Choosing the right solar panel for your household is not an easy ride.
From the performance and efficiency to the price and the quality, there are many factors you need to take into account when making a decision which one will best fit your requirements.
The fact that there are more than one hundred solar panel manufacturers on the market makes the decision-making the process even harder.
To help you choose the best quality solar panel for your home, we did an in-depth analysis of the market and created a list of the top solar panels in the world.
We also outlined the best solar panel manufacturers in 2020 and categorised them according to a variety of criteria.
1- LG Energy
LG Energy is a world-leading and top-selling solar panel in the world and for good reasons. Its panels have a premium range of quality, very high performance and are incredibly reliable.
LG Energy solar panels offer 25-year product and performance warranty and are very popular in Europe, USA and Australia.
Neon 2 and Neon R modules use high-grade N-type cells and are undoubtedly one of the most popular solar panels in Australia.
Overall, they are highly rated among customers not only because of their impressive look (they have black anodised aluminium frames) but also because their construction quality is of the highest standard.
Unlike other manufacturers who produce a range of mono and poly-crystalline panels, LG produces exclusively mono-crystalline cells which are highly efficient and have a lower degradation level.
On top of that, LG also uses Lily technology to decrease light-induced degradation.
LG offers a small range of modules:
- Mono X Plus – 300W
- Neon 2 – 330-335W
- Neon R – 360-370W
Strength & Durability
What differentiates LG from the rest of the manufacturers is the fact that its solar panels have extremely strong double-wall aluminium frames on all modules.
They have 6000 Pa rating on the front side and impressive 5400 ratings on the rear side for wind loading.
Quality & Performance
LG uses two EL flash tests to make sure no cells with defects get through during the production process.
These cells have an extremely long term performance in terms of low light-induced degradation. This improves the overall performance and adds value to the quality.
It also increases energy generation with 86-88% capacity remaining even after 25 years.
According to the latest research conducted by DNV LG, an independent testing organisation, LG Mono X is rated as a “top performer”.
Warranty & Service
Like SunPower, LG offers both a 25-year product and performance warranty while most other manufacturers only provide a ten-year product warranty period.
This kind of warranty plays a significant role in choosing a solar panel for your home and shows that LG has a high level of confidence in their products.
- LG Performance Warranty
- LG Mono X – 25 years to 86%
- LG Neon 2 – 25 years to 86%
- LG Neon R – 25 years to 88%
- LG Product Warranty
- LG Mono X – 15 years
- LG Neon 2 – 25 years
- LG Neon R – 25 years
2- Panasonic Solar Panels
Panasonic is a big name in the technology industry but has been gaining popularity in recent years for being one of the top manufacturers of solar panels.
What makes this brand stand out from the rest on the market is the fact that LG invested almost 40 years in the research and innovation which reflects itself in the solar panel quality and performance.
Panasonic offers four types of solar panels in its HIT range. All of these solar panels are made of monocrystalline silicon which maximises the efficiency as well as the quality.
|Panel||Type||Maximum Power (watts)||Maximum Efficiency||Linear Power Output Warranty||Product Warranty||Dimensions (mm)||Weight (kg)|
|HIT N325K KURO - black||mono||325||19,4%||25 years||25 years||1590 x 1053 x 40||19|
|HIT N330 Powerful||mono||330||19,7%||25 years||25 years||1590 x 1053 x 40||19|
|HIT N245 Slim||mono||245||19,4%||25 years||25 years||1580 x 798 x 35||15|
|HIT N295 compact||mono||295||19,1%||25 years||25 years||1463 x 1053 x 35||18|
The solar panels Panasonic offers are black have a traditional look. Like SunPower and LG, Panasonic offers a 25-year product warranty.
Panasonic HIT range outperforms other solar panel leaders on the ever-increasing market with its outstanding temperature coefficient of -0.258% /°C, which provides more energy throughout the day.
Panasonic Solar Panels has a unique pyramid structure that accumulates sunlight and sun energy more efficiently by reducing reflection and directing light inside the cells.
This creates more electricity output for your home.
Besides fine structure, Panasonic uses heterojunction technology which includes ultra-thin amorphous silicon layers which reduce losses and results in higher energy output than conventional panels.
