SunPower Solar Panels: The Leading Option in the U.S. Solar Industry (2023)

SunPower is one of the leading companies in the U.S. solar industry, with a history dating back more than 50 years ago. Photovoltaic (PV) products manufactured by SunPower are a byproduct of intense research, outstanding craftsmanship, and high-quality manufacturing processes that result in SunPower's high-efficiency solar panels that can retain around 92% of their DC power generation capacity in 25 years.

Products manufactured by SunPower have a great performance, highly aesthetic designs, and long warranties extending up to 40 yearsin some cases. If you are looking to learn more about SunPower, how the company works, its technology, available products, and other interesting information about it, then this is the right article is for you.

SunPower Solar Panels: The Leading Option in the U.S. Solar Industry (1)

Table of Contents

SunPower overview: History, subsidiaries, and technology

The history of SunPower started in 1970, when Dr. Richard Swanson, the co-founder of the company, chose solar energy to deal with the oil crisis in the country. The company was finally created in 1985, as a result of two grants awarded by the Electric Power Research Institute and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Throughout its history, SunPower has heavily focused on research and adapting cutting-edge solar technology available in the industry, to create its outstanding products. As a result, SunPower has created world-record solar cells used in all types of applications like residential, commercial, utility-scale, and even special projects created by NASA.

SunPower does not only provide high-quality PV products, but a complete range of energy solutions including generation, monitoring, control, and storage. The company is currently positioned as one of the leading solar companies in the U.S. solar industry.

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Understanding more about SunPower, how they work, and its technology will provide you with greater insight into the reach of the company and how its products might suit your needs.

SunPower or Maxeon Solar: Who is who?

SunPower was created as a U.S. solely based company, focusing on selling PV solutions only to the U.S., but this did not limit its reach. In 2020, Maxeon was created as a spin-off company of SunPower, allowing it to sell PV solutions to customers all over the world, by dealing with SunPower-branded products on an international scale, delivering solar energy solutions to Asia, Europe, and more than 100 countries all over the globe.

Maxeon currently holds more than 1,000 solar patents and has achieved revenue surpassing $700 million by selling high-quality PV products all over the world. This company has partnered with over 1,400 solar sales and installers to extend its reach within different countries, granting homeowners across the globe the possibility to enjoy high-quality PV solutions with fully integrated solar energy systems.

SunPower Technology

SunPower high-efficiency solar panels are manufactured using some of the best monocrystalline silicon modules in the market. The company integrates this high-quality material with highly-developed solar cell structural designs like IBC solar cell technology and shingled technology to create their high-quality products.

IBC Solar Cell Technology

Interdigitated Back Contact (IBC) solar cell technologyis one of the most advanced and cutting-edge manufacturing technologies available for SunPower solar cells. The technology places solar energy conversion at the back of the cell, also relocating the electrodes at the rear side of it.

Since IBC SunPower solar cells have relocated the frontal electrodes at the back, they feature a larger useful area for photons to impact, which results in the SunPower high-efficiency solar panels. IBC SunPower solar cells are up to 20% more efficientthan Passivated Emitter and Rear Contact (PERC) solar panels.

With this technology, SunPower has been able to create highly aesthetic solar panels with no visible contacts at the front, commonly known as the SunPower All Blacksolar panels. Installing these modules at homes or any other locations, will not disrupt the superiorly aesthetic aspect of the place while providing the capacity to generate solar power.

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Shingled Technology

Shingled technologyis one of the latest manufacturing methods for creating solar modules. By combining it with mono-PERC technology, SunPower has created the Maxeon Performance modules that can reach up to 625W in solar power generation with a single module, featuring a 21.2% conversion efficiency.

SunPower Performance modules manufactured with shingled technology, are robust solar panels featuring resistance to thermal stress, humidity, and Potential Induced Degradation (PID). The circuitry design can also mitigate hotspots while increasing energy production under unfavorable conditions.

Aside from increasing conversion efficiency by reducing whitespace between SunPower solar cells, Shingled technology increases flexibility for the modules, making them more durable and resistant.

Are SunPower solar panels the right option for you?

SunPower PV modules feature cutting-edge technology, outstanding performance, and superior aesthetics, making them ideal for practically any application, but especially for residential.

SunPower solar panel price tends to have a slightly higher cost than traditional low- and mid-efficiency solar panels, but the high conversion efficiency, great durability, low power degradation, and long warranty, provide benefits surpassing the price difference between modules.

