There is a wide range of solar panels available for domestic use.  This review article looks at the best solar panels available from all over the world and features industry award winners, and high performing, top end panels which deliver a minimum of 15% efficiency for domestic use in the USA. Domestic solutions often offer installation as part of full home package and options to feed in excess energy generated back into the national electrical grid system, which means you may even make money from your solar system.  

FAQ About the Best Solar Panels

1. WHAT ARE SOLAR PANELS?

2. WHAT DOES A SOLAR PANEL DO?

3. HOW DOES A SOLAR PANEL  WORK?

4. WHERE CAN YOU BUY SOLAR PANELS? 

5. WHAT ARE THE COST BENEFITS OF INSTALLING SOLAR PANELS? 

How We Reviewed

The following products were reviewed based on the following parameters Features, Pros and Cons, Price, Where to Buy, and Warranty. The information  in this review is resourced from manufacturers websites and independent reviewers' websites.

Overall Price Range of This Product

A complete solar system on your roof can cost anywhere between $15,000 to $40,000 depending on the size of your home and the amount of electricity you use. Different manufacturers offer discounts for cash sales, and tax incentives are available but may not be for much longer. Higher priced solar systems often provide a longer warranty of up to 25 years for labor, parts and installation and lower erosion degradation which ensures your solar powers will still be efficient in 25 years time.

What We Reviewed


  • SUNPOWER
  • LG ENERGY
  • WINAICO
  • REC
  • Q CELLS
  • ALEO
  • AXITEC
  • CANADIAN SOLAR
  • CSUN
  • HANWHA Q CELLS

SunPower 100 Watt Flexible Monocrystalline High Efficiency Solar Panel
  • Sunpower 100 Watt Flexible Solar Panel is made using Sunpower's highest power GEN II black contact cells.
  • Sunpower flexible panels deliver the highest power output and the highest charging capacity in their product class.
  • Constructed with top-grade, light-weight polymer materials, allowing for easy installation and flexing up to 30 degrees.

Materials 

Key materials of this product include high efficiency solar cells in a durable construction. Sun Power has been voted the best solar panel and number 1  in a survey of the top eight leading world manufacturers for their durability.  The SunPower E-Series and X-series are  for domestic use, with the X-series producing the most power.

pros

  • World leaders for the durability of their panels
  • Number 1 in the world for efficiency
  • Excellent warranty
  • Better in shade and low light their competitors
  • Predicted to be useful for at least 40 years
  • Flexible payment plans if purchased directly from manufacturers

Cons

  • Connection cables must be purchased separately if bought as modules

Price

A 100 Watt mono crystalline highest power GEN II black solar panel  can be found on Amazon for around $300.

Power Rating Range

240W to 320W

Efficiency Range

16% to 22.2%

Durability

25-40 years: these are the best solar panels for durability in the world

Performance

High performance in most weather conditions, but will produce less electricity in the shade

Warranty 

Limited warranty of 25 years, with a guarantee that solar panels will be operating at 92% of their peak rate after 25 years


Sale
Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel
  • Perfect for 12-volt battery charging or multiple panels can be wired in series for 24/48-volt battery charging or for grid-tied applications
  • Diodes are pre-installed in junction box and a pair of 31-inch cables with MC4 connectors comes with the panel automatically
  • Withstand high wind (2400Pa) and snow loads (5400Pa); resistant aluminum frame which allows the panels to last for decades. Compatible with on-grid and off-grid inverters ; Maximum System Voltage: 600V DC (UL)

Materials 

Their most efficient NeON panels are lightweight and black. They offer cyclone wind resistance and have a double walled frame for their panels. They have a Salt Mist corrosion rating of 6, which is the maximum, making them the best solar panels for homes in a coastal region. They are also water resistant (IP66), and flame retardant.  Their anti-reflective coatings ensures efficiency and they utilize their award winning photovoltaic cell construction.

pros

  • Durable
  • Strong, with high wind load resistance, of 6000Pa
  • Salt water resistant
  • Support call centre open every day
  • 26% more power than conventional panels
  • Cells double sided

Cons

  • Not easily available in all locations

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $180 for a LG 315W Mono Black NeON II 60 cell solar panel.