The Highest Testing Standards
Panasonic has 20 years of experience manufacturing HIT® as well as 20 internal tests conducted which prove the extreme quality assurance.
Panasonic models include:
3- Canadian Solar Panel
Canadian Solar was founded in 2001 in Canada, and it offers a wide range of panels including six lines (Ku Modules, Dymond, SuperPower, MaxPower, All-Black and Standard).
Ku Module was introduced in 2017 and has distinguished itself because of the exquisite efficiency of 19.15 %.
Also, the Canadian Dyamond series of panels has a 300-watt monocrystalline system of 18.33% which makes it one of the most efficient solar panels on the market.
The main reason why they are categorised as one of the best solar panel manufacturers currently on the market is the value they offer, their reputation for manufacturing quality control and their stable financial position.
Canadian Solar Panels have a pretty good warranty.
Their warrant 97,5% year one and an annual degradation rate of 0.5%. In other words, they are warranted around 93 output at ten years and over 83% at 25 years.
Therefore, their warranty is pretty similar to the warranty offered by well-known brands such as LG and Sunpower.
Canadian Solar Panels have maximum average panel efficiency of 18,33% from its 300MS panel which puts them in the group of tier 2 and tier 3 players.
However, they are still not as efficient as the most efficient manufacturers on the market – Sunpower and LG.
We already mentioned that one of the reasons why Canadian Solar Panels are categorised as one of the best solar panel manufacturers on the market is its price.
A fully installed Canadian solar system comes at a pretty affordable price of $2,80 per watt.
If you take into account that 30% tax credit comes off this price, it is an excellent offer for many homeowners.
Here is the list of the most efficient Canadian solar panels
|Panel||Type||Maximum Power (watts)||Maximum Efficiency||Linear Power Output Warranty||Product Warranty||Dimensions (mm)||Weight (kg)|
|HiDM CS1U-410MS||mono||410||19,89%||25 years||10 years||992 x 1700 x 35||19.2|
|KuDymond CS3U-MS-FG||mono||380||19,15%||30 years||10 years||2000 x 992 x 5.8||29|
|KuMax CS3U-0MS||mono||380||19,15%||25 years||10 years||2000 x 992 x 35||22.5|
- Diamond (these panels are characterised by a heat-strengthened glass which makes them weather resistant and durable).
- All-black – these panels have a black finish and are monocrystalline.
- HiKu – these solar panels are polycrystalline with high power output up to 405W.
- HiDM – these solar panels are monocrystalline, and their cells reach high efficiency up to 19.89%.
- MaxPower – these are 72 cell panels, polycrystalline.
- Standard – these are 60 cell panels, polycrystalline.
- BiKu – these solar panels have PV cells on both sides which increases power output by up to 30.
Canadian Solar’s SmartDC modules have Solaredge DC optimisers integrated into the panels.
A DC optimiser reduces losses from panel mismatch and shading, and Solaredge is a company that makes them. This increases solar panel output by up to 25% under the right circumstances.
Sunpower company was founded in 1985 and is currently among the top solar panel manufacturers.
Its global headquarters are located in California, USA.
Ever since they were established, they have generated a total of 18,000,000 MWh of energy in residential, commercial and utility solar energy markets.
Sunpower has more than 200 patents for solar technology and is currently at the fore forefront of the solar PV industry.
Even though the prices are higher than the standard panels, the price matches the quality.
Its outstanding efficiency of 19.5 – 21.5 % and 25-year warranty are what makes it one of the top-performing solar panels in the market.
In terms of efficiency and warranty, prices are higher than standard panels.
Solar Panels are well-known for their ability to generate 70% more energy than other solar panels.
On top of that, they have a solid copper back which is almost entirely resistant to corrosion, which is why they outperform most conventional panels.
SunPower’ Maxeon technology plays a vital role because it allows panels to absorb more sunlight.
SunPower has a return rate of only 27 panels per million sold which makes it one of the most reliable solar panel modules on the market.
Sunpower offers impressive 21,5% average panel efficiency, which means they generate more power and take up less space on the roof.
For instance, Sunpower’s 360W panel makes 40% more power, and they lose their power output slower than other panels. Overall, the production over the lifetime of the system is 60% greater.
