So you’ve decided to install a solar PV system for your home. With so many brands out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. So to help you on your journey toward sustainability, we’re reviewing the top quality brand in the US. We’re taking a look at the best products and their warranties from the top-rated brands in the country. These companies are all based in the United States, though they may have subsidiaries and factories overseas. Do your own research before buying! Solar PV systems are a long-term investment, one that you will live with for over 25 years. It’s wise to look at multiple brands before making your choice.
Sunpower was founded in 1985 and is based in San Jose, California. Many regard Sunpower solar panels as the highest quality modules on the market. They have broken records several records, from making the first commercially available 400-watt solar panel to achieving the highest solar cell efficiency during testing at 24.4%. The same technology that makes their panels efficient also makes them durable, as Sunpower’s solar panels are resistant to weather conditions that would degrade most other modules. They cost a pretty penny but are well worth the price.
- A Series: Sunpower’s premier solar panel. The A-Series module provides up to 450 watts at 22.2% efficiency. The solar cells are 65% larger than the X Series.
- X Series: These are sleek, high-efficiency panels. They generate 345 watts of power at 21.5% efficiency.
- E Series: For those who want SunPower quality modules on a budget. The E Series produces 327 watts at 20.4% efficiency.
- P Series: SunPower’s line of solar roof tiles. Each solar tile provides 355 watts of power at 17.2% efficiency.
- SunVault: Sunpower’s energy storage system, which stores electricity and transfers it to the grid when necessary. Can hold up to 26 kWh.
- SunPower Equinox: Complete home solar installation, great for new homes. Includes solar panels, inverters, and the energy storage system.
SunPower’s warranty covers the entire PV system for 25 years. It covers defects and new installations. They guarantee peak performance of at least 90% of the total output and a loss in efficiency of less than 8% at the end of the warranty period.
LG Solar USA
Yes, I know. LG is from South Korea, but its American subsidiary manufactures its solar panels in the United States. LG’s plant in Huntsville, Alabama pumps out around 500 MW worth of solar panels yearly. LG manufactures just about every kind of electronic device you can think of, so it’s safe to say that their solar panels would be quality products. LG’s solar panels are among the best modules in the industry, with high ratings for efficiency, durability, and aesthetics.
- LG Neon R: The Neon R is one of LG’s premier panels, built for durability. It provides 375 watts of power at 21.7% efficiency.
- LG Neon R Prime: A cheaper version of the Neon R. This module puts out 370 watts at 21.4% efficiency.
- LG Neon R Ace: Integrated with inverter to allow for easy use and installation. The Ace produces 375 watts at 21.7% efficiency.
- LG Neon 2: LG’s best-selling solar module. It combines price with performance. Generates 355 watts of power at 20.7% efficiency.
- LG Neon 2 Black: More aesthetically pleasing than the Neon 2, but has lower performance. Puts out 335 watts at 19.6% efficiency.
- LG Neon 2 Bifacial: LG’s premier bifacial panel. Captures light on both sides. Provides 410 watts at 19.8% efficiency.
- LGE Energy Storage System: Home energy storage system available with either AC or DC couplers. Can store up to 7.6 kWh of electricity.
LG offers 25-year warranties and covers performance, product, and labor. The performance warranty guarantees at least 90.8% of the total output after 25 years. The product and labor warranties cover all services and repairs. If a module needs replacement or repair, the cost is covered up to $450.
Renogy was founded by a group of students from Louisiana State University after a small class project. The project was a success, and they decided to go big. They got help from the Louisiana Business and Technology Center and grew into the global company that they are today. They sell solar products on a small scale, targeting homeowners and outdoor enthusiasts.
Renogy has a huge category of products, too large to list here. They have a large selection of monocrystalline panels. Renogy’s 320-watt panel is their largest in terms of wattage. Their 160-watt 12-volt panel is their most efficient, with 21% efficiency. Renogy also sells flexible solar panels, and you can choose from either their 100 watt or 175-watt modules. They also provide inverters, deep cycle batteries, solar kits for boats and vehicles, and several other PV-related products.
Renogy’s warranties may vary by panel. The most common warranty is the 25-year power output warranty. They guarantee 95% output after 5 years, 90% after 10 years, and 80% after 15 years. They also provide a 10-year warranty on materials and workmanship and a one-year material warranty on accessories.
Over the past decade, Tesla has become a household name. When Elon Musk isn’t disrupting the electric vehicle market or shooting rockets into outer space, he’s also making solar panels. Tesla claims their panels are the cheapest on the market, but the main selling point is the full integration between the Tesla Solar, the Powerwall, and their vehicle. Tesla sells solar panels through its Fremont based subsidiary, Solar City. The solar panels are manufactured in a partnership with Panasonic in their facility in Buffalo, New York. Tesla itself is headquartered in Palo Alto, California.
- Telsa Solar: Tesla’s solar panels are similar to Panasonic’s N3300 HIT modules, which have an efficiency of around 19.7%. The modules are prized for their aesthetics and high efficiency.
- Tesla Roof: The Solar Roof is a complete overhaul of the roof of your home, in which the shingles are replaced by solar-powered roof tiles. They blend in well and provide aesthetic value while generating electricity. They have an efficiency of around 19%.
- Powerwall: Tesla’s home energy storage product. They store the electricity generated by the solar panels and have a capacity of 13.5 kWh. The Powerwall can be used to charge your EV.
Tesla’s solar panels come with a 25-year performance warranty which guarantees 80% of the nameplate capacity for 25 years. There is also a 10-year comprehensive warranty that provides free service and labor for all components of the PV system, including the modules, inverters, and the Powerwall.
Solaria was founded in New Mexico in the year 2000 and was one of the few innovative solar companies at the time. After relocating to the Silicon Valley, Solaria took aim at producing higher performance solar panels and began developing solar trackers. Solaria today is one of the high-tech underdogs in the solar panel market, providing high output solar panels with high aesthetic value. Their current line, the Power XT, was introduced in 2016. They’re efficient and have a sleek design, and perform better in shady conditions than their competitors.
- Power XT 300: Provides 370 watts of power at 20.5% efficiency. Their uniform black appearance provides aesthetic value and minimizes hot spots.
- Power XT 400: Larger in area than XT 300, but similar technology & appearance. Provides 400 watts of power at 20.2% efficiency.
Solaria provides a full 25-year warranty that covers performance, parts, and labor. The warranty guarantees 86% of the full performance after 25 years.
Choosing the Right Brand
There are quite a few brands to choose from, way more than on this list, though the chances are high that you may consider one of these five, as they are among the biggest names in the solar industry. It’s best to review your budget and energy needs before you make a decision. Consider your options, and do your research into the manufacturers before you settle on one. Get quotes from different brands, and compare warranties, efficiencies, wattage, and durability. You should also check the reviews, and talk to other owners to get recommendations. A PV system is a long-term investment, so be sure that you are making the best choice.
These are the best and highest-rated companies in the solar panel industry. They also manufacture their products here in the US. All of these companies are known for high efficiency, durability, and aesthetics. They also all have 25-year warranties, though they may vary in coverage. Your personal energy needs should be taken into consideration before you make a choice. You might not need high performance if you don’t need much power. Or you might want the high wattage panels if you don’t have much space to work with. Shop around and find the panel that’s right for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
SunPower makes the highest efficiency solar panels on the market. Their A-Series panels have an efficiency of 22.2%.
LG makes one of the few commercially bifacial solar panels on the market. Their LG Neon 2 Bifacial generates 410 watts of power.
Renogy makes flexible solar panels that come in either 100-watt or 170-watt panels. They’re made primarily for recreation.
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