Top 6 Best Solar Panels For Homes: Review Guide (2022)

By Dan Simms

If you’re in the process of going solar or you’re thinking of converting to clean energy, you’ve likely considered things like the cost of your system, the reliability of your solar installer, and the size of your system. Another important factor that many homeowners neglect to think about is the efficiency and overall performance of the panels they have installed.

Panel performance can have a significant impact on how many panels you need, which, in turn, affects the cost of your system. The panel efficiency can also determine your long-term cost of going solar because it affects how much power your solar energy system produces and how much your energy bills are lowered.

In this guide, we’ll be discussing the six most efficient solar panels for homes. This should guide you to a panel brand and model that suits your budget, your energy needs, and your roof size.

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The 6 Best Solar Panels For Homes

Below is a quick look at the solar panels we’ve chosen for their efficiency, durability, warranty coverage, and more.

  1. SunPower X-Series Residential DC – X22-370
  2. Panasonic Evervolt H 410W
  3. REC Alpha PURE-R
  4. LG NeON R 370W
  5. Silfab Elite 380 BK
  6. Canadian Solar HiKu 7

Home Solar Panel Comparison

The table below provides a quick look at the top six most efficient solar panels available for home solar systems. We’ll include additional information about each panel in the following sections as well.

Cost ($-$$$$$) Efficiency Size (Watts) Power Tolerance Cell Type Warranty
SunPower X-Series $$$$ 22.7% 335 to 470 +5%/-0% Monocrystalline, half-cut 25 years for equipment, workmanship, and efficiency
Panasonic Evervolt $$ 22.2% 360 to 370 +5%/-0% Monocrystalline, half-cut 25 years for equipment, workmanship, and efficiency
REC Alpha $$$ 21.7% 410 to 430 +5%/-0% Monocrystalline, half-cut 20 years for equipment, 25 years for efficiency
LG NeON R $$$ 21.5% 365 to 440 +3%/-3% Monocrystalline, half-cut 25 years for equipment, workmanship, and efficiency
Silfab Elite $$$ 21.4% 370 to 380 watts +10%/-0% Monocrystalline, half-cut 25 years for equipment, 30 years for efficiency
Canadian Solar HiKu 7 $$ 21.4% 330 to 455 +5%/-0% Monocrystalline, half-cut 12 years for equipment and workmanship, 25 years for efficiency

#1: SunPower – X-Series

SunPower is well-known in the solar industry for producing some of the highest-quality panels. Through decades of research and development, SunPower has managed to produce the most efficient solar panels available for home solar systems. We’ll discuss the X-series from SunPower below.

 

SunPower Corporation

Cost

One major downside to SunPower’s panels is that they are quite expensive. They average between $2.85 and $3.25 per watt, which is well above the $2.66 price point that’s average in the country.

Efficiency

While SunPower’s panels are more expensive than average, they’re also the most efficient panels money can buy. They stand ahead of the competition at an industry-leading 22.7% efficiency. These are outstanding panels for any solar energy system, especially if you have a small roof and still want maximum power.

Wattage

SunPower’s panels are available in sizes ranging from 335 watts up to 470 watts.

Power Tolerance

SunPower’s panels have a positive-only power tolerance of +5%.

Cell Type

These are monocrystalline solar panels, which are expected of the most efficient solar panels. They’re also half-cut solar cells. These types of solar panels improve overall performance and reduce the risk of cracking as compared to polycrystalline solar panels.

Warranty

SunPower’s price point is also justifiable to most solar customers because they come backed with some of the best warranty coverage available. The company stands behind its products with a 25-year comprehensive warranty that covers equipment damage, solar panel power production, and workmanship.

Overall, SunPower panels are a great option for homeowners who want maximum power output and the best warranty coverage around and don’t mind paying a premium for high quality.

SunPower – X-Series Pros and Cons

  • Highest power production in the industry
  • Outstanding warranty coverage
  • Available in a wide range of sizes
  • Low-profile and all black
  • Positive-only power tolerance
  • Expensive

SunPower – X-Series Product Details

Wattage: 335 to 470

Dimensions (for smallest option): 61.3” x 41.2” x 1.8”

Output at end of efficiency warranty: 92%

Cell type: Monocrystalline

Cell count: 96

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#2: Panasonic – Evervolt

Panasonic has produced high-quality solar panels since 1975. The Evervolt series is definitively in second place for efficiency at 22.2%, making it the only other option — aside from SunPower — to max out over 22%. The company also includes outstanding warranty coverage that rivals SunPower’s.