Sunpower offers a 12-year structural warranty which is known as “product warranty” which is a bit longer than a ten-year industry standard.
When it comes to linear power output warranty, Sunpower offers 25 years with a 2% degradation in the first year and 0.6% per year degradation in the following years.
The warranty covers the whole system.
Keep in mind that Sunpower sells its panels using a network of exclusive dealers, which means they you may not be able to find Sunpower panels with every local installer.
When choosing the right solar panel for your home, the price plays a major role.
Although it is a bit difficult to see the wholesale price of Sunpower solar panels, it seems that retail systems are available with a tier-one string inverter for around $3.50 per watt if you are buying it in cash.
They are sold as a premium offering, and their price is about 0.40 cents per watt more than other leading brands on the market.
There is a good reason why Sunpower has the most efficient solar panels used widely in the residential market.
Over the years they have significantly invested in their brand and their solar panels overall.
Their solar panels have the highest PTC ratings primarily because of their outstanding temperature coefficient.
On top of that, they have incorporated innovative technologies while keeping in mind the customers’ needs and overall satisfaction.
- Sunpower was the first US renewable energy company that won Cradle-to-Cradle (C2C) silver certificate for their solar panels. (this is one of the strictest sustainability standards)
- Sunpower’ Helix System won the Architect’s Newspaper Best of Products Award
- SunPower supplies the panels behind Solar Impulse 2
5- SolarWorld Solar Panels
SolarWorld is the Germany-based company which sells its solar panels internationally as well.
They are most well-known for the best monocrystalline technology with both mono and bifacial features.
Also, they offer a substantial product warranty of 20 years which is double than most other solar panel manufacturers.
In terms of efficiency, SolarWorld solar panels vary depending on the modal. Generally, efficiency can range from 14.9% to 17.6%.
These solar panels are a cost-effective choice for many homes because of their high efficiency.
To evaluate solar panel performance, we need to consider the temperature coefficient.
When choosing your solar panel, you need to keep in mind that your solar panel will see more hot days during the year, so its good to select a solar panel with the lowest temperature coefficient possible.
SolarWorld offers standard temperature coefficient ratings, ranging from -0.43 to -0.40.
The price you will pay for a solar panel heavily depends on not only all the equipment used in the installation of solar panels (including inverters and mounts) but also on the structure of your roof.
Most SolarWorld solar panels’ price range from $2.73 to $3.11 which is a somewhat affordable price when compared to other solar panels.
In other words, for an average 6 kW system, your gross cost would be anywhere from $14,950 to $19,050.
SolarWorld solar panels offer a good selection of products with a standard efficiency, performance, and warranties for a reasonable price.
Additionally, this manufacturer also produces in the United States which is essential information for many solar panel shoppers.
Here are some of the critical reasons why SolarWorld solar panels can be categorised as one of the top solar panels on the market:
- They are produced in America as well and have an excellent network of local installers around America
- They are well-known for having outstanding quality, and they invest a lot in their brand
6- REC Solar Panel
REC Solar Panel is one of the most popular and leading European brands of solar panels.
It was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Norway, but it produces its solar panels in Singapore as well.
Interestingly, this line of solar panels offers six series of solar panels for residential and commercial systems:
- Twinpeak 2
- Twinpeak 2 BLK2
- Twinpeak 2 Mono
- Twinpeak 2S Mono 72
- Twinpeak 2S 72
REC’ product line panels efficiency is between 16.5% and 19.8% which puts these panels in the “standard” efficiency category.
Warranty is another crucial factor when choosing the right solar panel for your household.
While most solar panel manufacturers offer a ten-year materials warranty, REC provides a maximum of 20-year warranty against any defects in their solar panels.
Most of REC’s solar PV systems are typically priced between $2.44 and $3.06 per watt, which makes them a strong value in the market for home solar panels.
This means that your gross cost for an average of 6 kW would be anywhere from $14,640 to $18,360.
Key Benefits of REC Solar Panels
- Power production up to 315W and efficiency up to 17%
- Panel frames are designed to prevent frost damages and aid in snow slippage
- Designed to withstand heavy loads and wind
- 25 year linear power guarantee – Guaranteed minimum performance level of 80.2% by the end of the 25th year
- 10-year product warranty
- Improved power output in low and diffuse conditions (e.g. sunrise, sunset and cloudy weather)
Since January 2020 all REC TwinPeak and N-peak panels come with a standard 20-year product warranty as well as reduced degradation rates making it one of the best warranties on the market.