Power Rating Range

340W

Efficiency Range

16.8-21.1%

Durability

Extremely durable, especially against high winds and salt water mist

Performance

Good performance guarantees from manufacturers

Warranty 

25-year warranty with 86% of peak total power in first year guaranteed after 25 years


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  • Exceeds the IEC standard 3 times over
  • 99% relative efficiency at weak-light
  • Protection against the weather and
    the elements
  • Designed for fire safety
  • 25 year linear performance guarantee

Materials 

Key materials of this product include standard 60 cell panels with a range of 250W to 310W. They produce both the polycrystalline and the more efficient mono crystalline solar panels. They have an aluminium frames, with a high score for hail resistance, as well as salt spray and ammonia resistance.

pros

  • Frame design innovation
  • Impressive hail resistance
  • High quality components
  • Also produce a typhoon resistant panel

Cons

  • Lower efficiency than other solar panels
  • Expensive

Price

This product cannot be found on Amazon  but can be purchased directly from the alternative energy providers such as freecleansolar.com The 280W mono crystalline panel costs around $420.

Power Rating Range

235W to 310W

Efficiency Range

16.5-18.8% efficiency.

Durability

Strong and reliable.

Performance

Good overall performance with award winning design for durability and corrosion resistance

Warranty 

12-year warranty of all solar panels with 15-25 year performance dependent on the solar panel purchased

REC


REC 260W Poly SLV/WHT US Solar Panel-260PE(Pack of 4)
  • Type : Poly
  • Watts STC : 260 Watts
  • Watts PTC : 234.30 Watts

Materials 

Key features include an innovative design which prevents frost damage and induces snow slippage. These solar panels come in standard 60 cell and 120 cell size and include half cut cells which produce a higher power output.  These are one of the best solar panels for high snowfall areas.

pros

  • Frost resistance
  • High snow slippage 
  • Comes in 2 sizes
  • Larger capacity per panel

Cons

  • Expensive

Price

The price of a whole house system of 6,600W can cost around $19,800 from Amazon online and includes 24 REC panels with roof tech rail.

Power Rating Range

250-270W

Efficiency Range

14.5% to 17%

Durability

High industry ratings for strength and durability

Performance

Good performance in all weather conditions

Warranty 

10-year product warranty and 25-year energy output warranty of 0.7% decrease per year


Q CELLS 325W Poly SLV/WHT Solar Panel - Pack of 4
  • Type : Poly
  • Watts : 325 Watts
  • Efficiency : 16.30%

Materials 

Key materials of this product include Q.Antum technology which enables solar panels to capture the maximum amount of sunlight to convert into electrical energy through its special coating. Six bus bar design and half cell technology. Hot Spot protection can improve fire resistance of its panels.

pros

  • Innovative technology used for solar panel 
  • Half cell technology

Cons

  • Shipping costs high, with a minimum of 4 panels per order

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $500 each for top of the range Black 275W Mono solar panel, plus shipping costs of up to $400.

Power Rating Range

320-330 Watts

Efficiency Range

19%

Durability

4000 wind load, 5400 snow load

Performance

High performance over smaller panel size

Warranty 

12-year product warranty with maximum 0.6% reduction in output every year thereafter


  • Power up to 315W
  • Up to 25 years product guarantee
  • 60 high-performance CELCO cells
  • 10% more powerful than industry average
  • 5% more yields than conventional technologies

Materials 

Key materials of this product include PERC technology and a range of solar panels which focus on efficiency and design. With award-winning low light degradation, they have designed a special range of Solrif Mono crystalline all black panels which can replace your existing roof tiles and have a 60 cell array and 290W-300W range.

pros

  • Anti-reflection glass
  • Extremely efficient
  • Can withstand very high wind loads
  • Protected against electric shocks
  • Fire resistance

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy
  • May be difficult to find as panels discontinued

Price

The 240W Aleo solar panel starts from $180 and can be purchased from NSSC and Renvu.

