SunPower solar panels review 2023: Maximum efficiency
Stories of big companies that start with one scientist conducting experiments in a lab are special. They are inspiring in how they prove the importance of creativity, hard work, and devotion to the craft. The story of SunPower, the manufacturer of the most advanced PV modules in the world, is like this. Learn more about the brand and its product in our SunPower solar panels review.
SunPower history: Silicon Valley breakthrough
Stanford, California, 1985. Richard Swanson, an electrical engineering professor at Stanford University, experiments with solar cells in the lab. His tests go so well that he breaks a record for cell power efficiency. This inspires him to take a sabbatical and start a solar company that he names Eos. Then it will change its name to Sunpower and become a company with the most efficient solar panels in the world.
Richard Swanson is credited for creating Swanson’s law,an observation that solar cell decline by 20% for every doubling of solar panel industry capacity.
Almost 40 years later SunPower is still headquartered in Silicon Valley. Richard Swanson retired in 2012 but remains on the advisory board. The company provides solar systems and batteries, primarily for residential customers. Technically, SunPower doesn’t make panels anymore since it spun off this part of its business in 2020 as Maxeon Solar Technologies in Singapore, but we’ll look at their products as if it is one company.
SunPower technologies: Shingled design
American engineers use a wide range of modern technologies to drive up the output of their solar cells. One of the most impressive examples is shingled design.
To make a shingled solar panel, engineers slice cells into several strips and overlay them to create an electrical connection between them. It’s a bit like laying shingles on a roof. A shingled solar panel doesn’t need busbars or thin metal connectors. The panel gets a more uniform look and becomes more durable.
The best thing about shingled design is the way it improves the shading tolerance of a panel. Cells in a standard panel are connected in series which means that their performance depends on one another. Shingles are connected in parallel which makes them independent. In general, a shingled solar panel is 40% better at fighting shading than a standard panel.
Making shingled solar panels is difficult and expensive which is why so few manufacturers use this design — the only one that immediately comes to mind is Solaria.
SunPower Maxeon panels: Efficiency no matter the cost
SunPower Maxeon offers monocrystalline panels primarily for residential projects. There are high-output PV modules and bifacial panels but they aren’t the main FOCUS of a company. The brand also experiments with thin-film panels: for example, Maxeon Air is a highly anticipated flexible panel for home that should come out soon. Besides, SunPower designs solar systems and offers energy storage solutions
SunPower solar panels for home reach the highest conversion rates that are possible at the moment. The panels are just shy of 23% efficiency. If your space is limited and your energy needs are high, high-efficiency panels are what you need.
SunPower Maxeon always takes top places in rankings like “Top-10 solar panels” and “Best manufacturers”. The customer reviews for their panels are overwhelmingly positive which shows how stringent quality control is in the company.
The quality and efficiency of SunPower Maxeon panels come at a cost. They are undoubtedly among the most expensive on the market, if not the most expensive ones. They cost from 1.5 to 3 per watt in the US before installation. When you include labor, shipping and equipment expenses, a system made with SunPower panels can cost 5 per watt or more.
SunPower warranties: Up to 40 years
The warranties from SunPower Maxeon deserve a special mention. The brands offer 40-year coverage for their products which is something that no one else does. The engineers claim that you are 100 times more likely to return a standard solar panel than the product from SunPower Maxeon.
The coverage includes repair, replacement or refund for any defective panel for 40 years, including the removal, shipping and installation. It also covers the performance of a panel: the panel retains 88.3% by the year 40. There are nuances though:
The warranty applies for the SunPower Maxeon product line. SunPower Performance panels get a standard 25-year warranty for product and performance. The 40-year warranty is only available to customers in certain countries. Luckily, the USA is on this list. Customers in Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal and Sweden are also eligible. Your system has to be registered. Otherwise, it is covered by a standard 25-year warranty.
What stands out the most about SunPower Maxeon panels — except everything? Here is the list of the most impressive advantages:
The highest efficiency. SunPower panels are known for being the most efficient in the industry which means that they are able to convert more sunlight into electricity. By the end of 2022, the highest number they reached was a 22.8% conversion rate. Top-notch warranties. The brand offers a 40-year product and performance warranty for certain models and 25-year warranties for all the rest. The panels retain over 88% of their power output after 40 years. Amazing quality and great reputation. SunPower solar panels reviews are overwhelmingly positive and the brand is beloved by experts and customers. American design. The panels are assembled in Asia, but the design comes from American engineers. Besides, it’s nice to know that the history of a company stems from Silicon Valley and the genius of Stanford professor. Wide product line. SunPower Maxeon offers panels primarily for residential installations, but there are also flexible panels, high-output modules for commercial installations, and bifacial panels. The company offers energy storage systems as well.
