REC Solar Panels: Review
REC founded in Norway in 1996 has grown to become a leading innovator of solar PV technology with over 2000 employees and an advanced manufacturing plant in Singapore producing around 1.5 GW of solar panels per year. REC is growing rapidly with a total production volume increase of almost 40% in 2018, although this is still relatively small compared to the massive Chinese solar manufacturers. The company is also one of the industry leaders in sustainability through utilising many advanced, efficient manufacturing methods to reduce the energy payback time and emissions throughout the production process.
The operations headquarters and manufacturing facilities are located in Singapore while the new parent company is the China National Bluestar Group. REC is a fully vertically integrated company which means they produce everything from the silicon ingots, cell wafers and complete module assembly, thus the company has complete control over the quality and traceability of all components.
REC claims to have the lowest warranty rate in the industry which is a big call and hard to verify, although considering the largely positive feedback we have from Singaporean solar professionals, they are definitely known to produce highly reliable and great performing panels, especially in Singapore climate with very few known quality issues.
REC solar panels: Twinpeak 2, N-Peak and the new Alpha series
REC offers several different series of solar panels for residential and commercial systems, with their new focus on the high-powered Alpha and Alpha Black series for homeowners:
Twinpeak 2 Mono
Solar Era has reviewed the product specifications of each REC’s solar panel series to make your solar research process easier. When homeowners consider solar, Solar Era is uniquely positioned to evaluate the technical specifications of REC solar panels and help you compare them to other manufacturers on the market.
How REC’s solar panels compare to other panel manufacturers
There are 3 key metrics that you should review as you evaluate solar panel quality: efficiency, performance and warranties. Solar Era has developed REC’s solar panel reviews for each metric to help make your solar decision easier. We’ve also created a comparison of REC’s solar panels against other leading panel manufacturers that are frequently featured in offers to homeowners and businesses shopping for solar.
The term “solar panel efficiency” refers to how well a solar panel captures sunlight and converts it into useful electricity. In the same conditions, a high-efficiency solar panel will produce more electricity than a lower-efficiency panel of the same size. For this reason, a higher efficiency rating is generally preferable.
The efficiency of your REC solar panels will vary depending on the specific model that you choose for your system. Panels in REC’s product line have an efficiency rating of 16.5% to 21.7%.
2. Performance (Temperature Coefficient)
For this portion of Solar Era’s REC solar panel reviews, we use the temperature coefficient to evaluate solar panel performance. The temperature coefficient is an indicator of how well your solar panel can handle less-than-ideal conditions. Solar panels, like other electronic equipment, perform better when they are kept cool (ideally around 25° C/77° F). The temperature coefficient tells you how much your panel’s performance will change 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, REC’s REC365AA Black panel from the Alpha Black series has a temperature coefficient of -0.26%/°C, one of the lowest in the industry. 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 decrease by 0.26%. If its temperature increases all the way to 35° C (95° F), electricity production will reduce by 2.6%.
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. REC solar panels have temperature coefficients ranging from -0.37 to -0.26.
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 they will replace your panel if it fails as a result of manufacturing defects or environmental issues.
Most solar panel manufacturers offer a 10-year materials warranty, but some higher-end solar panels come with a 12, 15, 20, or even 25-year warranty. REC offers a full 25-year warranty on any panel products installed by a REC Certified Solar Professional installer.
REC solar panels are becoming a popular choice for shoppers comparing solar quotes.
How to find the best price on REC solar panels
The best way to determine whether REC offers the best solar panels for your home is to review multiple quotes with different solar equipment options before making a decision. When you compare all of your options, you’ll find the right combination of price and quality that meets your needs.
Many of our qualified, pre-vetted solar installers offer REC solar panels in their quotes. When registering, simply note in your profile that you’re interested in receiving quotes that include REC solar panels for your home. Contact our solar consultant now!