Panasonic is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of consumer electronics and an increasingly popular choice for U.S. homeowners installing solar. Whether you’re trying to decide between SunPower vs. Panasonic solar panels or simply evaluating your solar PV options, thoroughly reviewing the product options available to you is the best way to be confident in your solar investment. EnergySage’s Panasonic reviews take a look at the technical specifications of Panasonic solar panels to evaluate how they compare to other manufacturers on the market.
How Panasonic HIT solar panels compare to other panel manufacturers
There are four key metrics that you should review as you evaluate solar panel quality: efficiency, performance, warranties, and price. EnergySage has developed Panasonic reviews for each metric to help make your solar decision easier. We’ve also created a comparison of Panasonic solar panels against other leading panel manufacturers that are frequently featured in offers to homeowners and businesses shopping for solar on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace.
The term “solar panel efficiency” refers to how well a solar panel captures sunlight and converts it into useful electricity. In the same conditions, a high-efficiency solar panel will produce more electricity than a lower-efficiency panel of the same size. For this reason, a higher efficiency rating is generally preferable.
The efficiency of your Panasonic solar panels will vary depending on the specific model that you choose for your system. While the majority of solar panels fall in the 14% to 18% range, Panasonic panel efficiency can range anywhere from 19.1% to 20.3%.
Performance of Panasonic HIT panels (Temperature Coefficient)
For this portion of EnergySage’s Panasonic reviews, we use the temperature coefficient to evaluate solar panel performance. The temperature coefficient is an indicator of how well your solar panel can handle less-than-ideal conditions. Solar panels, like other electronic equipment, perform better when they are kept cool (ideally around 25° C/77° F). The temperature coefficient tells you how much your panel’s performance will change during hot sunny summer days.
For every degree above 25° C (77° F), your solar panel’s electricity production will decrease by its temperature coefficient. For example, Panasonic’s VBHN310KA01 panel has a temperature coefficient of -0.3%/°C. This means that, if the panel’s temperature increases by one degree from 25° C (77° F) to 26° C (79° F), its electricity production will decrease by 0.29%. If its temperature increases all the way to 35° C (95° F), electricity production will reduce by 2.9%.
Your solar panels will likely see more than a few hot and sunny days over the course of each year, so ideally, they will have the lowest temperature coefficient possible. As you can see in the graph below, Panasonic’s solar panels offer some of the lowest temperature coefficients in the industry at -0.26.
Panasonic’s HIT™ technology is what gives their products high solar panel efficiency and low temperature coefficient, both of which result in higher electricity production. While conventional solar panels use a single layer of monocrystalline or polycrystalline silicon, HIT™ panels use a combination of monocrystalline and ultra-thin amorphous silicon layers to reduce power loss. The surface of Panasonic’s panels also has a pyramid structure that can reduce reflection and direct more sunlight into the solar cells, which also maximizes electricity output.
Whether you’re buying a TV, a car, or solar panels, the manufacturer should stand behind their product with a strong warranty. A solar panel’s materials warranty (sometimes referred to as the product or equipment warranty) is a guarantee from the manufacturer that they will replace your panel if it fails as a result of manufacturing defects or environmental issues.
Most solar panel manufacturers offer a 10-year materials warranty, but some higher-end solar panels come with a 12, 15, or even 25-year warranty. Panasonic offers a 25-year warranty against any defects in their solar panels.
How much do Panasonic HIT solar panels cost?
For many homeowners, the final decision around the solar equipment you choose rests on cost. The total price you pay for a solar energy system with Panasonic panels will vary depending on the other equipment (such as inverters and mounts) used in the installation, as well as the characteristics of your roof. To identify the range of prices for Panasonic systems, we analyzed quotes from installers on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace that included Panasonic solar panels. Most Panasonic systems are typically priced between $2.64 and $3.34 per watt – comfortably in the mid-range for solar.
This means that, for an average 6 kW system, your gross cost (before you subtract any tax credits or other incentives) would be anywhere from $15,840 to $20,040. Additionally, most homeowners end up paying much less than the total gross cost. There are plenty of solar incentives and rebates to help you reduce upfront costs, including the 30 percent federal tax credit for solar.
Panasonic solar panels are some of the most competitively priced panels offered to solar shoppers on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace. They offer some of the highest efficiency products on the market for a very competitive price, especially when compared to other high-efficiency products like SunPower. Additionally, they have an industry-leading warranty of 25 years. Overall, there are plenty of compelling reasons to consider Panasonic panels for your home solar installation.
How to find the best price on Panasonic solar panels
The best way to determine whether Panasonic solar panels are the best solar panels for your home is to review multiple quotes with different solar equipment options before making a decision. When you compare all of your options on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace, you’ll find the right combination of price and quality that meets your needs. Many of our qualified, pre-vetted solar installers offer Panasonic solar panels in their quotes to EnergySage users. When registering, simply note in your profile that you’re interested in receiving quotes that include Panasonic solar panels for your home.
Other EnergySage solar equipment resources
NOTE: the data in this piece was last updated July 2019 and is updated every 6 months.