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2022 SunPower Solar Panels Review: Are They Worth It?

Are SunPower's popular solar panels the best on the market?

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SunPower solar panels on roof
SunPower

SunPower and its solar panels consistently rank among the most popular in the nation for their exceptional efficiency, performance and warranty. In this SunPower solar panels review, we'll discuss how the industry leader's best solar panels line up against competitors' top products.

Looking to learn more about SunPower solar installations? Read our full review of SunPower. You can also get a free quote for home solar panels using this tool or the form below.

Panel Overview

With roots in solar technology and manufacturing, SunPower's solar modules actually predated the company's success in the installation market. To expand its installation services, SunPower announced in late 2021 that it would spin off its manufacturing arm into a new company, Maxeon Solar. SunPower's solar panels are still branded after their original namesake.

SunPower offers four monocrystalline solar panels, each with its own unique advantages. Which panel you choose will depend on your needs. Here's a rundown of each type of solar panel:

SunPower Solar Panel

Efficiency

Wattage

Best For

A Series

22.7%

400 W

Homeowners who want the best product available

X Series

22.7%

370 W

Space-constrained projects, like homes with small roofs

E Series

20%

320 W, 327 W or 435 W

Residential projects and smaller commercial operations

P Series

19%

380 to 400 W

Commercial installations or projects without space constraints

SunPower Solar Panel Efficiency

The first solar panel ever invented only had about a 6% efficiency rate — meaning only 6% of the energy striking the panel is converted into usable alternating current (AC) electricity. Even today, the most efficient solar panels in development only convert about 40% at the very most.

SunPower's ratings of 19-22% (varying with the different models available) are significantly higher than most conventional panels on the market today, providing a variety of benefits. These include:

  • Requiring a lower overall cost: Since high-efficiency solar panels have a better power output, the number of panels you need on your home is reduced, which can lead to lower total costs.
  • Providing more power for the usable space: Along the same lines, high-efficiency panels provide more energy potential with less space. This means homeowners with less available roof space can still be good candidates for SunPower solar panels.
  • Being more sustainable overall: Not only do high-efficiency panels provide more bang for your buck, but they also help to lower your impact. Fewer panels require fewer materials, therefore reducing the energy and waste that goes into your SunPower system.

Temperature Coefficient

Temperature coefficient is another way to describe solar panels' performance in varying conditions. Solar panels operate at an ideal temperature of around 75 degrees F, and their performance can degrade with temperatures significantly above or below that figure. The smaller the temperature coefficient, the less performance suffers when temperatures change.

SunPower solar panels currently hold a temperature coefficient between -.35 and -.29, some of the best on the market today. If you live in a climate that stays mild year-round, temperature coefficient will be less of a factor in your solar panel choice.

SunPower Solar Panel Warranty

Solar panels are known for their durability, but a warranty is still a hugely important consideration in your purchase. Luckily, product warranties come attached to the purchase of most systems. These are good for at least 10 years, and the best cover performance up to 25 years.

Most solar panel product warranties cover the following:

  • Defective products
  • Failed parts

Most solar panel product warranties do not cover the following:

  • Underperforming systems resulting from poor installation or products
  • Workmanship errors like roof leaks
  • Accidents like tree branches falling on your panels or squirrels chewing through wires

SunPower's 25-year complete confidence warranty offers the following to address a number of the common pitfalls of solar warranties:

  • All-in-one product warranty: Systems built with products from different manufacturers can result in a customer getting passed back and forth between companies as they shift blame for a failed part or system. SunPower's warranty, however, covers the complete system to ensure your problem is resolved in one place.
  • Removal and shipping costs of defective parts: Conventional warranties usually don't cover the costs of removing and shipping defective or damaged parts. SunPower's warranty ensures no extra costs in replacing panels or other parts.
  • Power production guarantee: Power production guarantees are performance warranties that ensure your solar system will operate at at least 90% of its original power production for 25 years. Conventional solar warranties may not cover replacement parts if your solar system's degradation rate is higher than expected.

