Suniva is one of the top solar manufacturers available on the market today in the United States. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, and manufactures its products in the U.S. from 80 percent American-made materials – one of the highest percentages in the world for solar equipment. For many homeowners, Suniva solar panels fit squarely into the “sweet spot” between quality and affordability. The company is also frequently used in installations for national solar leasing companies like SolarCity. EnergySage’s Suniva solar panels review breaks down all of the details to show how Suniva compares to other solar panel brands on the market.
Comparing Suniva solar panels to other manufacturers
There are four key metrics that you should consider when you evaluate solar panel quality: efficiency, performance, warranties, and price. To help you with your solar decision, EnergySage has developed Suniva reviews for each of these metrics. We’ve also built a comparison of Suniva solar panels against the other solar panel manufacturers frequently included in offers to homeowners and businesses on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace.
For many solar shoppers, solar panel efficiency is the most important metric to review. The term refers to how well a solar panel can capture sunshine and convert it into useful electricity. A high-efficiency solar panel will produce more electricity than a lower-efficiency panel of the same size in the same conditions. For this reason, higher efficiency ratings are generally preferable.
The efficiency of your Suniva solar panels will vary depending on the specific model that you choose for your home. On the lower end, Suniva panels have approximately 16.7% efficiency, and Suniva’s highest-efficiency product has 17.7% efficiency. While not a super high-efficiency product, panels in this range are ideal for many homes – high-efficiency solar panels like SunPower typically come with a premium price tag and aren’t necessary unless your system size is constrained by the amount of space on your roof.
Performance (Temperature Coefficient)
For this portion of EnergySage’s Suniva review, we use the temperature coefficient as an indicator of solar panel performance. The temperature coefficient tells you how well your solar panel can handle less-than-ideal conditions. Like other electronics, solar panels perform their best in cool conditions (ideally around 25° C/77° F). The temperature coefficient gives you a sense of how your panel’s performance changes 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, Suniva’s OPT280-60-4-100 panel has a temperature coefficient of -0.42%/°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 be reduced by -0.42%. If its temperature increases all the way to 35° C (95° F), electricity production will decrease by 4.2%.
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, Suniva solar panels all have a temperature coefficient of -0.42, which is comfortably in the mid-range for solar panels.
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 your panel will be replaced in the event of an equipment failure due to manufacturing defects or environmental issues.
Most solar panel manufacturers, including Suniva, offer a 10-year materials warranty. Panels from industry-leading manufacturers will often come with a 12, 15, or even 25-year warranty.
How much do Suniva solar panels cost?
You can’t make a decision about the right solar equipment for your home without taking cost into account. The total price you pay for a solar energy system with Suniva panels will vary depending on the other equipment (such as inverters and mounts) used in the installation.
Suniva’s pricing is where their product truly stands out from other mid-range panels. We analyzed quotes from installers on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace that included Suniva solar panels to identify the range of prices for Suniva systems and found that they are typically priced at between $3.11 and $3.63 per watt.
Suniva solar panels compared to competitors
|Measure||Suniva Solar Panels||25th Percentile||50th Percentile||75th Percentile|
|Efficiency (%)||16.66% - 17.65%||15.70%||16.20%||16.80%|
|Price ($/Watt)||$3.11 - $3.63||$3.25||$3.50||$3.75|
This means that, for an average 5 kW system, your gross cost would be anywhere from $15,550 to $18,150. 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.
How to find the best price on Suniva solar panels
Overall, Suniva offers mid-range, American-made solar panels at an affordable price. However, the only way to know whether Suniva solar panels are the right choice 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 Suniva solar panels in their quotes to EnergySage users. When registering, simply note in your profile that you’re interested in receiving quotes that include Suniva solar panels for your home.
Other EnergySage solar equipment resources