SunPower has tailored-designed solar panels and other PV solutions, suited for residential, commercial, and utility-scale applications. SunPower products are the preferred option picked by many investors, project developers, electric utilities, homeowners, government entities, and retail businesses.

If you are looking for extremely high-performance modules designed for the most demanding applications and featuring highly aesthetic designs, then SunPower panels are the right fit for you.

SunPower products

SunPower has a wide variety of PV solutions featuring different efficiencies, price range, estimate size, power rate, and other technical and visual variations. In this section, we will introduce each product series manufactured by SunPower.

M Series

SunPower Solar Panels: The Leading Option in the U.S. Solar Industry (4)
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The M series solar panelsby SunPower, feature Maxeon Gen 6 patented solar cells that can deliver a great performance with module options ranging from 420W to 440W. M series modules are compatible with the SunPower Equinox Solar System and the mySunPower Monitoring system, featuring an AC microinverter that directly converts DC to AC at the output of the module.

With a high conversion efficiency of 22.8%, M Series SunPower residential solar panelsand commercial solar panelsare placed among the most powerful AC coupled PV solutions in the market.

A Series

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Coupled with powerful microinverters, A Series SunPower solar panelsare among the first residential modules to have achieved a solar power generation capacity of 415W. A Series SunPower panels include high power output options going from 400W to 420W for SunPower residential solar panels, and 430W to 450W for SunPower commercial solar panels.

Featuring a maximum conversion efficiency of 22.5% for the A series, these modules are among the best AC coupled solar panels, falling second only to the M series modules.

X Series

The X Series SunPower PV modules are an outstanding show of durability, performance, and low degradation over time. These modules are designed to achieve a conversion efficiency superior to the 22.0%, delivering more power and higher savingswhile requiring fewer modules installed on the roof.

Featuring a power output of 360W for SunPower residential solar panelsand 470W for the SunPower commercial solar panels, X Series SunPower solar panels are built over a solid metallic foundation, making them almost invulnerable to the corrosion and cracking of regular modules. These modules produce 60% more energy than conventional modules featuring the same size and they are covered by a 25-year warranty.

E Series

SunPower Solar Panels: The Leading Option in the U.S. Solar Industry (7)
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Customers who want to get affordable solar panels manufactured by SunPower will find the E Seriesto be the right fit for them. Power output for E Series modules includes options going from 320W to 327W for the SunPower residential solar panels, and one option of 435W for the SunPower commercial solar panels. E Series modules can achieve a maximum conversion efficiency of 20.4%, making them a great investment opportunity.

E Series PV modules by SunPower feature a low power degradation over time and feature a 25-year warranty. Conventional modules retain 80% of their capacity after 10 years, while E Series SunPower panels retain a little less than 90% of their capacity at 25 years of operation.

U Series - Equinox

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The U Series SunPower solar panels are the latest product from Sunpower. While little is known about these interesting new additions to the portfolio of PV modules manufactured by SunPower, they are revealed as the new addition to the SunPower Equinox System.

The SunPower Equinox Systemis the best PV solution for homeowners and businesses who want to have complete control over their solar PV system with energy storage addition. This PV system seamlessly integrates AC SunPower high-efficiency solar panels featuring cutting-edge technology and superior aesthetics with invisible mounting, integrating the system with the EnergyLink Hardware and the EnergyLink software.

SunPower vs. Other companies: Strengths & ideal applications

Over its more than 50 years of history, SunPower has delivered excellent results in the U.S. solar industry, positioning itself as one of the leading solar PV manufacturing companies in the country. SunPower is regularly compared to other world-leading solar companies like LG Solar, Jinko Solar, Canadian Solar, Q-Cell Solar, REC Solar, and other outstanding solar manufacturers in the industry.

While SunPower has a premium price on its products, the high durability, higher efficiency, great performance, long-term warranty and low power degradation of their modules, make the investment in SunPower solar panel price totally worth it. Moreover, while other brands compete with each other to provide the manufacture of the highest efficiency solar panels, SunPower has remained in the first position with the highest efficiency solar panels for several years.

While in 2022 SunPower high-efficiency solar panels run at 22.6% efficiency, every year we get new innovations from this company that push that efficiency boundary a little higher and SunPower has managed to do that always on top of competition.

