REC 420 Alpha Black Panels
There are four key metrics used to review solar panel quality, how REC’s solar panels compare to other panel manufacturers: efficiency, performance, warranties, and price.
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 used for your solar system. Panels in REC’s product line have an efficiency rating of 16.5% to 21.9%. The Alpha 420 panels that we use are 21.9% (out of 22%).
Performance (Temperature Coefficient)
The temperature coefficient is used to evaluate solar panel performance for this metric. 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 77° F). The temperature coefficient tells you how much your panel’s performance will change during hot sunny summer days.
For every degree above 77° F, your solar panel’s electricity production will decrease by its temperature coefficient. For example, REC’s REC420A panel 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.
For many homeowners, the final decision around the solar equipment you choose rests on cost and savings. The total price you pay for a solar energy system with REC’s solar panels will vary depending on the other equipment (such as inverters and mounts) used in the installation, as well as the characteristics of your roof.
Our mission to help create a sustainable energy future by installing the most efficient, cost-effective systems with the smallest ecological footprint possible comes from using the BEST EQUIPMENT out there!
REC Alpha REC405 Alpha Black
The SolarEdge system offers many benefits of individual panel power optimization and monitoring. The SolarEdge system provides a wide array of benefits including improved shade tolerance, simplicity in finding/replacing faulty panels, PID detection, and panel-level optimization and monitoring. The extra safety benefits and rapid shutdown feature are great too for customers peace of mind.
[Potential-induced degradation (PID) is a failure mode in solar cells caused by voltage stress on the PID module. PID can affect both crystalline and thin film modules, to an extent depending on material and environmental.]
The low reported failure rate, 12 year manufacturers inverter warranty and 25 year optimizer warranty make it easy to see why SolarEdge optimized systems are the best way to go!
SolarEdge Power Optimizers
SolarEdge Optimizers offer up to 25% increase in the amount of energy they are able to harvest from the Solar System. Superior efficiency (99.5% peak efficiency, up to 98.8% weighted efficiency).
The SolarEdge power optimizer is a DC/DC converter which is connected to each solar module, turning them into smart modules. The SolarEdge power optimizers increase energy output from PV systems by constantly tracking the maximum power point (MPPT) of each module individually. Furthermore, the power optimizers monitor the performance of each module and communicate performance data to the SolarEdge monitoring platform for enhanced, cost-effective module-level maintenance. Each power optimizer is equipped with the unique SafeDC™ feature, which is designed to automatically reduce modules' DC voltage to a safe level whenever the inverter or grid power is shut down.
Tesla PowerWall Storage
Although known for electric vehicles, the Tesla home battery, the Powerwall, has become the best battery storage batteries on the market! The Powerwall illustrates Tesla’s passion for progression as a forward-thinking company. As a leader in battery backup technology, Tesla has updated its original design. The new model can store twice as much power, has a built-in inverter, connects seamlessly with their app, has updated liquid cooling technology so it can perform in a range of temperatures, and it can mount both on the floor or the wall.
While lots of energy storage options exist, home batteries typically use one of two main battery technologies. These include lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries.
Lead-acid batteries typically cost less. However, they also have a lower depth of discharge, a shorter lifespan, and weigh significantly more than lithium-ion batteries. So, although the lead-acid battery doesn’t cost as much up-front, in the long run, it costs more, which contributed to Tesla’s decision to use lithium-ion technology when it created their home battery.