SunPower releases Maxeon┬« 3 Solar Panel at 400w, the most powerful residential solar panel in the world
In an industry first, SunPower has released its A-Series, which will take residential solar energy production from 360w to a record-breaking 400w, making it the most powerful solar panels in Australia. Taking efficiency and energy output to new heights, this latest generation of SunPower PV modules are a strong addition to the existing SunPower range and herald the start of a bright new era in solar energy production for Australian households.
How will a SunPower Maxeon┬« 3 Solar Panel make a difference to my home?
It’s so much more efficient! A home fitted with the SunPower Maxeon┬« 3 Solar Panel is equipped with their signature solar cell technology and will now deliver more than 400 watts in its region, which means a stunning 60% more energy in the same amount of roof space over the first 25 years compared to a conventional solar power fit out.
How is the SunPower Maxeon┬« 3 Solar Panel better than other products?
The SunPower Maxeon┬« 3 Solar Panel features larger Interdigitated Back Contact (IBC) solar cells, the highest efficiency solar products currently available on the market, with layers of copper and aluminium that extract electricity off the back of the cell but no grid lines or busbars (the thin strip of copper or aluminum between cells that conducts electricity) on the front. SunPower products are also incredibly durable, and virtually free from the corrosion and cracking that can destroy conventional solar panels. The panels also come with SunPower’s industry-leading 25-year Combined Power and Product Warranty.
As a SunPower premium partner, Natural Solar is delighted to welcome this product into its range and will provide more information around availability as it is received.
Get your Premium Sunpower Solar Panel Proposal
These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes a general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on Energy Locals Time of Use Tariff – (TOU – Peak, Off-Peak Solar Sponge).
The reference price is set by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) for a financial year in relation to electricity supply to residential customers in the distribution region and is based on an assumed annual usage amount. Any difference between the reference price and the unconditional price of a plan is expressed as a percentage more or less than the reference price. The terms of any conditional discounts are shown, along with any further difference between the reference price and the discount applied if a condition is met, expressed as a percentage more or less than the reference price.
The best just got better. SunPower A-Series delivers the most powerful cell and highest wattage panels you can put on your roof-including the world’s first 400W home solar panels. If you want to maximize your lifetime savings, these are the panels for you.
Built with our newest Maxeon® Gen 5 solar cells, delivering up to 22.3% efficiency and the world’s first 400W panels.
Built with Maxeon® solar cells, delivering up to 22.7% efficiency and up to 370 watt residential panels. Perfect for space constrained projects. Larger panels for commercial use range up to 470 watts per panel.
Built with Maxeon® solar cells, delivering up to 20% efficiency and available in 320, 327 or 435 watt panels. Great all-around solar panel.
Built with our unique shingled solar cells. Up to 17% efficiency and available in a range of panels from 330 to 350 watts. Optimized for large commercial projects.
SunPower Maxeon® Solar Cells for E-Series and X-Series Panels
See how we stack up against the competition. Available on both residential and commercial solar systems.
Alameda: Synergy768 Office of the Day
Is the Tesla Powerwall 2 worth it now that it’s optimized for time-of-use rate plans?
The Tesla Powerwall 2 home battery system is an incredible piece of technology. Is it also a Smart financial investment? If your local utility offers a “time-of-use” rate plan, the Tesla Powerwall 2 might be a stellar investment — thanks to a Powerwall 2 software update released by Tesla in May 2018. Before we get
Why Solar Cell Efficiency Matters
Solar Technology Efficiency: Breakthroughs are Coming When Bell Labs unveiled the world’s first silicon solar cell in 1954, it was estimated that the company’s new invention could turn 6 percent of the sun’s energy into electricity — a concept commonly referred to as efficiency. Fast forward to 1999. After nearly half a century of
Changing the way to power your homes.
Our commitment to quality is unrivaled because we take pride in every panel and battery we install. We’re not trying to be the biggest, that’s why we only offer and install the very best.
