What Are the Best Solar Panel Brands on The Market Today?
The top three highest quality solar panel brands on the market today are SunPower, LG and Panasonic. They stand out from the crowd based on the efficiency (which determines how many panels you need), aesthetics, and quality. Most panel manufacturers offer a 10 year product warranty, while these companies offer 25 year warranties. Solar panels are easy to maintain, but if you own your system, a 25 year warranty can give you peace of mind if an issue arises.
Between SunPower, LG and Panasonic, we recommend LG and Panasonic as they have panel efficiencies and warranties similar to SunPower, but at a better value. SunPower has a premium brand (the Apple of solar panels), so if that is not as important to you, we would recommend the LG or Panasonic.
Remember that higher efficiency means less space, so if space is not an issue or if you do not need a 25 year warranty there are several other more cost effective panels to consider (SolarWorld, REC, Hanwa, or Canadian Solar).
Solar Panel Comparison by Brand
|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||U.S. and 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|
|Hyundai||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, U.S.|
Solar Panel Buying Guide
Solar panel technology has been around for a while with Bell Labs producing the first panel in 1954, but it has taken years for panels to become cheap enough for residential applications (Stanford’s history on solar panels). If you are not an electrician, solar panel technology specifications can be hard to make sense of, so we put together this quick summary on key terms you should be familiar with when comparing solar panels. The Department of Energy also has a helpful glossary of solar energy terms.