PV Magazine

Cost

Panasonic panels usually come in around the average, although prices fluctuate based on where you live, the size of your system, and more. Generally speaking, these panels will be far more affordable than SunPower’s.

Efficiency

Panasonic Evervolt panels have a 22.2% efficiency, making them another outstanding option for homeowners with small roofs and high energy needs.

Wattage

These panels are available in just two options: 360 watts and 370 watts.

Power Tolerance

Panasonic manages a positive-only power tolerance of +5%, which is outstanding.

Cell Type

The Evervolt panels are monocrystalline.

Warranty

Panasonic’s warranty is just as good as SunPower’s, which is really saying something. It covers the equipment, the workmanship, and the efficiency for 25 years.

Panasonic’s Evervolt line of solar panels is an excellent alternative to SunPower’s high-efficiency panels. They maintain an efficiency rating of over 22%, come with an outstanding warranty, and are quite affordable.

Panasonic – Evervolt Pros and Cons

  • Affordable
  • High efficiency
  • Positive-only power tolerance
  • Monocrystalline, half-cut panels
  • Only two size options

Panasonic – Evervolt Product Details

Wattage: 360 to 370 watts

Dimensions (for smallest option): 67.8” x 40” x 1.2”

Output at end of efficiency warranty: 92%

Cell type: Monocrystalline

Cell count: 120

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#3: REC Group – Alpha PURE-R

REC is a household name in the solar industry, known for high-quality panels that last for decades. The Alpha PURE-R panel is no exception, boasting an efficiency rating nearing 22% and a positive-only tolerance for maximum, guaranteed performance.

 

Tandem Solar Systems

Cost

REC Alpha panels bring high efficiency and durability to the table, but they still hover around the average price for home solar panels.

Efficiency

The PURE-R series has a 21.7% efficiency rating, which is outstanding.

Wattage

The Alpha series is available in a range of 410 to 430 watts. These are larger than the equivalent panels from many competitors.

Power Tolerance

REC Alpha panels are another option that have a positive-only power tolerance of +5%.

Cell Type

The cells in these panels are monocrystalline, and they are half-cut for peak performance capability.

Warranty

REC backs all of its panels with a 20-year warranty for the equipment and a 25-year warranty for efficiency. Unfortunately, there is no manufacturer’s warranty for workmanship.

The REC Alpha panels — specifically the PURE-R model — are a great option for reaching high efficiency while keeping costs to a minimum. The warranty coverage isn’t as good as you’ll find with some competitors, but it still guarantees performance and durability for decades.

REC Group – Alpha Series Pros and Cons

  • High efficiency rating
  • Positive-only power tolerance
  • Monocrystalline, half-cut solar cells
  • Affordable
  • No workmanship warranty
  • Equipment warranty is below the industry standard

REC Group – Alpha Series Product Details

Wattage: 370 watts

Dimensions (for smallest option): 71.7” x 40” x 1.2”

Output at end of efficiency warranty: 92%

Cell type: Monocrystalline

Cell count: 80

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#4: LG – NeON R

LG began manufacturing solar panels in 2010, and since then, it has been a leader in the solar industry in terms of performance and warranty coverage. Unfortunately, the company has announced its planned departure from solar panel manufacturing, so the panels will soon no longer be available.

 

LG Business

Cost

LG’s panels have often been compared to Panasonic’s in terms of quality and cost. This puts LG at around the national average in terms of pricing.

Efficiency

The LG NeON R panels have an efficiency rating of 21.5%.

Wattage

Between the LG NeON R and the LG NeON R Prime products, you can choose from panels that range between 365 watts and 440 watts.

Power Tolerance

LG is one of the few most efficient solar panels that have positive and negative power tolerance. It ranges from -3% to +3%.

Cell Type

These cells are monocrystalline and half-cut.

Warranty

LG’s warranty matches many of the other top players in solar panels by covering the equipment, workmanship, and energy production for 25 years.

