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What are the best solar panels on the market? Complete panel ranking table

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Finding the best solar panels for your home can feel like a daunting challenge. There are more than a hundred different brands of solar panels and other solar equipment on the market at any given point. In this article, we’ll discuss how solar panel manufacturers stack up to one another, and who makes the best solar panels.

Best solar panels: key takeaways

  • LG, Panasonic, and Sunpower are considered the top solar panel manufacturers
  • Make sure to consider efficiency, price, and warranty when comparing panel options
  • Register on the EnergySage Marketplace to compare solar quotes with high-quality solar panels

Best solar panels for home installation

Generally speaking, SunPower, LG, and Panasonic make the best solar panels on the market in 2019 due to the high efficiencies, competitive pricing, and stellar 25-year warranty offered by each brand. These companies combine durability and reliability with premium protection and fair prices, making them the brands with the best solar panels available. SunPower is also widely considered to be one of the best solar panel manufacturers, with module efficiencies close to 23%

In almost all cases, the best solar panels are made with premium monocrystalline solar cells. Monocrystalline cells are made with a single crystal of silicon instead of many silicon fragments melted together, as is the case with polycrystalline cells. This means that the cells are more efficient at converting sunlight to electricity, plus they have a sleek black tint to them. However, it’s important to keep in mind that premium solar panels with monocrystalline cells generally come with a higher upfront price tag.

best solar panels

Best solar panels ranked by efficiency

A solar panel’s efficiency is a measure of how well it converts sunlight into electricity. Based only on maximum module efficiency, here are the top five manufacturers that make the best solar panels:

Best solar panels by efficiency

RankManufacturerPanel efficiency
1SunPower22.8%
2LG21.7%
3REC Group21.7%
5Panasonic20.3%
4Solartech Universal19.9%

Best solar panels ranked by temperature coefficient

A solar panel’s temperature coefficient is a measure of how much or little a panel’s production is lowered in hot temperatures. Based only on the lowest temperature coefficient available in a panel, here are the top four best solar panel manufacturers:

Best solar panels by temperature coefficient

RankManufacturerTemperature coefficient
1Panasonic-0.26
2REC Group-0.26
3Solartech Universal-0.26
4SunPower-0.29
5LG-0.30

Best solar panels ranked by materials warranty

A solar panel’s materials warranty (or equipment warranty) protects against equipment failure due to environmental factors or manufacturing defects. Based only on the longest materials warranties available from solar companies, here are the top five best solar panel manufacturers:

As shown above, all six of the top solar panel manufacturers ranked by materials warranty offer the same length of warranty, setting this tier of companies apart. For reference, the industry standard for panel materials warranties is 10 years.

Wondering if top-rated solar panels are worth it? Check out our video below about how to weigh the pros and cons of high-quality solar equipment:

What are the best solar companies today? Which manufacturers make the best panels?

How can you determine which of the top companies’ panel models offer the right combination of price and quality for your needs? To solve this problem, EnergySage combed through the detailed technical specifications for every panel manufactured by the most popular companies on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace. In total, we assessed over a thousand panel models.

The top solar panel manufacturers of 2019

ManufacturerEfficiency rangeTemperature coefficient rangeMaterials warranty
Amerisolar14.75% to 17.01%-0.43 to -0.4312 years
Axitec15.37% to 17.9%-0.44 to -0.412 years
BenQ Solar (AUO)15.5% to 18.3%-0.42 to -0.3910 years
Boviet Solar16.5% to 17.5%-0.4 to -0.412 years
Canadian Solar15.88% to 18.33%-0.41 to -0.3910 years
CentroSolar15.3% to 17.8%-0.44 to -0.4210 years
CertainTeed Solar15.4% to 19.4%-0.45 to -0.3710 years
China Sunergy14.98% to 16.53%-0.42 to -0.4110 years
ET Solar15.67% to 17.52%-0.44 to -0.4110 years
GCL16% to 17%-0.41 to -0.4110 years
Grape Solar16.21% to 17.64%-0.5 to -0.410 years
Green Brilliance14.24% to 15.58%-0.45 to -0.455 years
Hansol14.97% to 18.05%-0.45 to -0.4110 years
Hanwha Q CELLS17.1% to 19.6%-0.4 to -0.3712 years
Heliene15.6% to 19.3%-0.43 to -0.3910 years
Hyundai16.2% to 18.9%-0.41 to -0.410 years
JinkoSolar15.57% to 19.55%-0.4 to -0.3710 years
Kyocera14.75% to 16.11%-0.45 to -0.4510 years
LG18.4% to 21.7%-0.36 to -0.325 years
LONGi Solar17.4% to 19.3%-0.38 to -0.3710 years
Mission Solar Energy18.05% to 18.95%-0.38 to -0.3812 years
Mitsubishi Electric16.3% to 16.9%-0.45 to -0.4410 years
Neo Solar Power16% to 17%-0.42 to -0.4210 years
Panasonic19.1% to 20.3%-0.26 to -0.2625 years
Peimar Group16.6% to 19.05%-0.43 to -0.420 years
Phono Solar15.66% to 18.44%-0.45 to -0.412 years
REC Group16.5% to 21.7%-0.37 to -0.2610 years
Recom Solar16% to 19.07%-0.4 to -0.3912 years
ReneSola14.9% to 16.9%-0.43 to -0.410 years
Renogy Solar15.3% to 18.5%-0.44 to -0.4410 years
RGS Energy15.6% to 17.1%-0.45 to -0.4511 years
S-Energy15.61% to 18.46%-0.4 to -0.3910 years
Seraphim15.67% to 17.52%-0.43 to -0.4210 years
Silfab17.8% to 20%-0.42 to -0.3812 years
Solaria19.4% to 19.8%-0.39 to -0.3925 years
Solartech Universal19% to 19.9%-0.26 to -0.2615 years
Suniva Inc16.66% to 17.65%-0.42 to -0.4210 years
SunPower16.5% to 22.8%-0.29 to -0.2925 years
Talesun16.9% to 17.5%-0.39 to -0.3910 years
Trina Solar19% to 19%-0.39 to -0.3910 years
Trina Solar Energy16.2% to 18.6%-0.41 to -0.3910 years
Upsolar16.5% to 19.4%-0.43 to -0.412 years
Winaico17.13% to 19.4%-0.43 to -0.3815 years

