In this SUNPOWER solar panels review we’ll take a look at the US solar panel manufacturer and try to see if it all adds up to be as good as they say. Are SUNPOWER panels the best? What makes them better than other panels? Should you buy SUNPOWER solar panels? Let’s take a look at what we think…
SUNPOWER Solar Panels – Company Background
SUNPOWER is a major player in the solar industry. They are based in the US and have patented SUNPOWER Maxeon Technology. They claim to have been founded in 1985 and have provided solar cells to NASA for use in spacecraft. SUNPOWER is a publicly listed company. They have installed well over 100,000 home solar power systems and many large-scale (MW) systems. Other things about SUNPOWER Solar Panels:
- They are a “tier 1” solar panel
- They are made in the US
- They are a real innovator – dedicated to R&D
SUNPOWER Solar Panels Review – The Good
SUNPOWER Solar Panels are one of the major solar panel brands. They have done a LOT of research & development. They have pioneered new efficiencies in solar PV technology. Their company is solar. What about the panels? Yes, they have shiny marketing and their panels look pretty damn slick. Buy is it worth investing in SUNPOWER panels?
Here’s some of their good points:
- They are a “tier 1” company
- They have been in the industry a LONG time… Longer than the vast majority of solar panel companies.
- Their panels have the best efficiencies (up to 24%)
- They also do solar carparks and roof canopies which is kind of cool
- The SUNPOWER warranties are pretty good
- They ranked #1,2 & 3 in the 2012 Photon International Module Yield Test
SUNPOWER Solar Panels Review – The Bad
OK now let’s dish out the dirt. Not that there is much with this panel. The main criticism is in the extra cost. Work out the numbers:
- You pay 30% more than regular panels (estimated)
- You get exactly the same amount of power
- You get the same warranties (more or less)
- They weren’t included in the 2013 Photon test for “mysterious” reasons
SUNPOWER Solar Panels Information
SUNPOWER solar panels come in 3 main different series (probably more too):
- X-SERIES (X21-345) – download datasheet
- X-SERIES “signature black” panel (X21-335) – download datasheet
- E-SERIES (E20-327) – download datasheet
Here is a video by SUNPOWER on their X-SERIES
SUNPOWER Solar Panels Review Summary
SUNPOWER Solar Panels are a “premium” solar panel and the fill a niche in the market. For the average homeowner, I think getting SUNPOWER panels is a bit over the top. Unless you care enough about what they look like, or you need maximum efficiency, it’s not really worth the extra expense. You can get excellent solar panels for a much cheaper price.
Because of their high price and no apparent corresponding benefit, we give this panel 3 out of 5 stars.
Take a look at our other solar reviews.
Tags: solar panel reviews