry.
In 2016, REC Group ranked #1 most popular brand of solar panels in Germany and the state of California, USA.
REC implements stringent product quality, has third-party certifications and endorsements. The company also has a low warranty claims rate (<100 returns per 1M modules 2016).
The solar panels produced by REC Group are below:
- REC ALPHA: Heterojunction (HJT), 120 half-cut cells with 360-380 Wp
- REC N-PEAK: n-type Mono-crystalline, 120 half-cut cells with 310-330 Wp
- REC TwinPeak 2 Mono: p-type Mono-crystalline, 120 half-cut cells with 300-320 Wp
- REC TwinPeak 2, Black frame: Multi-crystalline, 120 half-cut cells with 285-300 Wp
REC solar panels provide excellent output and the highest polycrystalline module efficiency of up to 295 Wp for 60 cells, and up to 350 Wp for 72 cells.
Panasonic was established in 1975, and since then, the company has been a leader in the solar business and has manufactured high-quality and efficient solar panels for over 17 years.
Panasonic solar panels have an efficiency rate of 20.3%.
The company incorporates strict performance testing in every phase of the production and guarantees customers of safe and efficient solar performance.
Panasonic produces HIT® solar panels through as many as 20 internal tests and provides extreme quality assurance.
The range of solar panel series the company manufactures are:
- HIT® Panels: These panels come in two types — HIT® N325 and HIT® N330 with 96-cell efficiency.
- HIT® Black Series: There are three types of solar panels in this series — HIT® N330K, HIT® N320 and HIT® N325 with 96-cell efficiency.
- HIT+Series: This series has HIT®+ N340, HIT®+ N335, and HIT®+ N340 solar panels with 96-cell efficiency.
- AC Series – AC Module: There are three types of modules in this series — N330E HIT® Black Series, N325E HIT® Black Series, and N330E HIT® AC Series.
All these panels provide a guaranteed power output of 90.76% after 25 years.
Particularly, for the HIT® series, the modules continue to perform at high-efficiency levels due to a leading temperature coefficient of -0.258% /°C. Hardly any module comes closer to this feature.
Established in 2012, SolarTech Universal is a US-owned premium solar manufacturer located in Riviera Beach, Florida.
The company implements the latest technology in manufacturing and brings out a unique range of high-performing and efficient premium quality solar panels. The highest recorded efficiency of the panels is 19.9%.
Solartech produces solar panels with 300 to 325-watt capacity featuring SmartWire Technology.
The solar panels the company produces are below:
- STU-HJTB-W-310: Has 19% efficiency, 310 W capacity, and 5.17 W rated power per cell.
- STU-HJTB-W-315: 19.3% efficiency, 315 W capacity, and 5.25 W rate power per cell.
- STU-HJTB-W-320: 19.6% efficiency, 320 W capacity, and 5.33 W rate power per cell.
- STU-HJTB-W-325: 19.9% efficiency, 325 W capacity, and 5.42 W rate power per cell.
All the solar panels are designed to be energy-efficient and available at affordable prices.
Related article: Solar Power Statistics in the USA 2019
RGS Energy was founded in 1978, which started with the name Real Goods Solar Company.
Since its inception, the company has installed more than 25,000 solar energy systems for residential, businesses, schools, government facilities, and utilities across the US.
Overall, RGS Energy has installed a total of more than 260 MW of clean energy.
The company uses technology for producing solar panels by the Dow Chemical Company. The panels come with an 11-year parts warranty and 24-year production warranty.
For residential customers, RGS produces The POWERHOUSE™ 3.0 series solar roof shingles, which is a fully integrated photovoltaic (PV) building product, also known as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV).
These shingles capture sunlight and produce energy that homeowners can use for various purposes at home. From a distance, the solar shingles look like traditional asphalt shingles.
POWERHOUSE™ solar shingles easily integrate with other renewable energy products, such as an EV charger or solar energy battery, and convert a household into a smart home.
