REC solar panels reviews
About REC, Solar Panels
REC is short for Renewable Energy Corporation. The company was founded in Norway but now carries out all production in Singapore.
They produce tier one panels with 20 year product warranty (or 25 years if they’re installed by a REC certified installer) and a 25 year performance warranty. They are certified as corrosion resistant.
REC has an Australian office in Melbourne. Having a physical local presence is pretty important for building confidence in the brand and properly supporting its customers in Australia.
A US Company Has A Similar Name
There is a company in the United States called REC Solar that installs commercial scale solar power systems for businesses. They do not make their own solar panels. It is easy to confuse the two when looking for information on REC.
REC is medium sized producer of solar panels. They shipped 1.34 gigawatts of panels in 2017, which was more than what was installed in all of Australia that year. Shipments since then aren’t clear, but in terms of cumulative total, as at 2023 the company notes it has shipped more than 12 gigawatts of REC solar panels. 43 million modules.
As for total manufacturing capacity, the last we heard it was around 1.8GW annually, but the company is looking to expand that to 5GW within the next year or two.
REC was founded in Norway in 1996 under the name Fornybar Energi AS and produced its first silicon wafer in 1997. It became REC after merging with another company in 2000. By taking advantage of Norway’s comparatively cheap hydroelectric power, for a period at the start of the century they become the world’s largest producer of multicrystaline silicon wafers used to make solar cells.
In 2008 and 2009 REC opened two new multicrystalline wafer factories in Norway. Then the company ran into financial difficulties and shut them down permanently a few years later in 2011 and 2012. In retrospect, it doesn’t appear to be a very bright move, but these are the sort of mistakes companies make when they decide for some reason not to predict the future with 100% accuracy.
In 2010 REC started production of solar panels in Singapore and subsequently expanded capacity at this facility. This currently remains the company’s only manufacturing site.
In 2015 REC Solar was bought by the Norwegian company Elkem, which is owned by the Chinese corporation Bluestar. Then in October 2021, REC announced it had been acquired by Reliance New Energy Solar Limited; an Indian multinational headquartered in Mumbai.
This will make REC Solar an Indian-owned company that manufactures in Singapore, but for some reason it is still often referred to as a European company. I guess old habits die hard.
REC TwinPeak 5 Specifications
REC’s TwinPeak series has been produced since 2014. The first generation had a maximum capacity of 275W, which was a pretty powerful panel at the time. It was 3 years before the second-generation was released (which went up to 320W) and the third generation (2020) hit 340W capacity.
It was only last year TwinPeak 4 started rolling off the production line. So, what are the differences between the 4 and TwinPeak 5? The following are some selected specs for the 5 compared to the 4.
- Cells: 132 1half-cut mono c-Si p-type cells (TP4: 120 cells)
- Dimensions: 1899 x 1040 x 30 mm (TP4: 1755 x 1040 x 30 mm)
- Weight: 21.6kg (TP4: 20.0 kg)
- Capacities: 395W, 400W, 405W, 410W, 415W (TP4: 360W, 365W, 370W, 375W)
- Panel conversion efficiencies: 20.1% – 21.1% (TP4: 19.7% – 20.5%)
- Temperature coefficient of PMAX:.0.34 %/°C (TP4: Same)
- Warranty: 25 years on product, performance and labour if installed by a REC certified installer (TP4: same)
- Annual degradation: 2 percent maximum power degradation in the first year, 0.5 percent per year thereafter until year 25, at which point a minimum of 86% original capacity (TP4: same)
So, the TwinPeak 5 is a bigger, heavier panel, but will be available in significantly greater capacities. The full datasheet can be viewed here.
The REC TwinPeak 5 line is being produced at the company’s Industry 4.0 manufacturing site in Singapore, and will be available in both white and black backsheet variants.
“The new product improves on the strengths that have made the TwinPeak family such a success, including REC’s revolutionary Twin Design,” says the firm.
REC Pumping Out New Products In 2022
It’s been a busy year for REC, with the TwinPeak 5 the third product introduction this year.
One of the others we’ve covered on SQ was the REC Alpha Pure-R, which was unveiled at Intersolar Europe back in May this year. It’s available in 410W – 430W capacities and production commenced in September.
Another is the REC N-Peak 3 Black Series, the company’s third generation of n-type 2 TOPCon cell-based modules. To be available in 390W and 400W capacities, the N-Peak 3 Black Series measures 1,899mm x 1040mm x 30mm and weighs in at 21.8kg.
The first U.S REC N-Peak 3 Black Series shipments are planned for January 2023. I’ve asked whether this panel will be available in Australia (and when), but at the time of writing hadn’t received a reply.