Due to all these reasons, SunPower PV modules are probably the top-quality choice for homeowners who want to install robust solar panels with great performance and superior aesthetics.

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FAQs

Who is the leading solar company in the US? ›

NextEra Energy

Who is the leading manufacturer of solar panels? ›

The top 3 global manufacturers are LONGi Solar, Tongwei Solar, and JA Solar. Most solar panels are manufactured in China, but some companies in Canada and the U.S. are gaining traction.

Why is SunPower the best? ›

SunPower is considered a high-end solar company because it offers the most efficient solar panels on the market. Those panels come with an increased price and SunPower runs more expensive than competitors. However, those competitors often can't match the lifespan and performance of SunPower.

What are the most efficient solar panels in the US? ›

More specifically, SunPower's high efficiency solar panels are recognized as the most efficient solar panels available, with a rating of 22.8 percent. Other manufacturers who make some of the most efficient solar panels include LG (22 percent) and REC Solar (21.7 percent).

Who is No 1 in solar energy? ›

Top 10 countries by cumulative solar PV capacity in 2021
20162020
Country or territoryNewTotal
China34,540254,355
European Union152,917
United States14,73075,572
20 more rows

What is the fastest growing solar company in America? ›

Fastest Growing Solar Stocks
Price ($)Revenue Growth (%)
Daqo New Energy Corp. (DQ)64.53181.9
Enphase Energy Inc. (ENPH)300.9167.8
Sunnova Energy International Inc. (NOVA)27.58120.9
16 Aug 2022

Which solar panel manufacturer is best? ›

What are the best solar panel brands? Generally speaking, SunPower, REC, and Panasonic make the best solar panels. Their high efficiencies, competitive pricing, and 25-year warranties set them apart, but there are plenty more solar panel brands worth installing.

Are SunPower panels made in the USA? ›

Founded in 1985, SunPower's headquarters are in San Jose, California with manufacturing plants in Mexico, Malaysia, Philippines and China. In 2021 SunPower will be celebrating its 36th birthday, which is a very impressive milestone.

Which panels does Tesla use? ›

Historically, Tesla used Hanwha Qcells' Peak Duo Black solar panels, more specifically the Q. Peak Duo Blk-G6+ modules for their solar panel installations. In 2021, however, Tesla announced that they were switching over to their own solar panels.

What is SunPower competitive advantage? ›

BUSINESS MODEL

SunPower's legacy remains its largest competitive advantage to date. SunPower manufactured solar components are the most efficient commercially available – meaning more power per panel vs. competitors (which is particularly important for maximized used of constrained spaces).

Does Apple use SunPower? ›

Apple's spaceship-like headquarters in Cupertino, California, is adorned in SunPower solar panels, a testament to the company's pledge to power its facility with 100 percent renewable energy.

Does NASA use SunPower? ›

That's why NASA chose SunPower high-efficiency cells to build experimental solar-powered aircraft, generate power at NASA facilities, explore the Greenland icecap and test solar for unmanned vehicles designed to explore planets such as Mars.

What are the most efficient solar panels 2022? ›

Panels built using advanced 'Interdigitated back contact' or IBC cells are the most efficient, followed by heterojunction (HJT) cells, TOPcon cells, half-cut and multi-busbar monocrystalline PERC cells, shingled cells and finally 60-cell (4-5 busbar) mono cells.

Which SunPower panel is best? ›

In terms of outright efficiency, SunPower still leads the world with the Maxeon series holding the top spot as the most efficient solar panel with the lowest degradation and best performance warranty. Although not surprisingly, the Maxeon panels are also the most expensive on the market.

Which of the 3 main types of solar panels are the most efficient? ›

Among all panel types, crystalline solar panels have the highest efficiency. Monocrystalline panels have an efficiency rating over 20%. PERC panels add an extra 5% efficiency thanks to their passivation layer. Polycrystalline panels hover somewhere between 15-17%.

What is the #1 source of energy for the Earth? ›

One of the most important sources of energy is the sun. The energy of the sun is the original source of most of the energy found on earth. We get solar heat energy from the sun, and sunlight can also be used to produce electricity from solar (photovoltaic) cells.