Although LG panels will no longer be available in the near future, we’ve included them here as they are still available as of this writing and because they rival the efficiency, performance, and warranty coverage of many of the other top brands.

LG – NeON R Pros and Cons

  • Affordable
  • Highly efficient
  • Monocrystalline panels
  • Excellent warranty coverage
  • Will no longer be available in the near future
  • Positive and negative power tolerance

LG – NeON R Product Details

Wattage: 365 to 440 watts

Dimensions (for smallest option): 67” x 40” x 1.6”

Output at end of efficiency warranty: 88.4%

Cell type: Monocrystalline

Cell count: 60

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#5: Silfab – Elite 380

Silfab is another manufacturer of premium solar panels designed for highly efficient residential solar panel systems. Silfab is often listed as a budget option that doesn’t compromise on efficiency and quality, although this particular series of panels hovers around the average cost of solar panels.

Silfab Solar

Cost

As mentioned above, the Silfab Elite series is around average when it comes to cost, meaning these are an outstanding value.

Efficiency

The Silfab Elite panels have an efficiency rating of 21.4%.

Wattage

These panels are available in a 370-watt option and a slightly larger 380-watt option.

Power Tolerance

Silfab Elite panels have one of the best positive-only power tolerances: +10%.

Cell Type

These cells are monocrystalline, and they’re half-cut for performance.

Warranty

Silfab backs its Elite series with a 25-year product warranty and a 30-year efficiency warranty. While there is no workmanship warranty, the 30 years of coverage for efficiency is above-average.

Silfab is sometimes below the average pricing for panels, although this series is around the average. However, the quality provided for the money makes these an excellent option for any home solar system.

Silfab – Elite 380 Pros and Cons

  • Excellent positive-only power tolerance
  • Long-lasting warranty coverage
  • Affordable
  • Great efficiency rating
  • No workmanship warranty
  • Only available in two sizes

Silfab – Elite 380 Product Details

Wattage: 370 to 380 watts

Dimensions (for smallest option): 70.7” x 39” x 1.5”

Output at end of efficiency warranty: 82.6% (after 30 years)

Cell type: Monocrystalline

Cell count: 66

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#6: Canadian Solar – HiKu 7

Canadian Solar is a top producer of solar panels in the United States. It has been around since 2001, and it has dedicated its time and energy to producing high-quality solar panels for home solar systems. Its warranty isn’t the best, but the panels’ power production and overall durability are excellent.

 

Canadian Solar

Cost

Canadian Solar is considered a budget brand, and it’s the only brand to make our list that costs below average.

Efficiency

The Canadian Solar HiKu 7 panels have an efficiency rating of 21.4%, which is excellent, especially for a budget brand.

Wattage

These panels come in a huge range of watt options, ranging from 330 watts to a massive 455 watts.

Power Tolerance

Canadian Solar manages to provide a positive-only power tolerance of +5%.

Cell Type

The HiKu 7 panels have half-cut, monocrystalline solar cells.

Warranty

Canadian Solar’s warranty coverage isn’t the best. It covers energy efficiency for 25 years, which is great, but the coverage for the equipment and workmanship only lasts for 12 years.

Canadian Solar is one of the best options for solar panels for homeowners on a budget. It includes decent warranty coverage and high efficiency ratings for a below-average price.

Canadian Solar – HiKu7 Pros and Cons

  • Positive-only power tolerance
  • Very affordable
  • Highly efficient
  • Wide range of wattages available
  • Not the best warranty coverage

Silfab – Elite 380 Product Details

Wattage: 330 to 455 watts

Dimensions (for smallest option): 93.9” x 51.3” x 1.4”

Output at end of efficiency warranty: 84.8%

Cell type: Monocrystalline

Cell count: 120

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Considerations When Choosing a Solar Panel For Your Home

Unfortunately, choosing solar panels for your home means a lot of research to ensure you pick the brand and model that’s best suited to your needs. In the sections below, we’ll discuss some of the most important things to keep in mind as you make your decision and how each can affect your experience with going solar.

Cost

One of the first things most solar customers consider when choosing solar panels for their homes is the cost of the system. The price of your solar panels is the most crucial part of your total cost, and differences in per-watt pricing can lead to differences of thousands of dollars on your entire system.