7- Hyundai Solar Panels
Hyundai Green Energy is the solar division of Hyundai Heavy Industries and has been in solar business since 2004.
The company produces its panels in South Korea, and it offers three product lines of residential solar panels:
- RF Series
- RG Series
- RG Black Series
Hyundai Solar is one of the largest and the longest PV cell and module manufacturers in South Korea providing high-quality solar PV products to more than 3000 customers worldwide.
It ensures the best quality modules to customers worldwide by manufacturing advanced-technology cells and modules.
Hyundai Solar Panels have an efficiency rating between 14.2 % and 18.4% which puts them in a “standard” category.
Those with “efficiency rating” of 15% or under, fall into the “economy” efficiency category.
Regarding the performance, Hyundai solar panels have temperature coefficients ranging from -0.45 to -0.41.
Hyundai offers a 5-year warranty for some of its panels, but their newer panels come with a 10-year materials warranty.
Most Hyundai solar systems are usually priced between $2.69 and $3.09 per watt, which puts them below average in the market for home solar.
In other words, your gross cost for an average 65 kW system would be from $16,140 to $18,540.
Here are some of the benefits of Hyundai solar systems:
- RW series of Hyundai solar panels are suitable for extreme weather conditions including salt and desert conditions.
- Hyundai offers ten years product warranty and 25 years performance warranty
- Hyundai’s solar modules/panels can be used in all kinds of solar projects like:
- Residential homes
- Commercial office
- Utility-scale solar farms
- Floating solar projects
8- Sharp Solar Panels
The Japanese electronics corporation, Sharp, has been existing for over 100 years.
They started investing in the development and the research of their solar panels in 1959 and has been successful in that ever since.
The panels are manufactured in both the United States and Japan which is why they qualify as American Made goods.
Sharp offers a variety of polycrystalline and monocrystalline panels whose efficiencies are higher than 20%. Here are some details about the three most effective and popular solar panels:
This module is the most powerful module with an output of 360W and 72 cells.
However, its efficiency is slightly lower – 18,5% (although, this is still considered a higher efficiency).
NQR258H and NQR256A
Both of these solar panels are quite efficient as they reach up to 20%. They are 48 cell modules with quite compact dimensions, and they weigh only 17 kg.
The good thing is that you can install them either portrait or landscape which allows you to adapt it to your environment more easily without spending too much time installing it.
Sharp solar panels have an efficiency rating of 14.4%, which is respectable. They are designed to hold 60 cells per panel, and they can offer 235-watt maximum power.
8.05 amps as the top power current and 29.2 volts of the maximum power voltage.
The Sharp ND-F2Q235 model can operate nicely in temperatures ranging from 40 degrees below zero to 194 F.
They offer pretty good warranties: a 25-year warranty on power output, guaranteeing ten years at 90 per cent of the minimum power rated output and 15 years at 80 per cent.
On top of that, Sharp offers a 10-year warranty on the module materials and workmanship meaning the company will replace or repair the panels that seem to be malfunctioned without being caused by the buyer.
- Sharp solar panels are made in Germany
- They offer a ten-year product warranty
- Their efficiency is up to 290W / 17.6%
- They have guaranteed positive power tolerance from 0 to +5%
9- Jinko Solar Panels
Jinko Solar (NYSE: JKS) is another global leader in the solar industry.
This company distributes its solar products and sells its solutions and services in China, the United States, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Chile, South Africa, India, Mexico, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, and other countries and regions.
Jinko Solar was named the most “bankable” PV manufacturer by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) among other 57 modules.
The top reason why we decided to include Jinko on this list is a high level of performance and reliability of Jinko solar panel modules.
The efficiency of your JinkoSolar panels depends on the specific model that you choose for your system.
Panels in JinkoSolar’s product line have an efficiency rating of 15.57% to 18.57% which puts JinkoSolar panels in the “standard” efficiency category.
JinkoSolar panels have temperature coefficients ranging from -0.40 to -0.39.
