Advantages to Going Solar

As renewable energy gains popularity, solar energy is emerging as a top choice due to its numerous financial and environmental advantages. By installing solar panels, you can generate most of your own power and reduce your reliance on the grid, resulting in significantly lower electric bills. Additionally, investing in solar energy can increase the value of your property, making it a smart long-term investment.

Beyond the financial benefits, going solar also has a substantial positive impact on the environment. By decreasing your reliance on non-renewable energy sources, you can reduce your carbon footprint and help combat climate change. For example, an average single residential solar panel system can eliminate around 4 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually, which is equivalent to planting over 100 trees.


How to Chose the Best Panel

When you choose to go solar, selecting the right solar panel type is crucial. There are two main types of solar panels to choose from: monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Monocrystalline panels are made from a single silicon crystal and are known for their higher efficiency and quality, while polycrystalline panels are made by melting together many fragments of silicon and are less expensive but less efficient.

Aside from the type of panel, other important factors to consider are performance metrics such as power and efficiency. Power is the panel's output under ideal conditions, measured in Watts (W), while efficiency refers to how well the panel can convert sunlight into electricity. These two factors combined determine the overall electricity production of the solar panel system. Other factors to consider when selecting solar panels include warranty, temperature coefficient, and resiliency depending on the location where the panels will be installed.

SunPower is a solar energy company that has shifted its focus from manufacturing to installation, now partnering with a couple of oversea manufacturers, such as  Singapore's Maxeon and India's WaaRee for solar panel manufacturing. This is contrary to consumers' conception that Sunpower is "made in the USA". While SunPower installs Maxeon and WaaRee products, it's worth noting that Sunpower's installs can be more expensive than other comparably advanced solar panels on the market. Additionally, many of these products are now available to other installers, which may offer them at a better price than SunPower.

REC is a strong solar panel manufacturer that has been in the industry for over two decades. While REC is a Norwegian company, it has a manufacturing facility in Singapore, reflecting its global presence in the market. REC offers a range of excellent solar panel series, with the Alpha Pure and Alpha Pure R series being among their most popular products. Overall, REC is known for producing high-quality solar products at competitive prices, making it an attractive option for those looking to invest in solar energy. With REC, you can obtain a top-notch solar panel system at a relatively affordable price, without compromising on quality or performance.

Comparing Panels: REC Alpha REC400AA vs. Sunpower A-Series SPR-A400


When comparing solar panels, the REC Alpha REC400AA and SunPower A-Series SPR-A400 (manufactured by Maxeon) have several similarities. Both panels are monocrystalline with a rated power of 400W, a 25-year warranty, and 0.25% derating. While the efficiency rating for SunPower's panel is 21.4%, REC's panel has a slightly higher efficiency rating of 21.6%, although the difference is minimal.

One significant advantage of the REC panel is its 132 monocrystalline half-cut cells, compared to SunPower's standard 66 cells. This feature gives the REC panel an edge in shading tolerance and leads to a slight increase in panel efficiency. Additionally, the half-cut cells in REC's panel are physically more durable than traditional cells, thanks to their smaller size, making them less susceptible to cracking.

Another notable difference between the two panels is their price and bankability. While both panels have comparable features, SunPower's A-Series SPR-A400 is typically more expensive than the REC Alpha REC400AA, which is still a reputable and bankable product. Therefore, the REC panel is an excellent option for those seeking a high-quality, durable, and cost-effective solar panel system.

Brand REC Sunpower
Model Alpha REC400AA A-Series SPR-A400
Cell Type Monocrystalline Monocrystalline
Efficiency 21.6%Done ticket 21.4%
Power 400W 400W
Power Derating 0.25% 0.25%
Product Warranty 25 yrs 40 yrsDone ticket*
Price $Done ticket $$
Performance Advantage Half-cut cellsDone ticket Standard cells

*A 40-year warranty for solar panels is uncommon and may not be practical for most consumers as it is likely that the roofing will need to be replaced before the warranty period is over. In such cases, uninstalling and reinstalling the solar panels is a costly process, and many owners may decide to upgrade their solar systems instead, rendering the 40-year warranty less significant. Consumers should consider the long-term cost-benefit of investing in a solar panel system with a 40-year warranty before making a decision.

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