When only the best will do, Contact Synergy 768!
SunPower M-Series Solar Panels: Technology, Specifications, Comparison
SunPower is a leading company in the U.S. solar industry, offering a wide portfolio of solar solutions, with the M Series being one of the most outstanding solar panels. These modules are the highest efficiency AC solar panels in the market, perfectly suited for residential and commercial applications.
SunPower M series solar panels feature a high conversion efficiency, low power degradation, cutting-edge technology designed by Maxeon Solar, a superior aesthetic design, and an outstanding warranty. In this article, you will learn about the technology featured by these modules, technical specifications, strengths advantages, and how they compare against other options in the market.
Technology featured in the SunPower M-Series solar panels
SunPower M Series solar panels are the result of cutting-edge technology, featuring the Maxeon Gen 6 solar cells and a factory-integrated microinverter.
Maxeon Gen 6 Solar Cell
Maxeon Gen 6 solar cells used for the M Series are designed to last longer and perform better, delivering more power during their lifetime. Featuring a 5% larger size than previous Maxeon solar cells and an improved technology, they have a leading efficiency of up to 22.8% and excellent performance in low-light environments. These cells are built with a solid copper foundation, allowing them to resist breakage and corrosion.
Factory-Integrated SunPower Microinverter
Each residential M Series PV module designed by SunPower features a built-in Type H IQ7HS factory-integrated microinverter, designed by Enphase at the DC output. This technology converts DC-generated power by Maxeon Gen 6 solar cells into AC power, optimizing energy levels and improving performance by up to 25%.
Technical specifications details of the M-Series solar panels
SunPower has designed specific modules within the M Series, suited for residential and for commercial applications. In this section, we analyze the technical specifications and details of each option.
- Module Efficiency: Up to 22.8%.
- Nominal Power (DC): 420W – 440W.
- Output Power (AC): 369 VA – 384 VA.
- Temperature Coefficient:.0.29%/ºC
- Operating Temperature:.40ºF to 185ºF
Residential SunPower M Series solar panels are specially designed for the SunPower Equinox System and feature 66 Maxeon Gen 6 solar cells to deliver a nominal DC power output of 420-440W before the microinverter, and 369-384VA at the AC output.
The modules are protected by high-transmission tempered glass with anti-reflective coating, featuring a Class 1 Black anodized frame. These modules are designed to deliver around 60% more energy than conventional modules during their lifetime and are covered by a 25-year limited warranty.
- Module Efficiency: Up to 22.3%.
- Nominal Power (DC): 450W – 475W.
- Temperature Coefficient:.0.29%/ºC
- Operating Temperature:.40ºF to 185ºF
Specially designed to integrate with the SunPower Helix System, commercial SunPower M Series solar panels are manufactured using 72 Maxeon Gen 6 solar cells, to deliver a DC power output of 450-475W. This variation of the M series does not feature a built-in integrated micro-inverter.
These modules are protected by high-transmission tempered anti-reflective glass, featuring a Class 2 silver anodized frame. The modules are also covered by a 25-year warranty.
Strengths advantages of the SunPower M-Series
SunPower M Series solar panels feature many strengths advantages. In this section, we will list and explain some of the most outstanding ones.
DC to AC inversion right at the module
Residential M Series solar panels feature a built-in Enphase microinverter, which converts DC to AC power with a reduced power loss, providing versatility to the solar array and better performance for the system. This is why this type of solar panel is generally known as an AC module.
60% more energy in 25 years compared to conventional panels
Maxeon Gen 6 solar cells used for M Series solar panels feature a high conversion efficiency and low power degradation over time; this results in modules producing around 60% more energy than conventional modules during their lifetime.
One-of-a-kind 25-year Warranty
As a result of the M Series featuring cutting-edge technology and high-quality components, the company covers the modules with a 25-year product and performance warranty.
