REC Solar Panel Review: Cost, Specs & Performance [2022 Guide]

Here’s what you need to know about REC:

  • EcoWatch Rating: 4.5 Stars
  • Efficiency: 19.1% to 22.2%
  • Power Rating: 360 W to 410 W
  • Warranty Length: 20 to 25 Years
Ecowatch Author Karsten Neumeister

By Karsten Neumeister

Updated 8/3/2022

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We work with a panel of solar experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other solar site has covered renewables as long as us, which means we have more data and insider information than other sites. Our rankings are never affected by revenue or partnerships.

EcoWatch is all about finding you solutions — and we know that every home is different. It doesn’t matter to us which brand of solar panel you choose, we just want to make sure you’re making the best choice for your clean energy needs. We write our reviews without bias, looking to highlight what makes each solar panel brand or type unique.

REC Group is a top-tier solar brand with a long history of innovation in manufacturing high- power solar equipment. Here’s what you need to know about REC.

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REC Solar

  • Pros icon Highly efficient
  • Pros icon Durable panels
  • Pros icon Rigorous testing standards
  • Pros icon Work well in high temperatures
  • Con icon Can be slightly expensive

Services Offered

  • Service icon Solar Panels

Jump To: What is REC? | What Products Does REC Offer? | Efficiency | Power Rating | Temperature Coefficient | Warranty | Cost of REC Panels | REC Pros and Cons 

What is REC?

Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) is an international solar energy company headquartered in Norway, with operational headquarters in Singapore. REC also has regional hubs in Europe, Asia-Pacific and California. Since its founding in 1996, REC has manufactured over 43 million solar panels for homes, businesses and utility-scale power plants across the globe. 

Despite its multinational presence, REC is not as well known for the size of its operations as it is for the quality of its solar panels. As of 2020, the company reported 10 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity in its 25 years of business, which isn’t much.1 For context, competitor LONGi Solar reported 24.5 GW of panels in 2020 alone.2 However, the ability to produce more solar panels does not always make a manufacturer better. Where REC excels is in durability, performance and post-installation support of its high quality panels. 

REC is solely a solar panel manufacturer, so if you’re shopping for someone to install REC panels, you’d be better off starting with our guide to solar installers

REC Solar Panels Fast Facts
Year Founded 1996
Headquarters Oslo, Norway
Operational Headquarters Tuas, Singapore
Manufacturing Facilities Tuas, Singapore 3
Corporate Social Responsibility Report Click Here

 

What Products Does REC Offer?

REC currently offers three models of solar panel, each with slightly different characteristics. 

REC Alpha Pure 

REC alpha pure solar panel black
Courtesy REC

The Alpha series leads REC’s portfolio in just about every category: power, efficiency, warranty, temperature coefficient, aesthetics and environmental sustainability, not to mention price. The panels are manufactured with heterojunction technology (HJT) – essentially a hybrid between crystalline silicon and amorphous solar technology – providing unrivaled power and efficiency at a feasible price point. 

Wattage 380-410 W
Efficiency 21.3-22.2%
Warranty 25-year ProTrust Warranty Eligible
Temperature Coefficient -0.26 %/C
Data Sheet Click Here

REC N-Peak 2

REC solar panel np2 black
Courtesy REC

The N-Peak 2 series offers a more affordable alternative to the Alpha Pure panel without sacrificing too much power or efficiency. The aptly named N-Peak series panels are premium n-type monocrystalline panels made using REC’s half-cut cell technology. 

Wattage 365-375 W
Efficiency 19.1%-20.3%
Warranty 20-year product, 25-year power output warranties
Temperature Coefficient -0.34 %/C
Data Sheet Click Here

REC Twinpeak 4

rec solar panel pt4 black
Courtesy REC

The Twinpeak 4 series has very similar specifications to the N-Peak 2 but uses p-type technology rather than n-type. P-type technology is slightly more affordable than n-type, but is more prone to light-induced degradation (LID). This is another way of saying that the Twinpeak 4 will age a little more quickly than the N-Peak 2. However, its production is nevertheless guaranteed by REC’s 25-year power output warranty. 

Wattage 360-375 W
Efficiency 19.1%-20.3%
Warranty 20-year product, 25-year power output warranties
Temperature Coefficient -0.34 %/C
Data Sheet Click Here

Panel Efficiency

Solar panel efficiency measures the percentage of sunlight reaching its surface that a solar panel can convert into usable electricity. The industry average sits between 15% and 20%, with the industry’s best reaching levels north of 20%.

