Silfab Solar Panel Review: Cost, Specs & Performance (2022)
Here’s what you need to know about Silfab Solar:
- EcoWatch Rating: 4.5 Stars
- Efficiency: 20.2% to 21.4%
- Power Rating: 370 to 380 W
- Warranty Length: 25 to 30 Years
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- Best-in-class warranty coverage
- Long-lasting panels
- Slightly less efficient than top competitors
- Less availability
- Solar Panels
Jump To: What is Silfab Solar? | What Products Does Silfab Offer? | Panel Efficiency | Power Rating | Temperature Coefficient | Warranty | How Much Do Silfab Solar Panels Cost? | Silfab Solar Pros & Cons | Our Honest Take on Silfab Solar
What is Silfab Solar?
Silfab Solar Inc. has quickly positioned itself as one of the most reliable solar module makers in North American markets, and has done so with only about 12 years of experience.
What sets the company apart from competitors is the integrity of its manufacturing process. Its facilities are fully automated to ensure precision at every step — and its products are specifically designed for the North American climate.
By keeping its manufacturing facilities in Toronto, Canada and Bellingham, Washington, Silfab can keep a close eye on the process. Keeping manufacturing close to home allows for higher quality products, lower defect rates, superior reliability and greater social responsibility within the supply chain.
Investing so much into the reliability of its products allows Silfab to offer homeowners one of the most comprehensive warranties in the industry — a 25-year product workmanship warranty and a 30-year power performance warranty. When it comes to your energy, you can’t put a price on peace of mind.
|Silfab Solar Panels Fast Facts|
|Headquarters||Mississauga, Ontario, Canada|
|Manufacturing Facilities||Toronto, Canada and Bellingham, Washington|
|Corporate Social Responsibility Report||Click Here|
What Products Does Silfab Offer?
Silfab designs and manufactures photovoltaic (PV) modules for both residential and commercial solar installations. It currently offers three series of modules, two of which we’ll cover in more detail.
In addition to the residential panels below, Silfab offers a series of modules for commercial solar installations, including the SIL 490.
Silfab Prime Series
The Prime Series is Silfab’s core offering. With a power rating of 370 watts and an efficiency over 20%, these high-quality panels provide excellent performance for the cost.
The Prime model is manufactured with half-cut solar cells, a solar technology which enhances a panel’s output and durability.
|Warranty||25-year product warranty, 30-year linear power performance guarantee|
|Temperature Coefficient||-0.36 %/°C|
|Data Sheet||SIL 370-HC|
Silfab Elite Series
The Silfab Elite series offers both 370 W and 380 W modules, the latter having a slightly higher efficiency rating of 21.4% — the highest efficiency of any Silfab panel.
The main differences between the Prime and Elite models is that the Elite models come without external bussing (making for a more sleek look), and use PERC solar cell technology. PERC (passivated emitter and rear contact) solar cells come with a backsheet which reduces conductive losses. The Elite Series’ back-contact technology also improves overall performance, reliability and durability.
|Warranty||25-year product warranty, 30-year linear power performance guarantee|
|Temperature Coefficient||-0.38 %/°C|
|Data Sheet||SIL 370 BK, SIL 380 BK|
A PV module’s efficiency is the amount of sunlight that a solar panel is able to convert into electricity. Efficiency matters since a home only has so much roof space — it’s important to maximize use of that space to really make your investment pay off.
The industry average for efficiency sits around 15% to 20%. The industry’s best panels will be above 20%, with a current maximum just under 23%. Here’s where Silfab’s premium quality panels clock in:
- SIL 370 (Premium): 20.2%
- SIL 370 BLK (Elite): 20.8%
- SIL 380 BLK (Elite): 21.4%
These are excellent metrics that rank among the best in the business. For more information on how Silfab’s panels compare to other high-efficiency solar solutions, check out our page on the most efficient solar panels.
A solar panel’s power rating refers to the maximum power output (measured in watts) of energy it can produce. The larger the power rating of the panels you choose, the larger your solar system will be (for example, a 5-kW system would have 20 250 W panels).
We emphasize that efficiency matters, but only as a scale-tipper between similarly high-powered modules that meet or exceed the industry average. If the panel you choose can’t deliver power, efficiency won’t do much good. The industry average for residential solar panels’ power output currently sits between 350 W and 400 W.
That means that Silfab’s Premium and Elite Series, at 370 and 380 W, can compete with most of the the industry’s best on power.
Solar energy systems are frequently installed in locations where they’re exposed to the elements — often including regions that experience extreme heat (Arizona, New Mexico, and California). For this reason, an important factor in a panel’s design is the amount of heat it can withstand before its performance suffers. This is what temperature coefficient measures.
Solar panels that perform well in the heat will have lower temperature coefficients, reflecting a nominal effect of heat on the module’s performance. The average temperature coefficient for a solar panel sits between -.3%/℃ and -.5%/℃. A solar panel with a temperature coefficient of -.3%/℃ would lose .3% of its output for each degree that the temperature increases above 25/℃.
Silfab’s panels have temperature coefficients between -.36%/°C and -.38%/°C. This puts them slightly above the industry average.
Silfab’s warranty is what sets the manufacturer apart from the competition.
Warranties can be tricky with solar power, as most homeowners assume they come through the installation company. Although it’s true that most installers do include warranties covering labor (usually for about 10 years), the product warranty (or manufacturer warranty) will depend on the brand of solar panel, inverter or battery you choose. These warranties will be closer to 25 years in length.
Silfab’s warranty is one of the most trusted in the business — here’s a more detailed look straight from the SIL-380’s datasheet:
- 25-year module product workmanship warranty: Covers panel defects and protection if a solar panel needs repairs. This warranty comes at a standard length of 12 years but can be extended to 25 years.
- 30-year linear power performance guarantee: Just like most electronics, solar panels suffer in performance as they age. Linear power performance guarantees that your Silfab modules will still produce as advertised over the years. It offers benchmarks along the way (at years one, 12, 25 and 30) to make sure your investment stays on track.
How Much Do Silfab Solar Panels Cost?
Silfab panels are known for their cost-effectiveness given their power and efficiency. Silfab panels are likely to be at or slightly below average in cost when compared to other similar panels. In fact, one of Silfab’s recent models, the SIL-330, even made our list of the most affordable solar panels on the market.
We can only estimate, but we’d guess the average price for an installation of Silfab panels to be between $18,000 to $22,000 after incentives. However, as with any brand of solar panel, the exact price of Silfab solar panels will depend on where you live, when you make your investment and even the solar installer you choose. The solar industry is still developing, and fluctuations in cost can be frequent.
Silfab Solar Panels Pros & Cons
There are so many solar panels on the market today — it’s tough to know what might make a particular one good for your project. Pros and cons are a good start to assessing whether Silfab makes sense for you.
Silfab Solar Pros:
- Competitive prices
- Excellent warranty coverage
- Highly durable against snow and wind loads
- Manufactured exclusively in North America
Silfab Solar Cons:
- Slightly less powerful than competitors
- Relatively inexperienced manufacturer
Our Honest Take on Silfab Solar Panels
Silfab seems to have carved out a very effective niche for itself — a tough, long-lasting and affordable residential solar panel with North American origins.
Silfab’s power ratings aren’t setting any world records, but modules at 370 and 380 watts are more than enough to get the job done. With efficiency over 20%, Silfab’s panels can compete with the best in the business — and often for a lower price.
If you’re looking into Silfab, or were recommended Silfab panels by a solar installer, you’re in good hands. We fully recommend Silfab solar panels to homeowners that prioritize budget, efficiency and reliability.