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Detailed reviews and information of the best solar panels, inverters and batteries. Plus hybrid and off-grid solar system reviews and information articles on how solar and battery systems work.

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Reviews and information on the best Solar panels, inverters and batteries from SMA, Fronius, SunPower, SolaX, Q Cells, Trina, Jinko, Selectronic, Tesla Powerwall, ABB. Plus hybrid inverters, battery sizing, Lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries, off-grid and on-grid power systems.

Best Solar Panels 2019

Jason Svarc

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By combining years of experience in the solar industry and feedback from hundreds of solar professionals we have put together a list of the best quality, most popular solar panels from the world’s leading manufacturers.

As highlighted in our guide to choosing a quality and efficient solar panel, when it comes to selecting panels, higher cost generally equals higher quality and improved reliability. The solar panels from the leading manufacturers listed below have proven to out perform and out last most cheaper, lower quality panels, with many of the lesser known 'cheap' manufacturers either going bankrupt or being de-listed from the Clean Energy Council's list of approved suppliers.


Best Solar Panel Manufacturers

Here is our short list of the best quality and most reliable panel manufacturers on the Australian market based on company history, quality, real world performance, service, and feedback from solar industry professionals. This list is generally applicable to most regions with established solar industries including Europe and Asia, however in Japan, Panasonic has a strong position, and in North America, SunPower would take the top spot.

  1. LG

  2. SunPower

  3. REC

  4. Winaico

  5. Q Cells

For more details on the many innovations being used to improve panel efficiency, reliability, and performance, see the solar panel technology review.


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LG

LG is regarded as one of the world’s leading manufacturer’s with a premium range of quality, reliable, high performance panels. LG are one a very few manufacturers to offer both a 25 year product and 25 year performance warranty on the Neon 2 and Neon R panels. All which both use high grade, longer lasting N-type cells.

LG's range of premium panels are very popular in Australia, USA and Europe and use many industry leading technologies. The LG Neon 2 panels which use multi-wire busbars together with high performance N-type cells are one of the most popular high end panels available in Australia.

  • Power rating* (W): 320W - 375W

  • Efficiency (%): 19.3 - 21.7%

  • Price range: Med - High $$$$

See the detailed LG solar panel review.


SunPower

Sunpower is a world leader in high efficiency IBC solar cells and offer a very high performance warranty of 92% retained capacity after 25 years, plus a 25 year manfacturer’s product warranty.

The new Maxeon series panels use the high performance IBC N-type cells which are the most efficient solar PV cell technology available today. Although, they do come at a premium price and thus, are not widely used in Australia. The more cost-effective P series panels from SunPower are gaining popularity for both residential and larger scale commercial installations. In North America Sunpower panels are very popular and one of the most trusted brands available.

  • Power rating* (W): 340W - 400W

  • Efficiency (%): 19 - 22.6%

  • Price range: Med - Very High $$$$$

See the detailed SunPower solar panel review.


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REC

REC manufacture quality, cost effective panels which have proven to be very popular among installers, in particular the TwinPeak range. As of January 2019 all REC TwinPeak and N-peak panels come with an standard 20 year product warranty and reduced degradation rates making it one of the best warranties on the market.

The REC TwinPeak panels were the first to use half-cut cells in the split module format providing higher efficiency and improved shade tolerance. The recently released N-Peak and new Alpha range of high efficiency panels utilising N-type and Heterojunction half-cut cells position REC among the industry leaders in high performance modules.

  • Power rating* (W): 290W - 355W

  • Efficiency (%): 18 - 20.7%

  • Price range: Med - High $$$

See the detailed REC solar panel review.


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Winaico

Winaico is a relatively small volume manufacturer offering a premium range of very high quality panels which are reasonably priced. The well known Winaico M6 PERC panels come with a 15 year manufacturers warranty and are well regarded and trusted by installers, having a very good track record for long term reliability and performance in the harsh Australian conditions.

Winaico’s attention to detail and extremely strong frame design with unique corner inserts also put them ahead of most other manufacturers. The new 340W panels with high grade mono PERC cells are due to be released early 2019.

