Patrick Crowley

Patrick Crowley
Head of Sales & Operations

The Most Powerful Solar Panel

March 9, 2019

In this week’s livestream, we are going to talk about SunPower, the producer of the most powerful home solar panels in the world.

The big news from SunPower this week is their annoucement of 400W and 415W residential solar modules, dubbed A-Series panels. They have had larger, commercial-scale panels with a capacity ranging from 400W to 475W, but for the residential market, this is groundbreaking.

Previously, their highest wattage panel was 370W with a top efficiency of 22.7 %. There were some other competitors which came close—like LG Solar’s 365W panel and Solaria’s 360W panel. However, with the new 400W and 415W residential solar panels, they raised the bar yet again.

Key Features of SunPower’s 400+ Watt Panels

What you need to know about SunPower’s A-Series Panels:

  • Wattage – 400W and 415W
  • Integrated Microinverter
  • Low Degradation Rate
  • 25-Year warranty

Wattage: The 400W and 415W are the size of the solar panels that we haven’t seen as available for residential homeowners before.

Integrated Micro-inverter: The Integrated micro-inverter is also available for SunPower’s other offerings. This is not a huge change but is a nice bonus for the new panels. SunPower has also previously announced that their micro-inverter business has been acquired by Enphase, which is the industry leader in micro-inverters. So, we have the industry leaders in micro-inverters and in solar panels coming together soon for even more advanced panel configurations. 

Low Degradation Rate: The degradation rate in the new panels is believed to be even lower than their previously industry-low degradation rate.

Warranty: 25-year warranty across the board again. Performance, labor—top marks yet again.

Gen 5 Maxeon Solar Cells 65% Larger

Let’s look into more of the details about the innovation. The Gen 5 Maxeon solar cells in SunPower panels are 65% larger than conventional cells. But, what they’re really doing is aiming to maximize that space.

Solar panels have small spaces between solar cells. They are basically maximizing the panel space with solar cells and not the space between solar cells. They are currently excelling at this and are continuing to do better.

So, what does this mean for me?

More energy in less space. 

And again we could talk about this forever, we hit this million times before and we will hit it again. SunPower is the cream of the solar crop – no questions asked.

But if you are able to get 100% offset with the roof space you have in lower wattage panels, you might not need it.

Where SunPower’s value really lies, in our opinion, is in those spaces where roof space is confined and you really have to maximize your square footage. And that’s where SunPower rises to the top.

Example System

Let’s consider SunPower’s new A-Series Panels versus 260W panels for a 6 kilowatt array.

In a situation like this, 23 260W panels are needed to produce the same amount of electricity as 15 of SunPower’s 400W panels. So, if the roof were space-constrained and getting a 100% consumption offset wasn’t possible with 260W panels, the new panels are going to be a good option.

Cost of SunPower A-Series Solar Panels

What remains to be the seen, is what it is going to cost. SunPower has always come at a bit of a premium. Despite the higher cost we still have customers who choose SunPower because it is the best product in the market and it maximizes the roof. Both are good reasons to get it.

The 400W would be a step up in maximizing the space and in being the best panel on the market. But now, even more so, we have to think about the cost. We’d expect these panels to be at a cost premium to 370W panels. We will have to keep an eye on that and we will surely update you on the bottom line will be for you.

Join Pick My Solar’s online solar marketplace to get quotes on SunPower solar panels for your home and compare them with other solar panel options.


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