Overall, companies like SunPower and Sunpro are making all-in-one system warranties more commonplace. The results are paying dividends.

Cost of SunPower Solar Panels

The cost of solar is difficult to predict by provider, since project prices vary so much with your location, electricity bills and energy needs. When you get a quote from SunPower, the price tag may seem a little higher than average, since its business focuses on efficiency. But remember, purchasing more efficient panels will save you more in the long run.

The best way to get a firm understanding of how much SunPower solar would cost you is to reach out and get a free quote. Even better would be to get quotes from SunPower and a few other local companies to compare prices. Keep in mind the quality of panels you're considering, as the cheapest solar panels don't always provide the best value.

How to Pay For SunPower Solar Panels

SunPower offers three general solar financing plans, all of which come with SunPower's 25-year warranty:

  1. Cash purchase: Purchasing a solar power system upfront from SunPower will provide the best solar payback period and the highest return on your investment. If you're able to get the money together, this method is the most cost-effective.
  2. Purchase with a solar loan: SunPower can help you take out a loan with one of its partners. With this loan, you can purchase the system and pay back the loan. Most loans are repaid within five to 12 years. If you choose to purchase a system with a solar loan, you'll still be eligible for the solar tax credit, and your solar panels will increase the value of your property. However, because of the interest you'll be paying on your loan, this option ends up costing a little more than a cash purchase.
  3. Solar lease: SunPower provides solar leases, through which you rent solar panels from SunPower. SunPower retains ownership of the panels so you lose the benefits of net metering, the solar tax credit and adding to your property value. Solar leases offer a low-upfront cost option with less return on the backend. Though less advantageous than purchasing a system, leases extend the benefits of solar to homeowners who may have low credit or don't want to deal with the hassle of purchasing and maintaining panels.

Here's a recap of each financing option available for SunPower solar panels:


Cash Purchase

Solar Loan Purchase

Solar Lease

Solar panel ownership

You own the system

You own the system

SunPower owns the system

Eligible for tax credit?

Yes

Yes

No

Adds to your property value?

Yes

Yes

No

Money required upfront?

Yes

Varies

No

Overall SunPower Solar Panels Review

SunPower sets the industry standard for solar panel efficiency, performance and warranty. Customers with SunPower solar panels review them well, leaving great reviews such as the following:

"Five stars for the [most] efficient modules with the best warranty." — David S. via the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

"We chose SunPower because … their panels produce more than any other company. Our roof is not consumed with panels. We literally have half the amount of our neighbors." — Theresa D. via BBB

The company's all-in-one system approach simplifies the solar process without sacrificing quality. It's hard to go wrong with SunPower's solar panels, but we especially recommend them to homeowners with limited roof space.

If you're interested in seeing how much a solar panel system would cost for your home, you can get a free, no-obligation quote using this tool or by filling out the form below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What solar panels does SunPower use?

SunPower uses its own solar panels that are manufactured through Maxeon, the company's manufacturing arm. SunPower currently offers four types of panels: A Series, X Series, E Series and P Series. These panels are designed to cater to different energy needs.

Is SunPower Solar legit?

SunPower is a legitimate solar company performing both residential and commercial installations throughout the nation. SunPower consistently ranks among the best solar companies in the U.S. and offers high-quality, high-efficiency solar panels.

Does NASA use SunPower panels?

NASA initially chose SunPower solar panels to fuel its unmanned aerial vehicles (or UAVs) while they were in flight. Since 1997, NASA has continued to work with SunPower on rover projects and more. SunPower actually got its start as an engineering firm and solar panel manufacturer after its founders were inspired by the use of solar on space crafts.

Karsten Neumeister is a writer and renewable energy specialist with a background in writing and the humanities. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the energy sector of New Orleans, focusing on renewable 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.
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