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SunPower Maxeon 3 solar panels review


SunPower Max3 425W (Image credit: SunPower)

Founded in 1985, SunPower is an industry giant with over 1,000 patents in solar panel technology and over 18 million MWh of solar energy produced as of 2023. SunPower offers solutions for residential and commercial customers and has established a global presence, with its products available in 30 countries and state-of-the-art factories in the US, Mexico, Europe, Malaysia, Singapore, China, and the Philippines.


The company developed the high-efficiency Maxeon Interdigitated Back Contact (IBC) cells that are featured in their core product, the Maxeon 3 solar panel. This panel claims the highest efficiency and lowest degradation rates in the industry.


Fast facts about SunPower Maxeon 3 solar panels

  • Power output: 425W

  • Efficiency: 22.4%

  • Product warranty: 25 years

  • Performance warranty: 25 years

  • Performance degradation: Guaranteed output of 98% in the first year, followed by a maximum annual degradation of 0.25% per year

  • Power tolerance: 0~+5%

  • Weight: 21.2 kg

  • Dimensions: L 1812 mm x W 1046mm x H 40 mm

Key features

  • Ideal for: Residential and commercial properties.

  • Cost: the SunPower Maxeon 3 solar panels are expensive compared to brands like Jinko Solar, Trina, JA or REC, but with the warranties and performance on offer, they are definitely worth the cost.

  • Panel technology: 112 Monocrystalline Maxeon 3 gen cell technology mounted on a patented metal foundation.

  • Performance degradation: The Maxeon 3 solar panels have one of the lowest power output drops on the market; the company guarantees that by year 25 the panels will produce 92% power output. This makes it an impressive 35% better than conventional solar panels for the home.

  • Power output: The Maxeon 3 panels offer up to 430 W power output, meaning fewer panels are required to achieve your power needs.

  • Warranty: SunPower offers an industry-leading 25-year warranty on the product and its performance. Based on field testing conducted by SunPower, only one in 20,000 panels were returned during the warranty period.

  • Efficiency: This product offers the highest efficiency on the market at 22.4%, meaning the panels are adept at converting sunlight to electricity, and as such fewer are needed to achieve the power output required.

  • Cradle to Cradle bronze certified: The SunPower panels come with a leading certification in sustainability, which ensures products are manufactured safely and responsibly to promote recyclability and positively impact the environment.

  • PVEL PV Module Reliability Scorecard: SunPower has been recognized as a top performer in 2022. The PVEL Scorecard highlights the exemplary reliability performance of solar panel manufacturers worldwide.


How do SunPower Maxeon 3 solar panels work?

The construction of the solar cells in the SunPower Maxeon 3 solar panel makes it more efficient than traditional panels. (Image credit: SunPower)


The Maxeon 3 solar panels have a power output of 425 W and are built with monocrystalline Maxeon 3 cells in a 112 format. The Maxeon 3 cells are their high-performance IBC cells fabricated using high purity N-type silicon. This allows the solar panels to provide an industry-leading efficiency of 22.4% and a degradation rate of only 0.25% per year.


Unlike conventional solar panels, the back contact conductivity design includes a copper grid of conductors attached to the rear of the panel. The panels benefit from having no grid lines and so can absorb more sunlight, as shading caused by front exposed busbars (common in conventional solar panels) is eliminated.


The thick triple-redundant connectors and patented metal foundation make the panels more resistant to contracting and expanding due to temperature fluctuations. This results in an overall more durable panel that, based on field data, is 4 times more reliable than conventional solar panels.


With such an innovative design, it’s no mystery why SunPower’s Maxeon 3 are currently some of the best solar panels on the Singapore market in terms of efficiency and performance degradation. Coupled with their greater absorption of sunlight, this panel is ideal for homeowners with smaller roofs.


SunPower Maxeon 3 versus its competitors

In the table below, we compare the Maxeon 3 panels with the other best solar panels in the industry. The comparison shows that the Maxeon 3 panel provides the best efficiency while offering the second-best warranty, performance degradation, and maximum output.

