Andrew Bare
Head of Research & Development

Patrick Crowley

Patrick Crowley
Director, Sales and Operations

Best Solar Panels – Top 5 Solar Panels 2018

January 19, 2019

This week’s livestream gives you the best solar panel and top five solar panels in 2018. We go over the following: Hanwha Q Cells, LG Solar Panels, SunPower, Panasonic Solar Panels, and S Energy Panels. These panels are recorded as the best solar panels on Pick My Solar’s online marketplace. Check out this video to find what is the best solar panel for you!

The top solar panel in 2018 is Q Cells with 29% of total sales on our platform. Hanwha Q Cells is followed by LG Solar and SunPower with 22% and 21% of sales, respectively.

top solar brands

Top 5 Solar Panels – 2018

  1. Q Cells
  2. LG Solar
  3. SunPower
  4. Panasonic
  5. S-Energy

best-solar-panels

Let us dive into more details on these solar panels.

1. Q Cells


  • Hanwha Q Cells is German engineered and Korean manufactured and is considered as a global leader in the solar industry.
  • Their German engineered based quantum technology is the most matured and proven PERC technology that delivers exceptional performance in real-world conditions like strong winds, heavy snow, salt stress environment, hot and dry climates, and humid and moist areas.
  • Q Cells are treated with special nano coating that allows rays from sunlight reflected back through the cell to generate more electricity. All of the new product features significantly contribute to the improved yield of Q Cells solar modules. In comparison to a standard solar module yield, Q Cell modules achieve 13.5% more power.
  • Q Cells product range offers modules with efficiency from 14.7% to 19.6%.
  • Q Cells solar modules come with Anti-PID that avoids performance loss of up to 20% due to potential induced degradation.
  • They are a reliable investment as they are covered with a 12-year product warranty and a 25-year linear performance guarantee.

2. LG Solar


  • LG Solar, a subsidiary of South Korea’s LG Corporation, has a long history in solar photovoltaics.
  • LG panels are recommended by a lot of installers, not only because of their superior aesthetics with black anodized aluminum frames, but their construction quality is considered high standard.
  • Their unique frame design withstands extreme stress due to which they have maximum load capacity.
  • Unlike its competitors who manufacture both mono and polycrystalline panels, LG only manufactures monocrystalline panels that have greater efficiency when compared to many multi-crystalline panels.
  • Their latest Neon 2 modules have multi-wire cell technology with 12 round wire busbars and cello (cell connection, electrically low loss, low stress, and optical absorption enhancement) multi-wire technology. These technologies lower electrical resistance and increase the panel’s efficiency.
  • LG offers modules that have an efficiency ranging from 18.0% to 20.9%.
  • In addition to SunPower, LG is the only manufacturer that offers a 25-year product and performance warranty (on Neon 2 and Neon R panels).

3. SunPower


  • SunPower is a Silicon Valley company whose panels are very popular among installers due to their high efficiency and an industry-leading warranty.
  • SunPower’s X-22 series panels have a record-breaking efficiency of 22.8%.
  • SunPower’s Maxeon Gen 5 solar cell is 65% larger than previous generations and converts more sunlight into electricity.
  • They are the world’s first 400 W Residential Solar panels. If roof space is your limitation, fewer SunPower panels can provide you more power.
  • SunPower provides a 25-year product warranty and a 25-year workmanship warranty. In addition to these warranties that cover product, labor, and installation, SunPower offers a 25-year performance warranty that covers the customers when the panels underperform in terms of electricity production and output.

4. Panasonic


  • Japanese multinational electronics company, Panasonic has been doing research into solar since 1975 and has pioneered the HIT (Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin layer) cell technology. HIT PV modules are significantly cheaper and are efficient too.
  • HIT modules have the world’s highest output temperature coefficient of -0.258%/deg C. This means your system will be producing more energy than an equally sized system of other modules.
  • The HIT cell comprises of several silicon layers that reduce losses resulting in higher energy output.
  • Panasonic offers panels with an efficiency ranging from 19% to 21.6%.
  • They offer a 25-year product and performance warranty.

5. S-Energy


  • The Korean PV company, S-Energy, manufactures panels that have low PID characteristics through improvement of the encapsulated SiNx switch.
  • The SN Series solar cell has EVA treated bus bar insulation applied to both sides that keeps electrodes corrosion free in harsh weather climates.
  • The insulation prevents de-lamination damage caused by contamination and out-gassing in the cell.
  • These panels have low PID due to the cutting-edge encapsulated switches built into the module.
  • S-Energy panels come with a 25-year linear power warranty.
  • They are often featured as a base module from a lot of installers which is a lower-cost option, high-efficiency panel, cost-competitive especially in the Eastern Coast NY Market

Sales – 2018 vs. 2017


solar panel sales

Q Cells is the most preferred and sold solar panel brand in both 2017 and 2018. In 2017, LG had recorded sales double that of SunPower on Pick My Solar’s platform. However, in 2018, with an increase in SunPower’s sales, they are neck-and-neck with a very slight difference between them. The sales of Panasonic are also doubled in 2018 when compared to the previous year. The most surprising trend noticed in 2018 is S-Energy, with lower cost and higher efficiency panels, it has pushed its way to the top five solar panels.

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