Highest efficiency AC solar panel
As a result of integrating Maxeon Gen 6 solar cells and Enphase’s microinverter, SunPower M Series solar panels have risen to become the highest-efficiency AC solar panels in the market. These modules feature a conversion efficiency of up to 22.8% for a power output of 440W for residential applications and 475W for commercial applications.
Black White or All-Black design
SunPower M Series comes in Black White and All-Black models. The latest option is the 420-440W for residential applications available in Black White, but previous models have featured All-Black designs, a brand signature of SunPower.
Comparing SunPower M-Series
Comparing SunPower M Series solar panels against other options is one of the best ways to truly illustrate the potential of these solar PV modules featuring cutting-edge technology.
SunPower M-Series vs. 420W HiDM by Canadian Solar
The first comparison contrasts the 420W HiDM modules by Canadian Solar against SunPower M Series solar panels.
SunPower M Series technical specifications surpass the 420W HiDM modules by Canadian Solar. The M Series modules feature a higher conversion efficiency and a higher power rating, they are also physically lighter and smaller. On top of the M series having a built-in micro inverter, they also perform better in extreme temperatures, making them a better option in general.
SunPower M-Series vs. 400W Q.PEAK DUO by QCells
Another great contrast arises by comparing SunPower M Series modules against the 400W Q.PEAK DUO by QCells, which is also a highly popular option in the solar industry.
Contrasting differences are more notorious between the SunPower M Series and the 400W Q.PEAK DUO. The M Series delivers around 40W more than the Q.PEAK DUO since it features a much higher conversion efficiency and better performance in extreme temperatures.
M series modules also feature lighter weight and require less roof space, on top of having an AC output by including the built-in microinverter, making them a superior option against the 400W Q.PEAK DUO.
SunPower M Series vs. X Series SunPower solar panels
The contrast becomes less notorious when comparing the SunPower M series vs. X series SunPower solar panels, two types of modules designed by SunPower and released to the market as different series.
Higher power output and a built-in microinverter are the main differences between the SunPower X series solar panels and the M Series, while both feature similar efficiencies and temperature coefficients. A remarkable difference rises regarding the dimension of the modules since the M series are larger than the SunPower X series solar panels.
The similarities between both series are the result of SunPower using cutting-edge and well-developed technology for all their modules. This explains why both series feature similar efficiencies, temperature coefficients, and lightweight for their modules.
Top 7 Best 400-Watt Solar Panels in 2023 (Cost, Specs )
Each product and or company featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Written by Aniket Bhor
Aniket Bhor is a solar engineer who has spent nearly a decade studying and working in the solar power sector in the European, Asian and North American markets. He recieved his Master’s degree in Renewable Energies from Germany at Technische Fachhochschule Wildau. He has since worked in the industry in a variety of capacities including Solar Energy Consultant, Business Development Head, Solar Entrepreneurship Trainer, and more recently writing for solar organizations including Venuiti Solutions, Green Integrations, Solengy, Ecotality.com. Overall, he is a climate enthusiast and avid cyclist, and he also loves to lose himself in books and cooking. Learn About This Person
Reviewed by Kristina Zagame
Kristina Zagame is a journalist, editor and content writer with expertise in solar and other energy-related topics. Before joining EcoWatch, Kristina was a TV news reporter and producer, covering a wide variety of topics including West Coast wildfires and hurricane relief efforts. Kristina’s reporting has taken her all over the U.S., as well as to Puerto Rico and Chile. Learn About This Person
Why You Can Trust EcoWatch
We work with a panel of solar experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other solar site has covered renewables as long as EcoWatch, which means we have more data and insider information than other sites.
Jump to Section:
Find the best price from solar installers near you.
Just a decade ago, 250- to 300-watt (W) solar panels were the standard size for most installations. But with Rapid technological advancements, 400 W panels are becoming the most common (and preferred) solar panel rating.
We’ve reviewed dozens of solar panel brands on the market and compiled this list of the top 400 W solar panels so that it is easier for you to choose the best 400 W panel for your needs.