Some solar panel brands keep costs low by using lower-quality materials or including less appealing warranty coverage. While this, of course, will mean you’ll pay less for your system, it also means the quality you get for the money is lower.

Ideally, you should balance quality and efficiency with the cost of the panels to find the best option that fits your budget.

Efficiency

We’ve included the efficiency rating of all of the top solar panels for homes above, and while this might just seem like another meaningless number, it’s a super important part of choosing the right panels for your home.

Firstly, the efficiency of the panels, in part, dictates the size of the solar energy system you need. The average home in America needs a 9-kW solar system to offset electricity bills and meet the home’s energy needs.

Using high-efficiency panels means you could potentially use fewer panels to produce the same amount of energy, which means you could require a smaller system and save money on the solar panel installation process. In most cases, however, the cost of your system will still be a bit higher with high-efficiency panels, as they tend to cost more in addition to being more efficient.

Still, you get better performance with high-efficiency panels and take up less space on your roof. This is crucial for smaller homes that might not have the roof space for a sufficient number of panels. Additionally, your home needs to be structurally sound enough to hold up your system, and having fewer panels that need to go on your roof might be the difference between getting your permit approved and denied.

Durability

Solar equipment is expensive, so it’s always a wise idea to buy high-quality equipment to avoid issues with durability. Premium solar panels cost more, but in many cases, you’ll save yourself the headache of having issues with your system down the road going with a high-quality provider since the panels will have a longer lifespan. Thin-film and lower-quality panels have a much shorter lifespan and don’t make our rankings.

One thing to consider is how physically durable your panels are. Rooftop solar panels are, of course, exposed to the elements at all times, including rain, snow, hail, and wind. They can also be exposed to falling tree limbs or blown debris if you live in an area that experiences severe weather, like hurricanes, tropical storms, and tornadoes.

Having panels with a reputation for being durable and hearty can potentially save you from having to deal with thousands of dollars worth of damage if you run into issues with your panels.

Additionally, we recommend that you consider how durable the internal components are, including the solar cells, wiring, inverters, and microinverters, if your panels have them.

We’ll discuss warranty coverage in the next section, but the efficiency warranty for your solar panels — if you have one — guarantees that your panels will produce a certain percentage of what they did when they were new after an extended period of time — usually around 25 years.

For example, SunPower guarantees that its panels will retain 92% of their efficiency over the 25-year power production warranty. This helps ensure that your panels continue to produce sufficient energy for your home, which can help save you money on utility bills in the long run.

You can also look at metrics like the temperature coefficient, which shows your panels’ ability to maintain higher efficiency in less ideal weather conditions.

Warranty

Finally, we strongly recommend you carefully consider the warranty coverage included with your system. Solar warranties usually cover physical damage, power production, workmanship, or all three.

Physical damage warranties are important because they can save you hundreds or thousands on replacement parts if your panels get damaged or if there are manufacturer defects. Performance warranties help guarantee that your panels continue to perform as intended and will continue to save you money on your energy bills. Workmanship warranties guarantee that you won’t run into system issues due to improper installation.

All of this coverage is crucial for protecting what is likely a large investment in renewable energy.

Our Top Pick: The Best Solar Panel for Homes of 2022

Our top pick for the best and most efficient solar panel for home solar systems in 2022 is the SunPower X-Series. SunPower is well-known in the solar industry for producing high-quality and high-efficiency solar panels, and the X-Series is among the company’s most impressive products.

These panels have an industry-leading efficiency of 22.7%. They’re ideal for homeowners looking for the highest level of power production, and they’re perfect for individuals that have small roofs or minimal space to produce power for their homes.

Although the X-Series comes with a high upfront cost, the solar cell technology comes with an incredible warranty that protects your solar power system and provides ultimate peace of mind that you won’t run into any issues. The warranty covers the equipment, the energy generation, and the workmanship for 25 years, and the installation company has a great reputation for responding to and addressing warranty claims.

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Home Solar Panels FAQ

What are the best solar panels for homes in 2022?

In our opinion, the best solar panels money can buy in 2022 are the X-Series panels from SunPower. These panels have the highest efficiency rating (22.7%) in the industry, and they come backed by one of the best solar warranties available. The 25-year warranty covers physical damage, issues caused by manufacturer defects and installation issues, as well as power production. These panels are more expensive than those from most competitors, but in most customers’ opinion, they are well worth the investment.

