7 Best Home Solar Panel Manufacturers In The USA (2020)

We Separate The Wheat From The Chaff

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Solar panels have been around for decades, but have been rapidly growing in popularity for home use over the last five years.

In fact, the United States surpassed 2 million solar installations in 2019!

In order to make the best decision, you are probably wondering who truly makes the best solar panels in the world.

Before even considering which models to look at, the actual company itself is one you want to get right.

We’ve orchestrated this list to help answer some questions about what we believe are the best solar panel companies on the market in 2020.

In this article, we review the following home solar panel companies.

  1. SunPower Solar Panels
  2. Mission Solar Energy Solar Panels
  3. LG Solar Panels
  4. Silfab Solar Panels
  5. Canadian Solar Solar Panels
  6. Panasonic Solar Panels
  7. REC Group Solar Panels

Our Pick: SunPower Solar Panels

OUR TOP PICK
SunPower Solar Panels
WHY?
A powerhouse considered as the leader in the solar industry. They manufacture various top of the line solar panels.
Anyone searching for the best solar panels for their home is likely to stumble across SunPower. The company has steadily improved its IBC technology to release an ever-growing catalog of some of the best solar panels on the market.Solar Is The Future

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How Good Are SunPower Solar Panels?

The SunPower corporation is known for introducing integrated block contact (IBC) solar cells which have a better grid of conductors than traditional solar cells and make the panels more efficient.

The great efficiency of the cells is in no way detrimental to the panels themselves, as the IBC cells also have a very slow degradation rate.

Which SunPower Solar Panels Are Best?

SunPower’s best solar panels for home use come in four different series: A, X, E, and P.

The Series-A solar panels from SunPower are rated at a record-breaking 400 watts per panel and even include a factory-integrated micro-inverter built right in.

The Series X is another impressive solar panel perfect for residential use.

The SunPower Series X is rated to retain 92% of the panel’s original efficiency after 25 years.

Compared to the industry standard of 80%, this upgrade is incredible and creditably backed with a 25-year performance warranty.

The Series E and Series P solar panels are equally impressive in their own right.

Each model is designed for specific and cost-effective residential solar purposes such as shade tolerance or temperature shifting.

Pros

  • Incredibly Low Degradation Rate
  • Extremely Efficient Panels
  • Great Selection of Panels

Cons

  • Appropriately High Price
  • Built-in Features Not Compatible with Some Existing Systems

Best Value Solar Panel Company: Mission Solar

BEST VALUE
Mission Solar Energy
WHY?
Mission Solar Energy is a newer solar manufacturer making a name for itself. They manufacture high value solar panels that are incredibly efficient and affordable.
Mission Solar Energy is based in San Antonio, Texas and manufactures panels that are compliant with the Buy American Act (BAA). Mission is known for its variety of monocrystalline solar panels that are incredibly efficient, affordable, and aesthetically pleasing.Solar Is The Future

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How Good Are Misson Solar Solar Panels?

Mission’s line of panels range from 300 to 375 watts and are each priced at just under $0.70 per watt, which is extremely low when compared to comparable solar panels.

In addition to being some of the best value solar panels on the market, Mission produces sleek, black on black, low profile solar panels.

There are 60-cell and 72-cell options available, making mission solar energy a strong candidate for the best solar panels for home use.

How Efficient Are Mission Solar Panels?

Mission solar panels are generally rated between 18% and 19% efficiency.

This is not the most efficient on the market, but still ranks Mission solar panels in the top tier of manufacturers.

When compared to standard electricity rates, Mission Solar panels have been shown to produce a nine-year return on investment in a highly efficient solar system.

This means that the panels, inverter, wiring, and labor of a standard installation using mission solar panels will pay for itself in nine years.

As for the next sixteen years of the panels warranty, the homeowner will essentially be generating free, renewable energy.