Best Overall – SunPower A400-G-AC Residential Series
Most Value for Money – Canadian Solar HiKu dual cell PERC CS3N400
Best Portable – Ecoflow Foldable 400W solar panel
SunPower designs and installs industry-leading residential solar and storage solutions across all 50 states. With a storied history of innovation dating back to 1985, no other company on this list can match SunPower’s experience and expertise.
SunPower earns its position as the top national installer on our list for a handful of reasons: It installs the most efficient solar technology on the residential market, offers the most expansive service area and backs its installations with a warranty well above the industry standard. All the while, SunPower pioneers sustainability efforts within the industry.
If that weren’t enough, SunPower systems come packaged with products all manufactured in-house by its sister company, Maxeon. This means that your panels, solar cells, inverters, battery and EV chargers are designed to work together and are all covered under the same warranty.
SunPower’s biggest downside? Its high-efficiency panels are considerably more expensive than most of its competitors’ products. However, its powerful panels are workhorses that make up for the initial cost with more backend production (think about this like spending more money for a car that gets more miles per gallon).
Facts and Figures: SunPower
|Solar Panels, Solar Batteries, EV Chargers, System Monitoring|
|25-year all-inclusive warranty|
Blue Raven Solar
We like Blue Raven Solar because it understands that, for most homeowners, the cost of solar presents the biggest barrier to entry.
For that reason, Blue Raven Solar developed an innovative solar financing plan that offers in-house, flexible, zero-money-down options. The results speak for themselves, as Blue Raven Solar is now one of the fastest-growing solar companies in the nation and was recently acquired by SunPower. Its BluePower Plus plan (exclusive to Blue Raven) mimics the flexible structure of a lease while still providing the greatest benefits of owning your system.
Eligible homeowners enjoy 18 months of solar power before having to pay their first bill. When coupled with the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC), the initial energy savings can offset more than a third of the overall cost of a system before requiring a dollar down.
In contrast, other installers can only offer similar financing through solar leases, PPAs or third-party providers (such as Mosaic or Sunlight). Third-party loan providers can complicate the process, while opting for a loan or PPA will disqualify you from some of solar’s biggest benefits (additional property value, federal solar tax credit and local solar incentives).
Facts and Figures: Blue Raven Solar
|Solar Panels, System Monitoring|
|Trina Solar, Canadian Solar, SolarEdge, Silfab, SunPower|
|25-year manufacturer warranty; 10-year workmanship warranty, 2-year production guarantee|
ADT Solar sets the industry standard for warranty coverage by including a multifaceted guarantee, making it one of the top installers for homeowners who want added peace of mind.
Its warranty coverage includes all of the following for 25 years:
- Power Production Guarantee: Also known as a performance guarantee, this ensures your solar system will produce the amount of electricity that’s outlined in your proposal, or ADT will write you a check for the difference.
- Labor Guarantee: This covers any issues with the installation of your system and is also known as a workmanship warranty.
- Panel Module Performance Guarantee: This is what ADT Solar refers to the manufacturer warranty as, and it ensures that any manufacturing defects are repaired or your ineffective panels replaced.
- Enphase Microinverters Guarantee: This backs the performance of your inverters.
Though in recent years other solar companies have started to offer similar guarantees, ADT Solar has been at it since 2008, performing over 30,000 installations across the country.
Facts and Figures: ADT Solar
|Solar Panels, Solar Batteries, EV Chargers, Energy-Efficiency Upgrades|
|Silfab, Panasonic and others depending on location|
|25-year all-inclusive warranty|
What is a 400-Watt Solar Panel?
The “watt” is a unit of power, denoting the amount of energy consumed or generated in an hour. For instance, a 50 watt LED bulb consumes 50 watts of power every hour. Similarly, a 400 watt solar panel generates up to 400 watts of power with every hour of direct sunshine. Therefore, a 400 W panel can ideally run 80 of the above-mentioned LED bulbs (50 W x 80 = 400W).