What is the most powerful solar? ›

The 7 Most Efficient Solar Panels for Homes
  • Q Cells: Best Value.
  • Silfab: Best Warranty.
  • Canadian Solar: Most DIY Friendly.
  • Panasonic: Best Panels for Hot Climates.
  • REC: Best Durability.
  • SunPower Maxeon: Most Energy-Efficient.
  • Longi: Best Mid-Tier Option.
15 Aug 2022

What is the number 1 energy source? ›

Energy Sources in the United States

Natural gas: 31.8% Petroleum (crude oil and natural gas plant liquids): 28% Coal: 17.8% Renewable energy: 12.7%

Is SunPower a good investment? ›

The BBB gives SunPower an A+ rating, which is above the industry average. In recent years, SunPower has focused its business on commercial solar energy systems, but the company has since doubled down on the residential solar market.

Why do most leading solar manufacturers fail? ›

Many of these solar companies failed because they were unable to deliver high quality work to their customers and could not operate profitably.

Who owns the largest solar farm in the US? ›

It is one of the world's largest solar farms. The $2.5 billion project includes 9 million CdTe photovoltaic modules based on thin-film technology, manufactured by U.S. company First Solar.
...
Topaz Solar Farm
Construction cost$2.4 billion
Owner(s)Berkshire Hathaway Energy
Solar farm
TypeFlat-panel PV
17 more rows

Is SunPower a Chinese company? ›

SunPower has its headquarters in the United States, is owned by a French oil company, and has manufacturing capacity in Malaysia, the Phillipines, and Mexico.

Which solar panels last the longest? ›

Which Type of Solar Panel Lasts Longest? Both monocrystalline and polycrystalline silicon solar panels last for a long time, with lifespans that go beyond their 25-year warranties.

Is SunPower a Tier 1 panel? ›

Examples of Tier 1 solar panel manufacturers include: SunPower, SolarWorld, Panasonic, LG, Trina, Jinko, and Canadian Solar. A key factor that differentiates the Tier 1 list from Tier 2 manufacturers is the reliability of the warranties that Tier 1 solar manufacturers offer.

Is SunPower solar going out of business? ›

No, SunPower is not going out of business, and it continues to sell and lease residential solar energy systems manufactured by its subsidiary Maxeon Solar Technologies. However, SunPower sold its industrial and commercial solar distribution business to TotalEnergies in 2022.

Who is buying SunPower? ›

TotalEnergies is the majority shareholder of SunPower, a leading solar technology and energy services provider. This acquisition is another step in TotalEnergies' roadmap to develop its distributed generation business, currently accounting to close to 500 MW in operation worldwide.

Why don t Teslas have solar panels? ›

A car would only be able to travel one to three miles for every hour it was charged with solar electricity. This means that for a 300-mile-range electric car, it would take around 90 hours of direct sunshine to fully charge the battery. For many automobiles, this is impracticable.

Does SunPower use micro inverters? ›

But SunPower solar systems like the SunPower's Equinox home solar system now rely on microinverters. A microinverter converts the power from DC to AC at the panel level, creating a serious boost in efficiency.

Does Elon Musk make solar panels? ›

Although most people likely know Tesla as an electric car company, it took a major step into the solar business with its 2016 purchase of the solar company SolarCity, which was founded by cousins of Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

What is SunPower known for? ›

SunPower is an American provider of photovoltaic solar energy generation systems and battery energy storage products, primarily for residential customers. The company, headquartered in San Jose, California, was founded in 1985 by Richard Swanson, an electrical engineering professor from Stanford University.

What companies use SunPower? ›

Seven of the Top 10 companies with the most solar installed have SunPower® systems: Walmart (145 MW), Prologis (107.8 MW), Apple (93.9 MW), Costco (50.7 MW), Macy's (38.9 MW) and Hartz Mountain Industries (22.7 MW).

What are the 3 competitive advantages? ›

There are three main types of sustainable competitive advantage: differentiation, cost leadership, and focus advantage.

How long will SunPower panels last? ›

SunPower expects its modules (panels) have a useful life of more than 40 years, defined as 99% of modules producing at least 70% of their power.

Is SunPower undervalued? ›

Our analysis indicates that SPWR is potentially undervalued!

What states does SunPower install in? ›

Expanding into 7 new regions of 6 states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, and North Carolina), SunPower is already boosting its solar installation umbrella in 2021 — in particular, its SunPower Residential Installation (SPRI) program.

