Zeus Appollo Solar Panels Review – Many well-known electronics brands have jumped on the solar panel bandwagon in recent years, joining industry newcomers. When faced with so many options, it can be difficult to find the best solar panel brands.
Considering the investment involved and the fact that you will live with these panels for 25-30 years if you are lucky, it is wise to choose a well-established and reputable brand of solar panels for a full roof solar panel. However, if you’re just dipping your toes in the solar water, you may be able to find a bargain to buy a panel or two from a less established company.
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Your needs will vary greatly depending on where you live, how hot it is, how much space you have, and other factors. Here I offer some quick tips on choosing the best solar panels for your needs and my top picks for the best solar panels available. If you end up going with a solar panel, you might want to check out our list of the best lithium-ion batteries to store all that energy.
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All of these companies currently offer a 25-year warranty on their high-efficiency solar panels. The current industry standard for a panel material warranty is only 10 years. I highly recommend not buying from a company that doesn’t offer at least a 10-year warranty. Many companies now guarantee against equipment failure for 15 or 25 years.
Unfortunately, due to the cost of raw materials and uncertainty in the solar panel industry, LG announced in February 2022 that it will stop producing solar panels until June 2022. However, it will continue to honor warranties and support customers with LG solar panels. This is a major blow to the solar industry, as LG has consistently produced quality, high-efficiency solar panels that were more affordable than SunPower panels.
If you consider yourself a bit more of a DIYer, your best bet might be one of the LG panels via GoGreenSolar. Although SunPower gets high marks from the team for the quality of its solar panels, its process usually depends on having a supplier in your area arrange a consultation to install the panels for you. If you want start-to-finish help with your solar transition, SunPower should be your choice. If you already know what you want and what you do, a direct purchase like the one above may suit your needs better.
SunPower produces currently the most efficient monocrystalline solar panel. With an efficiency of 22.8%, the SunPower SPR-A425-G-AC High Efficiency A Series Residential Solar Panels are an excellent choice for homeowners with limited space or those who simply want the best of the best.
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SunPower panels are also affordable given their high efficiency. After all, you will need far fewer panels to produce the same amount of electricity as less efficient panels.
SunPower is also pretty ethical when it comes to solar companies and offers an industry-leading 25-year performance warranty. This shows the company’s confidence in its solar panels. Instead of the typical 80% performance guarantee offered by most companies, SunPower promises to offer an impressive 92% after 25 years. This means that they are confident that their panels will continue to operate at near full capacity for more than two decades.
SunPower panels have gained a reputation for being out of reach for most customers, price wise. However, if you shop around and find a good installation team, your solar system using SunPower panels could cost you only a little more than a much less efficient array.
All in all, if you have limited space and want the best solar panels available from a top 10 ethical company, SunPower is hard to beat. We also like them for their Flex range, ideal for smaller spaces like caravans and mobile homes.
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SunPower A-Series residential AC modules are rated at 400-425 watts and feature SunPower® Maxeon® Gen 5 cells that are 65% larger than the company’s X-Series cells. These solar panels are designed for use with the SunPower Equinox™ system, a fully integrated solar solution designed, built and guaranteed by SunPower.
The panels offer the most powerful cells with the highest efficiency in residential solar, meaning your panel produces more electricity per square meter than any other solar power available on the market. The SPR-A425-G-AC has an efficiency of 22.8%, while the SPR-A415-G-AC and SPR-A400-G-AC have efficiency ratings of 22.3% and 21.5%, respectively.
The temperature coefficient is -0.29% and the operating temperature is -40°F to +140°F (-40°C to +60°C), based on the complete specification. Maximum ambient temperature is 122°F (50°C).
Each board contains 66 Maxeon Gen 5 monocrystalline cells and has a factory integrated microinverter that is 60% lighter than previous microinverters. They weigh 46.5 pounds (21.1 kg) and measure 72.2 x 40 inches.
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The only downside of SunPower’s A-series panels is the relatively high temperature coefficient, compared to REC panels and some others. This may mean that they are not necessarily the best choice for homeowners who live in very hot or cold climates. However, even with an efficiency drop of 0.19% for each degree above 25°C, panels with an efficiency of 22.8% will be more efficient at 35°C than a panel with an efficiency of 25°C. 19.9% with a lower temperature coefficient.
The A-series is also a good choice if you live in a place where there is a lot of cloud, rain and snow, as the half-cut panel design will make the most of any sun that comes through.
Highlights: High-quality, efficient solar panels from one of the most ethical companies. Cradle to Cradle silver certificate and LEED rating!
SunPower’s X-Series solar panels are another great option for home solar. These are the company’s predecessors to the A series and boast slightly lower but excellent efficiency ratings of 21.5% for the SPR-X21-345 and 21% for the SPR-X21-335. The SPR-X22-360 has an efficiency of 22%.
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Each module contains 96 Maxeon Gen III monocrystalline solar cells. The modules measure 61.3 inches by 41.2 inches and weigh 41 pounds (18.6 kg). The 335-BLK has an almost completely black look, while the 345 and 360 have a solar panel that looks more like a standard grid.
The 345 and 335 models have a rated power output of 345W and 335W and coefficients of -0.29%, based on full specifications. The 360 (full spec) also has a temperature coefficient of -0.29% and a power output of 360 W. SunPower guarantees a power output of 95% for the first 5 years, then a maximum degradation of -0.4% per year until the panels are 25 years old .
Interestingly, the X-series modules have Cradle to Cradle Certified Silver status and are eligible for LEED points, while the A-series does not appear to have this sustainability certification (yet).
If you’re short on space and looking for the highest quality, most efficient solar panels available, consider the SunPower Flex Series. These solar panels are ideal for caravans, boats, mobile homes and other small areas where you need to work within a limited space.
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The SunPower Flex 50W and 110W panels have a low profile and can be bent up to 30 degrees, which means they’re easier to position properly even if you have to wrap them around a curved surface.
The panels are lightweight, have excellent low-light performance, are durable, easy to install and customizable. The Flex 50W costs less than a hundred dollars, making it a great first step into solar power.
Not surprisingly, given their flexibility, these panels cost significantly more, watt for watt, than regular SunPower panels and other standard solar panels. If you need something robust that can perform very well in harsh conditions, SunPower Flex panels may be the best option.
REC is a long-standing European brand (1996) that pushes the boundaries of solar panel technology. This innovative Norwegian company uses half-cut cell technology and a double-plate design to maximize efficiency. Yes, this makes these panels some of the largest available to homeowners, but they have black cells, bezels and back panels, making them very inconspicuous on darker ceilings. For more modern homes, REC panels can offer just the aesthetic you’re looking for.
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Like SunPower, Panasonic and LG, REC offers a 25-year warranty, well above the industry standard of 10-year material warranty.
REC is vertically integrated, meaning the company designs and manufactures its own high-quality silicon wafers, cells, panels and complete solar solutions. It has a reputation for high quality and few warranty claims and produces more than 1.5 GW of panel capacity annually.
Highlights: An excellent option for an attractive, high-efficiency solar panel, especially if you live in a very hot or cold location.
REC’s latest Alpha Black series of solar panels is also a fantastic choice for high efficiency solar panels. These distinctive black solar panels have efficiencies of 20.3%, 20.6%, 20.9%, 21.2% and 21.4% for 355, 360, 365, 370 and 375W respectively. Efficiency is slightly lower than SunPower’s A-Series, but still better than most solar panels.
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However, where Alpha Black boards really shine is if you live in a very hot or cold location. This is thanks to a significantly lower temperature coefficient (-0.26%) compared to SunPower (0.29%), which means it will improve throughout the year.
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