Installing solar panels is becoming a home improvement project that any homeowner can take on. Now that you can buy solar panels off of Amazon and eBay, you may even be considering installing a home solar energy system yourself. A popular DIY option is to purchase a solar panel kit from Renogy, a California-based company that manufactures solar panel kits for DIY solar installations. Many solar shoppers comparing their options on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace also explore their DIY solar options – but before you make a home solar purchase, we recommend you learn more about how Renogy panels compare to other brands.
How Renogy solar panels compare to other panel manufacturers
Renogy offers solar panels for both grid-connected and off-grid systems. They come in sizes ranging from 10 watts to 320 watts. EnergySage has reviewed and compared product specifications for Renogy solar panels that are 250 watts or greater, which is a standard size used for home solar installations.
As the leading online marketplace for homeowners considering solar, EnergySage is uniquely positioned to evaluate the technical specifications of Renogy solar panels and help you compare them to other manufacturers on the market.
There are four key metrics that you should review as you evaluate solar panel quality: efficiency, performance, warranties, and price. EnergySage has developed Renogy solar solar panel reviews for each metric to help make your solar decision easier. We’ve also created a comparison of Renogy 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 Renogy solar panels will vary depending on the specific model that you choose for your system. Panels in Renogy’s product line have an efficiency rating of 15.3% to 18.5%. This puts Renogy solar panels in the “standard” efficiency category for solar.
Performance (Temperature Coefficient)
For this portion of EnergySage’s Renogy solar panel 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, the Renogy RNG-300P panel has a temperature coefficient of -0.44%/°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 0.44%. If its temperature increases all the way to 35° C (95° F), electricity production will reduce by 4.4%.
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, all Renogy solar panels have a temperature coefficient of -0.44.
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, 20, or even 25-year warranty. Renogy solar offers a standard 10-year warranty against any defects in their solar panels.
How much do Renogy 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 Renogy solar 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.
Pricing for Renogy solar panel kits on the Renogy website, which does not include system design, installation, labor, or permitting, range from $1.73 to $2.05 per watt (depending on the size of the system).
Renogy solar panels compared to competitors
|Renogy solar panels||25th percentile||50th percentile||75th percentile|
|Efficiency (%)||15.57 - 18.57%||15.7%||16.2%||16.8%|
|Temperature coefficient (%/°C)||-0.44||-0.45||-0.43||-0.41|
For an average-sized 5 kW system, your gross cost (before you subtract any tax credits or other incentives) direct from the Renogy website comes out to $8,650. Additionally, most homeowners end up paying much less than the total gross cost. With the 30 percent federal tax credit for solar, which everyone is eligible for, a 5 kW system with Renogy solar would cost approximately $6,050 before installation costs. There are plenty of state-level solar incentives and rebates that can help you reduce upfront costs even further.
Should you DIY solar with Renogy solar panels?
The price difference between a DIY system and a system installed by a qualified professional can be significant. However, finding someone who knows what they’re doing can actually save you both time and money. Some of the best solar installers have been installing solar energy systems for decades – experience that no amount of online research or DIY guide can replace.
Your solar installer will also help you complete and file the permits and applications that you’ll need to submit to get your solar energy system up and running. Even if you’re ready and able to do all of the installation work yourself, you’ll still need to find a certified electrician to sign off on your work before your utility will allow you to connect your new solar panel system to the grid.
If you choose to DIY solar, your equipment options will be limited. Most solar panel manufacturers don’t sell directly to consumers, but instead sell their products to solar installation companies via distributors. This means that many of the industry-leading solar panel brands, like SunPower and Panasonic, just aren’t available for you to buy directly at the hardware store – you need to work with a local solar installer that offers those products.
In the end, there are still some cases where DIY solar makes sense. If you’re looking to install a small PV system, and comfortable doing your own electrical work, and not prohibited from installing your own system, then buying your solar equipment online might be just what you need. In these situations, buying Renogy solar panels can be a reliable, no frills option.
How to find the best price on Renogy solar panels
The best way to determine whether Renogy 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 Renogy solar panels in their quotes to EnergySage users. When registering, simply note in your profile that you’re interested in receiving quotes that include Renogy solar panels for your home.
Other EnergySage solar equipment resources