Power Rating Range

240W, 300W, 305W, 315W and 320 W 

Efficiency Range

16.6-18.7 % efficiency

Durability

Highly durable

Performance

Reliable and PID free, which ensures high efficiency even under harsh weather conditions

Warranty 

12-year warranty with 25-year output guarantee


Materials 

Youc can get both 60 cell and 72 cell formats, and their solar panels range include a stylish black panel option. Their AXI Power, AXI Premium and AXI Black Premium are there three main series.

pros

  • Snow load of 113 PSF
  • Hotspot free modules
  • Aluminium frame has Axitec Dot-Grip Seam design
  • High quality connectors and junction box
  • Great low light level performance
  • 60 to 72 cell range

Cons

  • Expensive
  • High shipping costs

Price

This product can be found on Amazon  for around $430 per AXI Premium Black 290W Mono solar panel with $500 shipping costs. Average price for a 5kW system for your home would be approximately from $11,500 to $16,500 before incentives and rebates are calculated making it one of the best solar panels choice for a cost-effective energy solution.

Power Rating Range

240-340W range

Efficiency Range

15.37% to 17.9% range

Durability

Above average durability

Performance

Good overall performance in all light levels

Warranty 

There is a 12 year warranty on this product.


Canadian Solar CS6K-300MS 300 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
  • Type: Mono
  • Nominal max power (Pmax): 300 Watts
  • Number of cells: 60

Materials 

Canadian Solar over a wide range of different solar panels, with emphasis on high efficiency. These include the Standard, Allblack and  HiKu solar panels, which are the first solar modules to produce a 400W yield. Their range includes some of the the best solar panels for high snowfall areas. They sell standard 60 cell to 72 cell panels,

pros

  • Tolerates snow load of 5,400Pa
  • Wind load of up to 2400Pa
  • Wide range of solar panels

Cons

  • May be difficult to source in the USA

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $350 for a CS6-300MS 300Watt mono crystalline solar panel.

Power Rating Range

From 200W to 320W

Efficiency Range

15.81% to 16.83% efficiency

Durability

Resists high winds and snow loads

Performance

One of the top three biggest manufacturers in the world

Warranty 

10-year warranty for product and 25 linear warranty on power output.


Warner Energy CSUN250-60M CEEG Solar Panel, 250W
  • 60 High-Efficiency Monocrystalline Solar Cells
  • Passing mechanical load test of 5400Pa according to IEC 61215
  • Tested to withstand hails with maximum diameter of 25mm with impact speed of 23m/s

Materials 

Key materials of this product include a wide range of mono and polycrystalline panels and its QSAR II PID free mono crystalline series.  The top of the range WARATAH poly crystalline series have five instead of three bars and increased efficiency rates of 17.95%. Highly resistant for bad weather.

pros

  • Protection for hot spots
  • Low iron glass enhances light permeability 
  • High resistance to ammonia and salt spray
  • Hail resistant

Cons

  • Expensive

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $720 for a CSUN250-60M 250Watt panel.

Power Rating Range

240W to 360W

Efficiency Range

15-16% efficiency

Durability

High load resistance

Performance

Performs well in all weather

Warranty 

15-year performance warranty.


  • Anti-reflection glass helps increase the energy absorption
  • Low temperature coefficient of only -0.258 %/°C
  • Delivers best-in-class performance when most electricity is generated, in summer
  • Water drainage corners at glass level for self-cleaning features
  • Framed with 40 mm thickness to withstand a wind and snow load of 5400 Pa

Materials 

Key materials of this product include 96 cell solar panels, dual sided cells in a unique pyramid structure to maximize efficiency and special water drainage system. The NIE range features inbuilt inverters which result in a lower installation cost and greater ROI.

pros

  • Larger 96 cell panels
  • High efficiency
  • Unique water drainage system
  • Low installation costs    
  • Good at low light

Cons

  • Expensive

Price

This product can be found online at www.altestore.com for $280 for a 325 Watt 96 cell solar panel. Same foot print of 60 cell module but with 25%  more power.

Power Rating Range

285W-385W

Efficiency Range

19-21.6% efficiency

Durability

Most durable solar panels

Performance

One of the top 5 world class solar panel producers

Warranty 

25 years full warranty on parts, labor and service, with 90.76% output guaranteed after 25 years

The Verdict

If you want peace of mind over your solar system, with maximum efficiency panels and high durability guaranteed by the manufacturers of the best solar panels, your choice has to be Panasonic. Their 25-year labor, parts and installation warranty is the best solar panel warranty in the solar industry, and wherever you are based, their global coverage ensures your family energy needs will be fully met.

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