Established in 2011, Vivint Solar provides residential consumers with simple, efficient, and affordable solar energy.
Vivint Solar makes sure that the transition to go solar is a hassle-free process.
Besides selling solar panels, the company also takes care of all the installation and maintenance for a low to zero upfront cost.
The company offers various affordable payment options to make sure the price consumers pay every month for solar panels is within their budget.
Consumers can buy Vivint solar panels through any of the four options that suit them. The options are solar purchase, solar loan, solar power purchase agreement (PPA), and solar lease.
The solar panels will also come with product and workmanship warranty.
Canadian Solar (USA) Inc.
Founded in 2001, Canadian Solar’s US office is located in California.
The company has been a global energy provider with successful business subsidiaries in 19 countries on six continents.
Canadian Solar is a leading manufacturer of solar PV modules as well as a solar energy solutions provider, with more than 13,000 employees worldwide.
Canadian Solar has produced and delivered more than 36 GW of high-quality solar modules to customers in more than 160 countries in the past 18 years.
The range of solar modules the company produces are:
- BiHiKu: 400 W + Bifacial
- HiKu: 400+Watt
- BiKu: Bifacial
- HiDM: High-density shingle
- Ku: High efficiency
- MaxPower: 72 cells
- Standard: 60 cells
- All-Black: Aesthetics
- Dymond: Double-glass
Canadian Solar’s PV panels have been thoroughly tested and proven under harsh conditions, and come with a 25-year warranty.
Related article: Top 15 Solar Panel Installers in Canada
Established in 1997, Trina Solar is a leading energy solutions provider in the world.
Trina Solar develops smart and efficient photovoltaic (PV) modules for both residential and commercial consumers, along with energy storage systems.
Besides generating clean energy, high-quality solar panels also increase the value of a property.
In fact, households with solar systems get a high valuation and sell up to 20% faster and at a 17% premium.
The solar panels manufactured by Trina Solar are as follows:
- DUOMAX twin-DEG5C.07(II)
- ALLMAX SPLIT M PLUS
- TSM-DE05H (II, III)
- DUOMAX M PLUS – DEG5(II)
- DUOMAX M PLUS-DEG5.07(II)
- ALLMAX M PLUS-DD05A.05(II)
- ALLMAX M PLUS-DD05A.08(II)
All the Trina solar panels go through stringent in-house testing and have independent, third-party certification.
Also, Trina solar panels come with a 25-year limited manufacturer’s warranty and provide reliable performance.
Founded in 2000, Solaria has developed one of the industry’s most regarded intellectual property or IP Portfolios. The company’s headquarters is located in California.
Solaria has developed a technology platform that unlocks the potential of solar energy.
The company has more than 65 issued and pending patents related to materials, products, processes, manufacturing automation, and equipment.
Initially, Solaria’s technology expertise was developing low-concentration-photovoltaics (LCPV).
Solaria’s advanced PowerXT® solar panels provide maximum power in the minimum space for high efficiency.
Solaria solar panels are field-tested, have high-quality, durable, high-performing LCPV combined with innovative solar tracking arrays.
Related article: Top 10 Flat-Roof Solar Mounting System Manufacturers in the World
Before We Go
In nearly all cases, the best residential solar panels are made with premium monocrystalline solar cells, and the same goes for solar panels listed in this post.
Monocrystalline cells are developed with a single crystal of silicon instead of melting together many silicon fragments (as done in the case with polycrystalline cells).
It means monocrystalline cells are more efficient when it comes to converting sunlight into electricity. On top of it, these cells look appealing as well.
The solar panels brands mentioned in this write-up have a proven track record of quality, durability, long warranty, and customer satisfaction. These are the characteristics that consumers and solar installers seek in solar panels for installation.
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Since the early days, Sumit has been deeply concerning for the climate crisis and always felt hurt seeing how the human intervention is disrupting the ecological balance. He 100% believes that solar energy is the missing puzzle to our energy transition, and we have to go all out to implement this energy solution all over the world.