The polycrystalline solar panels from the older generations were far less efficient than today’s monocrystalline options, and could generate much less power in the same size. This is why 250 or 300 watts were the largest panel sizes until just a few years ago.
Speaking of solar panel sizes, most solar panels have 60 or 72 silicon cells in them. Any more than that and the panel weakens under its own weight. This makes the power rating so important, because all manufacturers have to maximize the power output in the available size limits.
Typically, 300 to 360 W panels (60 cells) are still used in residential applications and 400 to 500 W panels (72 cells) are used in commercial applications. However, this is swiftly changing, as people are regularly installing 400 W panels on homes, cabins and even RVs.
What is the Best 400-Watt Solar Panel?
The last couple of decades have seen an incredible boom in solar panel manufacturing companies. The result of this is a wide variety of solar panel options to choose from. And with all the available options in the 400 W category, it is difficult to shortlist a few panels as the best options, let alone choosing a single panel as the best one.
All the solar panels we have selected have something unique in them — from aesthetics and innovative tech to cost and efficiency. The panel that is best for you will depend on several factors, and your own preferences.
However, if we had to choose just one “overall best 400 W panel,” we would award the title to SunPower’s A400-G-AC Series Residential panel. It offers the highest efficiency in its class, while also offering microinverters and some cutting-edge solar cell technology.
Compare 400-Watt Panels At A Glance
|Manufacturer||Superlative||Price per Watt||Features||Warranty||Where to Buy|
|Sunpower A400-G-AC Series Residential||Best overall||3.25/W||High efficiency,|
High efficiency, Made in USA
30-year performance guarantee
25-year performance guarantee
25-year performance guarantee
Sunpower A400-G-AC Residential Series – Best Overall
SunPower’s state-of-the-art A series residential solar panel offers an impressive efficiency of 21.5%. It houses larger mono-Si solar cells and comes with integrated microinverters supplied by the industry-leader Enphase.
- Price: 3.25/W
- Dimensions: 72.2 x 40 x 1.57 in
- Weight: 46.5 lbs.
- Where to buy: Through SunPower or other authorized installers
Silfab Elite SIL-410 BG – Best Aesthetics
Labeled by the maker as “America’s most beautiful panel,” the Elite SIL series comes with a sleek, all-black look, thin profile and superb efficiency numbers. The panel’s innovative conductive backsheet and integrated cell design make it stand out in terms of performance as well as looks.
- Price: 3.90 – 4.50/W
- Dimensions: 73.4 x 40.5 x 1.4 in
- Weight: 45.8 lbs.
- Where to buy: Through authorized Silfab installers
Pros and Cons of Silfab Elite SIL-410 BG
- High efficiency
- Exceptional aesthetics
- Excellent warranty
- Made in the U.S.A.
Q Cells Q. Peak Duo BLK ML-G10 – Best American Made
Q Cells is one of the oldest and most respected solar power companies and one that has ramped up production in the U.S. at a gigantic scale. This large-scale production allows Q Cells to offer high-quality, feature-packed panels at reasonable costs, and the Q. Peak Duo is no exception.
- Price: 3.10 – 3.50/W
- Dimensions: 74.0 x 41.1 x 1.26 in
- Weight: 48.5 lbs.
- Where to buy: Through authorized Hanwha Q Cells installers — Momentum Solar, Palmetto Solar and Trinity Solar.
Pros and Cons of Q Cells Q. Peak Duo BLK ML-G10
- High efficiency
- Excellent warranty
- Highly reliable brand
- Made in the U.S.A.
- Q Cells went bankrupt in 2012, but was then brought out by The Hanwah Group — a large South Korean business conglomerate. The company has been stable since, but it’s worth calling out.
Mission Solar MSE 420SX6W – Most Affordable
Texas-based Mission Solar has quickly risen to be one of the most popular local solar companies. Its MSE series offers high-quality PERC modules at a reasonable price tag, which also come with decent efficiency and positive power tolerance of 0 to 3%.
