A Complete Review of Panasonic Solar Panels
You probably know Panasonic for its TVs, home appliances or cameras, but it’s also an industry leader in solar panel technology. Its panels stand out for their high efficiency in all weather conditions and their impressive 25-year warranty. As far as cost goes, Panasonic doesn’t have the cheapest solar panels out there, but given their high quality, you’re still getting an excellent value for the cost.
Not sure if a Panasonic solar panel is right for you? Read on to learn more about how they stack up, where they stand out, and how to choose the right Panasonic solar panel for your home.
As always, the best place to start when considering a solar install project is to compare quotes from the best local contractors in your area.
How Panasonic Solar Panels Compare to the Competition
When comparing any solar panels, it’s important to focus on their energy efficiency, how they perform in high temperatures, their wattage and what kind of warranty they come with. Panasonic performed well in all four categories, hanging in there with some of the other top solar panel manufacturers like SunPower. Here’s a closer look at each of the four factors we focused on.
Solar panels are given an energy efficiency rating that indicates how much of the sunlight the panel takes in is converted into electricity. Efficiency can vary widely from 11% to 22% with the higher number indicating greater solar panel efficiency. This is still not as efficient as many of the more traditional forms of energy, but solar panel manufacturers, including Panasonic, have come a long way toward closing that gap over the years.
Panasonic solar panels fall on the higher end of this spectrum, ranging from about 18% to 20% efficiency. This earns it a place among the industry-leading solar panel manufacturers. It’s worth noting that these numbers represent your solar panel’s maximum efficiency in ideal conditions. If you experience weather that’s cloudy, rainy or too hot (see below), you may not get this kind of performance out of your solar panels.
Performance in High Temperatures
Solar panels don’t work as efficiently when they don’t get adequate sunlight, but their efficiency can also decrease if they’re exposed to too much sunlight. Once the solar panel’s temperature exceeds 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit), it can no longer convert sunlight to electricity as efficiently as it can in cooler temperatures. The resulting loss of efficiency is determined by the temperature coefficient.
The coefficient is usually written like -0.40% per degree Celsius. This means that for every degree Celsius that the solar panel’s temperature exceeds 25 degrees Celsius, the solar panel’s efficiency will drop by 0.4%. So rather than being 18% efficient at 26 degrees Celsius, for example, it will now only be 17.6% efficient. And if temperatures continue to rise further, the solar panel’s efficiency will continue to decrease.
Panasonic solar panels have an average temperature coefficient of about -0.29, which is among the lowest temperature coefficients of any solar panel on the market today. This is good news for those who live in areas prone to hot weather because Panasonic solar panels will continue to operate close to its maximum efficiency even when the temperature climbs.
Wattage is a measure of how much energy the solar panel can produce. Solar panels typically range from 250 to 400 watts and a higher wattage is typically preferred because it can power more things. But it’s important to consider this number in conjunction with efficiency. Two solar panels can have the same wattage but different efficiencies and as a result, different sizes. A less efficient solar panel will be larger than a more efficient solar panel of the same wattage, and solar panel size can become an issue when space is at a premium.
Most of Panasonic’s solar panels fall in the 300- to 330-watt range, which places it slightly above the industry average. Your solar panel’s wattage determines in part how many solar panels you need and higher-wattage solar panels help you more quickly recoup the cost of installation.
Solar panels aren’t cheap to buy or to fix, so most solar panel manufacturers offer warranties to help safeguard your investment. If your solar panel breaks down during the warranty period, the manufacturer will repair or replace it with a new one at no cost to you. A 10-year warranty is the industry standard, but Panasonic offers an impressive 25-year warranty on all its solar panels when registered online within 60 days of installation.
Solar panels also have a performance warranty, which indicates how well the solar panel will continue to perform over time. Panasonic guarantees that its power output after one year will be no less than 97% of its maximum power and that it will degrade by no more than 0.26% per year for the next 24 years. This means that it guarantees your Panasonic solar panels will still be over 90% efficient after 25 years. Few other solar panel manufacturers can match that promise.
How Much Do Panasonic Solar Panels Cost?
Solar panel costs are typically measured in dollars per watt. The average solar panel costs about $3 per watt and Panasonic solar panels fall around this range. You could pay about $2.70 to about $3.35, depending on the panel you choose and how you install it. The solar panel mounts and inverters will also play a role in the overall cost of your solar panel system, as will the number of solar panels you need. Where you live can also affect the cost of installing a solar panel system.
It’s not uncommon for homeowners to spend between $10,000 and $20,000 on a solar panel system, but you may get some of this back if you qualify for solar panel rebates, state and federal tax credits or other incentives. Look into these before you purchase your Panasonic solar panels and compare installation prices from several installers to help keep your costs down.
How to Find the Best Solar Panels for You
While all Panasonic solar panels are built with high-quality materials and backed by the company’s industry-leading warranty, they aren’t all the same. The best solar panel for your home will depend on your budget, how much space you have, and how much power you want your system to produce.
Local solar installers can answer all your questions and price out a Panasonic system, or recommend a better solution for your unique needs.
You’ll most likely work with a solar panel installer who will help you figure out how many and what type of solar panels will work best for your home. High-end Panasonic panels are a great choice for homes of all sizes, but especially larger homes that require high energy efficiency and homes in hot climates that have to worry about excessive heat hurting the performance of their solar panels.
It’s tempting to focus primarily on cost, but base your decision on the four factors mentioned above — energy efficiency, performance in high temperatures, wattage and warranty — first. These factors tell you much more about the quality of the solar panel and how it will hold up over time. Price is important, but if your solar panels don’t last or produce the power you expected, you’ll have to replace them with new ones anyway and that means spending even more money.
Shop around and compare options and pricing from several different installers to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible before you commit to one. If you’re not sure how much to budget for solar panels, you can estimate how much your solar panel system will cost.