  • Power rating* (W): 310W - 340W

  • Efficiency (%): 18.8 - 19.4%

  • Price range: Med - High $$$

See the detailed Winaico solar panel review.


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Q Cells

Hanwha Q cells is a well known quality panel manufacturer offering a wide range of quality panels for all applications. The latest Q cells G6 DUO monocrystalline panels are backed by a new 25 year product warranty and improved long term performance with 83% rated capacity after 25 years.

Q cells have a very wide range of panels from entry level mono and poly crystalline to the the new Q.Peak Duo range using half-cut cell with 6 bus-bars to achieve up to 19.8% efficiency.

  • Power rating* (W): 270W - 330W

  • Efficiency (%): 16 - 19.9%

  • Price range: Med $$$


Best Value solar panel manufacturers

Below are some of the best value solar panel producers who are generally very well regarded in the solar industry. With a long history in research and development, Trina Solar and Jinko Solar are two of the oldest and best known manufacturers, while LONGi Solar has more recently become the worlds largest solar panel manufacturer by volume.

  • Trina Solar

  • Jinko Solar

  • Canadian Solar

  • SunTech

  • LONGi Solar

Runners up

Below is a short list of other well known manufacturers which generally offer a balance of good value, quality, and service. The complete list of our top 10 panel manufacturers and the Australian made Tindo solar panels are shown in the complete solar cell technology review article including:

  • Hyundai Solar

  • Phono Solar

  • JA Solar

  • Risen Energy

  • Seraphim


Performance and durability testing

The many advancements in solar cell technology has lead to huge price reductions over recent years with many new low cost efficient solar panels being released by the leading Chinese manufacturers. To ensure ongoing quality there are several leading, independent, testing organisation which help verify long term performance and reliability. This is further explained in our guide to selecting a quality solar panel.

Summary of top performers from PVEL - A leading independant solar panel testing service.

Summary of top performers from PVEL - A leading independant solar panel testing service.


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 Trina Solar

Trina solar is one of the worlds largest solar panel manufacturers and are investing heavily in new generation of lower cost high efficiency panels. The well known Trina Honey range of panels from Trina solar are considered great quality and very good value for money, in particular the Honey M (monocrystalline) range of panels which are now available in the more efficient half-cut 120 cell format up to 340W.

Trina Solar offer a very diverse range of panels from cost effective poly crystalline panels, efficient half-cut cell panels and advanced bifacial panels.

  • Power rating* (W): 280W - 340W

  • Efficiency (%): 16 - 19.4%

  • Price range: Low - Med $$

See the detailed Trina Solar panel review.


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 Jinko Solar

JinkoSolar is second largest Chinese solar panel manufacturer by volume and produce a wide range of cost effective, reliable panels. The Jinko engineers work closely with the Australian UNSW solar research center of excellence and have achieved several efficiency records over the years through it’s continuous research and development in new PV cell technology.

The Eagle 60 (poly) and Eagle PERC 60 (mono) range of panels from JinkoSolar are one of the most popular low cost panels on the market with a good track record, and support from local offices.

  • Power rating* (W): 280W - 340W

  • Efficiency (%): 16 - 19.4%

  • Price range: Low - Med $$


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LONGi Solar

LONGi solar has grown rapidly over the last few years to become not only the largest Chinese solar panel manufacturer by volume, but the largest panel manufacturer in the world today. LONGi produce a wide range of cost effective and reliable panels which only use Monocrystalline cells. In fact, part of the industry shift towards more efficient mono and mono PERC cells was due to the massive investment by LONGi in large scale mono wafer manufacturing.

The Hi-MO3 and Hi-MO4 mono PERC range of panels from LONGi Solar use the common 120 split-cell format and are becoming one of the more popular high-efficiency, low cost panels on the market.

  • Power rating* (W): 310W - 350W

  • Efficiency (%): 18 - 19.6%

  • Price range: Low - Med $$

*Power rating (W) listed - Residential (60 cell) panels only.