Most JinkoSolar PV systems are priced between $2.41 and $3.15 per watt, which makes them a good value for money in the market for home solar.
Put simply, for an average 6 kW system, your gross cost would be anywhere from $14,460 to $18,900.
Jinko solar panels have smart optimisers.
Jinko produces smart modules that have built-in DC optimisers which maximise their output by reducing losses from panel shading and soiling.
The following table shows a comparison between some major solar panel manufacturers on today’s market:
|Manufacturer||% Share||Efficiency||Temp Coefficient||Product Warranty||Location|
|SunPower||14 %||19.9% - 21.5%||-.35% to -.29%||25 years||China, Mexico, Philippines|
|LG Electronics||13 %||16.8% - 20.8%||-.42% to -.30%||15 - 25 years||Korea|
|SolarWorld||13 %||16.29% - 17.89%||-.42% to -.39%||20 years||US, Germany|
|REC Solar||10 %||16.5% - 18%||-.36%||10 years||Singapore|
|Hanwha||9.5 %||18.3% - 19.9%||-.39% to -.37%||12 years||China|
|Canadian Solar||8.8 %||16.16% - 19.15%||-.41% to -.37%||10 years||China, Canada|
|Hyundia||6.7 %||15.3% - 18.3%||-.40%||10 years||South Korea|
|Jinko Solar||6.3 %||16.49% - 18.82%||-.40% to -.39%||10 years||China|
|Trina Solar||6.0 %||16.8% - 19.2%||-.41% to -.39%||10 years||China|
|Yingli Solar||1.4 %||15.6% - 17.9%||-.42%||10 years||China|
|Kyocera Solar||1.3 %||14.75% - 16.11%||-.45%||10 years||Mexico, US|
|Panasonic||1.2 %||22.09%||-.26%||25 years||Japan|
6 Most Popular Solar Panels
In addition to the best manufacturers, there are a few models which are favourites in 2020.
These solar panels have outstanding quality, efficiency, performance as well as value for money.
These solar panels are popular both in Europe and the USA.
1. LG NeON 2
LG Neon 2 panels use high-efficiency mono N-type cells which range from 325W to 335W power rating.
These have 25-year product warranty and an above-average performance warranty of 86% retained capacity after 25 years. LG panels are also known to be the strongest on the market.
2. Winaico M6 PERC
The Winaico M6 PERC modules from 310 to 315W are highly regarded by installers for three reasons:
- Due to the extremely high build quality
- Great service
- 15-year manufacturers warranty.
Winaico solar panels have extremely strong frames mostly due to extra deep aluminium extrusions.
3. REC TwinPeak 2
REC’s renowned TwinPeak range of panels use PERC cell technology. The half-size cell format improves efficiency and performance, particularly in partially shaded conditions.
4. Trina Solar Honey
The Trina Honey panels offer high quality and excellent value for money. The manufacturer is reliable and provides good service.
5. Q Cells Q.Peak Duo
Hanwha Q cells founded in 1999 are becoming increasingly popular and is one of the favourites for many solar installers.
It has recently released a new Q.Peak Duo range of split cell modules with six bus-bars and up to 19.3% efficiency.
6. Jinko Eagle PERC
The Eagle PERC monocrystalline range of panels from JinkoSolar is a low-cost option available on the Australian market offering a good combination of quality and affordability.
Their PERC technology offers up to 18.33% efficiency, and they are warranted against degradation caused by PID effects.
Generally speaking, SunPower, LG, and Panasonic are the best solar panel manufacturers on the market mainly because of high efficiencies, 25-year warranty and competitive pricing.
SunPower is widely considered the best solar panel manufacturer with module efficiencies upwards of 22%.
Best Solar Panels Ranked According to Different Criteria
1- Best Solar panels Based on the Temperature Coefficient
To find out how much or how little the solar panel production is lowered in hot temperatures, we need to know the temperature coefficient.
Here are the top 5 solar panel manufacturers based on the lowest temperature coefficient:
- Panasonic (-0.26)
- Stion (-0.26)
- Silevo (-0.27)
- Hanwha Q CELLS (-0.28)
- SunPower (-0.29)
2- Best Solar Panels Ranked by Materials Warranty
A solar panel material warranty is another crucial factor when choosing your solar panel. Based on the longest material warranties.