What’s not ideal about SunPower Maxeon panels? This list is going to be short but it can’t be omitted:
High cost. Maxeon and SunPower solar panels are undoubtedly among the highest on the market, if not the most expensive ones. They cost from 1.5 to 3 per watt before installation.Residential projects emphasis. While the company offers panels for commercial systems and mobile solar installations, it’s not their specialty. As a result, Sunpower panels for these applications aren’t as advanced and competitive as, say, high-output modules from Jinko Solar or flexible panels from Renogy.
SunPower solar panels overview: For home, business and travel
We’re itching to take a look at the panels that SunPower Maxeon puts out on the market. Our engineer is going to join us and share his thoughts as well.
SunPower panels are a dream for engineering nerds because there is so much work and creative decisions. You can find IBC cells that LG used as well, or shingled panel design that I’ve seen with Solaria panels, and many more.
Maxeon 3 DC, 430 W — Put it on your house roof
Here is a basic panel for home installations from Maxeon SunPower with 430 W power output. Its conversion rate reaches 22.7% which puts it among the most efficient panels on the market. The panel comes with a 40-year warranty for product and performance and you can expect it to retain over 88% of its power by the year 40.
SunPower Performance 5 UPP Bifacial, 545 W — Use it for your business
A bifacial panel from SunPower Performance line is designed for large commercial installations. The front side is rated for 545 W output with 20.9% efficiency. The active rear side provides up to 20% bonus production. Shingled solar panel design increases the shading tolerance of a panel and contributes to the stylish appearance of the panel. The panel comes with a 25-year warranty for product and performance.
SunPower SPR-E-Flex-110, 110 W — Take it on the road
Here is a 110 W flexible panel from SunPower — a great choice for your camper or boat. The panel flexes up to 30° and it doesn’t require drilling — you can fix it with the help of adhesives. The panel features back contact cells which increase the active area of solar cells and improve the look of a module. It is designed in the USA and assembled in France. The panel comes with a 5-year limited power warranty of 80% of the minimum specified power rating.
A1SolarStore recommends Maxeon 6 AC (E4), 440 W
Here is an AC panel from SunPower Maxeon that comes with a preinstalled microinverter from Enphase. The panel provides 440 W of output with 22.8% efficiency.
AC panels are easier to install than standard DC modules. Micro inverters also provide better efficiency and lower power losses caused by shading, compared to string inverters. Their monitoring capabilities are also superior. The inverter from Enphase works at 96.5% efficiency. The panel comes with a 40-year warranty from SunPower for product and performance. There is also a 25-year product warranty for the micro inverter which is covered by Enphase.
A1SolarStore verdict: SunPower Maxeon solar panels are next level
We’ve looked at the history of SunPower, the technologies that it utilizes, the panels that the brand offers, and discussed their pros and cons. It’s time to summarize everything in a list:
SunPower is an American brand founded in 1985 by Stanford professor Richard Swanson. SunPower designs solar systems and energy storage systems. It spun off solar panel manufacturing as Maxeon Solar Technologies. American engineers utilize a variety of different technologies, such as IBC cells and shingled design, to maximize the production of their panels. As a result SunPower panels are the most efficient ones on the market, reaching up to 22.8% conversion rate. They are also among the most expensive on the market. SunPower panels can come at up to 3 per watt in the US before installation. Shingled design makes SunPower panels 40% more resistant to shading, compared to standard panels. Maxeon SunPower panels come with a 40-year warranty for product and performance for several models. The rest comes with 25-year warranties. The system has to be registered to be eligible for 40-year coverage. The best panels from SunPower Maxeon retain over 88% of their power output after 40 years in service. SunPower has an excellent reputation and is beloved by experts and customers. SunPower Maxeon offers panels for all kinds of projects, including flexible PV modules for mobile installations. Residential projects are their specialty.
What more is there to say? SunPower is an excellent brand. Yes, the panels are impressively expensive. But hey, when SunPower makes them this powerful, this high-quality, this good — they have a right to set the bar. With that, we end our SunPower solar panels review 2023 and we’ll be back with more.
SunPower Maxeon 6 AC Solar Panels with Inbuilt Enphase IQ7A Micro Inverter
Now backed by an unbeatable 40 Year warranty
The new SunPower Maxeon 6 AC Module combines home solars most powerful panel with the world’s most advanced inverter technology. The result is an elegant, optimized solution for any roof.