How EnergySage developed its “best solar panels” ranking

When searching for the best solar panels for your home, you should take into consideration a panel’s performance, quality, durability, and warranties. There are three major technical specifications that can help you as you make your decision: panel efficiency, temperature coefficient, and the materials warranty. To develop our ranking of the best solar panels, EnergySage evaluated these metrics for all of the solar panels offered by the top manufacturers in the EnergySage Solar Marketplace.

best solar panels

Solar panel efficiency

Solar panel efficiency refers to how well your solar panel can convert sunlight into usable electricity. A higher efficiency rating is better, because it means that your solar panel is able to convert more of the sunlight it captures into electricity. The best solar panels available on the market today are SunPower’s A-Series Residential Solar Panels, which are 22.8% efficient at their maximum.

Temperature coefficient

The temperature coefficient tells you how well your solar panels will perform in less-than-ideal conditions. Solar panels are like any other kind of electronic equipment: they operate most efficiently when they are kept cool (ideally around 25° C or 77° F). The temperature coefficient gives you a sense of how your panel’s performance will degrade during hot summer days. For every degree above 25° C (or 77° F), your solar panel’s electricity production will decrease by the temperature coefficient. A lower temperature coefficient is better.

For example, LG’s LG350Q1C-A5 model has a temperature coefficient of -0.3 %/°C. This means that if your solar panel’s temperature increases by one degree Celsius (from 25° C to 26° C), its electricity production will fall by 0.3%. If the temperature increases ten degrees Celsius to 35° C (or 95° F), the panel will produce three percent less electricity. While 95° F might seem high to you, remember that the surface of your roof can get much hotter than the air around it when the sun is beating down on it.

Materials warranty

Whether you’re buying a new TV, a car, or solar panels for your roof, you should expect the manufacturer to stand behind their product with a strong warranty. A solar panel’s materials warranty (sometimes referred to as the product or equipment warranty) protects you against equipment failures due to manufacturing defects or environmental issues.

Most companies offer at least a 10-year materials warranty, but the best solar panel manufacturers will guarantee against equipment failures for 15 or even 25 years. Many of the manufacturers in our ranking offer a materials warranty of more than 10 years.

Keep in mind that while not taken into account in this rating, solar panels also come with a 25-year performance warranty as well. Manufacturers typically guarantee that their panels will produce electricity at 80-90% of their original output at the end of that warranty period.

How to find the best price on your solar panels

If you want the best solar panels on the market, you’re going to pay a higher price. The panels listed above received our highest ranking, but the “best” solar panels aren’t always the right ones for your home. If your roof is small and you don’t have a lot of space for your system, investing in the most efficient, highest-performing panels can get you the performance you need. However, if you have enough space for a larger system, installing slightly less efficient panels can give you the performance you need at a more competitive price. Let’s review our:

Three Tips for Solar Shoppers

1. Homeowners who get multiple quotes save 10% or more

As with any big-ticket purchase, shopping for a solar panel installation takes a lot of research and consideration, including a thorough review of the companies in your area. A recent report by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recommended that consumers compare as many solar options as possible to avoid paying inflated prices offered by the large installers in the solar industry.

To find the smaller contractors that typically offer lower prices, you’ll need to use an installer network like EnergySage. You can receive free quotes from vetted installers local to you when you register your property on our Solar Marketplace – homeowners who get 3 or more quotes can expect to save $5,000 to $10,000 on their solar panel installation.

2. The biggest installers typically don’t offer the best price

The bigger isn’t always better mantra is one of the main reasons we strongly encourage homeowners to consider all of their solar options, not just the brands large enough to pay for the most advertising. A recent report by the U.S. government found that large installers are $2,000 to $5,000 more expensive than small solar companies. If you have offers from some of the big installers in solar, make sure you compare those bids with quotes from local installers to ensure you don’t overpay for solar.

3. Comparing all your equipment options is just as important

National-scale installers don’t just offer higher prices – they also tend to have fewer solar equipment options, which can have a significant impact on your system’s electricity production. By collecting a diverse array of solar bids, you can compare costs and savings based on the different equipment packages available to you.

There are multiple variables to consider when seeking out the best solar panels on the market. While certain panels will have higher efficiency ratings than others, investing in top-of-the-line solar equipment doesn’t always result in higher savings. The only way to find the “sweet spot” for your property is to evaluate quotes with varying equipment and financing offers.

For any homeowner in the early stage of shopping for solar that would just like a ballpark estimate for an installation, try our Solar Calculator that offers upfront cost and long-term savings estimates based on your location and roof type. For those looking to get quotes from local contractors today, check out our quote comparison platform.

best solar panels

NOTE: the data in this piece was last updated July 2019 and is updated every 6 months.

46 thoughts on “What are the best solar panels on the market? Complete panel ranking table

  1. Iqbal Hashmi

    Hi Guys
    I would like to know about Lumnious Solar Panel system is the best or Exide Solar Panel

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