Is SunPower a stable company? ›

SunPower has maintained a positive reputation over its more than 30 years in the industry. The company holds an A+ rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

What solar panels does SpaceX use? ›

SpaceX is increasing the size of its on-site solar farm in Boca Chica, Texas, by 1.7 acres, or about 30%, making the solar array a total of 7.1 acres. They also indicate that SpaceX is using panels made by Chinese manufacturers Trina Solar at the launch facility rather than photovoltaics produced by Tesla.

Who are SunPower customers? ›

Our customers typically include investors, financial institutions, project developers, electric utilities, independent power producers, commercial and governmental entities, production home builders, residential owners and small commercial building owners.

What is the newest solar panel technology? ›

Princeton Engineering researchers have developed the first perovskite solar cell with a commercially viable lifetime, marking a major milestone for an emerging class of renewable energy technology.

Which is better rec or Sunpower? ›

Sunpower's panel has an efficiency rating of 21.4% and REC's panel 21.6%. This is a small difference and the panels are still comparable in efficiency. REC's panel has a total of 132 monocrystalline cells (half-cut cells) compared to 66 cells on Sunpower's panel.

What is the best solar technology? ›

Monocrystalline solar panels are often touted as the most efficient option and are often installed for larger energy systems in commercial and residential properties. However, panel sizes do vary; therefore, monocrystalline can be used in smaller installations as well.

What are Tier 3 solar panels? ›

Generally speaking, tier 3 solar panel manufacturers are those that have minimal experience in the production of solar panels. These companies offer a lower performance warranty to customers. These manufacturers will use the products of tier 1 and tier 2 companies to create panels with lower costs.

Which solar system is best and why? ›

The most efficient solar panel for homes is a monocrystalline (mono) panel. These panels, made of silicon crystal, have the highest efficiency, falling between 15% and 22%. Thanks to the technological advancements in the solar industry, mono panels can generate more power using smaller panels with half-cells.

What is a Tier 1 solar panel? ›

Tier 1 solar panels are built with higher standards (to last longer and produce abundant solar power) and have a highly regarded reputation within the solar industry for quality and service so one can expect Tier 1 manufacturers to honor their product warranty compared to Tier 2 and Tier 3 manufacturers.

Who is the largest solar producer in the world? ›

1. China. This PV capacity is enough for China to keep its market leader position with the Chinese market representing 33% of total global installations.

What brand of solar panels does NASA use? ›

In 1997, long before you could buy a drone at your neighborhood electronics store, NASA began using SunPower solar cells on its unmanned, remotely piloted, solar-powered, high-altitude aircraft (also known as an “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles,” or UAVs).

Who is the biggest solar company in the world? ›

List of Top 10 Solar Companies in the World
S. No.Solar CompanyCountry
1.Trina SolarChina
2.Canadian SolarCanada
3.Jinko SolarChina
4.JA SolarChina
6 more rows
25 Jun 2022

Which is the largest fixer of solar energy? ›

Detailed Solution. Green plants are the largest fixator of the solar system. Green plants remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and generate oxygen for living beings.

Which country produces the best quality solar panels? ›

China has proved its supremacy in solar panel production by producing two-thirds of global solar modules. Moreover, all major solar panel producers have production facilities in China.

What is Elon Musk solar company? ›

The company was founded on July 4, 2006, by Peter and Lyndon Rive, the cousins of SpaceX and Tesla, Inc. CEO Elon Musk, and nephews of model Maye Musk. Tesla acquired SolarCity in 2016, at a cost of approximately $2.6 billion and reorganized its solar business into Tesla Energy.

What are the 2 major drawbacks to solar power? ›

We should take an honest look at the system's disadvantages and seek to refine solar energy systems into a truly environmentally friendly alternative. The most significant complaints with solar energy are: lack of consistency and reliability.

Why are people not buying solar panels? ›

High upfront costs for your solar energy system. This is usually because solar equipment and/or installation costs are expensive where you live. Space restrictions mean that you can't install a solar panel system large enough to deliver adequate electric bill savings.

What is the main downfall to solar power? ›

High upfront cost

The large upfront cost is one of the biggest drawbacks of solar panel systems. As of January 2022, the average cost of solar in the U.S. is about $3.00 per watt. So, a 6 kW solar panel system would run you around $18,000, on average, before the federal tax credit is applied.

What solar company did Warren Buffett invest in? ›

Berkshire, overseen by Buffett as chief executive officer, has been building MidAmerican's renewable efforts in recent years. MidAmerican estimates that it delivered 88% renewable energy to Iowa customers on an annual basis in 2021.

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