Product

Maximum output

Product warranty

Performance warranty

Performance degradation (% power output at year 25)

Maximum efficiency

SunPower Maxeon 3

425W

25

25

92%

22.4%

Jinko Solar Tiger Neo

580W

25

30

89.4%

22.4%

Trina Solar Vertex S+

425W

25

30

89.4%

21.7%

REC Twinpeak 5 Mono

405W

25

25

86%

20.6%

REC Alpha Pure R

410W

25

25

92%

21.2%

Lifespan and warranty periods

SunPower provides an industry-leading warranty of 25 years on both product and performance for its Maxeon 3 panels, due to its innovative IBC cell design and patented metal foundation. The warranty includes repair, replacement, and even refunds for any defective panels. The company states that this 25-year warranty is limited to Singapore.


Based on research conducted by SunPower, the panels have a more than 40-year lifespan. Per the warranty period, the panels are guaranteed to produce a minimum power output of 88.3% in year 40. Another report issued by SunPower claims that based on 15 million panels sold over the last few decades, only 0.005% have been returned.


Solar panels maintenance


Solar panels require very little maintenance to keep them operating efficiently. (Image credit: SunPower)

According to SunPower, the Maxeon 3 panels require very little maintenance. Still, care is necessary to achieve the best results from your solar panels.


Inspect your solar panels

Conduct a visual inspection of your solar panels at least once a year to check the electrical connections and any corrosion. We recommend contacting a professional to perform the inspection. If you live in an area with more extreme weather conditions, you should inspect your panels more regularly.


Clean your solar panels

SunPower states that cleaning your panels is not required but recommended. We suggest carrying out the cleaning with a professional during the yearly inspection. To clean your panels, use a regular garden hose, and clean during the morning or evening—do not perform the cleaning when it’s hot outside. Use a cloth or soft sponge with water for fingerprints, stains, and dirt. Do not use harsh cleaning materials, such as a brush or cleaning liquid, as this can damage your panels and void your warranty.


What the experts say

Let’s take a look at what experts have to say about the Maxeon 3 solar panels:


“It’s not cheap, but blue-chip investments rarely are. Nothing short of elite characteristics overall embedded within the Maxeon 3, [as it] upholds the distinguished reputation of this highly regarded module manufacturer. The Maxeon 3 is an ideal solar module solution for any project where high yields and sustainability are a strong consideration.”Solar Analytica report


“The financial issues faced by SunPower over recent years raised some concerns over the ability of SunPower to honour the long-term warranty commitments. Despite this, SunPower is still ranked as number one in the U.S. and many parts of the world by installers and customers alike. In other markets like Asia and Australia, SunPower does not have a huge presence, and the very high price of the Maxeon series can be difficult to justify when some other manufacturers are offering similar performance and quality at a slightly lower price. That being said, there is no other manufacturer that can match the new 40-year SunPower product and performance warranty.” —Jason Svarc via Clean Energy Reviews


Our recommendation

The Maxeon 3 solar panels offered by SunPower provide the best performance and efficiency of any panel currently on the market, but they come with a high price tag. We highly recommend this model for anyone who isn’t concerned about price and needs a high-performing system that can generate reliable energy for decades to come. It is also the ideal panel for homeowners with smaller roofs due to its high performance and efficient absorption of sunlight.


How we chose the best solar panels in Singapore

We conducted thorough research and compared some of the top-rated solar panels Singapore suppliers to help us offer an honest and informative SunPower Maxeon 3 solar panels review. To do this, we looked at costs, product quality, warranty terms, customer reviews, and expert opinions. This enabled us to develop our own view of SunPower’s solar panels system.


FAQ about solar panels

  1. How do solar panels work? Most residential solar panel systems utilise something called the photovoltaic effect. Solar panels are constructed of cells made with semiconducting materials such as silicon. When light hits the cells, photons in the electromagnetic radiation from the sun heat them up, which causes electrons to start moving. This movement creates an electric current, which is then captured by plates and wires within the solar panel in the form of a direct current (DC) electrical charge. An inverter connected to the solar panels converts the DC into alternating current (AC), which can then be used to power all of the electric appliances in your house.

  2. Are solar panels worth it? In short, yes—solar panels can be a worthwhile investment thanks to a number of factors, including a decrease in cost over the last decade, the savings that can be made on rapidly rising energy bills, income from excess electricity sold back to the grid via bidirectional meter, and advancements in solar panel technology that have made them more efficient using less space.

  3. Do solar panels work in Singapore? While the amount of electricity that can be produced by solar panels varies because it depends on roof size available. It is said that if you can see outside without artificial light, your solar panels are working. This is because they do not need direct sunlight to work. This means solar panels work even in the rain and on cloudy days—all typical weather conditions seen throughout Singapore.


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