Solar Panel Overview

Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic (PV) panels, use energy from the sun to generate electricity. They are made up of photovoltaic cells, which use semiconductor materials such as silicon. When sunlight hits a solar panel, it is absorbed by the semiconductor material and causes the electrons in the material to move. This movement of electrons creates an electric current, which can be captured and used as electricity. Electricity generated by solar panel is direct current (DC), which is not compatible with the alternating current (AC) electricity used in homes and businesses. The panels are connected to an inverter to convert the DC electricity into AC used by standard electrical appliances. Reliability for PV panels is extremely high. Although a microinverter, central inverter, or power optimizer may fail during the life of your system, your odds of having to file a solar panel warranty claim is low. Most PV panels now offer an all-black design, for a sleek look.

Premium Panels

Premium panels lose only about .25% of their efficiency annually. They are more slightly more efficient, but at a higher cost per Watt.

REC: REC, short for Renewable Energy Corporation, was founded in Norway in 1996. REC initially focused on producing silicon materials and later expanded its operations to include the production of solar panels. REC's TwinPeak solar panels leverage innovative half-cut cell technology, which divides the cells into two halves to minimize energy losses from shading or module damage. This design improves overall performance and reliability, especially in challenging conditions.N-Peak Technology: REC's N-Peak panels utilize N-type monocrystalline cells, which are more efficient than traditional P-type cells. This technology helps increase energy production and performs better in hot climates. REC has manufacturing facilities in Singapore and Norway. With a focus on quality and precision, REC's panels are produced in these state-of-the-art facilities to meet global demand. REC commands a notable market share of approximately 7%.

Panasonic: Panasonic, a Japanese multinational corporation, has a rich history dating back to 1918. The company's commitment to innovation and sustainability led it to venture into the solar panel market. Panasonic's HIT (Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin layer) solar panels integrate monocrystalline and amorphous silicon layers to achieve high efficiency and temperature tolerance. This technology minimizes energy losses and ensures stable performance in varying weather conditions. Panasonic's solar panels come with an industry-leading 25-year product and performance warranty, assuring customers of reliable long-term energy generation.Panasonic manufactures solar panels across various global locations, including Japan, Malaysia, and the United States. These strategically located manufacturing plants enable the company to cater to different markets efficiently. Panasonic boasts a substantial market share of approximately 8%.

SUNPOWER: Founded in 1985, SUNPOWER has established itself as a renowned solar energy company. Initially focused on developing solar cells for space applications, the company later expanded into residential, commercial, and utility-scale solar markets. Maxeon® Solar Technology: SUNPOWER's proprietary Maxeon solar cells boast a unique design, utilizing a solid copper foundation that enhances durability and efficiency, even in high-temperature environments. This technology ensures greater energy production and minimizes performance degradation over time. Maxeon® 5: The Maxeon 5 series panels offer impressive efficiency, achieving up to 22.6% conversion efficiency. With sleek aesthetics and high power output, these panels are designed to maximize energy generation and provide a visually appealing solution for homeowners. SUNPOWER has manufacturing facilities in various countries, including the United States, the Philippines, Mexico, France, and Malaysia. This global presence allows the company to cater to different markets efficiently. SUNPOWER holds a significant market share of approximately 10%.

Solaria: Solaria, founded in 2000, has garnered a reputation for its premium solar panel offerings. The company focuses on delivering high-efficiency solutions for residential and commercial applications. Solaria's PowerXT technology incorporates advanced cell interconnect and module design, resulting in high power output and improved aesthetics. Solaria's Pure Black technology ensures uniform aesthetics by eliminating visible circuitry on the panel's front surface, providing an elegant and streamlined appearance. Solaria manufactures its solar panels in the United States, emphasizing local production and quality control. Solaria provides customers with a 25-year product warranty and a 25-year performance warranty, and holds a  market share of approximately 2%.

Value Panels

Value panels lose about .6% of their efficiency annually. They are more slightly less efficient, but at a lower cost per Watt.

Hanwha Qcells: Founded in 1999, Hanwha Qcells has emerged as a key player in the solar panel industry. With a strong focus on technological advancements, the company has continuously pushed the boundaries of solar innovation. Hanwha Qcells' Q.ANTUM technology enhances panel efficiency by utilizing rear-side passivation and anti-reflection coatings. This cutting-edge technology ensures optimal performance, even in challenging conditions.Hanwha Qcells incorporates a half-cut cell design that minimizes energy losses caused by shading, resulting in higher overall module efficiency and increased energy yields. Hanwha Qcells manufactures in South Korea, China, and the United States. Qcell's market share is about 6%.

Canadian Solar: Established in 2001, Canadian Solar has rapidly grown to become one of the largest solar panel manufacturers globally. The company's commitment to quality and innovation has propelled it to the forefront of the industry.Canadian Solar integrates PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Cell) technology into its panels, improving efficiency and power output by reducing electron recombination. The company specializes in bifacial solar panels, capable of generating electricity from both sides by capturing reflected light. This design maximizes energy production and offers installation flexibility. Canadian Solar holds a notable market share of approximately 10%.

Silfab: With over 35 years of experience, Silfab Solar has established itself as a leading North American solar panel manufacturer.SILCELL Technology: Silfab utilizes SILCELL technology, optimizing cell efficiency and reducing power losses. This technology ensures high performance and maximum energy production. Silfab employs advanced manufacturing processes, including precision cell cutting and rigorous quality control measures, to deliver reliable and efficient solar panels. Silfab manufactures in Canada and the United States, and their their panels are tailored to North American climate conditions. Their market share is approximately 5%.

Jinko Solar: Founded in 2006, Jinko Solar has rapidly grown into one of the world's largest solar panel manufacturers. Jinko Solar's Cheetah technology combines innovative cell design and optimized module production to achieve high efficiency and superior performance, even in low-light conditions.The panels incorporate PID (Potential Induced Degradation) resistant technology, which minimizes power losses caused by voltage degradation, resulting in enhanced long-term reliability. Jinko manufacturers in China, Malaysia, and the United States, andr offers a 12-year product warranty and a 25-year linear power output warranty. Jinko's market share is about 14%.

Trina Solar, founded in 1997, has become a globally recognized solar panel manufacturer. Trina Solar integrates PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Cell) technology into its panels, enhancing energy efficiency and power output by reducing electron recombination.Trina Solar employs multi-busbar technology, which increases the current-carrying capacity of the solar cells, thereby improving overall module efficiency and reducing resistance losses. Trina Solar has manufacturing facilities in China, Thailand, and Vietnam, and provides customers with a 12-year product warranty and a 25-year linear power output warranty.. Trina Solar holds a significant market share of approximately 10%.

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