Advantages to Going Solar

With renewable energy becoming more popular, it’s no surprise most people prefer solar energy. Solar energy has many financial and environmental benefits that will save you money and better the planet. Going solar will drastically reduce your electric bill because you will be generating most of your own power from the panels instead of from the grid. Adding a solar panel system to your home or business will also increase your property value. 

In addition to all the financial benefits, going solar also has a major positive environmental impact. Choosing to go solar will drastically reduce your personal ecological footprint. One residential solar panel system will eliminate 3-4 tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year, which is the equivalent to plants over 100 trees. Overall, there are multiple financial and environmental benefits to going solar. 

How to Chose the Best Panel

Once you make the right choice to go solar, you now have the choice of solar panels. There are two main types of solar panels: the first is monocrystalline solar panels. The cells on a monocrystalline panel are made from one single silicon crystal. These panels are higher-end and more efficient than the second type, polycrystalline solar panels. Polycrystalline panels are also made from silicon however, instead of being made from one single crystal of silicon, they are made by melting together many fragments of silicon. Although polycrystalline panels are less efficient, they are typically less expensive.   

Additionally, the overall performance of the panel is very important. Performance can be determined by power and efficiency. First, power, measured in Watts (W), is the panel’s output under ideal conditions. Second, efficiency is how well the panel converts sunlight into electricity. Power and efficiency tell how much electricity the solar panel system can produce as a whole. Also, you may want to take into consideration other factors, such as warranty, temperature coefficient, and resiliency depending where you are looking to install panels.    

Sunpower is a solar energy company that used to manufacture and install solar panels. However, since 2020, Sunpower has delegated its manufacturing to Maxeon and currently only installs Maxeon products. Maxeon’s solar panels are currently ‘Made in Singapore’, contrary to many consumers’ perception that they are ‘Made in the USA’. Maxeon solar panels – Sunpower’s panels of choice – are oftentimes much more expensive than their competitor’s equally advanced panels.

REC has been Solar’s Most Trusted manufacturer for over two decades. REC is a Norwegian company with a manufacturing facility in Singapore. This international company is dedicated to supplying homeowners and businesses with clean and reliable solar power. With a number of outstanding panel series, their most popular is the Alpha and Alpha Pure series. Overall, REC produces top-notch solar products at a price that is attractive. This means you can get the best solar panel system for a relatively inexpensive price.

Comparing Panels:

REC Alpha REC400AA vs. Sunpower A-Series SPR-A400

When comparing panels, REC Alpha REC400AA and Sunpower A-Series SPR-A400 have many of the same characteristics. They are both monocrystalline panels with a rated power of 400W, 25 year warranty, and 0.25% derating. Sunpower’s panel has an efficiency rating of 21.4% and REC’s panel 21.6%. This is a small difference and the panels are still comparable in efficiency. REC’s panel has a total of 132 monocrystalline cells (half-cut cells) compared to 66 cells on Sunpower’s panel.
REC half-cut solar cells (132 cells) have an advantage over the Supower’s standard cells (66 cells) for shading tolerance in addition to an increase in panel efficiencies by a few percentage points.
Also, half-cut cells are more physically durable than their traditional counterparts; because they are smaller in size, they’re more resistant to cracking.

The other major difference between the Sunpower panel and the REC panel is price. Even though the panels have the same or similar characteristics, Sunpower’s A-Series SPR-A400 is much more expensive than the REC Alpha REC400AA.

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 25 yrs
Price $Done ticket $$
Performance Advantage Half-cut cellsDone ticket Standard cells

Would you like to learn which solar panel is the best option for you?

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