SunPower Maxeon panels are world-renowned for their energy production and savings advantages that combine unmatched performance, efficiency and reliability with an industry-leading warranty and an estimated 40 year useful life.
Each Maxeon 6 AC module functions independently, making your whole system more reliable, and your rooftop more productive.
With conventional panel technology, the system performs only as well as its weakest panel. This can dramatically reduce output due to shade or other real-world challenges, even small debris like leaves.
Powerful panels mean you’ll need fewer on your roof. Just fifteen Maxeon 6 AC panels deliver the power of nineteen conventional panels. This gives you a compact design and the flexibility to expand your system as your energy needs evolve, accommodating EV charging, AC storage, the electrification of home appliances and more.
The in-built Enphase micro inverters come with an industry leading 25 Year warranty.
- Industry leading 40 Year product performance warranty
- #1 Lowest degradation rate in the industry at 0.25%
- 88.3% warranted power output in year 40 operation
- Enphase micro-inverters are mounted to the back of each panel in the factory, for quick installation, and strict quality control
- Enphase micro-inverter warranty extended :10 years to 25 Years when combined with the Sunpower Maxeon panels
- Easily expandable system
- Panel level monitoring
- Automatic software updates
SUNPOWER Panneau AC monocristallin MAXEON 6 AC 435Wc
Paiement 100% sécurisé
Par carte ou virement bancaire
Expédition 48/72H pour les produits en stock
Livré chez vous sous 15/20j ouvrés
Retrait en magasin gratuit
à l’agence Lyon (69530 Brignais)
Plus d’énergie produite cumulée
Conçu pour maximiser l’énergie produite, avec un rendement et des performances inégalés à haute température et une meilleure conversion énergétique par faible luminosité, par exemple le matin, le soir ou par temps nuageux.
Une durabilité sans compromis
Conçu pour produire de l’énergie par tous les temps, grâce à des cellules incassables et à des connexions renforcées qui protègent contre la fatigue et la corrosion, ainsi qu’une architecture électrique qui limite l’impact de l’ombre et évite la formation de points chauds.
Des matériaux propres, une fabrication responsable et une production d’énergie garantie pendant 40 ans font des panneaux SunPower Maxeon les plus respectueux de l’environnement.
Type de cellules 66 cellules Maxeon monocristallines 6e génération Puissance nominale 435W Tolérance de puissance de sortie 5/0% Rendement du module.ηm 22,5% Dimension du module (H x L x P) 1872 x 1032 x 40 mm Poids 21,8 kg Boîte de jonction Classé IP-68, 3 diodes bypass Cadre Anodisé noir de classe 1 Garantie fabrication 40 ans Garantie de puissance lineaire 40 ans Modèle d’onduleur IQ 7A @230 VAC Puissance crête de sortie 366 VA Puissance nominale de sortie maxi 349 VA Tension/plage de tension nominale (L–N) 219 – 264 V Courant de sortie continue maxi 1,52 A Nb maxi d’unités par circuit de dérivation 20 A (L–N) 10 Rendement pondéré 96,5 % Courant de défaut en court-circuit AC sur 3 cycles 5,8 A rms Classe de protection contre les surtensions III Courant de retour port AC 18 mA
Fiche tech Sunpower Maxeon 6 AC
Fiche tech Sunpower Maxeon 6 AC
Sunpower solar panels reviews
About Sunpower, Solar Panels
SunPower is an American firm that lends its name to high quality solar panels; with most models now being produced through its spinoff Maxeon Solar Technologies. The company’s products are widely considered among the best available.
Sunpower Maxeon solar panels have the highest efficiency currently on the market, are likely to be the best at tolerating partial shade. and they have a 40 year product warranty in Australia (see further notes on warranty below). In addition, SunPower panels are corrosion resistant, which makes them suitable for installation anywhere in Australia.
Maxeon have an Australian office in Melbourne.
Production Capacity And Output
At the start of 2018 SunPower had 1.2 gigawatts of solar cell manufacturing capacity and 1.9 gigawatts of solar panel manufacturing capacity. In 2019, the company shipped 2.5 GW of modules, representing 80% growth over 2018.
Current production capacity isn’t clear, but was expected to be boosted significantly under Maxeon. In April 2021, Maxeon Solar Technologies said it planned to use existing facilities to quickly ramp 1.8 GW of new capacity, followed by another 1.8GW at a new facility. Whether that materialised isn’t clear.
SunPower is as American as Apple pie and so is majority owned by a French oil company. This makes sense because the French were eating Apple pies long before Americans ever did.