REC solar cells range between 19.1% and 22.2% efficiency, a strong figure placing them at the higher end of the spectrum. For more information on how REC panels compare to other high-efficiency solar solutions, check out our page on the most efficient solar panels

Power Rating

A solar panel’s power rating refers to watts (W) of energy that a solar module can generate. You might also hear this referred to as wattage. The higher the power rating, the more electricity the module is capable of generating. Currently, the industry average sits between 300 and 400 watts, with the best solar panels reaching levels above 400 W. 

REC Group’s premier panel, the REC Alpha, has a power rating reaching 410 watts, rivaling some of the best solar panels on the market. 

The N-Peak 2 and Twinpeak 4 have power ratings of 365-375 W and 360-375 W, respectively. Although these figures may not look impressive when compared to the Alpha series, any power rating above 350 W should be considered top-tier. 

Temperature Coefficient

solar temperature coefficient tip REC solar panelsAlthough solar panels are designed to withstand intense heat, they can overheat in extreme conditions. Temperature coefficient refers to the amount a solar module’s performance suffers when faced with extreme heat. Solar panels that perform the best will have smaller temperature coefficients, reflecting a minimal impact on the module’s performance when faced with high temperatures. 

The average temperature for a solar panel lands between -.3%/℃ and -.5%/℃. A solar panel with a temperature coefficient of -.3%/℃ would lose .3% of its power output for each degree of temperature rise above 25℃.

Remember, the smaller the coefficient the better, so REC’s temperature coefficients ranging between -.26%/℃ and -.34%/℃ places them near the best in the solar industry. 

Warranty

Warranties can be confusing with solar installations, as most consumers figure the warranty comes through the installation company. While most do provide workmanship warranties, the manufacturer warranty (or product warranty) will come through the brand of solar panel, inverter or battery you purchase. 

The strength of REC’s manufacturer’s warranties is just one reason that REC is considered a top solar panel manufacturer. Here’s a more in-depth look at the warranty each product will come with. 

REC Alpha Series

  • 25-year product warranty: Covers panel defects.*
  • 25-year performance warranty: Ensures panels produce as expected every year for 25 years. By year 25, REC panels should still be producing at least 92% of nameplate power.
  • 25-year labor warranty: Additional protection in case a solar panel needs to be serviced.*

*Only available when installed by a REC Certified Solar Professional; part of the REC ProTrust Warranty

REC N-Peak 2

  • 20-year product warranty (also known as manufacturer’s warranty): Covers panel defects 
  • 25-year power output warranties: Ensures panels produce as expected every year for 25 years. By year 25, REC panels should still be producing at least 92% of nameplate power

REC Twinpeak 4

  • 20-year product warranty (also known as manufacturer’s warranty): Covers panel defects 
  • 25-year power output warranties: Ensures panels produce as expected every year for 25 years. By year 25, REC panels should still be producing at least 92% of nameplate power.

How Much Do REC Solar Panels Cost?

As is the case with any brand of solar panel, the cost of REC solar panels will vary depending on your location, the point in time at which you order them and even the solar company you choose. The solar panel market is a complex global chain with large swings in supply and demand that can cause frequent price fluctuations. 

However, you can expect REC solar panel prices to be at or slightly above the industry average. In general, the REC Alpha Series will cost more than the N-Peak 2 or Twinpeak 4 modules. 

Keep in mind that the more efficient and powerful your panels (REC earns high marks in both categories), the more solar power you’ll be able to generate with your roof space, bringing home significant savings over time that can equal or even exceed the difference between REC’s costs and a more affordable brand. 

REC Solar Panels Pros & Cons

No two solar panel brands are the same, so it’s important to understand what makes each unique relative to the industry. Looking at pros and cons can help you assess which solar panel brands are ideal for your circumstances.  

Pros

  • Power and efficiency ratings among the best in the industry
  • Highly durable
  • Panels available in black to seamlessly blend into your roof
  • Company is transparent about environmental and social impact 

Cons

  • Can be more expensive than average

Our Honest Take on REC Solar Panels

REC solar panels are an outstanding choice for any homeowner looking to invest in a solar energy system. REC products are durable, high-quality photovoltaic panels with an outstanding warranty and track record.

The reliability of REC’s product quality may be what best sets it apart from its competitors. Since REC has been in the business for over 25 years, you can count on them to deliver the results they advertise, as well as provide any service that your panels may require down the line. A record of few problems paired with an industry-leading warranty helped REC’s solar panels earn the EcoWatch “most reliable” award. 

REC solar panels are intended for residential and commercial use and aren’t suitable for DIY application. If you’re interested in getting a quote for solar panels on your home, you can connect with a top installer in your area by clicking below.

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Karsten Neumeister

Karsten Neumeister is a solar energy specialist with a background in writing and the humanities. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the renewable energy sector of New Orleans, focusing on solar energy policy and technology. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.