- Price: 2.25 – 2.60/W
- Dimensions: 82.12 x 41.49 x 1.57 in
- Weight: 49 lbs.
- Where to buy: Through Mission Solar or authorized installers
Canadian Solar HiKu dual cell PERC CS3N400 – Most Value for Money
Canadian Solar is one of the oldest solar module manufacturing companies. Its HiKu series is popular, and the dual cell PERC module brings all the essential modern tech to a reasonable price slab.
- Price: 2.45 – 3.00/W
- Dimensions: 76.4 x 41.3 x 1.38 in
- Weight: 49.6 lbs.
- Where to buy: Through Canadian Solar or authorized installers — Momentum solar, Blue Raven Solar
Solaria PowerXT Pure Black – Best Warranty
Solaria’s proprietary Pure Black technology enhances both solar panel aesthetics and performance. The PowerXT panel crosses the 20% efficiency barrier and comes with a 30-year warranty that is yet unsurpassed.
- Price: 2.75 – 3.25
- Dimensions: 64.72 x 47.4 x 1.57 in
- Weight: 46 lbs.
- Where to buy: Through Solaria’s partner installers
Pros and Cons of Solaria PowerXT Pure Black
- High efficiency
- Solder-less design
- Exceptional 30-year warranty
- Low PID losses
- Innovative, no busbar design
EcoFlow Foldable 400 W Solar Panel – Best Portable
A highly popular name in portable solar products, EcoFlow is the only reputed brand that offers a single, foldable 400 W solar panel (unlike Renogy’s multi-solar-panel kit). The panel impresses not only with its portability but also with the high efficiency and thoughtful design, making it perfect for DIY and off-grid installs.
- Price: 1,199 (per-watt system pricing not applicable)
- Dimensions: 42.0 x 94.1 x 1.0 in
- Weight: 35.3 lbs.
- Where to buy: Through Amazon or EcoFlow’s official website
Pros and Cons of EcoFlow Foldable 400 W Solar Panel
- Foldable and lightweight design
- High efficiency
- Integrated and adjustable mounting kickstand
- Highly durable, glass-free structure
- Plug-and-play design
How Much Do 400-Watt Solar Panels Cost?
The easy answer: it depends on the brand of the 400W solar panel.
Modern solar panels that share the same power rating may not share the same features and, consequently, the same pricing. As expected, the more innovative and technologically-advanced solar panels typically cost more than simpler models.
The cost of solar panels rated for 400 W output can be anywhere between 2 and 4 per watt installed. Remember that this is the price of the entire solar power system, installed using a number of 400 W mono solar panels together.
We cannot state the price of an individual 400 W panel, since it is generally difficult to source only the solar panels (unless you are an authorized installer yourself, in which case you likely wouldn’t need to read this article).
Like any other product, it’s important to remember that cost alone should not be the deciding factor when choosing 400 W panels. Oftentimes a more costly panel can save you a lot more money over its lifespan. Or, a panel with stronger warranties can offer more reliability than a cheaper panel with short warranties.
The best way to choose a 400 W solar panel is to narrow down your needs and preferences and choose the product that has the optimum balance between cost, features, efficiency and warranty.
How Much Energy Will a 400-Watt Solar Panel Produce?
While most homeowners will naturally want to know how much solar energy each 400-watt panel they install on their homes will produce, the answer is a bit complicated.
The rating on your PV module in wattage tells you the maximum amount of energy it can generate with full, intense sunlight. This measurement of power output is called the Standard Test Condition (STC).
However, in reality, there are many factors that affect the panel’s efficiency and power production. Some of the factors that affect your production are shown below:
- The direction your panels face
- The intensity of the sunlight that hits the panels
- The hours of daylight in your area
- The weather, including the average number of cloudy days per year
- Shading on your property from trees or nearby buildings
- The brand of the panel you choose and its maximum efficiency
- The age of your panel, as they lose efficiency over time
For a baseline production, you can use the calculation below, but remember that this estimate can change drastically based on the factors above:
Your Daily Watt-Hours per Panel = [average hours of sunlight] x [solar panel wattage] x [75% maximum power production to account for changing weather conditions and lower sun intensity in the morning and afternoon]
Your Daily Kilowatt-Hours (kWh) per Panel = [your daily watt-hours] / 1,000
If we assume that your area receives six hours of sunlight every day, we can use the above equation to calculate how much power each 400-watt panel on your property will produce on a daily basis.
