The Best PV Panel for Your Roof

best-pv-roof

SolarCity doesn’t sell or install SunPower panels, a rival installer told GTM, “and SunPower, it is agreed on, is the best panel. They have the highest cell efficiency and the highest panel efficiency.” SunPower’s panels have “a 20.1 percent efficiency,” the installer, who will remain unnamed, explained, while the other panels on the market “are around 14 percent to 15 percent.”

“SunPower started as a panel maker. SolarCity started as an installer,” he went on. And while SolarCity pioneered the no-upfront-cost lease program for residential rooftop solar installations, “SunPower now has a similar program so consumers don’t have to choose between panel quality and high upfront costs.” But, he added, “they still have different business models because SunPower sells its own panels.”

“There is a really intense competition between them,” the independent installer said. They are “the two biggest players in the market.” He chooses to offer his customers SunPower panels even though they are more costly, the installer added, precisely because of their higher quality. “It’s a big question for everybody now,” he explained. “How much more is the better panel worth?”

Continue Reading at Greentech Media

1 Comment

  1. I totally disagree. Everyone gets hung up on panel efficencies. Solar panels are only 1/2 of the solution. Rarely do consultants talk about the importance of an inverter. I would rather offer my customers a higher end panel with the Enphase microinverter. We have seen gains of 10%-20% on the entire systems production by utilizing the microinverters. Yes, SunPower has a nice panel but I'll put 30 250watt siliken panels with Enphase M215's up against 30 320 watt Sun Power panels anyday. Most solar consultants are not educated enough to know that shade will kill the production of all the panels even if it's just one that is in the shade. Because when utilizing a central or string inverter the system has to balance out to the weakest producing panel. With Enphase only the shaded panel is effected not the entire system. That's the problem with SunPower they force companies to purchase their panels and private labled central inverters in order to offer their financing. I am aware that they do have their own version of the microinverter out not. My how all the dealers who have been bashing them stories will change. Why be a guiney pig when Enphase has been proven and dominates the micro inverter market. Homeowners neeed to do their research. Talk to customers of not only the company but the representative and see how there systems are producing verses what they were told. Interview people that have had a system for at least a full year. The other problem with SunPower is the warranty. After year 10 they only guarantee 80% of the original production. So while they may have a 25 year warranty it's not that great which is why with there lease they have a very cheap buyout at year 7 or 8. They do not want to have to pay to replace your central inverter which is only warranted for 10 years. Enphase M215 are warranted for 25 years with free lifetime monitoring. You can actually monitor each individual panel at any given time from your smart phone. No other system allows you detect potential issues so thouroughly. Sorry for the rant. But SunPower is not that great!

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