Pros

  • Affordable Cost Per Watt
  • Great Looking, Low Profile Solar Panels
  • Great ROI

Cons

  • More Efficient Panels Available
  • Difficult to Find in an Online Marketplace

Solar Panel Company #3: LG

HONORABLE MENTION
LG Solar Panels
WHY?
LG is a well known electronics brand who’s solar panels are appropriately placed among its line of high quality products.

LG nearly nabbed the top spot on our list as they recognized as manufacturers of top-tier premium solar panels. The South Korean electronics giant is known for its high efficiency NeON series which are widely regarded as some of the best solar panels on the market.Solar Is The Future

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How Good Are LG’s Solar Panels?

LG’s solar panels are extremely efficient ranging from an average of 18.4% to 21.1% efficiency between different models.

The company is well renowned and has received multiple Intersolar Awards for its ability to grow the output of its solar panels by about 7.5% each year.

The panels themselves? Structurally strong and not prone to damage from weather.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of LG’s solar panels is the included warranty.

The company offers a 25-year warranty for both product and performance, whereas most solar companies only offer 10-year product warranties.

The performance warranty is also rated at 87% of output power over 25 years, putting it in the top 5% of the least solar panel degradation.

With high power and a strong guarantee, LG certainly makes some of the best solar panels for home use.

Nothing Good Comes Cheap…

With great power, comes a great price. Unfortunately, most LG solar panels are available at the average price of around $0.97 per watt.

Whereas the high-efficiency panels do a better job of harnessing the power of the sun, the 1% efficiency difference simply does not make up for the nearly $0.30 per watt difference of other panels.

Additionally, if you are trying to figure out which solar panels are best to buy in the United States, you must take into account the current tariffs imposed on foreign-made solar panels.

With the premium price per watt and tariffs in mind, LG solar panels will likely have a longer ROI period then other brands.

Pros

  • Extremely Efficient Panels
  • 25 Year Product and Performance Warranty
  • Name Brand Reputable Company

Cons

  • High Cost Per Watt
  • Subject to Tariffs

Solar Panel Company #4: Silflab

HONORABLE MENTION
Silflab
WHY?
Silfab’s solar panels tow the line of premium and top-tier, making it a high-performing and affordable product.
Silfab’s headquarters is split between Toronto, Canada and Bellingham, Washington (which is very close to the Canadian border). The Northern solar manufacturer is well known as one of the top 5 most used solar panels in America, and for good reason.Solar Is The Future

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How Good Are Sillfab Solar Panels?

Silfab is known for its extremely high-quality manufacturing techniques.

Although the company was founded in 2010, the 30 years of combined solar manufacturing experience between the factories have earned Silfab a 99.996% functional success rate of their PV modules.

This 40 parts per million defect rate is by far the best in the industry.

Although this is obviously a huge plus for Silfab, their confidence in their product actually draws a negative effect on the panels warranty.

If a Silfab panel malfunctions, the owner of the panel is responsible for the cost of the removal and shipment of the panel and its replacement which can be quite a pricey endeavor.

The panels are also rated at 82% of system efficiency after 25 years.

Although this is similar to most panels on the market today, having an industry average degradation rate prevented Silfab from ranking higher on this list.

Bang For Buck

Of course, Silfab solar panels are a highly efficient product, averaging at about 18.% efficiency. Although this is not as high as other panels, Silfab boasts an average cost of $0.72 per watt, making it one of the best value solar panels for home use.

Pros

  • Lowest Defect Rate in America
  • Reasonable Cost Per Watt
  • High Efficiency

Cons

  • Tricky Warranty
  • Average Degradation

Solar Panel Company #5: Canadian Solar

HONORABLE MENTION
Canadian Solar
WHY?
The Canadian based company manufactures some of the best value solar panels on the market today.
Canadian Solar is based in Ontario, but holds one of the largest market shares in solar with operations on every continent (except Antarctica). The company is able to keep its costs low by manufacturing most of its solar panels in China and shipping them around the world.Solar Is The Future

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How Good Are Canadian Solar Panels?