Here are 5 top best performing solar panels:
- LG (25 years)
- Panasonic (25 years)
- Silfab (25 years)
- Solaria (25 years)
- SunPower (25 years)
3- Best Solar Panels Ranked by Efficiency
Solar Panel efficiency tells us how well solar panel converts sunlight into electricity. Based on maximum module efficiency, we can single out top 5 solar panels:
- SunPower (22.2%)
- LG (21.1%)
- Panasonic (20.3%)
- Solartech Universal (20.2%)
- Solaria (19.4%)
4. Best Solar Panels Based on Consumer Reviews
Despite all the necessary information and all the details regarding the efficiency, temperature coefficient, performance, warranties, there is one more thing you need to take into account when making this decision – consumer reviews.
Usually, actual residential solar panel users will give you an in-depth analysis of all the characteristics, pros and cons.
This information is valuable because it provides you with the first-hand experience from the user.
Check out 5 top-performing solar panels according to users’ reviews:
- LG Solar
- SolarWorld Americas Inc.
- Canadian Solar
The Technologies Best Solar Panels Use
There are three types of technologies the best and well-known solar panels use. These are:
- Thin-film amorphous.
The best brands of monocrystalline solar panels:
- Sunpower X Series
- LG Solar
- Panasonic HIT panels
The best brands of polycrystalline solar panels:
Generally, there are far more polycrystalline solar panels produced than monocrystalline modules.
Although the polycrystalline modules are less efficient than monocrystalline, they are much more cost-effective.
The best thing is that they can sometimes be they can be 30-40% cheaper than the most efficient brands of monocrystalline panels but produce a similar amount of power per watt.
Here are the 5 best brands of polycrystalline solar panels:
- Trina Solar
- ReneSola America
- REC Solar
- Canadian Solar
- Jinko Solar
How to Choose the Best Solar Panel on the Market?
There are a few essential factors you need to consider when choosing a solar panel that will meet your requirements:
Other Important Factors
Once you have chosen the solar panel manufacturer, there are still a few important things you need to take into consideration if you want to make the right choice.
Here are some things you need to pay close attention to when choosing the solar panel for your home:
1. Solar System Size
Regardless of how good the quality, performance and overall impact of a solar panel is, you need to think about the space and the capacity of your roof as well as about solar panel installation.
Also, the size of your home and your energy needs play a vital role here.
2. Local Tax Benefits & Incentives
Depending on the country where you are buying the solar panel, taxes and incentives can vary significantly. For instance, New York offers state tax credits on solar panel purchases.
3. Brand Availability
Sometimes you may choose solar panels that are not available in the area where you live.
Brand availability in your area. Sometimes your local solar companies may not sell the brands of solar panels that are your first choice.
4. Company History
The longevity and reputation of the panel manufacturer play a part in our recommendations.
What good is a warranty if the company goes out of business before they get a chance to honour it? T
hat’s why it’s imperative to look for the manufacturers with a stable track record in the solar industry.
5. Solar Panel Aesthetics
What good is an efficient and top-performing solar panel if it doesn’t have the design that would go well with the rest of your home?
More and more people are looking for well-designed, aesthetically pleasing solar panels.
This is particularly the case in neighbourhoods with some HOA requirements for solar arrays, or for a home that would need panels facing the road.
Many homeowners prefer black panels when comparing solar panels because black panels are the most elegant ones and usually fit comfortably into the surrounding.
Furthermore, there are some solar panel manufacturers like Sunpreme and Trina Solar which manufacture frameless solar panels without backsheet.
Supported entirely by the glass coverings, these types of panels are an ideal solution for carports, awnings, ground-mounted systems, and any other place where aesthetics might be a priority.
Finally, you need to be mindful that finding the right solar panel that will match all of your requirements is a challenging task especially because there is such a huge variety of choices on the market.
There are many things to consider before making the right decision.
We think that these are the best solar panel manufacturers you can get for your money in 2020.
But, but you also have to keep in mind that prices and product configurations will change rapidly over time as technology advances.
Once you have a clearer idea of what kind of solar panel you need for your home, you can compare different solars available by checking the reviews or getting quotes from several local solar panel installers.
If you follow these guidelines, you’re sure to find the right solar panels to power your system.