—- UPDATE 28 November: REC have advised the N-Peak 3 Black Series will not be released in Australia/ New Zealand —–
REC modules have been pretty popular in Australia since they were introduced locally in 2010. REC solar panel reviews here on SolarQuotes from Australian owners have been generally positive. The company has achieved an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars from 754 ratings at the time of publishing, and 4.9 stars over the last 6 and 12 months. REC is currently listed on SQ’s recommended solar panel brands chart.
In terms of pricing, REC is more towards the premium end of the market. In this year’s SolarQuotes Installers Choice Awards, REC scored second place for the best solar panels in 2022 “money no object” category; a ranking it also attained in 2021.
You can compare the company’s panels with those from a bunch of other brands on SQ’s solar panel comparison table.
- REC’s announcement says 120 cells, datasheet says 132. Given the TwinPeak 5 is larger panel than the 4, I’m assuming 132 is correct. ↩
- Discover the difference between p-type and n-type solar cells. ↩
REC vs Q Cell Solar Panels
EC Solar Panels had almost reached a dominating position in the market of electricity, especially solar panels. On the other hand Q Cell, as well, is not somewhere behind it. Q Cells and REC provides Solar Panels which are durable, with a good warranty period, power output, performance, and much more. Now, the question lies REC vs Q Cell: which one is better? Read the blog to learn the answer with related facts.
REC vs Q Cell: Overview
REC is a pioneer in the solar business and a top developer of solar PV technology. The cutting-edge Alpha series panels, which use high-performance heterojunction cells, have elevated REC to the same level as the top producers in the world and are among the most effective solar panels currently on the market. The more affordable REC Twinpeak and N-peak solar panels offer excellent value in the fiercely competitive solar market and are covered by above-average 25-year performance warranties in addition to a 20-year product guarantee.
Originally located in Germany, Q Cells is now headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, and is renowned for producing high-quality solar panels based on tested solar cell technology. Despite not being known for producing the most effective panels, the company is usually very trustworthy and has consistently performed well in independent testing conducted by PVEL. Additionally, Q Cells offers a variety of modularly constructed house energy storage systems, including the stylish new Q. Home CORE series with integrated instantaneous backup power.
REC vs Q Cell: Solar Panel Efficiency
The ability of a solar panel to collect sunlight and transform it into usable energy is referred to as solar panel efficiency. A solar panel with higher efficiency will generate more energy than a panel with lower efficiency of the same size under the same circumstances. Because of this, a greater efficiency rating is typically preferred.
REC Solar Panel Efficiency
The particular type you select for your system will affect the efficiency of the REC solar panels you own. Solar panels from REC have an efficacy range of 19.1% to 22.3%.
Q Cell Solar Panel Efficiency
Depending on the particular model you select for your system, the efficiency of your Q CELLS solar panels may vary. From 17.4% to 21.4% efficiency is available for solar panels across the entire Q CELLS product range. In general, Q CELLS solar panels have middle-of-the-road efficiency levels, but those with an efficiency of 18% or greater can be categorized as high efficiency.
REC vs Q Cell Solar Panel: Capacity
The difference between the capacity of both of these solar panels is mentioned below
Q Cell Solar Panel Capacity
Both the Q. MAXX BLK-G5 and Q. MAXX-G5 now have more capacity. The largest G5 has a capacity of 415W, while the G4’s maximum output was 410W (the BLK variant was 400W).
Basic features of the Q.MAXX-G5 include:
- 6 18 monocrystalline cells half-cut cells of Q. ANTUM.
- Dimensions: 405W and 415W
- 1722 mm x 1134 mm x 30 mm is the size.
- Size 21.1 kg
- than 21.3% and 20.7% efficiency
- 0.34%/°C for the temperature coefficient.
Three different power levels of the all-black Q. MAXX BLK-G5 are offered: 390W, 400W, and 410W.
Both products come with a 25-year guarantee. Additionally, a 25-year performance warranty is provided, with a minimum of 98% of nominal power guaranteed for the first year and a maximum of 0.5% decline thereafter.
REC Solar Panel Capacity
The business debuted its Alpha Series solar panels in 2019. At the time, according to REC, it was the greatest power 60-cell module available anywhere. The Alpha Pure, which came after the Alpha and is available in the following wattages: 385W, 390W, 395W, 400W, 405W, and 410W, offers a panel efficiency of up to 22.2%. The Alpha initially offered a panel efficiency of up to 21.7%.
The Alpha Pure Series won REC an Intersolar Award in May 2022, with the judges praising its outstanding power production, low carbon footprint, and absence of lead used in manufacturing.
Additionally in May 2022, REC unveiled its Alpha Pure-R solar panels, which will have module conversion efficiencies varying from 21.2% to 22.3% and capacities from 410W to 430W.
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