Do solar panels work in cloudy weather?

Yes! Although clouds prevent a good deal of sunlight from reaching your panels for power production, you’ll still see energy generation on cloudy days. Heavy cloud coverage can decrease efficiency by more than 50%, but with high-efficiency panels, you’ll still see significant levels of power production.

Who is the most reputable solar company?

In our opinion, SunPower not only manufactures some of the best panels in the industry, but the company is also one of the most reputable. It has been around since 1985, so it has several decades of experience.

It previously manufactured some of the best panels available and now handles installation while its sister company — Maxeon Solar — produces the actual solar equipment. The company has good customer service, despite its size, and its warranty coverage is second to none. SunPower can deliver the whole package, including industry-leading equipment, great service, and peace of mind to every customer.

The only downsides to SunPower are the high price and the large company size. This does mean that, in many cases, the technicians who install the photovoltaic equipment won’t help with taking advantage of solar incentives or rebates.

What determines the price of solar panels?

There are many different things that can affect the price of solar panels you purchase. In most cases, the durability and warranty coverage will be a big part of the price. Solar panel companies that deliver high-quality equipment not only pay more to produce them but need to make sure they’re compensated in the event of an issue with production or system damage.

Efficiency is another huge factor when it comes to the cost of solar panels. A lot of research goes into developing new solar technology and pushing the limits of solar cells. Panels that push beyond 20% and 21% approach the peak capabilities of today’s technology. Customers who want the most efficient solar panels on the market today should plan on paying a premium for them.

What are the benefits of solar panels?

Solar panels afford many benefits to solar customers. One of the most significant is the reduction of emissions and less reliance on fossil fuels, which are detrimental to the environment. By going solar, you’re reducing your carbon footprint, which has an enormously positive impact on the world.

Many homeowners go solar for energy savings, which is another huge upside of going solar. The average homeowner who purchases their solar system will enjoy savings on electric bills that pay off the system entirely and then save thousands — and sometimes tens of thousands — thereafter. Some homeowners are able to eliminate their electric bills entirely, especially if their state or electric company offers net metering.

If you couple your solar panels with a solar battery storage solution, you can also eliminate power outages for your home. A complete solar array plus a solar battery will mean you can produce energy and power your home off of that production and the energy saved, making your home temporarily off-grid.

What is the highest-efficiency solar panel available?

SunPower solar panels are some of the best panel options, and the SunPower X-Series is currently the most efficient solar panel available for home use. This line of solar panels boasts an incredible 22.7% efficiency. The next most efficient panel — the Panasonic Evervolt — is only 22.2%.

House Method’s Solar Companies Rating Methodology

At House Method, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader. That’s why we took the time to create an objective rating system and score each solar energy company/service according to our methodology.

Our research team dug deep into the fine print of contracts, combed through more than one hundred customer reviews, and thoroughly investigated all of each solar energy company’s services, costs, and products. We’ve done the homework for you by researching nearly all of the solar energy companies on the market so you can have the information you need to make the best choice for your home.

We developed a formula to objectively determine the best solar energy companies and give each a score out of 100 based on the following criteria:

  • Plan Options (30): Do they provide a variety of plan options? We looked at the number of plans each solar energy company offered and the flexibility of adjusting the plan.
  • Services offered (20): How many services are offered in each plan? We looked at whether the company manufactures its own solar panels, whether it contracts out installation, and what additional products each company offers.
  • Trust (10): What do customers say after their solar panels are installed? Does this company offer a guarantee? We considered how satisfied customers are post-service if the company does what it says it will, BBB accreditation, and service guarantees.
  • Prices (10): How reasonable are the costs of the plan or service in comparison to the industry average? We compared the costs of each company to competitors that offer the same solar energy services.
  • Unique perks (10): Does the company offer discounts or special services such as financial incentives, rebates, or a useful mobile app? We looked for extras each company offers that set them apart from the competition.
  • Customer Service (10): How is the customer experience when contacting the company? We considered the speed of response, weekend/holiday availability, and ease of communication through phone calls, email, and online chat functions.
  • Nationwide availability (10): How many states does the company offer its services? Companies that operate nationally and in all zip codes are favored over those with limited availability.

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