Canadian Solar matches our runner up Mission Solar with an average of $0.68 per watt. This is a really good rate for the premium product Canadian Solar is able to provide.

Canadian Solar also has probably the widest range of solar panels available with polycrystalline, monocristaline, high efficiency and low irradiance models all specialized for specific end user results.

Efficiency Is Key…

Unfortunately, Canadian Solar’s solar panels are rated at an average of 16.6% efficiency across its entire product line.

Although some of the newer, more expensive models are rated to reach up to 20.4% efficiency, these low percentages make Canadian Solar the least efficient panels on the list so far.

However, Canadian Solar’s solar panels have a very high efficiency rating for low irradiance.

This means that the panels will work better than most during periods of low sunlight hours or heavy cloud coverage.

Ultimately though, if you are short on roof space, Canadian Solar may not be your best solar panel for home use.

Pros

  • Affordable Price Per Watt
  • Capable in Low Irradiance Environments

Cons

  • Low Average Efficiency Rating
  • High Rate of Product Defect

Solar Panel Company #6: Panasonic

HONORABLE MENTION
Panasonic
WHY?
Panasonic solar panels are among the best in the world thanks to their outrageous efficiency.
Panasonic is based in Japan, and its solar panels are very closely related to their South Korean neighbor’s LG. They’re extremely efficient, but out of the budget range for most. Price aside, we’ve ranked them a bit lower than LG on this list due to the fact that they are less compatible with most standard solar power system parts.Solar Is The Future

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How Good Are Panasonic Solar Panels?

The most important thing to know about Panasonic solar panels is that they are rated with the highest overall average efficiency on the market of 19.99%.

This high electricity output is backed by a 25-year product and performance warranty that is rated at 90.76% of the panels original efficiency. In terms of a high performing solar panel that will continue to work for decades, Panasonic’s technology is hard to beat.

They’re Good, But…

Even though Panasonic makes some of the best solar panels in the world, they may not be the best solar panels to buy in the United States.

Along with being subject to tariffs, Panasonic solar panels require custom racking solutions that are not standard with many other solar panels.

Panasonic’s cell design causes its solar panels to be much wider than most, requiring custom solutions that may not be suitable for limited roof space.

Beyond the necessity of a custom racking solution, Panasonic’s solar panels run at an average of $0.95 per watt.

These high price tags, though justified, may constitute a barrier for those looking for the best value solar panels for home use.

Pros

  • Extremely Efficient
  • Great, Low Rate of Degradation

Cons

  • High Cost Per Watt
  • High Cost of Installation

Solar Panel Company #7: REC Group

HONORABLE MENTION
REC Group
WHY?

Based in Norway, REC has a long history of innovating the technology behind polycrystalline solar panels.
The REC group is based in Norway, but manufactures the majority of its solar panels in Singapore. They’ve gone strength to strength, innovating and manufacturing some of the best polycrystalline solar panels for home use.Solar Is The Future

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How Good Are REC Home Solar Panels?

Most of the high-efficiency panels on this list have utilized monocrystalline solar technology.

Although the average efficiency of REC panels reaches all the way to 18%, polycrystalline solar panels are simply not as efficient as the alternative.

However, thanks to a headquarters in Scandinavia, the company has focused on improving its technology to maximize the solar potential of areas with fewer sunlight hours.

This will certainly factor in if you are searching for which solar panels are best to buy in areas with heavy cloud coverage.

REC solar panels come with a standard warranty of 10 years for product and 25 years for performance.

Committed To Green

One of the reasons the company made this list, however, is its commitment to green energy.

REC leads the world in having the lowest manufacturing carbon footprint. Additionally, the company makes efforts to execute the best recycling of their solar panels in order to create a truly sustainable energy production process.

Pros

  • Affordable Option
  • Great for Areas with Low Sunlight

Cons

  • Not as Efficient as Alternatives
  • Standard Warranty and Degradation Rate
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