[6 hours of sunlight] x [400 watts] x 75% = 1,800 watts per day
[1,800 watts per day] / 1,000 = 1.8 kWh per day
Remember, this should be considered as maximum production, and the factors mentioned above can bring this number down significantly. If we assume maximum production, you’re looking at 1.8 kWh of energy production every day, which equates to 657 kWh per year per 400-watt panel.
How Many 400-Watt Solar Panels Do I Need to Power My Home?
Based on our above calculation of annual energy production from a 400 W solar panel, we can calculate how many panels your home will need.
For example, if your home consumes the national average of 10,715 kWh per year, you’d need seventeen 400-watt panels to power your home. The calculation below explains why.
[10,715 kWh of energy needed] / [876 kWh of production per panel] = 16.30 panels, which gets rounded up to 17 panels
Don’t feel like whipping out your calculator? No worries. You can use our solar calculator to find out how many solar panels you need to power your home.
Keep in mind that solar panels alone cannot power a home. You will need other supporting components — such as an inverter, branch connectors, tray cables, z brackets and more. If you want to store your solar energy for later, you’ll also need solar batteries and an MPPT solar charge controller.
Maybe you’re not looking to power your entire house and are instead wondering what a single 400 W panel can run. Thankfully, this is simpler to find out. The “watt” rating denotes not only the power generated, but can also denote power consumption rating on appliances.
All you need to do is check the rating on an appliance and make sure it is lower than that of your solar panel. In this case, anything that consumes less than 400 W of power can operate on a 400 W solar panel. A few examples of this are listed in a table below:
|APPLIANCE/HOUSEHOLD ITEM||RUNNING OR RATED WATTS REQUIRED TO RUN|
|Phone Charger||10 watts|
|CFL Light Bulb||18 watts|
|Ceiling Fan||60 watts|
|Standard 60W Incandescent Light Bulb||60 watts|
|DVD Player||100 watts|
|Home Speaker System||100 watts|
|Box Fan or Floor Fan||100 watts|
|Hair Straightener||120 watts|
|Laptop Power Supply||125 watts|
|Electric Can Opener||170 watts|
|Gaming Console||180 watts|
|Vacuum Cleaner||200 watts|
|Rice Cooker||200 watts|
|Heated Blanket||200 watts|
|Up to 56” LCD TV||225 watts|
|Paper Shredder||225 watts|
|PC (Non-Gaming)||240 watts|
|Small Dehumidifier||250 watts|
|Computer Monitor||250 watts|
|Whole-House Exhaust Fan||350 watts|
|Central AC Fan Only||370 watts|
Roof Space Requirements for 400-Watt Solar Panels
When you are installing a complete solar power system, the roof space required for your system depends more on the total system size than the individual panel size.
As a thumb rule, every kilowatt (kW) of a solar power system requires about 75 square feet of space. Therefore, a typical 6 kW system may need around 450 sq. ft. of roof space. But if we had to calculate using 400 W panels only, here’s how we could do it:
A typical 400 W solar panel is about 75 x 45 inches in dimensions, which is about 25 square feet. A 6 kW system will need about 15 solar panels rated 400 W. This gives us,
25 sq. ft./panel x 15 panels = 375 sq. ft.
Add another 20% to this to account for the space required for safe racking, combiner boxes, wiring and the space left between panel strings to avoid shading. Thus we have:
It is important to remember that these are basic calculations and general thumb rules which may or may not apply in every case. Based on the complexity of your roof and other factors encountered in solar installations, your system may need more, or sometimes less space. That’s why it’s best to connect with an experienced solar installer to figure out your solar needs.