Add your professional feedback - Click here

In addition to continuous feedback from our solar specialists the clean energy reviews team invite all solar industry professionals and installers to give your feedback (positive or negative) from experience with any modules.


Most efficient Solar Panels

Comparison chart of the most efficient solar panels on the Australian market in 2019. Click image to see the full article.

Comparison chart of the most efficient solar panels on the Australian market in 2019. Click image to see the full article.

Range of various solar panels with different efficiency and power ratings - Click to see the full review

Range of various solar panels with different efficiency and power ratings - Click to see the full review


Most Popular Solar Panels

In addition to the best manufacturers there are a few models which are favorites among our specialists and many Australian installers due to a combination quality, efficiency, performance and value for money. These panels are also proving very popular in the US and much of Europe, in particular the range of modules from Sunpower, REC, LG and Q-cells.

LG NeON 2

LG Neon 2 panels use high efficiency mono N-type cells with advanced rear side absorption technology similar to PERC cells, along with 12 ‘Cello’ thin wire busbars to further improve efficiency and performance. The Neon 2 range from 325W to 335W power rating are now covered by a leading 25 year product warranty and above average performance warranty of 86% retained capacity after 25 years. LG panels also have frames with very high wind load ratings which make them one of the strongest panels on the market. See full LG solar panel review here.

See full LG Neon 2 specifications here.


SunPower P19 series

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The SunPower P series panels have become a popular choice for larger scale commercial installations due to the high quality and performance. Unlike other SunPower panels which use higher grade, more expensive IBC cells the P series uses a shingled cell design which is a much more cost effective design. The shingled cells are partially shade tolerant and less prone to micro-cracking which can be an issue with panels using conventional full-size square solar cells. Despite being based on standard P-type silicon SunPower still offers a 25 year manufacturer’s warranty. See the full SunPower solar panels review here.

See full SunPower P19 series specifications here.


Winaico M6 PERC

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The Winaico Mono PERC panels from 310W to 340W are highly regarded by installers due to the extremely high build quality, great service and 15 year manufacturers warranty. Winaico is a smaller manufacturer with a great reputation for reliability and performance supported by the outstanding real world results at the Australian Desert Knowledge testing facility. The Winaico range of panels have extremely high strength frames using extra deep aluminium extrusions and unique corner inserts for maximum rigidity.

See the full Winaico WSP-MX specifications here


REC TwinPeak 2 Mono

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REC’s renowned TwinPeak range of panels with PERC cell technology use half-cut mono cells in the split module format with the upper and lower sections combining at a centre junction box. The half size cell format increases efficiency and improves performance especially in partially shaded conditions. The new generation N-peak panels from REC take the half-cut panel design the next level utilising advanced high purity N-type silicon cells. See the complete REC solar panels review.

See full REC TwinPeak 2 Mono specifications here


Q Cells Q.Peak Duo

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Hanwha Q cells previously known as Q cells founded in 1999 are rapidly re-gaining popularity as a medium to high-end panel option for many solar installers as the the company releases advanced new modules including the new Q.Peak Duo range of split cell modules with 6 bus-bars and up to 19.3% efficiency.

See the full Q cells Q.Peak Duo-G5  specifications here


Jinko Solar Eagle PERC

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The Eagle PERC monocrystalline range of panels from JinkoSolar are one of the more popular low cost panels available on the Australian market offering a good combination of quality and affordability. The mono PERC cells developed closely with the UNSW in Australia use the common Passivated Emmiter Rear Contact (PERC) technology offering up to 18.33% efficiency and are warranted against degradation caused by PID effects.


Trina Solar Honey M Plus

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The Trina Honey range of panels have been a favorite among installers for many years. They offer high quality and very good value for money from a large, trusted manufacturer together with good service. The recent Honey M plus range offer higher performance and efficiency over the standard Honey panels using monocrystalline (Mono PERC)* cells. See full Trina Solar review here.

See Trina Honey M plus specifications here

Solar Power Questions

Visit our community discussion about the best solar panels on our solar panel info forum.