SunPower’s headquarters are in San Jose in California. They abandoned manufacturing in the United States for a long time but then resumed at a plant they bought from SolarWorld Americas in order to avoid Trump’s solar panel tariffs. But in January 2021, SunPower announced it was closing its Hillsboro plant. This means Maxeon is now manufacturing all SunPower panels models aside from the Performance (P) Series.
Maxeon has manufacturing capacity in Malaysia, the Philippines and Mexico. SunPower entered into a joint venture to produce their P series panels in China.
SunPower was founded in 1985 by Richard Swanson, who was responsible for Swanson’s Law. It states that for every doubling of production capability, the cost of solar panels falls by 20%. Despite ups and downs in prices, it has proven to be roughly accurate and I hope the effect will continue into the future.
As it has managed to stick around for 37 years so far, SunPower is one of the oldest solar panel brands in existence.
However, in November 2019, SunPower announced it would spin off much of its solar panel manufacturing into a new company – Maxeon Solar Technologies. That process was completed in August 2020 and now the company’s panels aside from the P Series are marketed under the name SunPower Maxeon.
SunPower Maxeon‘s 40 Year Replacement Product Warranty
In February 2022, Maxeon Solar Technologies announced the product and performance warranty on panels sold under SunPower Maxeon brand in Australia had been extended from 25 years to 40 years. In terms of the Sunpower Maxeon 5 and 6 AC, the 40 years only covers the panel, while the integrated microinverter is covered under Enphase’s 25 year warranty.
It should be noted the product warranty for SunPower P series panels (i.e. non-Maxeon branded) is still 25 years.
Maxeon’s product warranty (and that of the SunPower P Series) undertakes to either repair, replace, or refund the purchase price of the defective PV modules. It used to be that all SunPower panels were covered by a full replacement warranty, rather than the company also having repair/refund options.
While this figure is now out of date, SunPower has previously said their panel failure rate is only 1 in 37,000. Hopefully it’s even better now, although I know some panels have been replaced under warranty. Because the large majority of their panels were well under 25 years old at the time, this doesn’t mean there is only a 1 in 37,000 chance of a panel failing during its 25 year warranty period, but it still suggests they are very reliable.
SunPower Maxeon Solar Panels Resist The Effects Of Heat
SunPower panels suffer considerably less decrease in efficiency due to the effects of heat than the average panels. Their coefficiency of Pmax ranges is as little as.0.29% depending on the model, while the average is around.0.35%. This is how much their output is decreased by for each degree celcisus the panel temperature is above 25 degrees. Note that the temperature of panels in the sun can be much higher than the air temperature and can reach 65 degrees on hot days.
SunPower Panels Tolerate Partial Shade Well
Partial shade can cause a major reduction in the performance of solar cells as one badly performing solar cell can drag down the performance of others, so just one bird poop can have a major effect. But SunPower used various technologies to minimise its impact, and that has continued under Maxeon manufacturing.
SunPower Had Financial Difficulties
SunPower had been experiencing financial difficulties, posting significant losses in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
For the fiscal year 2019, SunPower’s assets and liabilities were almost equal, which is not a good situation to be in. Their financial position was hurt by falling solar panel and also President Trump’s US solar tariffs.- despite SunPower winning an exemption.
There was speculation that SunPower would go bankrupt, but the recent move to shift all solar panel manufacturing to Maxeon may play out well.
But even if I was certain SunPower wouldn’t be around in the future to honour their warranties, I would still be fine with installing them on my roof because their high reliability means the chance of me needing their warranty should be extremely small.
Warranty claim procedure for orphaned SunPower customers
If you have purchased Sunpower panels from a solar installer that has gone out of business, the responsibility for warranty claims falls to Sunpower or Maxeon, depending on the type of solar panel installed. They can be contacted on 1800 786 769, and will arrange for an installer in their network to diagnose and rectify any problems with the panels. with labor costs involved covered by the warranty.
I would have no problem installing SunPower Maxeon panels on my roof, and this would be the case even if I expected SunPower or Maxeon to go bust and not be around to honour their warranties.
But while SunPower panels are very high quality, they do carry a hefty premium and so it will be necessary to decide if they are worth the extra expense.
SunPower is also very popular with Australian installers. In the SolarQuotes Installers’ Choice Awards, SunPower was voted second in the best solar panels in 2023 category, and also achieved second place for best after-sales support.
Penrith Solar Centre use SunPower Performance panels, which is a high grade solar panel. We wanted high quality performing solar panels. Bought From: Penrith Solar Centre Show additional information