Methodology: How We Ranked the Top 5 Best 400-Watt Solar Panels
To stay impartial, our solar experts evaluate hundreds of solar manufacturers in our database based on the same range of criteria and assign scores to each category. The main factors we assessed to find the best 400-Watt solar panels include:
- Cost and ease of purchase (20%): Cost is typically the biggest deciding factor for homeowners going solar. Obviously, solar panels at 400W are going to be more expensive than 250W or 350W panels because they’re stronger, but we still look for companies that offer reasonable for the quality. Companies with the most transparent, economical and practical financing options also scored highest in this category.
- Warranty coverage (15%): Solar panel manufacturers offering longer, more comprehensive warranties performed better in this category.
- Experience (15%): Companies with less than 10 years of solar manufacturing experience are docked in this category. Most with less than five were deemed not eligible for ranking.
- Availability (15%): Solar panel brands that are available to a larger number of customers scored higher in this category.
- Reputation (15%): We analyze reviews and trends on Google reviews, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and similar review sites and assign scores accordingly.
- Solar services (20%): Manufacturers with more comprehensive service offerings perform better in this category. We also assess the quality of the products that the provider installs.
For a more in-depth look at our methodology, you can visit our solar rankings page.
FAQs: 400-Watt Solar Panels
How many batteries do I need for a 400-watt solar system?
Unlike solar panel calculations, battery calculations are a bit more tricky. In order to find out the size of battery needed, add up the watt-hours of all your appliances that you will operate in the absence of sunshine, and choose a battery based on this number.
For example, if you use lights, TV, fridge and a laptop in the evening and their energy ratings add up to 2 kWh, you can choose a battery with 2 kWh capacity. If you are using a battery bank, we recommend buying deep cycle lithium batteries.
What will a 400-watt solar system run?
A 400 W solar panel system, as mentioned above, can run any appliance(s) which consumes less than 400 watts of power. However, besides wattage, you may also need to match the voltage. For example, you cannot connect a 400 W panel with a voltage at open circuit (Voc) of 48 to a 12 volt appliance directly.
How much space does a 400-watt solar panel take up?
While different solar panels have different dimensions, a typical 400 W monocrystalline solar panel may take anywhere between 20 and 30 sq. ft. of space.
How much does a 400-watt solar panel cost?
The cost of a 400 W solar panel varies based on factors such as types of cells, efficiency, features, etc. However, a system of 400 W panels may cost between 2 and 4 per watt of installed capacity.
Does a 400-watt solar system generate enough electricity to power my home?
A single 400 watt solar panel is insufficient in powering an entire home, but it can power small systems including a few appliances under the 400 W mark. To power an entire house, however, you will need multiple 400 W solar panels.
Aniket Bhor is a solar engineer who has spent nearly a decade studying and working in the solar power sector in the European, Asian and North American markets. He recieved his Master’s degree in Renewable Energies from Germany at Technische Fachhochschule Wildau. He has since worked in the industry in a variety of capacities including Solar Energy Consultant, Business Development Head, Solar Entrepreneurship Trainer, and more recently writing for solar organizations including Venuiti Solutions, Green Integrations, Solengy, Ecotality.com. Overall, he is a climate enthusiast and avid cyclist, and he also loves to lose himself in books and cooking.
Kristina Zagame is a journalist, editor and content writer with expertise in solar and other energy-related topics. Before joining EcoWatch, Kristina was a TV news reporter and producer, covering a wide variety of topics including West Coast wildfires and hurricane relief efforts. Kristina’s reporting has taken her all over the U.S., as well as to Puerto Rico and Chile.
3 Types of Solar Panels (Which Is Right for You?)
8 Solar Energy Pros and Cons: Is Solar Right for You? (2023)
What Are Solar Panels Made Of (How Are They Made?)
6 kW Solar Panel System: Can It Work For Your Home? (2023)