Are the SunPower Solar Panels Worth It?

SunPower Solar Panel

Take a look at the Australian solar market, and you will see the SunPower solar panels sitting at one of the leading positions in the industry. Over the years, the company has mastered the art of manufacturing high-end solar panels. SunPower introduced their exceptionally innovative solar panel with an efficiency rating of 22.6 per cent. Currently, the 22.6 percent efficiency is the highest ever efficiency rate in the history of residential solar panels. 

Compare Solar Quotes works to help the Australian people with their solar power systems and solutions. We want our people to invest in solar panels and other solar components that will provide them with the best value for their money. In this article, we will discuss whether the SunPower solar panels are worth the money. 

Before getting to the features of the SunPower solar panels, let us know a bit about the history of the company. 

A professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford, Richard Swanson, co-founded SunPower in the year 1985, with headquarters in San Jose, California. SunPower is now one of the leading solar panel manufacturer brands in the world for both residential and commercial solar. The Maxeon 3 solar panel by SunPower is the most efficient solar panel available in the Australian solar market right now. Over the past 25 years, SunPower supplied solar panels to space stations for a number of NASA’s projects. 

Where are SunPower Solar Panels made?

In 2020, Tinajin Zhonghuan Semiconductor Co. (TZS) invested $300m in SunPower, causing the company to split into SunPower and Maxeon Solar. Maxeon Solar manufactures the solar panels now, but the branding is still under the name of SunPower. 

Maxeon Solar has manufacturing locations in several countries like France, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, and China and is headquartered in Singapore. 

This split of SunPower leads us to the expectation that the price of the SunPower solar panels will decrease due to the low-cost manufacturing of Maxeon throughout Asia. In Australia, SunPower sells its solar panels through authorised solar installers only instead of selling them through distributors and wholesalers. 

How much does it cost to install the SunPower Solar Panels?

The SunPower solar panels price depends on various factors like the number of panels, models, other solar components, and installation costs. Below we have added an estimated cost of installing the SunPower solar panels:

Size of the System 

Price Range

6kW

$7000-$8000

8kW

$10000-$11000

10kW

$12000-$13000

Note: All these costs are inclusive of the solar rebates and incentives by the Australian government. 

What makes SunPower Solar Panels different from the rest?

  • The efficiency of the Panels:

SunPower released Maxeon 3, the first residential solar panel of 400w in the year 2019. Currently, this solar panel has the highest ever panel efficiency of 22.6 per cent in the world. The Performance 3 and Maxeon 2 solar panels also come with an impressive solar efficiency rating of 19.9 per cent and 20.4 per cent. 

  • Low Return Rate:

SunPower claims that the latest Maxeon technology panels have a useful lifetime of over 40 years and a return rate of less than 0.005 per cent. SunPower offers an industry-leading product warranty of 25 years on all their solar panels. 

  • Rate of Degradation:

Solar panels available in the Australian solar market typically degrades at a rate of 2.5% in the first year and 0.7% each year after that. Thus, after 25 years of performance, the efficiency of a typical solar panel decreases to 80-85 per cent of their nameplate rating. However, SunPower’s Maxeon series solar panels claim to have a degradation rate of a maximum of 0.25% a year. So, by the end of the 25 years, the SunPower solar panels reach an efficiency of 92 per cent of their nameplate rating.

  • IBC Solar Cell Technology:

SunPower solar panels use the IBC solar cell technology. IBC stands for Interdigitated Back Contact. IBC is a kind of solar cell that converts energy from the cells through back contact instead of the typical front contact. Unlike regular solar panels, the IBC solar cell technology allows the entire front part of the solar panel to absorb energy from the sun without leaving any space. 

Regular solar panels contain metal ribbons on the front part of the solar panels, which convert energy. But the issue with the metals ribbons is that it takes additional space and tends to expand when exposed to sunlight. This causes solar panel shading issues, one of the most common reasons for efficiency loss. 

What SunPower Solar Panels Models are available in Australia?

All the solar panel models available in the Australian solar market by SunPower are CEC approved. The available SunPower solar panel models are:

  • 340-360w SunPower Maxeon 2
  • 370w SunPower Maxeon 3
  • 390-400w SunPower Maxeon 3
  • 315-335w SunPower Performance 3
  • 310-335w SunPower Performance  

What are the Top 5 Solar Panels?

The Australian solar market features a lot of solar panel models and brands. Some of these solar panels brands prove themselves to be the top brands in the world. The top five solar panel brands available in the Australian solar market are:

  • SunPower
  • LG Chem
  • Jinko Solar
  • Rec 
  • Q Cells 

Are the SunPower Solar Panels Worth it?

We would be lying if we said that the SunPower solar panels are not worth it. SunPower is one of the best solar panel manufacturers not only in Australia but throughout the whole world. The SunPower solar panels are significantly expensive than most of the solar panels in the Australian solar market, but the cost is justified given the technology and efficiency of SunPower. 

If you can afford the SunPower solar panels, then you should absolutely go for these solar panels. The SunPower solar panels are one of the best solar panel options you will find in the Australian solar market. We are hoping that the split of SunPower into SunPower and Maxeon Solar will lead to making the SunPower solar panels more affordable to the public without decreasing the quality or durability of the panels.

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